Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Love and MarriageComments
I have heard it repeated often in recent days that it is only right that two people who love each other should be permitted to be married, and that wanting to restrict marriage in any way is a "homophobic" attempt to impose religion on people.
Is that really what marriage is about? Two people luuv each other and so religion came up with a way for them to express their belief in the permanence of their love? How ignorant.
For starters, marriage is a pretty universal human institution that spans most cultures and times, probably reaching back tens of thousands of years of human pre-history. No religion or culture has a corner on it. And it's been the same for all that time--one man and one woman, sometimes one man and more than one woman, or more rarely one woman and more than one man. But it's never been two men or two women. And there is a very good reason for it.
Marriage is not about love.
Marriage is the fundamental building block of society, expressly created as the unit in which the bearing and raising of children is conducted. That's it's purpose. Children. Without a stable environment for childhood, society suffers in the long run, and this has been recognized by virtually all societies. Because it takes a man and a woman to procreate, marriage serves the purpose of making a man and a woman jointly responsible for nurturing and raising their offspring. This is the same reason for those "antiquated" laws against cohabitation, incest, premarital and extramarital sex.
No individual gay "marriage" threatens another individual heterosexual marriage. But the institution itself is weakened when it's primary function is forgotten and buried under this false pretense that it is about love between two individuals. My marriage to Daisy Cat is not threatened by the goings-on in San Francisco. But I am deeply saddened that the fundamental building block of society has taken yet another hit.
I'm not blaming gays for this. The institution has been under siege ever since the advent of no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution. And the effect this has had on children and society are there for anyone to see. You have to credit social conservatives for being consistent on this point. Gay "marriage" is just one more nail in the coffin of the institution.
And to think this is being blithely hailed by those who should know better, even on the libertarian right. I'm not going to get into what a Pandora's Box this can become if it is not stopped. Others have done that well enough. Based on the pro-gay marriage logic, what is to stop polygamy, incetuous marriage, or even interspecies marriage? What is to stop criminal gangs from "marrying" each other to avoid being compelled to testify against each other in court? What is to prevent intergenerational marriage to avoid death taxes?
Be careful what you ask for. You may just get it, whether you fully realize what you asked for or not.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:34 AM | permalink
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Remember the Blood of Heroes...Comments
This needs more exposure. Please click on the link above. It runs about 5 minutes.
Then ask yourself the question: Should America defend herself against this ever happening again, or should we trust the United Nations to protect us? The answer to this question ought to determine who you will be voting for this fall.
Thanks to Serenity for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:33 AM | permalink
After the uproar, the Saudi's hastily removed the reference on their travel website to Jews being forbidden from entering their country. But thanks to Google's cache, the original text can still be seen. The Google link and the offending text are attached below for your review.
Thanks to commenter "tz" at Vox's site for the link.
Supreme Commission for Tourism www.sauditourism.gov.sa:
" Visa Requirements
Everyone who enters the Kingdom should have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and the appropriate visa.
Unless you are a visitor from a GCC country or in transit, all other nationalities require a visa to enter the Kingdom. Visas can be for business, tourist, transit, residency, family, Hajj, or conference attendance.
Visas can be obtained from the visa department in the Saudi Embassy of the visitor's home country or from Saudi Consulates available in all main cities around the world.
The cost of a visa is generally 200 Saudi Riyals however visitors should ensure that they check with the Saudi Embassy or Consulate.
Visas will not be issued for the following groups of people:
* An Israeli passport holder or a passport that has an Israeli arrival/departure stamp.
* Those who don't abide by the Saudi traditions concerning appearance and behaviors. Those under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted into the Kingdom.
* There are certain regulations for pilgrims and you should contact the consulate for more information.
* Jewish People
* If a woman is arriving in the Kingdom alone, the sponsor or her husband must receive her at the airport.
* Every woman must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of her stay in the Kingdom.
* A woman is not allowed to drive a car and can therefore only travel by car if she is accompanied by her husband, a male relative, or a driver.
* All visitors to the Kingdom must have a return ticket.
* Pilgrims must also have all valid documentation and a passport that is valid for 6 months."
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:49 AM | permalink
Friday, February 27, 2004
The Passion--One Person's ReviewComments
It seems to me that the point of this movie is going to be largely missed by people who do not already have an ongoing relationship with Jesus. I suspect it will serve to deepen the faith of those who may be wavering or nominal Christians. But for the unbeliever, well I'm not surprised if it may be a bit off-putting. After all, the scripture says that the message of the gospel is "offensive to Greeks (non-Jews) and a stumbling block to the Jews". Expecting this movie to be widely accepted as a work of cinematic art isn't what I'd expect, even though the charges of hypocrisy against it's detractors may be valid.
Buried in the comments on Misha's site is this moving review by "Fiery Celt".
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: Comment on Why Can't I Leave that Movie Alone?
I saw the movie yesterday...and yes, this film is graphically violent. The violence has a purpose.
It was a raw, emotional, visceral, experience.
A shattering and exhaustive emotional and spiritual journey....
This movie was taken directly from the Gospels.
It is a depiction of the Passion from a Catholic perspective, with the inclusionary reverence for Mary, and her role as the Mother of Jesus.
This is a intense realistic visual tableau of the Stations of the Cross.
I felt like I was being made to bear witness ---
I felt the repeated betrayals from those who loved him.
---Even His own Mother...she hesitated and faltered.
The demonic forces were feeding on every individual person's fear, hatred, ignorance, greed, madness and lust for power.
The few voices of reason,--- from Joseph of Aremethia and Nicodemus were silenced and forcibly ejected from the sight of the Sanhedrin of the crowds.
We were all being made to bear witness to the indescribable torment and torture Jesus had to endure for our sins and redemption.
I forced myself to watch---- to bear witness;
The caning,... the scourging was interminable.
It was wrenching and stark. It was undeniably accurate. It was appalling and abominable.
Just as I thought that it must end... it continued with renewed vigor. His skin, muscles and sinew were flayed from his body.
You could feel and see the 'satanic' fervor and energy emanating from the Roman soldiers as the meted out the torture. They took joy in the act of inflicting pain.
The Satanic presence was terrifyingly palpable and terrible. I realize that I, personally, have felt and seen this presence manifest itself in humanity before. We all have.
Pontius Pilate was a coward---He feared the mob and the resultant wrath of Caesar...Thus he knowingly condemned an innocent man to the horrors of crucifixation. The act of washing his hands could take never away the stain of cowardice and complacent guilt, although he tried.
I kept feeling that we are all guilty...
As He struggled to carry the cross to Calvary,
I kept saying to myself, all the while openly weeping...I'm Sorry, I'm So Sorry, ...Please forgive me---us.
Every time I have denied Christ, I have done this to him. I truly felt this.
Everytime he stumbled and fell. I personally felt it.
The crowds at first were frenzied with bloodlust, Satan moved amongst the throngs.
But his suffering became unendurable, and I kept feeling--- no more,... please no more.
There were a few lights in the throngs---
Individual people who felt the wrongness and injustice of this...
Veronica with her inate her kindness and empathy---and her offer of water---
Even Simon of Cyrene, reluctant and angry that he was made to carry a condemned man's cross, felt the goodness of the Man, and the shame in this miscarriage of justice and denounced the brutality of the Roman soldiers.
Then we are forced to bear witness to the crucifixion.
Only now am I fully cognizant as to what a horrific, tortuous death, this truly is.
Inwardly I'm praying and outwardly I'm weeping. "please let it end"...Please---I'm so sorry that you had to endure this for us. Please let His suffering end. This became a mantra as I watched Him endure the Unendurable.
We feel His Mother's pain. The anguished loss and despair of His followers. We witness the religious conversions and continuing human evil and ignorance at the foot of the Cross.
Even Jesus, in the height of his torment cried out to the Father.
Then He forgives us---All of Us.
Finally He dies......We are all responsible.
He was born to show us the way to G-d and Salvation. He was born to suffer and die for our sins. I know this, yet I feel such sorrow. I feel that I felt that I was not worthy of such a sacrifice.
Lord have mercy on us...and He does.
I checked ticket availability at my favorite theater and the only shows not sold out are too early for me to get to or too late for Daisy Cat (she has to work tomorrow). I'm shooting for Sunday evening.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:48 PM | permalink
AP Wire | 02/27/2004 | Kerry's wife accepts Calif. environmental group's endorsement: "She also said energy conservation is necessary because 'no American, boy or girl, should have to go to war and lose their lives because of our gluttonous need for oil.'"Comments
Ah yes, that smell of hypocrisy in the wind again. Theresa Heinz Kerry--the woman who prevailed upon local officials to relocate a fire hydrant away from in front of her exclusive Beacon Hill mansion so she would have another parking space for her oversized SUV.
She went on to imply that corporations were at fault for the high energy needs of this country. Theresa Heinz Kerry--heiress of the ketchup mega-corporation fortune.
When I see her riding a bicycle around town and making her ketchup by hand over a wood-fired stove, under a dim light-bulb powered by a solar panel, she might have just a bit more credibility with me.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:27 PM | permalink
'Passion' critics retract reviews - The Washington Times: Nation/PoliticsComments
After they've seen it, that is. Apparently this didn't stop Kerry, who has not yet seen the film, from blathering and whining about it's supposed anti-Semitism: Kerry Urges Caution on 'Passion'
I have not seen it yet. I probably will this weekend or early next week, when the surging crowds calm down. I plan to take a box of kleenex, because I just get that way with spiritual things...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:12 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Government agency spends our money, investigates self, says 'It's all good'Comments
Waste and fraud in the drug war: Drug WarRant
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:19 PM | permalink
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Tinfoil Hat DayComments
My hat it has no tinfoil
No tinfoil has my hat
And if it's made of tinfoil
Then it is not my hat!
(To the tune of "The Three-Cornered Hat")
I tune in to my usually sensible conservative talk-radio station this morining, only to find they have a conspiracy-theorist on for their morning show, talking about how "the fix is in" regarding oil prices, worthless paper money, the federal reserve, Masonic conspiracies against Christianity, etc. I just caught the tail end of the show, so I didn't hear his full spiel. And I've been reading commenters on some sites I frequent, talking about the coming financial collapse, the desirability of this collapse to foster a Libertarian revolution, and other similar talk.
I have heard all of this for decades. Funny how the world keeps turning.
I know in whom I have placed my trust. It is even printed on those "worthless" federal reserve notes. I don't place my trust in human institutions, nor do I believe anything transpires on this earth that is outside of His notice.
My glasses are not tinted rose, but neither do I see the value of going through this life all bug-eyed and paranoid.
UPDATE: I should add, that some people like going through life bug-eyed. Some folks like reading Stephen King novels, some folks like horror flicks, some folks like believing conspiracy theories. So hey, if that's your thing, whatever...
You could be right, but I'm not losing any sleep over it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:52 AM | permalink
The Politburo DiktatComments
I come across The Commisar's site as a link from other sites on a fairly regular basis. I can't say I've quite figured it out at this point, but seeing as how he dropped me a comment regarding Argghhh!, I think I will sit up and pay a bit more attention. Not entirely dissimilar to "Allah in the House".
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:08 AM | permalink
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
GeorgeWBush.com :: President Bush Frames the Clear Choice Americans Face in the 2004 ElectionComments
Here is the text of the President's speech last night, for those who did not hear it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:47 PM | permalink
Monday, February 23, 2004
War on Free SpeechComments
Columns: A phony war defeats free speech
This article illustrates one of the reasons it is important for all freedom-loving Americans to be opposed to the drug war. It is not necessary for one to be in favor of drug use or abuse in order to be opposed to the drug war. The deleterious effect on free speech and other fundamental rights is more than reason enough. There are other ways to deal with the negative effects of addiction than through the draconian hyper-statist tactics currently being employed.
Remember if it is a message about the drug war being censored today, it could be your message being censored tomorrow. Think about the profoundly anti-Christian "hate speech" bill being proposed in Canada. It's not so far fetched to see something like that here. Free speech is for everyone, regardless of whether you agree with the particular speech or not. That's the beauty of our system. Will you help defend it when it needs defending?
Thanks as usual to Drug WarRant for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:42 PM | permalink
IMAO: Frank Answers: Black Holes, Free Oil, Invisibility, What Really Happened to Rachel Lucas, Energy, and President FrankComments
Frank J has managed to get a lively discussion going here in the comments section about Michael Moore, Cats, Buttered Toast and the Pythagorean Theorem.
Check it out!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:05 PM | permalink
Welcome to Castle Argghhh! The Home Of One Of Jonah's Military Guys.Comments
Note to self: put this guy on the blogroll!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:51 PM | permalink
John Kerry: Liberal AsshatComments
This link has the most complete chronology of John F. Kerry's public life that I have seen to date. It may be worth a permanent spot on the Lynx until November.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:40 PM | permalink
Dang! Now that's a compelling button!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:19 PM | permalink
Tucson weather still amazes me. Twenty minutes ago it was pouring buckets on the skylight over my cubicle, as thunder rumbled ominously overhead. I must have blinked, because I just stepped outside to see blue skies and sunshine. Mind you, the rivulets were still running off the roof and down the parking lot gutters. But the only sign of rain was a cloud dumping it's load on the mountains ten miles away, and some white fluffies elsewhere on the horizon.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:14 PM | permalink
Time to Change PartiesComments
I've decided it is time to change parties. Yes, that's right! And Vox Day can proudly claim credit for my epiphany. Vox has been advocating principles over practical reality for some time now. He has even taken to referring to the president as George Delano (as in Franklin Delano Roosevelt) over his moderate and statist postions on some issues.
It's been tough being a member of a party of diverse interests. It's rough supporting a president whose policies I don't always agree with. Heck! I and everyone in the Republican party could never agree on absolutely everything. So how could I expect the president to agree with me completely?
Well enough of that! I need to change parties to one that agrees with me completely and stands on principle no matter what the cost. All this muddy BS of negotiation and compromise and coalition building and "big tents" full of odd and scary characters...it's evil! That's right, it's downright EVIL. And as a Christian I am taught to never compromise with evil. Now I know that is referring to spiritual evil and not to persons whose politics I disagree with. But it sounded good when I read it, so I am adopting it as my best excuse yet.
But I have discovered that this perfect party does not yet exist. There are the Libertarians, who are pretty good. But they believe abortion should be legal. That's no good, because one of the fundamental constitutional functions of government should be to protect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So they're out.
There are the Constitutionalists. But they support the war on (some) drugs. That's no good. The war on (some) drugs has led to some of the most egregious violations of basic rights in the history of this country. Plus it has not been proven to work (overall drug usage rates are virtually unchanged over the last thirty years). It is really nothing more than statism at it's worst. So they're out.
Then there's Vox's Christian Libertarian party. But I don't think he is particularly supportive of the war on terror being fought in Iraq, and elsewhere. My party needs to firmly support the effort to clean out the nests of vipers where they breed, with overwhelming force. "Nuke the moon!", I say. So that one is out.
I need a party that supports what I stand for 100 percent, all of the time. That's why I have decided I must form my own party. My party line will be "Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone. And if you don't, you can be sure I will scratch your eyes out and bury you in the kitty litter!" I present for your consideration, the Cat Party!
Never mind the fact that I don't live in a country with proportional representation. Never mind that in this democratic republic, third, fourth or fifth parties stand zip, zero, nada chance of holding any office above that of "dog catcher" (I LIKE that office, by the way). I don't care, because principles are all that matters. In fact I intend to tailor my platform so narrowly that I am the only one that it will appeal to. Yessiree! I intend to stand on PRINCIPLE above all else. I shall proudly bear the title of "Principled Loser".
How great is that?! Since there is zero chance of my party ever holding office, I can mount my lofty perch and pontificate on the moral shortcomings of all those who duke it out in the trenches in the real world of politics. I can look down my nose and "TSK!" disapprovingly as cold calculations are made for the benefit of political advantage. Never will I be held accountable for the failures of my party's administration, because my party will never find itself in that position. I'm immune in my lofty Ivory Tower from all accountability.
I might just need some plastic surgery or a nose prosthesis, the better to look down it at all the lesser mortals beneath me.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:58 PM | permalink
RIAA sued under gang laws | CNET News.comComments
I overlooked this while I was away, but it is worth a mention. Git 'em!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:51 AM | permalink
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Cry Me A River, Mr KerryComments
Kerry Taking Military Issue to President
Senator John Kerry accused President Bush on Saturday of trying to smear him about his record in Vietnam, his role in the antiwar movement and his commitment to the military...In a letter released late Saturday night, Mr. Kerry said Mr. Bush had "initiated a widespread attack" over the past week.
Don't be an idiot Kerry. This attack is a natural result of your rise to front-runner status, and is multilateral. You know very well that the Dean and Edwards camps are/were heavily involved, as well as the millions of independent thinking individuals like me, who are sick of hearing about how you served in Vietnam.
After arriving in Atlanta to campaign for Georgia's March 2 primary, Mr. Kerry said, "I don't know what it is that these Republicans who didn't serve in any war have against those of us who are Democrats who did."
Don't try THAT tactic, Mr. Kerry. It has been YOU shoving your Vietnam service in our faces at EVERY opportunity, that has raised this response. YOU have made it a political issue. Therefore you have NO right to try to silence your critics with that tired assertion that "those who did not serve cannot speak". You have deliberately made the issue a political football, so quit whining about the interception you just suffered!
As Mr. Kerry spoke, his campaign released the letter it said had been sent to the White House.
"As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation's history, and the struggle for our veterans continues," Mr. Kerry wrote. "So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to re-open these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do."
How arrogantly hypocritical! Who but the Kerry Press Corps and the Democrat attack dogs McAwful and Moore, have attempted to reopen the "old wounds" of Vietnam? Do you think our memories are so short Mr. Kerry, that we cannot recall one week ago the raging controversy surrounding the President's honorable service in the National Guard during Vietnam?
Idiot! If you didn't want this issue to be raised, where was your voice, condemning the scurrilious attacks on the Commander in Chief? Why did you not raise your voice against those who were attacking the President to benefit YOU politically?
Hypocrite! Did you really expect no response?
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:12 PM | permalink
Senator Tom Daschle Captured By Aliens!Comments
Returned Safely to South Dakota Corn Field, Where He Was Overheard Speaking Softly in Favor of Bush Administration Iraq Policy.
Another alien abduction of the "Steve Dallas" type!
Serenity and Emperor Misha seem to have hit this story pretty much simultaneously.
Serenity says: Remember when you were a little kid and someone would grab your forearms and swing you around and around and around until you were so dizzy that when they put you down, you stumbled around confused and disoriented until you just fell to the ground to wait for the spinning to stop and hoped you wouldn't throw up?
That's how Democrats make me feel.
Emperor Misha's Imperial Jaw hit his Imperial Keyboard. But then he noted the following:
Of course there is an explanation, there always is:
"Daschle faces a re-election race this year against former Republican congressman John Thune."
Phew. Thank Heavens. Everything is back to normal. Come December, Tommy will be a crazy socialist shit again, just as he's always been. The End Times aren't here yet after all.
Go read about it: Rapid City Journal: Serving Rapid City South Dakota
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:25 AM | permalink
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Nazis and the LeftComments
Who were and are the political predecessors, allies and heirs of Nazi doctrine? The left desperately attempts to paint conservative philosophy as being one step away from Naziism. Given an objective examination of Nazi beliefs and conservative philosophy, this assertion is patently absurd, particularly in the case of the more libertarian strains of conservatism. But this article convincingly demonstrates that National Socialism (Naziism) is very close to yesterday's and today's leftist doctrines and philosophies: FrontPage magazine.com
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:33 PM | permalink
Hero or Idiot?Comments
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: Care to Answer This, F-ing Kerry?
Misha has a piece here examining Kerry's supposed "heroism" that earned him his silver star. The comments section has much more that is interesting. Turns out he may have broken standing orders and recklessly endangered his crew. Not to mention the sheer idiocy of the stunt he pulled. It also turns out that as CO, he put himself in for his own award (Silver Star) for the stunt. On top of that, of the three Purple Hearts he was awarded, two were for scratches that did not cost him even a day of service. And with three Purple Hearts in hand, he was able to get out of Vietnam EIGHT MONTHS EARLY! He abandoned his fellow soldiers to go home and slander those he left behind.
Is there any wonder the Kerry Press Corps are trying so hard to make someting of GWB's Guard service? They're covering for their boy's less than stellar track record.
UPDATE: I went to the article linked in Misha's piece and found more of great interest! Turns out I had one fact wrong. Kerry was able to get out eight months early, not six. I have corrected it above. And also change "may have" to "definitely" broke standing orders when he jumped off the boat. Here is the link to that article and an excerpt of his conclusion: Front Page
Something is fishy.
Here we have a JFK wannabe (the guy Halsey wanted to court martial for carelessly losing his boat and getting a couple people killed by running across the bow of a Japanese destroyer) who is hardly in Vietnam long enough to get good tan, collects medals faster than Audie Murphy in a job where lots of medals weren't common, gets sent home eight months early and requests separation from active duty a few months after that so he can run for Congress. In that election, he finds out war heroes don't sell well in Massachsetts in 1970, so he reinvents himself as Jane Fonda, throws his ribbons in the dirt with the cameras running to jump start his political career...
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:49 AM | permalink
OG SMASH STATIST!!Comments
Neanderpundit: Ken Martinez: moonbat, turned up to 11.
Hee hee, nice rant! Another example of left-statist do-goodery run amok. And these are the same people who blather on about how they are the ones who care so much for the poor!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:10 AM | permalink
Friday, February 20, 2004
Here is a link to John Kerry's testimony before the Senate in April 1971, where he slanders his fellow Vietnam veterans, accusing them of rape, mutilation, torture, and other crimes.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:38 AM | permalink
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Election Projection - 2004 Edition
I'm going to have to put this on the sidebar through November. This site tracks recent polling data state by state, and attempts to show what would happen if the election were held now.
It's interesting how different the electoral margin versus the popular vote margin is. This is thanks to the low population "red" states with their two senators each!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:32 PM | permalink
Little Miss AttilaComments
I'm not sure what she was trying to imply about not getting carded anymore. Sure she doesn't look 18. But boys, if that woman does not carbonate your hormones just a bit, well...
Let's just say reality outdid the mental image by a good margin. Funny what turning 40 will do to a guy. Younger women still look good, no matter how much they think they are "past the prime". I cringe to think of what that means to me turning 60!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:41 PM | permalink
Saturday, February 14, 2004
I'm off for a week (business/vacation combo). Check my Lynx and my weBlogs of Note, if you haven't already. I'll probably be back posting drivel of some sort by the 23rd.
Happy Valentines Day, BTW!
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:07 AM | permalink
Friday, February 13, 2004
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Far above the earth so high
Like a diamond in the sky...
"Like" a diamond, heck! Some of them ARE diamonds!
A 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carat diamond! This discovery could give the "International Star Registry" a whole new advertising angle.
"Happy Valentine's Day dear! I bought you a ten billion trillion trillion carat diamond!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:56 PM | permalink
TimesDispatch.com | Ex-pilot says Bush put in for VietnamComments
He volunteered to be sent for combat to Vietnam. He was not sent because the plane he trained on had become obsolete. Nevertheless...
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:27 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:24 PM | permalink
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Media failed to find facts behind Bush's service record: "Did a single member of the thousands in the press take the trouble to look up just one DD214 or NGB22 -- President Bush's?
Apparently not. And that is the saddest part of the story.
There was already an exhaustive look at Bush's National Guard records published and available on the Internet to any reporter who has written on this in the last week. None of whom bothered to look it up. It's title? 'The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, But Not AWOL, Either.' It was 'the first full chronology' and concludes 'he did accumulate the days of service required of him for his ultimate honorable discharge.'
The article included the pasteup pay records just released by the White House. It also included the 'two new documents obtained by the Globe' by Robinson.
It was published four years ago in George Magazine. Its publisher was that well-known GOP supporter -- the late John F. Kennedy, Jr."
Any more questions? Go look up the George Magazine story cited.
(UPDATE: The George Magazine website is long dead apparently, but the story was mirrored and is still live here. )
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:58 PM | permalink
Score one for LibertarianismComments
Gay Sex Ruling may help Drug Policy Reform
Justice Kennedy's ruling may have concealed a revolutionary shift in favor of a "presumption of liberty". Click the link to read more.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:55 PM | permalink
A Public letter for the attention of HE George W. Bush at the occasion of the upcomig "Presidents day"Comments
Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:38 PM | permalink
John Forbes KerryComments
Here's the documentation that explains why so many Vietnam vets and other military veterans are united against Kerry
Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:21 PM | permalink
Study Concludes Marijuana Eases HIV-Related Nerve PainComments
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:42 PM | permalink
Ancient History or Current Track Record?Comments
Peter weighs in on the Bush National Guard story: Comments - Powered by HaloScan.com
Personally, I don't think this is any more relevant than a blow job, and the press would rather go after these silly character things than deal with real issues.
I agree with this in principle, (although character counts for a helluva lot in my book for the occupant of the highest office of the land). Oddly enough both Bush and Kerry have a substantial record on the issues--including military issues--that is much more recent than thirty years ago. Bush has been Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces for the past three years, through the 9/11 attack, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and the ongoing war on terror around the world. John Kerry has a long Senate career, with numerous votes on military, security, and intelligence issues, that may be examined to determine his fitness to serve as Commander-in-Chief.
But the press has scant interest in this "compare and contrast", and there is a very good reason for it. John Kerry doesn't look too good when examining his voting record on these issues. He has consistently voted against defense, security, and intelligence funding, racking up a record that exceeds even that of fellow Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy in it's left-liberal purity.
So the Kerry Press Corp distracts us by ranting at a press conference against Bush's supposed lack of sufficient evidence of his service in the National Guard thirty years ago. Colonel Campenni did not serve with Bush during the "correct" time frame to make a difference to their case apparently. His explanation of the circumstances in the guard during the time in question does nothing to clear it up in their minds. No amount of evidence will suffice for the partisans--not when they feel they have something to gain by camping on this non-issue.
I find it highly offensive and hypocritical that these are the same people who were railing against those who were trying to make something of Bill Clinton's draft dodging during the Vietnam War in the 1992 presidential race. Even Kerry himself was on this bandwagon, as I have documented below.
See, in the first few years of Clinton's administration, we had current evidence of his attitude toward the military and security issues in general. And this evidence largely corroborated the assumptions that many people made about Clinton based on his draft dodging behavior.
Likewise, in the thirty years since John Kerry was discharged from the military we see evidence of his attitude toward the military and security issues in general. And his honorable service during the Vietnam war would seem to contradict what we have come to know about him since then.
Similarly we have a current track record for George W. Bush as Commander-in-Chief. If there is any lingering question about just how he completed his service and earned an honorable discharge thirty years ago, there is much more relevant information to weigh when determining his fitness to be returned to office this coming November--whether you agree or disagree with the War on Terror and the way he has prosecuted it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:52 PM | permalink
"Show Some Respect"Comments
I am very aware that I am not "preaching to the choir". I know I have a readership that ranges from progressive to libertarian. Therefore I'm not going to make everyone happy, no matter what I say. To the greatest extent possible, I have decided that I cannot allow that fact to color my writing. Trying to please everyone will please no one, and make for a very boring weblog.
I think it is a great idea to go dig up the sources that the opposition is relying upon and attempt to discern their credibility. And if someone wishes to use their weblog to document and report this process, I will happily link to them and give them kudos for their work.
For my part, I have all too often found many of these sources to be a tangled web of spin and illusion, designed to appeal to the prejudices of the audience for which it is intended. I see no value in attempting to untangle such a mess. To me, it makes for novelty reading, but I generally discard it in favor of more straightforward evidence. Be my guest if you want to try. (A good example is some of those essays that were supposed to prove that the war was all about oil.)
But I have no intention of taking this blog into the nosebleed section of "high-minded" and even-handed discourse. It is about what catches my attention, what I think about it, and sometimes what I feel about it. So if I hear Algore gargling and snorting about the war, doing his damnedest to impersonate Howard Dean, and looking every bit the moron that I think he is, then by gum, I'm going to call it like I see it! (Especially when I can link to evidence that he believed every word of what he is now railing against when he was serving as part of the Clinton Administration. Either that, or he was very quiet as he drank the Klinton Koolaid.) If someone feels disrespected, so be it. Comments are very welcome, so long as they don't wander off into troll territory.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:18 PM | permalink
CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUINComments
DRUDGE REPORT 2004
"Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
A serious investigation of the woman and the nature of her relationship with Sen. John Kerry has been underway at TIME magazine, ABC NEWS, the WASHINGTON POST, THE HILL and the ASSOCIATED PRESS, where the woman in question once worked."
OOH!! Fun in the Democrat race again!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:15 AM | permalink
.you yes you. the work of jasonshogreenComments
Now for something a little different: here's a site worth perusing.
Or maybe it's just me. He's an engineer turning artist. I'm an engineer wishing I'd take the time for art. So maybe I can relate particularly. But he's got some great stuff nonetheless!
Thanks to Anna for the link.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:20 AM | permalink
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
IMAO: Know Thy Enemy: John KerryComments
Frank J (the funniest man in the blogosphere) has a collection of Kerry zingers here.
* Sometimes Kerry has simultaneous flashbacks to fighting in Vietnam and being a Vietnam War protestor, causing him to spit on himself.
* John Kerry's hair is the source of his important lookingness. If you shaved off his hair, he would no longer look important.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:13 PM | permalink
But progress nonetheless. The Ninth Circuit ruled against the DEA regarding its "final rule." The DEA was attempting to prohibit the sale or consumption of hemp food products. Which is absurd, because hemp does not contain any significant quantities of THC anyway, and so ought to be under the FDA's jurisdiction, if anyone.
More info here: Drug WarRant
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:48 PM | permalink
Mars Mission Status UpdateComments
Satellite image of the Opportunity landing site. Hole in one!
02_overview_labels-med.jpg (JPEG Image, 800x600 pixels)
Here's a great image Opportunity captured of it's own parachute and backshield, shed during the final seconds of the landing procedure.
Parachute and Backshield
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:34 PM | permalink
Bush Squadron-mate in Texas ANG Comes ForthComments
Yesterday the "Kerry Press Corp" had a shriek-fest at Press Secretary Scott McClellan's expense. In the midst of the Inquisition that passed for a press briefing, questions were raised about why none of Bush's comrades-in-arms had not come forth to vouch for his service in the Texas Air National Guard.
Well today, one day later, one has come forth and sent a letter to the Washington Times.
Via Outside the Beltway
COL. WILLIAM CAMPENNI: 'Bush and I were lieutenants'
George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971. We had the same flight and squadron commanders (Maj. William Harris and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, both now deceased). While we were not part of the same social circle outside the base, we were in the same fraternity of fighter pilots, and proudly wore the same squadron patch.
It is quite frustrating to hear the daily cacophony from the left and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, et al., about Lt. Bush escaping his military responsibilities by hiding in the Texas ANG. In the Air Guard during the Vietnam War, you were always subject to call-up, as many Air National Guardsmen are finding out today. If the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush. They deliberately avoided use of the Guard and Reserves for domestic political calculations, knowing that a draftee only stirred up the concerns of one family, while a call-up got a whole community's attention.
Be sure to go read the rest of it here:Washington Times
You'd think these guys (Democrat operatives) would learn. Everytime they think they see an open door to go after Bush, someone slams the door in their face and they end up with a bloody nose. Over and over and over...
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:44 PM | permalink
The Onion | Saddam Hussein Rules Over Cell With Iron FistComments
Link via Allahpundit
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:40 AM | permalink
IRAQ THE MODELComments
I need to start a blogroll category for the Iraqi bloggers. I keep losing track of them...
Omar wonders too, about the fate of the WMD's, but from his unique perspective, he has a rather different take than the anti-war crowd. So much for Clinton's musings about whether his missile strikes may have been effective:
Now, allow me to give an example of my own experience of the old policy: there was a military facility near our district where one of my relatives used to work and despite the fact that I knew the nature of this facility through his (big mouth), it was nearly a common knowledge that this facility was used to develop long range missiles. Few days before the (desert fox) operations, and as it was clear that the allies were planning, and had set up their minds on carrying military strikes directed to Saddam's regime and mainly to his military power, the old regime, as always, managed without much difficulty to transfer most of the important weapons and instruments that were located in that particular facility, as well as others as could be expected, to other unknown places. I saw with my own eyes at one of those nights a convoy of long green vehicles that was entirely covered, getting out of this facility and it didn't need a CIA agent to know what was going on, but it sure needed much more than that to know where those vehicles were heading. What happened 2 days later was that 10 cruse missiles were fired at that (important target), and were very accurate as one the whole 9 empty warehouse inside that facility were totaly destroyed. I saw that (live). Oh and sorry for not explaining from the start why 10 missiles were fired instead of 9. The reason was that one of those 9 lost its way, somehow, and hit the ground about 500 meters away from the target. There was no civilian causality that time, but as similar attacks took place allover Iraq, one can imagine the benefits, the costs and the risks. What brought me so such dangerous zone? I didn't do more than watching from the roof of my house which is located this far(about 400 meters) from the facility and needless to say that our house was there before that facility. I remember watching those missiles go down one after the other and despite the fear and worry, I couldn't help counting: 1,2,3...10 there goes 10 million $ for nothing. This was one of the most useless applications of hard-earned money and superior military technology, the least to say. What still unknown to me, and to which my relative couldn't give any help, is what happened to that convoy.
When I hear the question "where are the WMDs?" I cannot but agree and indeed where are they? With one difference is that my question is directed to the anti-war camp rather than to the American administration! Can you confirm to us the fate of that convoy among many others? Can you prove that all the WMDs that were present at Saddam's times were destroyed? And if so, how, when and where? Or do you want us to take Saddam's words for it? The only case that would make your questioning about the honesty of the coalition leaders valid, is if it had been proven by the inspectors (after the war) that Saddam had destroyed all his WMDs. Something no one had confirmed till now.
Click the link above for the rest.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:19 AM | permalink
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
"Sultan of the Sands"Comments
Little Miss Attila
Heh! Sounds better than "Critter in the Cactus".
So...where's my harem?
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:28 PM | permalink
"Military force is never the first answer, but sometimes it's the only answer. If Saddam isn't stopped now, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, someway, I guarantee you, he'll use that arsenal."
Sound familiar? That was not GWB. That was Bill Clinton in February 1998.
Thus spake Clinton in 1998. He went on to note that the strikes planned could not possibly destroy Saddam's arsenal, because A) they didn't know where everything was, and B) they didn't want to kill Iraqis by unleashing clouds of toxins. And it gets better: a sidebar noted that this war plan - Desert Thunder - had been prepared weeks before, in case Saddam stiffed in the inspectors.
Bill Clinton had a plan to go to war before the crisis flared! What does that tell you? Obviously, he was looking for any excuse! Halliburton! We all know about the ties between Clinton and Halliburton - he gave them a sweet no-bid contract after his Balkans war, you know.
Bill Clinton, playing on the fears of the American people, trying to lead us into a war that wasn't "necessary"...
Swallow THAT crow, Algore!
Lileks via Instapundit Go read the rest.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:29 PM | permalink
Liberal Bias In The Press?Comments
This little snippet on the ABC website is a rare moment of candor in the mainstream press, but it is nothing that has not been blatantly obvious to most observers for decades:
ABCNEWS.com : The Note:
"Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections.
They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are 'conservative positions.'
They include a belief that government is a mechanism to solve the nation's problems; that more taxes on corporations and the wealthy are good ways to cut the deficit and raise money for social spending and don't have a negative affect on economic growth; and that emotional examples of suffering (provided by unions or consumer groups) are good ways to illustrate economic statistic stories.
More systematically, the press believes that fluid narratives in coverage are better than static storylines; that new things are more interesting than old things; that close races are preferable to loose ones; and that incumbents are destined for dethroning, somehow.
The press, by and large, does not accept President Bush's justifications for the Iraq war -- in any of its WMD, imminent threat, or evil-doer formulations. It does not understand how educated, sensible people could possibly be wary of multilateral institutions or friendly, sophisticated European allies.
It does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy by stimulating summer spending.
It remains fixated on the unemployment rate.
It believes President Bush is 'walking a fine line' with regards to the gay marriage issue, choosing between 'tolerance' and his 'right-wing base.'
It still has a hard time understanding how, despite the drumbeat of conservative grass-top complaints about overspending and deficits, President Bush's base remains extremely and loyally devoted to him -- and it looks for every opportunity to find cracks in that base.
Of course, the swirling Joe Wilson and National Guard stories play right to the press's scandal bias -- not to mention the bias towards process stories (grand juries produce ENDLESS process!).
The worldview of the dominant media can be seen in every frame of video and every print word choice that is currently being produced about the presidential race.
That means the President's communications advisers have a choice:
Try to change the storyline and the press' attitude, or try to win this election without changing them."
Link via Instapundit
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:15 PM | permalink
Monday, February 09, 2004Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:55 PM | permalink
Hoo hoo! Tanya found a good Kerry comparison here:Redsugar Muse: Peer Pressure
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:58 PM | permalink
Genius Trade SecretComments
The secret to appearing brilliant, is to iterate for solutions away from prying eyes.
That way onlookers see problem and solution without any of the intervening steps, false starts, dead ends and wrong ideas.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:24 PM | permalink
John "Fire Hydrant" KerryComments
John Kerry and his wife Te-RAY-sah Hines live in the Louisburg Square area of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood--the most exclusive area of the most expensive neighborhood in Boston. A few years ago Te-RAY-sah Hines wanted a new parking space for her SUV. So Mr. Kerry waved his high-power politician status and his wife's money in the faces of local officials and got a fire hyrant moved from in front of his house to a location around the corner.
In a very technical sense, there was nothing improper done. But in a very real sense, this is an unheard of accomodation that would never be done for Joe Average. All for the sake of making a new parking space for an "E-e-evil SUV" for his wife.
During the upcoming election, expect some to try to make the case that John "Fire Hydrant" Kerry represents the interests of the average American, whereas Bush represents the interests of the country's elite. Let's not forget stories like this one and many similar stories when that time comes.
Democrats--those of you in states who have yet to hold the primary--you may still have time to pull your arses out of the fire. Kerry will make a RICH target for the general election.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:37 AM | permalink
John Kerry: "Do You Know Who I AM?!"Comments
No, Mr. Kerry, but we are rapidly finding out.
New York Post Online Edition: postopinion
John Kerry: Pompous, elitist blowhard.
On another note, he says he is not going to pull a "Dukakis", meaning he will not be slow to respond to charges of being a "Massachusetts Liberal". What? Is he going to deny he's from Massachusetts, or that he is liberal? This ought to be fun. In truth, he is the very embodiment of the northeast liberal, right down to his massive wealth and his lack of personal charity.
Serenity has more.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:07 AM | permalink
Sunday, February 08, 2004
John Kerry Looks Like Herman Munster (Andymatic):Comments
And several other choice comparisons. Go see!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:38 PM | permalink
Daschle and Gephardt LIED!Comments
Glenn Reynolds (if that's his "real" name) points out where Daschle and Gephardt made the case back in 2002 that going to war against Iraq was a good idea, even if the threat posed by WMD was not "imminent".
Isn't that what Bush said?
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:30 PM | permalink
Lead, Don't DivideComments
"I am saddened that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign."
We must not hesitate to remind John Kerry and his supporters of this speech at every opportunity and in every venue where the topic of Kerry's service in Vietnam and George W. Bush's service in the National Guard are being discussed and compared unfavorably.
Text via Opinion Journal
BY JOHN F. KERRY
Thursday, February 5, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST
(Editor's note: Sen. Kerry delivered this speech on the Senate floor Feb. 27, 1992. The previous day, Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Vietnam veteran and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke in Atlanta, where he criticized fellow candidate Bill Clinton for his lack of military service during Vietnam.)
"Mr. President, I also rise today--and I want to say that I rise reluctantly, but I rise feeling driven by personal reasons of necessity--to express my very deep disappointment over yesterday's turn of events in the Democratic primary in Georgia.
I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way. By that I mean that yesterday, during this presidential campaign, and even throughout recent times, Vietnam has been discussed and written about without an adequate statement of its full meaning.
What is ignored is the way in which our experience during that period reflected in part a positive affirmation of American values and history, not simply the more obvious negatives of loss and confusion.
What is missing is a recognition that there exists today a generation that has come into its own with powerful lessons learned, with a voice that has been grounded in experiences both of those who went to Vietnam and those who did not.
What is missing and what cries out to be said is that neither one group nor the other from that difficult period of time has cornered the market on virtue or rectitude or love of country.
What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary.
The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them; that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and about our nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible of our generation. We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it. Are we now, 20 years or 30 years later, to forget the difficulties of that time, of families that were literally torn apart, of brothers who ceased to talk to brothers, of fathers who disowned their sons, of people who felt compelled to leave the country and forget their own future and turn against the will of their own aspirations?
Are we now to descend, like latter-day Spiro Agnews, and play, as he did, to the worst instincts of divisiveness and reaction that still haunt America? Are we now going to create a new scarlet letter in the context of Vietnam?
Certainly, those who went to Vietnam suffered greatly. I have argued for years, since I returned myself in 1969, that they do deserve special affection and gratitude for service. And, indeed, I think everything I have tried to do since then has been to fight for their rights and recognition.
But while those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others; nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard. To divide our party or our country over this issue today, in 1992, simply does not do justice to what all of us went through during that tragic and turbulent time.
I would like to make a simple and straightforward appeal, an appeal from my heart, as well as from my head. To all those currently pursuing the presidency in both parties, I would plead that they simply look at America. We are a nation crying out for leadership, for someone who will bring us together and raise our sights. We are a nation looking for someone who will lift our spirits and give us confidence that together we can grow out of this recession and conquer the myriad of social ills we have at home.
We do not need more division. We certainly do not need something as complex and emotional as Vietnam reduced to simple campaign rhetoric. What has been said has been said, Mr. President, but I hope and pray we will put it behind us and go forward in a constructive spirit for the good of our party and the good of our country."
Mr. Kerry, who served as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam, is a Massachusetts senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Ah yes! Nothing like a fresh breath of hypocrisy to stain the winds sour.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:15 PM | permalink
Awright. I need to get this guy on the blogroll. Consistently good, occasionally exceptional writing, with a perspective I can appreciate--what more does one need to make my list?
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:05 PM | permalink
Teh eval D&D!!Comments
OMG WTF?! Dude, you're gonna go to hell if you play taht!!111!
Yeh. I was an avid D&D player back when I was in high school. And look what it did to me.
Let my example stand as a warning to the young...;>
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:44 PM | permalink
Thursday, February 05, 2004Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:32 PM | permalink
Allah the Moon God?Comments
I learned something today...
Via Allah In The House
Click and see: Allah Had No Son
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:18 PM | permalink
I stumbled upon this image in some random browsing this evening. It struck me, because it is much like the images in my own head, waiting to get out onto canvas or paper or other media someday, when I have the psychological space in my life to coax them forth.
"Molly's Swing," Quent Cordair
It is available as a print from HERE (if you have money to burn, that is...)
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:55 PM | permalink
Glenn Reynolds on "Anonymous" BloggingComments
And my view hasn't really changed: I don't think there's anything illegitimate about not blogging under your own name, but I think it raises questions that real-name blogging doesn't. And I think that if you're a blogger who slings personal insults at folks with names while remaining anonymous yourself, well, that's pretty lame. But hey, it's the Internet -- you're allowed to be lame. And the rest of us are allowed to think you're lame. Plenty of anonymous bloggers manage to be civil, but it does seem that a disproportionate number of uncivil bloggers are anonymous.
So does blogging under your "real" name entitle you to sling personal insults, as Glenn has just done here, without recrimination? And how do we know "Glenn Reynolds" is not itself just a pen name?
My "real" name is common enough that I could easily be mistaken for someone else. On the other hand, Desert Cat is uncommon (though not completely unique unfortunately), and I have been known as such online for the last ten years.
As far as I am concerned, I am Desert Cat, and will continue to be known as Desert Cat into the foreseeable future. And unless someone tries to impersonate me, there will be little question as to who you're talking to when you're talking to Desert Cat.
Slinging personal insults is lame, whether your name is Glenn Reynolds or 1337 810gg0rz. And if I think Mr. Reynolds is lame, I will say so, whatever my name.
Which I just did.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:08 PM | permalink
Sleeping With the GOP: "A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton's Campaign"Comments
I think the title of this article is misleading. Because someone knows someone who's associated with the administration, does not make them a Bush operative. But the spectacle of someone more generally associated with the GOP, running the Sharpton campaign is sweet! Sharpton himself is despicable, if also hilarious, but I've also had the gut sense that his candidacy is helpful to the cause.
If even half of this article is true, then I'm left smirking.
I mean after all:
Republicans For Sharpton
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:25 AM | permalink
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Which Founding Father Are You?Comments
Via Redsugar Muse
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:54 PM | permalink
A Vox reader asks a question that I'd like to take a shot at answering. But I couldn't do it justice in the 1000 word limit in the comments section. So here it goes.
Vox Popoli: "AW writes: Since you are a Christian, how do you reconcile the idea of a literal hell with a loving God. I am not trying to provoke a debate, or anything of that nature. Rather, I am (was) a Christian myself, who is struggling heavily with my faith because of this. As I read the Bible, hell is a place of torture, and I just don't get it. It isn't the idea of separation from God that causes me problems, but the idea of people being tortured for eternity because of temporal crimes, or bad decisions. I realize you don't hold yourself up as a theological teacher, but since you are a person whose opinions I respect, I was just hoping to get your take or possibly a book you can recommend that discusses this issue."
I read a lot of good, if incomplete and pat-sounding answers in the comments section. Vox's take, while expressing well the concept that we live in a fallen world that is largely controlled by the enemy, concludes with the assertion that "you just can't question God on this".
There's no question that God's understanding is far beyond our own, but I have a rather different answer to this question. And it may be sufficiently different from what you have heard to make you want to dismiss it at first, but hear me out.
God does not send anyone to hell.
Hell is the default setting of your life's "software". Because of the fallen world we live in. Because of what the enemy has done. Because of "original sin" and all those heavy theological ideas. It's the default setting. By doing nothing else at all except living in this world according to this world's precepts, that is your destination. It's not God's will to "send" you there. It's where you are now, really.
What God has done in fact, is given you an "out", a free ticket to another destiny, if you are willing to accept it.
See here is how it happens, as I see it. God is holy. Compare Him to light. Just as light, because of it's very nature, has the power to banish darkness and shadows when it shines upon them, God by His very nature cannot be in communion with darkness. His light will overpower it. If we have filled our lives with shadows and darkness, it would destroy us if God were to look upon us. He wants to look upon us and have communion with us because He loves us, but He cannot because it would destroy us as we are. And so, our relationship with Him is broken, and He turns away from us, so as not to destroy us. The Old Testament makes much of this turning away being a result of anger, but it is anger at the sin that has broken the fellowship with us. The Old Testament also makes it clear that His heart is broken as a result of the situation.
Let me illustrate this from human relationships. Let's say you have found a great woman. She is everything you've been looking for in terms of beauty, intelligence, poise, character, and your relationship with her is really great. You think you've found the one you want to marry, and all your plans with her are in that direction. But you are out with the guys one evening, and you run into a real hottie that catches your eye. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, you've got something to hide. And your woman finds out, as they always do. She is heartbroken and devastated. Instead of humbly apologizing and trying to make it right, you act like a dork and try to make exuses--anything but admit you were really, really wrong to cheat on her. Even when she gives you a second chance, you stick to your pride like a stupid mofo. So she leaves you.
Then the regret sets in.
Maybe a few days later. Maybe weeks or months later, you realize what an utterly stupid f*ck you were to give up such a woman for a cheap thrill. Regret. Gnawing, soul churning regret. But she is gone. You're in hell baby. And you're "weeping and gnashing your teeth". You're in hell, and you know you put yourself there. No one is torturing you--you know she left you for a good reason. No, your torture is self inflicted, and the implement of your torture is regret. And you know you're going to regret losing her for the rest of your life.
When God realized what had been done to His creation, He wept, I believe. It was His desire to make a way to restore fellowship. I don't really understand why it works this way, but blood covers the shadow of sin, erases it somehow, so that the destruction that is wrought when God's holiness faces sin and darkness is prevented. Blood represents the loss of life, the destruction that results when holiness faces darkness. In order to restore fellowship, blood had to be shed. But the blood of the sin-filled humanity He loved would do no good. He couldn't restore fellowship by destroying us. The death of guilty humanity would only cover the guilt of the one who died. A nasty catch-22 the enemy had created. The temporary "solution" was the blood sacrifices of innocent animals of the Old Testament. But the enemy did not count on God's love being so deep, that He himself would become one of us in order to pay the blood price that would restore fellowship with us.
Don't ask me to explain the trinity or the concept of how God became one of us in order to pay the blood price for us. Christ became one of us in all ways except that he was not tainted with the guilt of sin. He was therefore able to pay the price that our own blood and the blood of animal sacrifices could not pay. If we accept that payment for ourselves, then when holy God looks upon us, he no longer sees the guilt and the shadows and the darkness that we carry as a result of living in this fallen world. Instead He sees the blood of the One He sent, His own beloved son, as it were. And gazing upon His Son, who lives in us and covers us if we have accepted Him, our fellowship, our communion with our creator is restored.
How heartbroken He is then, if we refuse the gift. In our pride, our arrogance, our insistence that we have done nothing wrong deserving of death or punishment, we keep ourselves in the darkness. And He cannot look upon us because it would destroy us, unless we are covered in Christ. And if we die that way, with the gaze of holy God averted from us, with fellowship with Him broken, then that is our permanent condition.
And the regret--the agony of realizing our stupidity at refusing the one thing that would give us life and light and love and joy-- that regret that would grip us for all eternity is our hell.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:00 AM | permalink
USATODAY.com - A desert mirage: How U.S. misjudged Iraq's arsenalComments
Am I the only one who believes there are quite a number of people somewhere in the Middle East who are still holding their breath, waiting to exhale?
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:38 AM | permalink
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
The Drug War as a Statist ToolComments
Vox Popoli hits the nail on the head regarding the conservative view on the drug war.
"I never said drugs are safe. They're not. And yet, 100,000 people die every year on the highways but we don't ban cars because 75 percent of those trips are unnecessary expeditions in pursuit of a shopping buzz. Conservatives wet their pants because a few people more people might OD here and there or drop out of the job market if drugs are legalized, and because of this irrational fear, they happily embrace expanding central government power, the only thing that has killed more humans this century than every drug, every car accident, every war, and every murderous criminal combined - and this despite the fact that 20 years of trampling all over civil liberties and the Constitution has only increased drug availability and potency exactly as the Prohibition experiment indicated.
The upshot is that the Drug War is yet another example of short-sighted conservatives being snookered by statists. The centralizers burn to increase central power by any means necessary, and this has been one of their most successful tactics. Remember, back when the country actually was conservative, opium, cocaine and marijuana were all legal. There's nothing inherently conservative about the Drug War, and there's nothing inherently libertine about opposing it. I don't want drugs to be legal so that I can use them, I want them to be legal so government agents don't have an excuse to trample on the Constitution, steal private property and shoot people in the head."
Click the link for the rest.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:47 PM | permalink
Monday, February 02, 2004
Presidential Candidates' Drug Policy Issue Choices from Vote-SmartComments
Combined with his other relatively moderate positions, Joe Lieberman again proves to have what I'd like to see in a Presidential candidate from the other camp. Unlike some, he does not appear to be gung-ho for the drug war. And unlike some others, his positions on other issues do not leave me with quite as much indigestion as, say Kucinich or Sharpton.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:30 PM | permalink
Anti-Drug Warriors Come in Several FlavorsComments
There is one silver lining in the otherwise gloomy cloud of being represented by one of the most liberal members of Congress. At least he shares some of my views on the Drug War. Here is Rep. Raul Grijalva's response to a recent e-mail I sent him regarding the proposed "Drug Sentencing Reform Act":
Thank you for contacting me regarding Representative Souder's proposed Drug Sentencing Reform Act. I appreciate hearing from you.
This legislation approaches America's drug problem from the wrong direction. Representative Souder's bill increases penalties for many drug offenses and takes away the right of judges to show mercy when it is appropriate.
Moreover, I believe that the Drug Sentencing Reform Act is unfair and lacks the requisite compassion for those that are truly afflicted with drug addictions. It also fails to acknowledge the medicinal benefits of some drugs.
I also believe that drug war monies are misspent and should be redirected towards funding preventative policy initiatives and treatment programs instead of reactive policy measures. It is essential that we provide our children with the right educational tools in order for them to have a successful and fulfilling future. Educational outreach to underserved communities statistically has shown to make a marked difference in deterring drug use.
Using my past experience and my current position as a member of the Education and Workforce Committee, I will continue to push for the expansion of scientific, fact-based, educational program funding for drug use prevention. .
Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me. I hope you will continue to keep in touch with me on issues of importance to you.
Of course this doesn't mean I'll vote for him. Not that it would matter in this heavily Democrat district anyway. Grijalva pretty much got himself a permanent seat in Congress when redistricting was all finalized. They put all the Democrats in one district and handed the keys over to Grijalva. I'll probably vote for a Libertarian on principles, if one even bothers to run in this district. I'm not even sure the Republican party wants to throw too many resources away here.
But I'll make the most of the situation, and surely keep in touch as he requests, on matters relating to the drug war.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:15 PM | permalink
Seattle Times columnist Matt Rosenberg has honored me with a place in his blogroll. Looking at the company I am keeping in his short link list (Instapundit, Sullivan, Jarvis, Scrappleface, the top Iraqi bloggers, etc.) I am alternately puffed-up and humbled, finally settling on scratching my head and saying "Hm, well, indeed!" I'd better sharpen my verbs and hone my adjectives if I am to write alongside that crowd!
He appears to be pretty much a mainstream conservative, although he notes that his site will not be "cyberbalkanized". That's an interesting term, and I know exactly what he is talking about. Myself, I really do not wish to be subjected to the barely coherent rantings of the frothing left, so I do tend to avoid places like DU and MoveOn, in favor of places like Serenity's Journal, IMAO, and Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler (frothing right wing sites please, thank you).
It will be interesting to see what it means to avoid cyberbalkanization. Could be this will be an up and coming hot debate blog. Go take a look.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:33 PM | permalink
Sunday, February 01, 2004
VodkaPundit - Chill Before ServingComments
Vodkapundit broadsides the libertarian view on the war on terror:
Did Wahhabi Islam attack us because we had soldiers in Saudi Arabia? Yes, it did. Are doctrinaire libertarians opposed to us having troops in Saudi? Yes, they are. But the Wahhabis also attacked us because we have pretty girls in short skirts who make passes at men. And because we charge interest on loans. Because we have TV shows with high production values and penis jokes. Because we don't all have to grow beards down to our collarbones. Do doctrinaire libertarians think these are freedoms worth protecting? Yes, they do - unless the enemy is located somewhere other than Washington, DC.
In that case, they tell us, we ought to just grab our ankles and apologize to the world for not having been libertarian enough. "Will you please stop attacking us once we've legalized prostitution and opened a privately-funded Space Hilton?" While I think those two items are worthy goals, they'll hardly earn us any currency with bin Laden's deadly accountants.
This Terror War isn't (or at least almost entirely isn't) about stuffing the pockets of Halliburton or Lockheed-Martin. It isn't mostly useless like the space program. It isn't a "program" to be horse-traded for another Robert C. Byrd Memorial to the Memorial of the Robert C. Byrd Memorial Highway Memorial.
It's a fight for our lives and our freedoms. And like any fight, we'll see setbacks, we'll do things we might be ashamed of later, and we'll bloody and bruise ourselves in the process. In the end, we'll be the worse off for it, too - that's the nature of war. I resent the fact that this war means more dead Americans. I resent that this war, like any war, will make us poorer.
Today I'm beginning to resent my would-be political allies who, through their ideological blinders, just can't see the tragic necessity of it all.
It is the stubborn impracticality of the true-blue Libertarians that will keep me a libertarian-leaning conservative for the foreseeable future. And it's also why I will be voting for GWB this November, despite some of my dissapointments.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:51 PM | permalink
Map of the states I've visitedComments
Via Annika, this appears to be the latest blog thing to do...
create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide
I'm definitely a western US kind of traveller.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:19 AM | permalink
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