The Hard Parts

The circle of life. For some it’s too short. Today I watched as another dear friend buried her child. A daughter, a mother of 3, a sister, a fiercely vibrant young woman in her late 20’s. First child out of the gaggle of children in our circle of college friends to produce grandchilden. Taken, suddenly, without the chance to say good-bye, or simply I Love You, one last time. All the memories from previous funerals of other children bubble up, making the wounds raw again. How does one bear the pain? I look at my pal and see grace buttressed by God’s love. Too soon she will run out of steam and collapse. Then Jesus will gently cradle her and give her the strength to face another day without her girl.

It was a test we could all hope to pass
But none of us would want to take.
(This is Your Time – Michael W Smith)

Scripture speaks of the foretelling of Mary’s sorrow as “A sword will pierce your heart”. No one can ever plumb the depth’s of a mother’s grief on losing a child. It’s not the lost opportunities, or the lost future, or the hardships to be endured with handling an estate. For 9 months, mother and child are one and the same flesh. So literally, a part of you dies with them.

The image is burned in my mind from The Passion of Christ movie where Jesus falls under the weight of the cross on the Via Dolorosa and locks eyes with his mother. Her memory, though, is flooded with that of little Yeshua falling and skinning his knee as a boy. Gut-wrenching.

The Anchoress writes of her mother caring for her brother as he passed away in 2005.

I watched this unshirking woman – a woman who, ten years ago, would have told you that she could not possibly endure such a reality – feed her son a meal from his dish, while she nourished him – and the rest of us present – in a different way, with her unconditional love. Forty years ago, I thought, she fed S as she feeds him now, but then it was a delightful game, now it is a heavy sadness…and still, there is the same love behind both meals.

[…] Too exhausted for words, S reached for her and she took his hand, and his eyes saw only his mother, and they said, “Mommy…oh, Mommy,” and her eyes said the rest, “Son…oh, my son…”

Here she writes of the grace she witnessed as he gently passed out of this world.

Daniel, who lost his daugther, writes of his family’s journey through grief at Dear Elena. It’s not just today, or tomorrow. It’s every day.

Remembering this girl, I echo The Anchoress’ words on listening to the sung Hebrew prayer of mourning

Glorious. I turned it up and raised my hands in prayer and let it wash over me – an ancient surrender to the inevitable – to life, to life-in-death, to cycles, to mercy, to mystery, to unconditional love – a love of such depth and tenderness as I have not words to express. O Mystery, you are alive, I feel you all around…

Sleep in heavenly peace, little MB.

Evil Men and Baffled Kings

Life is finally settling down again. Until the next crisis…

In the meantime, I can’t help but wonder at the harmonic convergence bustin’ out over in the Democratic party. They are ALL saying stupid things in front of cameras, to their adoring minions. The MSM gives them all day passes to the fun park (just think of the hyperbole that would spring fully-formed from some anchor’s forehead if a Republican uttered any one of the Dem’s latest moronic comments!). It’s like Glinda the Good Witch waved her “Stupid is as stupid does” wand over the lot and they all turned into flying monkeys. What is wrong with this picture?

Two prime examples….

The Grand Dame had, as Michelle put it, her Maalox Moment. While she snickers at veiled references to you-know-who and The Clenis, the real Evil Men were smack dab in the middle of his/their/its administration. And they continued to do their dirty work for them, afterwards. Now she’s pouting that in her vain attempt at humor, she’s being “psycho-analyzed”. Waaah Waaaah.

Another Evil, but Clueless Man was overseas, dissing the truth and light to those who wish us all dead. You know the rights and freedoms that allowed his current wife’s family to become so obscenely rich, so he can jet set all over the world to whine to whomever with listen. (delinked) LGF has links to the Poodle’s comments on America at the Davos Conference. Interesting, that on their site, his comments have been editted out. But never fear! There are other links to other videos that haven’t been tampered with. Michelle has more. He just doesn’t get that if he succeeds in tearing this country apart, he will be digging ditches with the rest of the unwashed masses. He won’t be able to pull rank or power/prestige out of the family ketchup bottle. There won’t be a family, or a bottle and certainly no body would be able to get any ketchup anymore. I guess they don’t teach linear thinking at Yale anymore.

Siggy asks of this

How is it possible that there are people who mightily applaud a onetime presidential candidate who joyfully embraces a hate filled bigot? How is it possible that the leader of Iran and John Kerry seem to share the same values? How is it possible that sharing those anti American values trump the racist, bigoted and hateful values that are publicly embraced by the Iranian regime?

It would appear that those who applaud John Kerry now would have applauded if he embraced Adolph Hitler.

And as a quick head’s up – Pelosi is going to start blogging. That should be really interesting. I’m sure only left leaners will be privy to her interviews or be allowed to comment. In other news, I wonder who goosed her before that picture?

I could go on and on. And there will be a completely new batch to cite tomorrow.

I started a new book today, 1776 by David McCullough. I’d only gotten through the first 20 pages or so, before the buzzer went off on the bike and I had to head to the showers. One item struck me though – how George III, King of England, was constantly belittled by his subjects, the media of the day, the House of Lords and the House of Commons as an empty-headed buffoon leading the empire down the road to ruin. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Baffled Kings. How was he to know that history would remember him as the man who lost the Colonies? While over on this side of the pond, he (or rather the office) symbolized everything the infant America wanted freedom from. Amazing how perspective changes everything. Baffled Kings. How is W to know what he will be rememberd by? The vitriolic atmosphere in Congress? Iraq? Iran? Or the steel-spined resolve shown after 9/11?

King David was a Baffled King, too. Beloved by God, but not sinless, by any stretch of the imagination. But still beloved. Despite his failings, his many mistakes…just like the rest of us. Yet through it all, he counted on God’s hand to guide him, even if he didn’t understand. The Anchoress says

Sometimes we are simply and utterly fools who – even if we have determined regret to be a tiresome and useless weight – find we must accept it, still. Lift it up and bear it and carry it forward until the road has turned and lessons have been well-learned, and mistakes do not get repeated. Then we put down the burden of regret just in time to make new mistakes to carry along the next path.

And for all that we presume to know of God…well, he knows us, and loves us anyway, and bless Him, for that.

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
(Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen)

UPDATE: Classical Values caught the Glinda angle as well. Are you a good witch or a bad witch? (1939) Are you a good man or a bad man? (2007)

UPDATE II: Alexandra at ATB has some strong words for Hillary, on what Evil Men really look like. And they are not necessarily some guy who can’t keep his britches zipped up.

Prayer Request – Updated

Obi’s Sister’s Hubby is in the hospital tonight, with a mysterious and thus far undiagnosed chest pain. After a VERY long day, we are finally out of the ER and in a room.

Please pray for this dear fellow tonight and tomorrow as he undergoes more tests.

And pray for me and my family.

UPDATE: Being kept over another night. Heart tests were normal.

Obi’s Joke for Today

Hillary Clinton goes to a primary school in Ithaca, New York to talk about the world. After her talk, she offers a question time.

One little boy puts up his hand and the Senator asks him what his name is.

“Kenneth.”

“And what is your question, Kenneth?”

“I have three questions:
First – Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
Second – Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
And third – Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?”

Just then the bell rings for recess. Hillary Clinton informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.

When they return, and resume their visit, Hillary says, “Okay where were we? Oh, that’s right, question time. Who has a question?”

A different little boy puts his hand up; Hillary points him out and asks him what his name is.

“Larry.”

“And Larry, what is your question?”

“I have five questions:
First – Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
Second – Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
Third – Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?
Fourth – Why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?
And fifth – What happened to Kenneth?”

Vick Common Sense – Pro Football Oxymoron of the Day

Troy Johnson down in Columbus sure gets it right.

The Atlanta Falcons should now consider a course of action that had previously been inconceivable to them.

They should dangle quarterback Michael Vick as trade bait and try to talk the Oakland Raiders into offering their No. 1 pick in return for the promise of what could be if his arm, legs and brain ever decide to work in harmony on a consistent basis.

Thuggery and gansta posings does not win ball games. Or win friends in the front office – you know – the guys who pay your outrageous salary.

The problem, of course, is that it [Vick’s behavior] has become a trend. Moreover, he has yet to act as if he cares.

Unruly children get time-out. High schoolers get ISS. What to do about Vick? Fines don’t seem to faze him, since they are only a drop in his bucket. He flips off the fans who criticize him.

In November, Vick was fined $10,000 and ordered to donate another $10,000 to charity after directing an obscene gesture toward the Georgia Dome crowd. Before the season, he settled a lawsuit filed by an Atlanta woman who claimed he gave her a sexually transmitted disease.

Arthur Blank is a very shrewd businessman. Not everyone makes it to the bazillion dollar club. And he deserves more bang for his buck. When he bought the Falcons, he made it clear he wanted the franchinse to be the best and they will never acheive that with the Vick albatross dangling around their neck like some gangsta bling.

A new head coach is in perfect position to set a new tone, to change direction.

In the past, when Vick received criticism, his defenders claimed the Falcons wouldn’t win a Super Bowl without him.

Suddenly, it looks as if they’ll have less of a chance to win one with him.

I think Vick will look mighty fine in an Oakland jersey.

UPDATE: FreeRepublic has some amusing comments. I especially like the one about pairing him with Terrell Owens. Now that would be fun to watch!

Komrade Hillary Jumps In

CommonFolkUsingCommonSense calls a spade a spade.

Why did Hillary Clinton announce the start of her presidential campaign without fanfare or build-up? Why did she make the announcement on a Saturday morning, the least news-worthy time of the week? Why did she do it at such short notice that she would not appear on the Sunday morning politics chatshows such as Meet The Press that abound on US television? And why would she do it three days before the president’s annual State of the Union address, which will inevitably hog the news pages and bulletins between now and the middle of next week?

The most obvious answer is: panic. Since Barack Obama made his announcement last week, the Clinton camp must have felt a slippage in support, in terms of money and talent, that led it to announce the formation of her exploratory committee so abruptly. The Washington Post’s front page article put a positive gloss on the timing by saying: “Her announcement was deliberately timed to come shortly before President Bush’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, campaign advisers said, so she can draw a contrast with the administration’s record and help focus attention on the office of the presidency.”

BS.

The Clinton Camp has been watching Obama’s poll numbers and they’re scared, possibly for the first time in years, that Hillary cannot command the Presidential spotlight.

Plus she appears to have lost funding by George Soros and Obama is stealing her star power (read even more funding) from Hollywood.

Awwwww, poor Hillary. Grabby husband that’s sure to be a liability one way or the other, only $14 mil in the war chest, cameras pointing away from her. And she even forgot (?) to include a flag in the background of her “annoucement” video. No flag? What’s up with that? Surely it’s not any anti-American sentiment, is it? Sean Hannity had an interesting comment this afternoon on my drive home. Now granted, I haven’t watched the video since I cannot stomach the sight of her, but Sean said the leaves on the trees outside the window in the video didn’t match the current season. It could have been filmed in a studio with a stock window scene, but I doubt Hillary would go for somethat that bourgeois. Or it was filmed in the fall, which would make her an out-and-out liar. In the fall, her positions were very different. But that’s never bothered her before.

UPDATE: Fausta has an excellent post that outlines pretty much how I feel about Hillary. She, like Pelosi, has no problem prostituting her progeny, if it means she’ll be elected to the office she so desires.

Hillary is using the children to hide the naked viciousness that lies underneath the Botox and soft-focus “conversation”.

The Corner (linked in Fausta’s post above) says in The Personals of Political Destruction

I’m not unsympathetic to the premise of Ron Rosenbaum’s argument — that, compared to the happy-face banality of John Edwards’ and Barack Obama’s public personas, there’s something rather appealing about Hillary Clinton’s naked viciousness. And, indeed, after Elizabeth Edwards remarked that Hillary’s life was less “joyful” than hers, it was hard not to warm to a woman so determined to confirm her joylessness that she’s prepared to have genial Mrs Edwards kneecapped in a dark alley and forced into an abject apology.

Nothing will get in her way.

The Earth Moves

Well, well, well, we all can guess what this is…..

Yesterday evening, 5:25pm local time, a massive noise followed by an earthquake-like vibration caused a blackout in a part of Mashhad, capital city of Khorasan Province. Official sources talk about a 3.5-Richter earthquake….

Pair this with other reports of explosions in the vacinity and mysterious UFO sightings and whatyagot?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

UPDATE:
And they won’t let IAEA inspectors into the country to verify they aren’t up to some monkey business. [End Update]

Dr. Sanity illustrates what “real” global warming is all about. None of this fake Weather Channel PC mess. It is really hot. And will crack the earth. Wherever it lands. Killing everyone within 10 or so miles and irradiating millions.

Siggy weighs in on the same subject.

The perfect storm is emerging. Survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust are dying off. Soon they will all be gone and then the Holocaust deniers will be free and unencumbered. Those who deny the Holocaust will be free to implement another plan to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth. In their drunken dysfunction they say. ‘It is the Jews we want. We really didn’t mean what we said about western democracies and other religions. It really is just the Jews that we want.’

‘Let us exterminate them and we’ll leave you alone.’ Is it any wonder Mein Kampf is a perennial bestseller in the Arab world?

And now The Hillary Avalanche begins. Good Lord, get out your flak helmuts. As Newsbusters states

Even among Democratic candidates, Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy has received a disproportional amount of coverage. A look back over the last month reveals no such excitement from CBS’s “Early Show” when other Democratic candidates have entered the race. On January 17, the day after Senator Barack Obama announced he was establishing an exploratory committee, the “Early Show” dedicated a full story to him, but the coverage was tempered as they also interviewed Senator Clinton on the program. And on December 28, 2006 when former Senator John Edwards joined the presidential race, he appeared on the air, but Harry Smith still questioned him about the dominance of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Democratic polls. Other announced candidates in the Democratic field such as Senators Christopher Dodd and Joe Biden, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, or former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, have been given no coverage of their intentions by CBS’s morning program.

Republicans have fared worse. When Republican candidates have declared their intentions to either form an exploratory committee or even to forego that stage and announce that they are candidates for president, these events have not been covered by “The Early Show.” And while some Republican candidates are discussed during segments pertaining to the 2008 presidential campaign as a whole, not one has been the primary subject of a campaign story.

Given the amount of coverage CBS and other news outlets have provided to Senator Clinton at the expense of other candidates, it is correct to assume no candidate will steal her thunder anytime soon. But if it weren’t for the coverage of the media, would Mrs. Clinton have any “thunder” at all.

I wonder if any of those in favor of campaign reform can make the connection between all the “free” publicity Hillary has been handed by the media outlets over the last few months and the resulting “perceived” lead right out of the chute over the rest of the Democratic pack. Doubt it. Probably a middle-schooler who’d just finished pre-algebra might catch the linear and reciprocal relationships formed by this unholy union, but no newsperson with an agenda to meet or an ego to feed will blink an eye at it. After all, they are the ones who decide what’s fit to print, right?

Right after her annoucement, Hannah Storm of the “Early Show” commented to Howard Wolfson (Hillary’s top advisor) on how Hillary can “polarize” issues and people (same NewsBusters link above).

Polarize. Yep Yep Yep. That’s a FINE adjective to hang on Hillary. Perhaps she can go visit a place with no magnetic field at all. She should feel right at home there.

Lessons from Lee

Today the state of Georgia celebrates the 200th birthday of Robert E. Lee. A few interesting pieces of trivia:

– He was indicted for treason after the war but was spared prosecution when Grant threatened to resign if the government didn’t honor the pardon he promised Lee at Appomattox.

– Lee was, indeed, a man of many contradictions. Born into the Virginia gentry, he owned slaves yet denounced slavery. He swore an oath to defend the United States as an Army officer, yet took up arms against it. He became a central figure in the Lost Cause mythology that spread across the South after the war, yet showed little patience for those who obsessed with the late unpleasantness.

– Invited to join an effort to build memorials at Gettysburg, he declined and said it would be better “not to keep open the sores of war.”

Indeed, after the war,

“He refused to fight a guerrilla war,” says Holt Merchant, a historian at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where Lee became president after the war. “To me, that’s one of his greatest achievements: He accepted defeat and tried to reconcile the country.”

Reconcile and restore the nation. Put The Nation before any defeat you have suffered. Put America before any internalized personal agenda. Put The Nation before any attempts to discredit the President, current administration or it’s policies abroad. Put America and the people that made it great before any political process that further diminishes the reputation of being “a beacon of hope” to the world.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

George Washington called this great nation and it’s Constitution “The Arduous Trust”. Shall we break it apart….?

arduous:
–adjective
1. requiring great exertion; laborious; difficult: an arduous undertaking.
2. requiring or using much energy and vigor; strenuous: making an arduous effort.
3. hard to climb; steep: an arduous path up the hill.
4. hard to endure; full of hardships; severe: an arduous winter.

trust:
–noun
1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope.
3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.
4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.
6. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed: a position of trust.
7. charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone’s trust.
8. something committed or entrusted to one’s care for use or safekeeping, as an office, duty, or the like; responsibility; charge.
9. Law.
a. a fiduciary relationship in which one person (the trustee) holds the title to property (the trust estate or trust property) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary).
b. the property or funds so held.

Hmmm….

Wise words and lessons from two great Americans that our current Congress would be wise to heed.

Al Gore, WeatherMaker

Previously, in Al Gore, Prophet, we discussed Al’s uncanny ability to predict the future.

…again donned his Great Karnak hat and pronounced the End Of The World Is At Hand

Well, if that tricky ol’ Al ain’t at it again. Now he’s made himself into a one man weather-maker. Instapundit notes that wherever Gore goes, bone-chilling cold follows. Like the Grim Reaper. The Urban Dictionary describes it as the

Gore Effect: The well documented phenomenon that leads to very low, unseasonal temperatures, driving rain, hail, snow or all of the above whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global “warming”. Hence the “Gore Effect.”

Hi-lar-i-ous.

Now if he could remake himself into a magician and make himself disappear…. That would be a real trick!

So Many Choices, So Little Choice

That Gaggle of Shrinks known as Shrinkwrapped, NeoNeoCon, Dr. Sanity and Sigmund, Carl and Alfred all posted on the same topic. Like a harmonic convergence or sumpthin’. Rather than reading your eyeballs out, listen to the latest podcast. They promise…

If you want to live longer, look younger, have better hair, a killer body, smart children and decent in-laws, the Sanity Squad Archives are the magic pills you need.

I can’t wait to see what I look like in the morning!

It all boils down to choice. You can choose to be afraid, or not. Choose to believe the lying media, or not. Choose to work for a living or collect your “entitlement”. Choose to believe in a loving God or a killing god. Choose to be a good neighbor, good parent, good spouse, good child, good sibling, good friend, good employee, good boss…it’s all so much more than what car to drive or what shoes to wear to work. Sushi or BBQ for lunch? I don’t know, you decide.

I remember a Star Trek-Next Generation episode about Worf being caught in some kind of time rift. There was a scene where dozens, hundreds, thousands of Enterprises appeared, each with a Worf (and supporting cast) in his own reality, and each based on a choice he’d made in his past. Like a branch in code, you go one way or the other. And there’s no going back.

In an earlier post about the incessant bleating of the Left, I quoted Siggy
and his thoughts about behavior and choices…

They [the Arab world] want to change reality by denying reality. There is a blatant attempt to reshape reality by changing our perception of reality, not by changing behavior.

Did Worf want to change his reality? You bet your bony-forehead he did. Somehow, thanks to Data and some cool special effects, he was back. But with the disturbing memory that would stay with him the rest of his life – of a beleaguered Riker screaming into the viewscreen “Don’t Leave Us Here” as the Borg burst onto the bridge.

This new blogger got an early dose of the murky waters he’s entered. Teflon Don was snarked by none other than James Wolcott of VF; sniffing at his “..pretentious prose style…”. I guess Mr. Wolcott is jealous that the young milblogger was picked up so quickly by PajamasMedia, and he wasn’t. Wah Wah Wah. I say if the boy enjoys writing (something he CHOOSES to do, by the way), then let him write. No telling what he’d say about my writing style. Like I’d really care. But then the quick and nimble Don lobbed one right back, seeing right through him…

That’s ok, James- keep on keeping us honest over here. Sip your latte as you wade knee-deep through your self-proclaimed Iraqi mire in the comfort of your New York office.

The Saudi’s appear to be choosing to ban the letter ‘X’ because it sparks their CrossPhobia. (h/t Fausta).

The new development came with the issuing of another mind-bending fatwa, or religious edict, by the infamous Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — the group of senior Islamic clergy that reigns supreme on all legal, civil, and governance matters in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The commission’s damning of the letter “X” came in response to a Ministry of Trade query about whether it should grant trademark protection to a Saudi businessman for a new service carrying the English name “Explorer.”

[…] Well, never mind that none of the so-called scholars manning the upper ranks of the religious outfit can speak or read a word of English. But their experts who examined the English word “explorer” were struck by how suspicious that “X” appeared. In a kingdom where Friday preachers routinely refer to Christians as pigs and infidel crusaders, even a twisted cross ranks as an abomination.

This is the same bunch that thinks the earth is flat…

Among the commission’s deeds is the famed 1974 fatwa — issued by its blind leader at the time, Sheik Abdul Aziz Ben Baz — which declared that the Earth was flat and immobile. In a book issued by the Islamic University of Medina, the sheik argued: “If the earth is rotating, as they claim, the countries, the mountains, the trees, the rivers, and the oceans will have no bottom.”

Huh?…and that the earth’s magnetic field is zero in Mecca.

Stellar intelects, those guys. They CHOOSE to be deluded.

While we’re on the subject of “choices” forced on the followers of Islam, RightGirl links to a video of an Imam telling his mosque exactly how to choose when dealing with women.

Remember that when you watch the video here. These are daughters, sisters, mothers. Meat. Property. Chattel. Whores. Punching bags.

Enough with the PC bleating about respecting other cultures. Beating your wife with a stick does not earn you respect. And the Koran is not a woman’s user manual.

I heard this on the way in this morning. These two guys in Afghanistan made good choices.

Two civilians thwarted an attempted terrorist attack Tuesday when a vehicle loaded with explosives attempted to crash through the front gate of a U.S. base in the Afghan capital, according to the U.S. military.

The two men, an interpreter and a security guard, dragged the apparent suicide bomber from the vehicle before he could detonate explosives, said Col. Tom Collins, the chief spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“I think it’s a pretty amazing and heroic event,” Collins said.

I’m curious, did somebody clone Jack Bauer? Such a selfless act…saving the very same people that our media would lead us to believe are sooo reviled by the entire anti-American planet.

And if this is really true, then I will choose to fly NorthWest more often.

Now see, how easy that is?

The Wisest of the Wise

All this studyin’… all this research… All’s I had to do was read THIS.

So, there you go. I assess and reassess and in the end, I see an enemy that cannot be fought conventionally, and I see a vision that maybe is foolish, maybe is impossible. But maybe, just maybe, if it works, if Iraq – in the center of the Middle East – can sustain its incipient democracy and flourish…then the whole world changes, for the better. We have to dare to dream it. We have to dare to believe it.

Thanks, BlogMom. You ARE the Pan.

The Meaningless Rhetoric of the Left

Let’s see, how many hours are left? While they bluster about, casting votes for useless resolutions and ignoring the real needs of our country. At least with 24, it’s something to look forward to.

Many, many good things out there today. The Anchoress boils it down to just the essence of the argument – light vs darkness, good vs evil. A soldier writes her

The terrorists we face over here are stone-cold killers. They would kill their own if it means they get to propagate their hate and evil. And, they are evil in every sense of the word. They are not misunderstood, they are not the misforgotten, etc. They do know who they are. Many terrorists come from a world of privilege, more privilege than many of their kinfolk.

Light vs darkness. Good vs evil. Like the creeping stench of Mordor, these terrorists cast their pall over all they survey. One thing they cannot abide is that America and others that stand up for all that is good and right in this world, are winning in Iraq, albeit one inch at a time. And what the press DOESN’T show speaks volumes to the progress being made.

Pangloss, a commenter on the same post
says

One of the ways we can oppose Islam is to advance Christianity, both by proselytizing and by protecting Muslims who question or leave Islam. Unlike empty, nihilistic atheism, Christianity has a much more powerful, more hopeful, more humane message, especially when contrasted to Islam with its cruel, inhuman god who claims to rule the universe by fiat.

And she reminds us that Peter carried a sword.

1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Dear Aragorn reminds us, also, at very the gates of Mordor,

“For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

At the very yowling gates of Hell, there is also Hope.

Siggy writes a dissertation of sorts, tying in all sorts of threads into a very fine piece, indeed.

Our adversaries, as The Anchoress notes, are ‘unconventional’ in more than one way. They want to change reality by denying reality. They want to reshape reality by reshaping perceptions rather than by reshaping their behavior.

They want us to believe that much of their dysfunctional behavior is acceptable behavior. They want us to accept racism, bigotry and hate as acceptable behavior. They want us to accept some kinds of violence as acceptable behavior. This idea is not speculative. Arab world ambivalence to ‘honor killings’ violence toward women is common.

If we allow those expressions of intolerance and violence that have come to define much of the Arab world to become acceptable (in the hope of appeasing or placating them), they have no reason to change their behavior.

They want to change reality by denying reality. There is a blatant attempt to reshape reality by changing our perception of reality, not by changing behavior.

Like toddlers, they believe that enough screaming and tantrums will get them what they want. No help from Nanny911 here. No steel-spined helper with an umbrella in her bag whispering encouraging words to the harried parents to stand their ground. And they will keep on and keep on, because sooner or later, they know the evil, wicked parents will cave out of sheer exhaustion or some well-meaning relative will step in and say “Can’t you control your little one? You must be a bad parent, to have a child that acts out so…” And then there you go, you get blamed for someone else’s bad behavior. Poor Bush; he knows that feeling. He’s constantly covered in baby-food-carrot-spew. Oh my, look at the laundry.

No amount of furious foot stomping and denial can change the fact that reality cannot be wished away. In what is perhaps the greatest irony, it is clear that George Bush will be remembered as the president who stood fast in his desire and belief that democracy is a gift for all people and all nations. All of the left’s fury and hate directed towards him, and their knee jerk response that cannot be interpreted any other way than as a hypocritical defense of tyranny and dysfunctional regimes, will change that.

The level of vitriol hurled at this man, not only from the media and their co-dependant pals, but from within his own party, is shameful. One thing that struck me during President Ford’s funeral coverage is the way his compatriots remembered fondly the dinner parties, the bridge games, the backyard cookouts. What? You mean back then, politicians acted like real people? They liked each other? They understood the priviledge entrusted to them? They were proud? Wow, Toto we must not be in Kansas anymore…

Every patient has a choice. They can refuse the medical treatment that might save them. Refusing the treatment does NOT mean the treatment is flawed.

Everyone, including every man, woman and child in the Middle East has that choice. But to hear our media or our politicians, you’d would think we started the whole mess. No, dear reader, it was started a very, very long time ago.

The tragedy is that yet another generation of Arabs will be lost to dysfunction and neglect. The greater tragedy is that most of them don’t even know it. Hundreds of millions of children born in the Middle East will grow up never knowing freedom.

Democratic nations must always be the beacon to which those living under the darkness of tyranny must turn. We cannot turn off the light that inspires the reformists and opposition figures that are so often imprisoned and subject to torture. There are those who depend on us and our values to support their efforts. To abandon them is to abandon the very ideas that founded this nation. In the same way the French and others came to support this nation’s war for independence, we must be ready to do the same for other nations. We must be ready to liberate those under the heel of tyranny. To deny them help- or even the hope that we will support them, is the equivalent of denying medical care to those who need it most. It is a death sentence of a kind, for whole nations and hundreds of million of people.

Freedom is not free. It’s never been free. Our forefathers understood that. Our soldiers understand that now. Siggy understands that. I understand that. Obi understands that. Even my son understands that. So why can’t the left or the media understand it’s more than just fousting your demented hatred of one man onto a country that is sick and tired of hearing about it.

Freedom cannot and will not be stopped. Those who believe that freedom and democracy can be extinguished are the flat earthers of our time.

Why can’t you report on something important – like what Clintonista incriminating evidence did Sandy Berger hoist into his trousers? Isn’t that juicy enough? Or that “Islamic scientists” are determined to set the discipline back to the Dark Ages? You know, something like that. Something a little more interesting that your constant chant of HateBushHateBushHateBush. Sit down and take your medication.

Alas, Jack, Who Made Thee?

We all know after our exhaustive education by Lestat, that vampires are made by other vampires.

So, Jack, who gave you the dark kiss? Was it yet another secret you were keeping from us? Or is it a little something you picked up while vacationing in Chinese Torture Town? One item from column A; two from column B; thanks, and hold the MSG. Maybe that’s why he can never die….

Blogs4Bauer has a Kill Counter. As of last night’s 2 episodes, Jack’s score is 6.

Personal fave, Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir from DS9) is a major player. And like a fine wine, he is aging marvelously. While he’s still on a little on the skinny side for me, he’s still a treat for the eyes.

Jack is unraveling, possibly finally feeling a little post-traumatic stress, so the body count will definitely go up.

8 and a half hours until the next dose of Jack.

The Sad, Sad State of Barbara Boxer

You know, folks, I just can’t make this stuff up.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, who has previously illustrated her prowess in the arena of Higher Math, showed her usual tacky back-side yesterday during the Congressional “grilling” (and yes, it was all that) of Administration officials over the new Iraq strategy outlined by President Bush. But this time, she showed waaaaay tooooo much.

“Who pays the price? I’m not going to pay a personal price,” Boxer said. “My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young.”

Then, to Rice: “You’re not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family.”

The NYPost calls Boxer’s performance “tasteless”, “breathtaking”, “beyond bizarre”, “perverse”. In fact, they say “In contrast to Boxer, Sen. Clinton seemed almost statesmanlike…”

It’s hard to imagine the firestorm that similar comments would have ignited, coming from a Republican to a Democrat, or from a man to a woman, in the United States Senate. (Surely the Associated Press would have put the observation a bit higher than the 18th paragraph of a routine dispatch from Washington.)

Indeed.

The Anchoress is on the same wave-length, but also asking what bearing does having sons or children of draftable age have to do with waging a war? I don’t remember seeing THAT in the Constitution.

Now, according to Boxer, if you have not had children – or if your children are not of an age to serve in the military – than you have no moral authority [Emphasis mine] to wage war or defend a war.

Harry Truman only had daughter Margaret – she couldn’t be drafted to fight in Europe or the Pacific, so he had no risk of losing a child at war…how the hell did he have the moral authority to drop a bomb? Lyndon Johnson had only daughters, no sons to draft or put into harm’s way. I guess he had no business trying to deal with the Vietnam war that started on John F. Kennedy’s watch. Kennedy, of course, had two small children not at risk of war.

Fausta has more links, as well as justifiable outrage. Darleen’s Place (WARNING: not work or small child appropriate) characterizes Boxer’s tenure as

…a career filled with stupidity and a craven sense of entitlement…

Again, I think the NYPost summed it up the best:

The vapidity – the sheer mindlessness – of Sen. Boxer’s assertion makes it clear that the next two years are going to be a time of bitterness and rancor, marked by pettiness of spirit and political self-indulgence of a sort not seen in America for a very long time.

HotAir has the video – be sure to watch Condi’s eyebrow bolt up. I’m sure she’s as shocked as anyone at this woman’s lack of decorum.

Mine is up too. Senator Boxer needs to apologize to Secretary Rice. If I lived in California, I’d call for her impeachment. Politics or no politics, that is no way to treat anyone.

The 24 Countdown and When is Too Much Money Too Much Money

At least I know how to count MY hours.

57 hours and counting until the 24 season premiere. Fausta’s ready. Do not call me. Do not email. Do not IM. I will not answer. Trailer here (apologies for the commercial).

No rules of engagement here, buddy boy. Score counters for the ensuing body count can be found at Blogs4Bauer. Suggestions for more point combos are welcome. Be creative. Jack would like that. This site also runs a Carnival of Bauer. XXXXXXXXXXXXX-cellent.

Even the obscene amount of money offered to pseudo-royal Beckham cannot tarnish my anticipation. After all, if Jack really wanted Beck’s money, all he’d have to do is show up and take it. Like candy from a baby. And he wouldn’t even need a hacksaw.

And I bet Sir Becks doesn’t even own a pair of Jack Bauer pajamas.

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