Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again ...

Greetings. I return from the west. I see that the world hasn't changed much in my absence. I have been thinking about this ports deal with the UAE.

Hope to have a post up later tonight. In the meantime, what do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Well, I am heading out for the week ... first to do justice as some wrongdoers are trying to take the property of one of my friends. Then, I head off for a few days to celebrate 20 years of marital bliss.

Actually, this is principally a celebration of the grace that has seen us through. Whew. That many anos may not impress some of you old-timers, but it's a pretty big deal for me. My wife says it's a really, really big deal for her.

It looks like my next post will probably not be until 2/28, barring an unexpected breakaway over the next few days.

So, I leave you with the following question:

What do you call a man who dishonors his uniform, trashes his boss for personal/political advancement, gains accolades from his newfound leftist friends for using the privilege of military service in Iraq to speak out against the war while young Americans are being shot at ... only to find that his leftist Demo friends no longer need him and in fact have sabotaged his grand ambitions because, well, their plans have changed?

You call that man Paul Hackett.

It seems that Hackett is dismayed to find that leftists have no sense of integrity and honor. Are you kidding me? Marines can be dense (I should know), but c'mon Hackett. Leftists are, by nature and definition, radically unconstrained individuals. This is why calling the President a "chicken hawk" or "SOB" qualifies as brilliant political speech to them.

It's a long, hard fall from Sen. Hackett to "Pawn of the Month".

Friday, February 17, 2006

Answering the Mail

Julie asked, so I will answer the following questions in the spirit of cooperation. In the rugged American spirit of independence, however, I will refuse to burden a fellow blogger with these questions by "tagging" them.

So, here goes:

4 Jobs I have held in my life --

1) Professional lawn maintenance technician (cut grass)

2) Professional tanner and body builder (worked construction building condo)

3) Professional cheese cutter (Hickory Farms)

4) Professional propagandist (newspaper reporter)

4 places I have lived --

1) Austin, TX. Lived in lots of seedy places here. An island of illusion in a sea of reality.

2) Quantico, VA. Apt. C-4 in the lettered apartments on base. Fantastic place that would have been a lot better but for the presence of The Basic School.

3) Newport, RI. 23 Old Beach Road, a/k/a Per Diem Run Amok ... an incredible place 1/4 mile from the beach. Great town. Birthplace of my oldest son.

4) Oceanside, CA. The streets I lived on were Goldrush Way and Dolphin Drive. Sounds better than it was, though. In fact, other than having a USMC base there, the place wasn't what it is cracked up to be.

4 TV shows I love to watch --

Don't watch a lot on the tube, but ...

1) Special Report w/ Brit Hume ... Good fodder for blogging as well as making sure I have the WH talking points down. Like now, Nancy Pelosi is droning on about the VP's hunting accident as clear and convincing evidence of how sinister the Bush Administration is. She is actually saying that his "shoot-first, questions later" hunting method is instructive of how we went into Iraq. Wonder if CNN will run this.

2) Baseball Tonight on ESPN ... Probably the best sports show on TV. Informative with commentators who actually understand the game. If the panel has Harold Reynold and Dave "Soup" Campbell, it's all good.

3) Whose Line Is It Anyway? ... Something on TV that is actually funny, besides "Prime Minister's Questions". Really talented, funny guys. Wayne Brady's songs and the props skits are priceless. My boys like the show, too.

4) Prime Ministers Questions on C-SPAN ... If you haven't seen PM Blair get grilled, please do yourself a favor (or favour) and watch. These guys and gals go hammer and tong -- with the tongue. Every time a MP asks a question that begins with, "It would be the height of hypocrisy, would it not ...", I just start laughing uncontrollably. The preambles to the questions often last for 30 seconds or more. The insults are priceless. Bring your dictionary.

4 places I have been on vacation --

1) NYC -- Every American should see it, for the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

2) San Francisco -- Speaking of beautiful ... If you can see it but for the flying trash and homeless camps, this Reality-Free Zone is pretty. Best Chinese food in the world.

3) D.C. -- Going back in the next year or two, this time as tour guide for my kids.

4) Destin, Fla. -- Prettiest beaches in the U.S.. If I ever disappear, look for me on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

4 Favorite movies --

I am a sucker for movies with meaning, so ...

1) Any of the Pink Panther movies with Peter "zat is not my dog" Sellers. Funniest movies of all time. Best scene: "And now for ze dismount" from ze parallel bars.

2) Scent of a Woman. Hooyah! When Al Pacino as the ol' colonel says "Hooyah!!", I am officially ready for battle. Great, great movie.

3) Rear Window... Stars Jimmy Stewart, American hero and icon. He's my all-time favorite actor. Terrific plot. From a day when movies could make you think and still sell big. Which coincidentally was also a day when men were men and women were women. Yes, it was the day of Grace Kelly.

4) The Hanoi Hilton ... A movie that captures the esprit-de-corps separating the American fighting man from his totalitarian adversaries. This spirit isn't just hypothetical feel-goodism, either. It wins wars, just like it breaks the spirit of the NVA colonel in the movie. The two most moving scenes to me are 1) when the black POW tells off Jane Fonda and 2) the scene where the POWs celebrate the holidays by sharing a meal and a homily. The brotherhood in this film is powerful because it is replicating on film something that in real life is even more powerful. American brotherhood.

Man, makes me want to rent one of these this weekend.

4 Websites I visit daily --

Do I visit 4 sites daily? Not every day, but ...

1) Instapundit... Really helps me keep a pulse on what is going on in the blogsophere and the world.

2) Fox News ... Not much for content but to keep tabs on big events.

3) Drudge ... Gives a sense of the impact of various news stories.

4) My site ... To know what the best commenters in the blogosphere are saying so that I can get some good material.

4 favorite foods --

1) Anything seafood. I could eat seafood gumbo every day.

2) A good steak. We've got a few good steakhouses (and potential steaks) in these parts.

3) A good hamburger. If you're ever in Texas, treat yourself to a Whataburger. Open 24 hours a day for addicts like me, too.

4) Mexican food in Texas. Santa Fe's is pretty good, too. They can claim real Mexican food, as well, but it's different.

4 places I would rather be right now --

1) With our troops.

2) On a baseball field.

3) Lying in bed reading to my girls.

4) Destin, Florida.

4 new suckers to tag --

If you care to supply your own answers, commenters to any of the above ... Mark, Rhod, Cruiser, Nickie?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

For Information Purposes Only

Oh, my gosh. I think the President and Mack Brown just told Norway to go to hell. Next thing you know, there will be Vikings rioting in the streets of Washington and Austin.

If you didn't catch it, the Horns invaded D.C. yesterday to visit with the President and give him his Bush jersey. Note: Putting only the name "Bush" on the back of the jersey in this instance woudn't suffice, because that's also the name of the guy who won the Heisman but not the big game.

In other news ... I note the continued MSM hysteria over the Cheney hunting accident, namely the failure to tell David Gregory promptly. Their hysteria and complete detachment from the real world that most Americans live in becomes more obvious each day.

Am I missing something? Where is the "there" in the MSM hysteria over the Cheney hunting accident?

Meanwhile, rational men of faith attack the diabolical Ron "I am really a statue of Mohammed" McDonald.

I get it. Can't print the Mohammed cartoons or even cover the ongoing story but need to know and breathlessly report on the VP's hunting accident. I see the common principle now.

Note: The pictures of both the President's Norwegian devil-worshipping ceremony and the Mohammed statue are only posted for information purposes only, and are not meant to offend.

Friday, February 10, 2006

New Sheriff in Town

I think the "Best Columnist Alive" crown may be back in the land of D.C.. I'm not talking about me. I am talking about the good ol' U.S.A..

I remain a huge Mark Steyn fan, but ... hard to say any one is doing a better job today than Thomas Lifson of The American Thinker.

I linked to his fabulous run-down on the Muslim cartoon outrage earlier this week. He appears to have outdone himself now, though. Check this out:
It is hard for us Westerners to understand the deep reverence so many overseas have for this man. He was, after all, human, not a god in the eyes of even his most devout believers. But his followers regard him as a special and different kind of human being, one whose life was a story of miracles and triumphs inexplicable in ordinary mortal terms, and a man who brought enlightenment and a vision of a perfect world to all of humanity.

Having created a comprehensive guide for all aspects of life for all time, his adherents venerate him with a passion that sometimes seems oddly fierce to those of us who are not believers. They feel a mixture of pity, anger, and contempt for those of us who have not yet understood the beauty, wisdom, and eternal truth of his message, and who dare to criticize his actions during his lifetime.

Sometimes, those of us who live in societies with a tradition of freedom of speech callously castigate his historic deeds and are tempted to regard him as brutal, cruel, and bloodthirsty toward his enemies. We note his history of aggression and his slaughter of those who dared oppose him during his lifetime.

Sometimes, a few such Westerners even dare to mock him. They cannot imagine the pain such outright insensitivity brings to those whose entire lives are organized around following his teachings. Where his doctrines have been codified into law, such behavior is punished very severely.
Look at the whole column ... and read the next sentence of "Strange New Respect".

Ironic and powerful. Let the message sink in.

And spread it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoon controversy update: Check out the superb column by Thomas Lifson. It's worthy of your time, in my view.

Among other important points, Lifson addresses the coordination of the cartoon protests. Well, I did some research myself. Question: Do you note any similarities between the photo in this post and the photos here?

Hmmm. Is it coordinated sign-drawing/protests, as Lifson suggests above? If so, who is behind this? Ah, but Ace apparently has the answer.

There's a reason why people smile at certain things.

Hey, I have a question.

Here it is: If you can't behave yourself at a funeral, can you be trusted to govern the nation?

Did you see how the leftists were comporting themselves yesterday at the funeral of Coretta Scott King?

The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King, noted how no WMD were found in Iraq. Yes, it's true.

Former Pres. Carter told the audience about how the victims of Katrina were overwhelmingly black (even thought they weren't), implicitly charging the Bush Administration with racism. Then, Carter spoke about the evils of government spying (he was taking a jab at the NSA jihadi surveillance program used by the Bush Administration) that tracked Dr. King.

Ted Kennedy, whose brothers spied on MLK, recounted a time that his brother Robert interceded for Dr. King.

Did some one die here? I almost forgot.

But wait, there's more. The "nation's first black president" openly campaigned for his wife to be the next president.

Pres. Bush, who was treated most disrespectfully by the assembled leftists, merely remembered the long and noble march to equal rights under law that Coretta Scott King and her husband championed.

The debacle brought to mind the Wellstone Memorial, where leftists solemnly celebrated the life of one of their departed icons by partying, politicking and attacking Republicans.

As I recall, voters saw the Wellstone debacle and gave an answer to the question I have posed here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Photo courtesy of Cabal of Doom.

When does an "insult" become something that needs to be said?

Muslims continue to rage over cartoons that first appeared in a Danish newspaper and then were republished in France and elsewhere.

Cruiser has an interesting take on how Europe got to this point.

So what will Europeans do now? Will they now retreat into even more militant secularism? Europe has told itself for many years that all religions are equal. Equally false. Equally harmful. Now that the hypothesis is being tested again, I wonder if there is enough of an intellectually honest remnant in Europe to admit what the world now knows: Militant Islam is the world's greatest security threat.

Europe now needs to summon moral courage to face down the totalitarians in their midst. But ironically Europe is finding, and will continue to find, that a culture which is hostile to authentic religious faith has a hard time summoning the courage it needs to face down evil. The Christians and Jews needed to stand up to evil are sadly no longer welcome in large parts of Europe.

Indeed, while sneering at the culture, faith and institutions of the West, the secularists in Europe have cozied up to the serpent that is Militant Islam. Meanwhile, the serpent has grown and is now constricting the very society that has fed and encouraged it. It is a brutal, sad sight.

I marvel. I absolutely marvel at what we are dealing with in Militant Islam. By comparison to what Jews and Christians have had to endure, the very slight affronts that Muslims complain about are comical. Can you imagine an Islamic version of "Piss Christ"?

God forbid ... a holocaust?

Arguing about the propriety of the cartoons misses that point, I think. Muslims contend that Mohammed, an historical figure, can not even be depicted in pictures. But Mohammed is purportedly a prophet; he is not God. Unbelievable.

The brutal and thin-skinned Islamic response to the cartoon controversy demonstrates again to those who are paying attention that Islam and democratic freedoms are strange bedfellows. It makes one wonder: Can the merits of Islam withstand the scrutiny of the free exchange of ideas? And by the way, has it ever?

Indeed, Islam has throughout history been spread and maintained through force. This is a fact.

It needs totalitarianism to control the flow of information and "insults". This is an opinion, but I think it is demonstrably true.

This is not to say that all Muslims are bad people. But their theology is wrong. And the peaceful Muslims are too often silent. Maybe they are afraid. Maybe they are silently trying to reform Islam.

Maybe there aren't that many of them. Who knows? We just don't hear much in the way internal criticism or honest assessments by Muslims of the problems evident within Islam.

The militants claim they are the true Muslims. As Robert Spencer has noted,
[V]iolent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are used by jihad warriors today to justify their actions and gain new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad.
All I know is that I see from Militant Islam the following: institutionalized anti-Semitism, monumental ignorance, paranoid fear of democratic freedoms, brutal oppression of women, and sectarian warfare typical of the Middle Ages.

Yet, some well-meaning types side with the Muslims in the cartoon controversy, arguing that we should avoid "offending their sensitivities". The LA Times reported over the weekend that the Vatican said that freedom of expression "can not entail the right to offend the sentiment of believers."

Wow. What a dangerous and naive statement. My view: If the "believers" are insane and trying to exert world domination, then the sane had better do more than merely "offend their sentiments".

People endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, namely to freely discuss and debate matters of faith. No faith is exempt. Not yours. Not mine.

God is big enough.

I am not trying to be provocative here, or offensive. I am not trying to be insulting.

But what about Islam?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

See you Monday ...

Missed Friday's post. Pesky real life intervenes. The day job thing.

I am thinking Danish cartoons. What do you think?

Steelers or Seahawks? I am thinking Steelers. I mean, I am sure USC could beat either one. They are the greatest te ... Oh, never mind.

Seahawks getting sued by Texas A&M (no, I am not making this up ... and thanks to Mark for the heads up) for using "the 12th Man" to describe their fans.

I am thinking ... do the Seahawks need a lawyer?

See you Monday.