Friday, April 28, 2006

What can you say?

When there is so much ... that you just go speechless? I don't know, maybe not. But check this out.

So, what does this episode say about the state of our culture and the future of corporal punishment?

"Honey, how was your day?" ...

"It was great. I was spanked with a yard sign ... "

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Greetings.

Al-Zarqawi and Bin Laden return. So, I return.

Got a kick out of the latest film from Zarqawi, featuring his "holy warriors" walking around, brandishing weapons in the desert ... improperly firing said weapons ... looking like complete asses who would scatter at the sound of a paper bag popping. Sigh. Such videos remind me that these miscreants are not only unholy, but they are also "unwarriors".

And ... I note that Zarqawi and OBL are putting out new films nearly simultaneously. So, what gives? These guys usually don't fire up their production companies when things are going well.

It seems that the impending formation of the Iraqi "stooge" government is of some concern to the cave dwellers. But, as for me, let's just say that worse things can be said about the Iraqi government than that it is an American "stooge".

I mean, how about we get new governments in Iran and Syria? And then ... yes, we could have the "three stooges" of the Middle East. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

But seriously, note how Zarqawi seems to be on the same page as the DNC. He references "suicides, drug-taking and mutinies" in our military. Still, I thought Zarqawi was talking about his jihadis who were smoked out and took the "down" elevator out of Fallujah. But no ... he was, of course, making the case that we are beaten, on an impossible mission, "over-extended", etc. Sound familiar?

Zarqawi's gushing about "mutinies" is evidently a reference to the backstabbing of Sec. Rumsfeld underway by a number of retired generals with Demo sympathies.

Here we go again. When you can't tell if it's Ted Kennedy or Zarqawi, we've got a big problem.

If those generals really had the problems they claimed, then they should have fallen on their swords and resigned their commissions when they had the chance. It's called honor.

Now, these wayward generals are starring in the latest feature film by Iraq's Jihadi-in-Chief.

Congratulations, gentlemen.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rising from the ashes ...

of my office after tax day, I return. Still, the feds have wounded me ... and I only filed an extension and a 1040-ES. Still, fat checks were written, torn out and mailed.

The tax gods, apparently angry that their high holy day of April 15 was delayed for two days, speaketh. And their message to me: Jesus may have conquered the grave, but the IRS owns America.

I humbly submit the following couple of things that would dramatically change the country for the better:

1) Tax day no more than two weeks before Election Day; and

2) End withholding.

Being self-employed, I am accustomed to writing the IRS sizeable checks every quarter and then sweating it out to see if I can avoid writing another one in April.

I wonder what my countrymen would think if they all had to do the same. I bet they would cut my taxes along with theirs. Like I bet our elected representatives would cut taxes if tax day was just before Election Day.

Our tax system is broken, but there are many interests making money off of this delapidated mess. So, we go on wasting time and money complying with it. Meanwhile, the multitude of frogs getting boiled in the pot do not realize they are on the menu. I guess part of the problem is that there are fewer frogs in the pot.

At any rate, it is clear that the feds make this process as painful as possible for those of us who are at the plow instead of in the pot.

But at any rate, my titanic annual struggle with the IRS has taken it out of me. I am leaving town to watch my son play baseball for a few days to recuperate.

So, carry on.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

No Corpus Delecti?

Understanding the nature of the celebration, "Happy Easter" is much more politically incorrect than "Merry Christmas".

Christmas announces the arrival of Jesus. Easter proclaims that He actually, physically rose from the dead. Not figuratively. Not a nice ending to a fairy tale. The claim of Easter is one of history. Is it true or not?

The centrality of the resurrection to the Christian message is such that the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15 that, without it, "our preaching is in vain."

So, with all due respect and goodwill to my unbelieving friends, I wish you a Happy Easter. And I hope that the power of the Easter message gives life to your bones.

I won't bore you with all the details, but many moons ago I set out to investigate this claim that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead after the crucifixion. It's easy to believe that He did not. After all, people don't rise from the dead, right?

Here are some of the high points of what I found:

If we start from the premise that an infinite God can do anything, and logically He can, then we must presuppose that anything is possible, including raising Jesus from the dead.

To check the historical record, most of our evidence comes from the Bible. I have found that the Bible was and is reliable historically. Archaeological findings and confirmation by other historical documents continue to confirm this belief. The Bible has more extant manuscripts of any work of antiquity by far. That is, the Bible that we have reliably relates what the authors saw and recorded.

The Bible reports that after Jesus was killed, his ordinary disciples boldly returned to the scene of the crucifixion -- Jerusalem -- to announce that He had risen. The Bible records that Jesus appeared to more than 500 witnesses. This near-contemporaneous announcement of the resurrection, and at the scene of the crucifixion, is astonishing. Why wasn't such a wild claim immediately put down and refuted?

The mini-revolt by the new Christian sect would have been simple enough to crush, for sure: Simply produce the body of Christ. After all, He was dead, right? But this was never done. And still has not been done. Why not?

But instead of being quickly and easily crushed, the infant faith grew. The 11 disciples fanned out across the known world. Eventually, these men turned the world (including the Roman Empire that condemned Jesus) upside down. All, except the exile John, died martyrs' deaths. So, what happened? When Jesus was crucified, only John did not flee the scene. After the crucifixion, all stayed true to Christ even to the point of death. Yet it wasn't fame, fortune or a televangelism career that motivated them. No, Christ's disciples were were ostracized, beaten, jailed, and martyred. Again, for what?

Remember, simply producing the body would have crushed this new movement in its infancy. The most powerful government and military in the world, working with the cooperation of the religious leaders of the day, couldn't produce the body (which it had guarded) and stop all this foolishness? Apparently not.

Instead, the Christian message spread. Christians didn't become extinct. More were added.

The Jewish historian Josephus doesn't mention the resurrection directly. Yet, he understood the significance of the surviving, thriving Christian faith in noting this powerful evidence of the resurrection: "And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

Perhaps all this uproar was caused by the empty tomb. It was indeed empty, even according to a 5th Century collection of Jewish writings called "Toledoth Jeshu".

So, if the tomb was empty, how did it get that way? Again, where is the body? Dead people don't just get up and walk away ... do they?

When the explanations for an event become more fantastic than the event itself, then what do we have?

People can visit the tombs of departed religious leaders, like the Muslims that visit Mohammed's grave. But what about Jesus?

In life, He had no place to lay His head.

Can you truly bury God?

Where is the body?

Happy Easter. See you next week.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Are you kidding me?

Well, doing a little reminiscing as I head toward 50,000 hits. Looking back, this space has been linked by Instapundit, Slate, CBS News.com, Hewitt, etc. ... oh, forget them and their links (take my word for it). Goomba linked me, so all is good.

But now, I have to ask ... are you kidding me? Is Ann Coulter reading this blog? ... and stealing my ideas?

Maybe not. But, as you know if you've read much, I have postulated here that the defining philosophy of modern Leftist thought is post-modernism.

Now, Ann has simplified this theory: It's just plain godlessness.

Mind you, this doesn't mean that there aren't godless conservatives. Political philosophy and/or good works don't save.

I think Ann is just stating, in her inimitable way, what the de facto faith of the Left is. Haven't read ithe book yet, but I imagine the thesis is something along the lines of: "Being a conservative doesn't make you godly, but being at home in the modern Left does require (in most instances) an adoption of a godless philosophy. Here, I would substitute "post-modern", but who wants to pick a fight with Ann?

Pretty interesting stuff, for sure. And the ultimate provocateuress has set her latest bombshell to land on D-Day, which this year is 6/6/06.

Imagine the book-promotion tour and accompanying liberal interviews: "I am not godless, Ann ... really I am not. Am I?" Very clever.

Friday, April 07, 2006

TLTLA Strikes Again, Producing Painted Ordure

Lots of Republicans voted for it. And Harry Reid says it can pass. So, all is good, right?

No, it's painted ordure.

The Senate's guest worker-no enforcement plan is more of the same. The Senate plan would still provide "guest worker" status to illegals with only a promise of enforcement. Plus, lawbreakers can get on "the path to citizenship".

Something stinks in here.

Just how bad is it? President Bush is mistakenly on board. Well, he got on the train he wanted to get on, but it's going the wrong way. And it's going to a very bad place. Even Hugh "the President is never wrong" Hewitt thinks its very bad. Wow.

It really is very bad.

Yesterday's sordid episode in the Senate validates much of the frustration with the political approach to this issue. Illegal aliens present a most difficult political problem because of the marriage of transnational business interests and the Left. And both of these coalition partners pursue policies, unwittingly or not, that would cause America as we know it to cease to exist.

The TLTLA (Transnational-Leftist Tassle-Loafer Alliance) has a number of ears in the Senate ... ears of the likes of McCain, Reid, Frist, Kennedy, Specter, Lieberman, Graham, et al.

What to do? Well, contact and encourage senators like mine -- John Cornyn -- to stop the bill in the Senate. And encourage the House to hold firm and kill the bill.

I think it's DOA. So, where do we go? It will be interesting to see if we get a bill this year or not. Odds are we won't. But we might. We'll see how hot it gets this summer.

This fall, it should be very hot for all in the Senate who are trying slip this one in the nation's political punch bowl. They think they are above the fray and out of the reach of the voters.

Well, hang on. Upon closer examination, it does appear that those Republicans and Red State Demos up in 2006 are not leading the charge on this one. Hmmm.

The TLTLA doesn't get it. The illegals flooding our borders aren't immigrants. They are not, for the most part, coming here to assimilate and make America their home. No, they're coming here mostly for a job ... and illegally. They are keeping their native culture and language. This is not immigration. It is thievery of American resources. And those Americans who assist illegals in this endeavor are driving the getaway car.

The majority of Americans believe, as I do, the following: If you come here legally, work hard, and want to become an American, then welcome. But if you come here illegally and do not assimilate into the U.S.A., then beat it.

For those frustrated, as I am, with the type of shenanigans we saw in the Senate yesterday, I would like to offer the following encouraging, albeit philosophical, words:

A nation is not its government. A nation has a government.

A nation is a group of people, with a common border, culture, and government.

The nation's border and culture are under assault by the illegal "immigration" crisis, and the government is stalled ... for the moment.

A nation is not its government. A nation is its people. The people get what is at stake.

Let's hear it for -- and from -- the people.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Red, White & Upbeat

The upcoming movie United 93 completely snuck up on me. It debuts in theaters on April 28.

You may have seen the trailer that has the internet buzzing, but if not, here it is. Watching it took me back. I remember, but still the memory fades.

We understandably bemoan how people could forget 9/11. Just how could the memory fade? We are fallible humans, that's how. We need reminders of even important things.

United 93 reminds us of important things.

Take some time to peruse the film's site. The director's statement contains this powerfully telling passage:
... The terrible dilemma those passengers faced is the same we have been struggling with ever since. Do we sit passively and hope this turns out okay? Or do we fight back and strike at them before they strike at us? And what will be the consequences if do? ...
While intrigued and moved by the heroism of the ordinary Americans aboard United 93, I had never quite seen them as quite the microcosm of post-9/11 America that they were and are.

With this film, now we'll all see just that.

What an incredible and beautiful thing that ordinary people from various walks of life, professions, and faiths would become an impromptu, cohesive fighting unit on the front lines with evil.

This is amazing, but it's what Americans do ... over and over again. Where do we find such people? Realizing they are most certainly doomed but also that their nation is in peril, they rush and defeat the enemy that they can reach.

Americans are creative and daring. They routinely shock and overwhelm adversaries who have prematurely and mistakenly counted them out.

Flight 93 is Exhibit A of this.

America's heart of freedom, courage, and faith makes a strong national cord indeed. Yet we only see the full measure of this strength when the nation is suspended above the fiery pit of overwhelming danger, doubt and despair.

We rightly praise and revere our military for their gallantry since 9/11. These troops come from the nation's ingenious, brave, and faithful heart -- a heart that was beating strongly on Flight 93.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The International Gold Standard: U.S. Citizenship

Lots of angst in the air these days. As for me, I am encouraged to see the debate taking place in the country on immigration. It is occurring simultaneously with an ongoing national security debate focusing on Iraq and the larger War on Militant Islam. This is good.

Why? What does a good liberal have to offer in these debates? Not much other than, "Nah, that won't work" ... "Bad idea" ... "Bush lied" ... "We'll get OBL" ... "working wage" ... Oh, come on.

In serious times, the old stand-bys of the minority party are harder to peddle.

Still, on the issue of immigration reform, solving the problem remains difficult because of the deep transnationalism that grips Washington, the intelligentsia/think tank types, the entire Democratic Party, and a number of Republicans, as well.

To me, it boils down to this: Is America a special place, worthy of protection as a distinct nation?

To the transnationalist, the honest answer is "no". John Leo puts transnationalism in perspective in this excellent column. Leo writes,
What appears to be primarily a problem of labor, border control and one particular failed economy -- Mexico's -- is to some people an inevitable and welcome stage in the decline of the nation-state. Besides, large-scale immigration helps to deconstruct the traditional historical narrative of the target nation, a traditional item on the multicultural agenda.
To me, the crux of the matter in the illegal immigration debate stems from my belief that America is worthy of protection. As such, citizenship matters. Being an American is more than a geographical quirk warranting endless, hand-wringing guilt.

The crux, the precious, non-negotiable item in the immigration debate is citizenship. Check out this super column by that great American thinker, Thomas Lifson on the preciousness of U.S. citizenship.

All people are of equal value. But not all nations are equally good.

I would like to posit that the world would be better off if North Korea and Iran were more like the United States, and not the other way around. What sane person would trade their U.S. citizenship for North Korean citizenship?

And closer to home, Mexico's government and economy should look more like the United States', and not the other way around. Can't we acknowledge this? Americans can, but transnationalists stammer.

"But the U.S. is not perfect ... blah, blah, blah." Yet again, these utopians in search of perfection in their adversaries on this earth rob the world of its goodness.

Also, While arguing moral equivalency, the transnationalists and multiculturalists continue to foist more schemes upon America to fulfill their own prophecies of the flawed nature of American society, that is to "deconstruct the traditional historical narrative" of the United States.

Citizenship is the currency of a nation. If the transnationalists print up citizenship papers for all comers, though, then we are bankrupt.