Thursday, April 26, 2007

I return ...

Greetings, all. I expect that posting will begin to return to somewhat of a regular schedule.

I see that in my absence the world did not spin off its axis, and indeed, a number of things occurred to prove that there is indeed a mysterious rhythm to what happens here. Some would call it fate. Me? I like Providence.

You know, I am a simple creature. Baseball, hot dogs, America, God, I believe in these things. I can't figure out mysteries too very deep.

For instance, why did God make the Democrats so wicked and unintelligent at the same time? This cruel coincidence defies all notions of logic and fairness. The ways of the Almighty are indeed mysterious. Lo, the physical appearance of most female Demo politicians is a mystery greater than the Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster (D-Scotland).

Where am I going with this? Well, I see (as I know you have) that Harry Reid and Co. have passed their "timetable" bill that is certain to be vetoed. This gives the President another opportunity to blast them. He won't, but most people will notice that the Demos remain where they have been for the last 40 years -- on the wrong side of national security issues. National security will remain the issue in the coming months and years. The jihadis will see to that.

Worse than what the Demos did today, they'll soon have to come groveling back and send a bill that appropriates money for the war effort without strings. It's another punch in the nose from an Adminstration that has refused to fight. It's almost like the Demos are running into it.

I am not complaining.

The Bush Administration has failed mightily in explaining our mission and purpose in Iraq. I have long thought that there were much larger things at play in Iraq, as many of you do. (For an excellent analysis of what is at stake in the ongoing surge, check out Wretchard's recent post on the subject). My frustration over the Administration's unwillingness and/or inability to explain the stakes has increased over the months, and now years.

But table the Administration's communication problem for a while, for the Demos have allowed the debate to be framed as this: Do we surrender or not? Given this choice, Americans will side with the President. Nothing like framing the debate in the terms most favorable to the opposition. Mind you, the President hasn't even been able to state his position clearly. No need now.

Thank you, very much.

Why do good things happen to Republicans when they are a bunch of sniveling, tassle-loafered wienies? But heck with Republicans ... More fundamentally, why is God good to America ... still?

It's mysterious. Thank God.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On Vacation ...

for the remainder of the week. See you next week.

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with the kids and families affected by the Va. Tech tragedy. Here's hoping that cooler heads prevail in the response to this.

As always, comment away as you see fit.

Speaking of Thinking ...

Okay, I usually don't play blogger games, but this time I will. A couple of blog friends tagged me as a "Thinking Blogger". I am honored to be mentioned by both Chrissie aka "Wild Thing" and my man Teach.

I mean, when you are causing the wild ones to think and the teachers, too, hey ...

I do thank them both, and commend their excellent blogs to your reading. Oh, I am very poor at this blog etiquette things (please don't say, "I know"), but I understand I am supposed to link to the original post, so here it is.

What else? Oh, yeah. I am supposed to list some other blogs that make me think. I haven't gotten around or out much lately, but I will give it a whirl. Some are "big boys and girls", so they probably won't play, but they are worthy of mention because they do make me think.

So here goes:

1) Sweetness & Light -- This blog is incredible, mixing news, amazingly pithy and humorous commentary, and biting, unapologetic conservatism. The combination is very thought-provoking and inspiring;

2) Big Lizards -- Using humor, The Big Liz grinds liberals arguments into a fine dust with thorough, well-reasoned essays ... some of the best think-writing on the web;

3) Riehl World View -- Dan Riehl challenges me with his ideas, work ethic and relentless pounding on the left. Dan synthesizes a lot of complex information in a way that persuades. And he is often blunt. For instane, he hasn't covered the AG story because he "refuses to pimp that garbage." Blunt, but it makes you think.

I would list ol' Charlie, because seeing him come in here and just take it, well, makes me think ... there are crazy people out there. Just joshin', Charles. I see that he has some new blogging digs. I think all that traffic after the last Leftist Howard Beale rant crashed the old site or something. Maybe he will light here for a moment and get some of that "six degrees of separation" deal going. All are welcome to exchange ideas here, and I enjoy it very much. It's all in good fun. It's free speech. I am conservative, so I believe in this stuff. No need to fear the truth.

4) Finally, I am going to list my liberal friend Julie. Julie challenges me occasionally (though mostly via the email), but she makes me think often. She does so without browbeating, but rather by being much different than most of her liberal friends. She engages in dialogue with conservatives, and she understands that who love freedom and America are not the enemy. Indeed, Julie loves freedom and America. She makes me think, but ... thinking's good, if you're right. Don't think I am going soft, folks.

Ahem ... It never hurts to examine the truth ... never. An honest evaluation by a free people is inherently a good thing. (Stepping down from soap box.)

Okay, time to run. There are thumb-sucking pieces to write, pontifications to be made, and post-modern leftists to drive mad.

Thank you all for reading, for your precious time, and for your passion for liberty and this great land.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

R.I.P.: Americans' Ability to Think.

It's official. It's over. It's gone.

We can't think any more, as the Duke lacrosse case demonstrates. And our character (though perhaps not to the level of Europistan) is faltering. It's a deadly combination. Thinking is a moral exercise, in large part ... I think.

I've followed the Duke case, but not as close as many. I followed it closely enough to know that the charges should have been dropped long ago. As a former prosecutor, I take serious the prosecutor's oath not only to seek a conviction, but also justice. That is, a prosecutor is not ethically permitted to try a defendant for a crime just to "check it out". In other words, the prosecutor must first be convinced that he is prosecuting a guilty party, and then that the evidence supports the charge.

We do this because a criminal charge in a free society is a serious thing. It's something separated from politics, or at least it's supposed to be. When criminal charges cease to be taken seriously and are instead viewed as political acts, then we've really got serious problems. And our freedom is in jeopardy.

You all know the details of the Duke case now. D.A. Mike Nifong ran crazy with a disjointed, confused case based on conflicting stories, a constitutionally-improper line-up, and no DNA ... no wait, with DNA that contradicted the accuser's claims. The accuser, by all accounts, was entirely without credibilty and very troubled.

But Nifong apparently ran with this case and filed charges to solidify the black vote in Durham as his Democratic Primary approached. Initially, based upon the first impressions and prejudices of the MSM/Demo/Left/Same Thing set, the case was off and running, with our without evidence.

Thankfully, the wheels eventually came off. Our system still works, in large part, because of two things: 1) We have a large number of checks and balances, such as appellate courts, civil courts, the legislative branch, and even the bar itself; and 2) ultimately, there are still good people around who take pride in their oaths as officers of the court.

I know, I like the lawyer jokes, too. But lawyers ultimately stopped this case.

Still, I think the Nifong matter is an extremely troubling example of the dangerous trend of increasing political prosecutions that must not only be stopped but reversed.

More and more, we have seen the criminal justice system used as a political tool. Libby and Delay are two recent examples that come to mind, but there are many others. Once upon a time, they did the same thing to Kay Bailey Hutchison around these parts. And now, we see the Demos threaten to turn the routine firing of U.S. attorneys into a crime. Perjury traps are not only set, they are sprung, cases are tried, and lives ruined. Political "dirty tricks" are now "crimes".

So, Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson are free, but Scooter Libby is a criminal? Martha Stewart, whom I am no fan of, is nailed for the vicious act of what? Help me out here. It's the world upside-down.

Have we gotten so morally upright that we have less tolerance for all manner of wrong-doing? Quite the contrary, I think we've degraded ourselves to the point where we can't tell the difference between ill-advised or bad conduct and a crime against society.

But it goes deeper than that. We now think that a finding of "Not Guilty" is a finding of "Virtuousness" No wait, many don't know what "virtuous" means. We think "Not Guilty" means "Good Guy". This is what happens when the clearly-marked lines between criminal and non-criminal conduct are erased and then moved ... and erased again, as needed.

Back to the Duke case, this means that the lacrosse players are now "Good Guys". Being falsely accused and subjected to an unfair media onslaught as they were, they are not only Good Guys, but bona fide Heroes to us now.

To put a cherry on top, they are now even concerned about "the little guy" who may not have the means to fight off a political prosecution. Pass the tissue. Really? I'm sorry, but call me skeptical about these claims which sound a bit scripted to me. Maybe they do feel this way, but these were no choir boys. After all, it was a stripper party we had there. And one of the lads has a conviction in another assault. I am just not getting images of Mom and apple pie with these guys. In fact, they might even be spoiled little punks. Maybe they were then but are not now. We don't know.

It takes some thought, some analysis. It takes more than five minutes. Life is simple of many levels but complicated on many, as well. We see this in the Duke case.

Being "not guilty" means you aren't guilty of this charge or it can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn't make you a hero.

But to the thoughtless generation, it does.

So now ... Political prosecutions are still permitted, the accused Duke lacrosse players are heroes.

But at least Mike Nifong may be on his way to being a Not Good Guy.

Meanwhile, Don Imus is the Worst Human Being to Inhabit the Universe. And Pres. Bush caused it all.

Think about it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Great no more ... and Britain for how much longer?

I have been trying to make sense of the British sailors and marines preening for Iranian cameras ever since I saw the "hostages" on film, and I just can't. The entire episode brings me a profound sense of shock, sadness and disgust.

I realize that I hardly know the whole story, but it appears we know enough to know ... the Brits have lost their honor. Can their nation thus be far behind?

You never know when you wake up on a given day what you may encounter ... a thief, a car accident, a chance to be a good Samaritan, an opportunity to help a neighbor.

Think about United 93.

For those in the military, they know that they are their nation's representatives 24/7, standing ready to do both the ordinary and the extraordinary ... to live out months and even years of training.

In this one episode, a few members of the British military encountered their big moment ... and surrendered.

In the process, they disgraced not only all their comrades in arms, but the people they are sworn to defend. In addition, they enboldened not only Britain's enemies, but also America's enemies.

Nothing like firing up the bad guys and then hitting the road.

The speed of their capitulation is inexplicable. Also, the films of their smiling and yucking it up with their jihadi mates should be evidence at a court-martial. Was their not one of them who would implore the jihadis to test their theory re: the afterlife? Any one with a lick of sense knew that the Iranians couldn't afford to harm them.

Also, to find that British Royal Marines were part of this disgrace is incredibly sad to me.

I am left to conclude that the all-things-equal secularists have completely emasculated Europe. I thought the Brits were one last bastion of sanity and courage, but one must now doubt this. Don't you think the Iranians and their miscreant, jihadi brethren do?

As I mentioned last week, the West is facing an enemy that loves death. By contrast, the West loves life, and that is a good thing.

But when this life on earth is viewed as the end-all, then it will ultimately be forfeited to those who would take it for a sordid, "higher" purpose.

Honor makes no sense if this life is the end-all-be-all. Get what you can, while you can, the utilitarians argue. Save your hide, and blame any failings on your environment, your upbringing, or some one else. Get a book deal and go on Oprah while you're at it, too. I mean, who cares about consequences when they may very well come home to roost after you are taking a dirtnap?

The postmodern cowards that dominate Europe ultimately will send every one else to war.

Think about it: Those smiling chaps in their PJ's on the Ahmadinejad Springer Show are the "fighting men" of Britain.

It makes me want to wretch.

So, who is left to stand with us?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Saved My Life

Greetings, all. The busy spring continues, but here I am. I owe Chrissie and Teach a response on the "Thinking Blogger Award", and I will get to it in the coming week. Let's hope, any way.

Also, I have been taken with the sadness of Britain's coming to grips with the behavior of its sailors while in Iranian hands. I will endeavor to have more to say on this next week, as well, but for now I will just say this: Our Islamist enemies love death, and an enemy that loves death has an inherent weakness against a foe that wants to live, since victory is defined in the here and now. And the object of war is to live through it.

But when people love this life so much that they don't care about the next ... then such people are vulnerable in this life to those who love death.

At Easter, I am reminded: One must conquer death to truly live.

Easter is the greatest conclusion to the greatest story ever told. But that's about it for a lot of people. It's a great ending to a great story.

But it's more to me. You see, Easter saved my life.

Whenever I venture directly into matters of faith, I feel the need to send up a flare to remind you again that, though I am most committed to what I am about to say, our friendship is not dependent upon your agreement with me. What is a true friend, any way? Sounds like a Pontius Pilate moment.

But seriously, I tell you these things from time to time for the same reason that I would tell any one that I cared about, well, anything.

Indeed, your life may depend on it, as mine did.

When I left for college in 1982, I had the world by the tail. I knew almost all of it, and for that I didn't know, I had the tools to figure it out. My newly-minted Christian faith had a self-righteous and self-assured gleam. (It still shines from time to time, I've been told.)

Well, it seems that some of my professors didn't quite share my appreciation for Christianity. They openly challenged all that I believed. They got to me. I struggled to come to grips with some of their questions, in particular, the intractible question of human suffering. One history professor wondered out loud: "If God is a loving God and in charge of the universe, how could He let 6 million his chosen people die at the hands of a madman?" Good question, I thought then. In fact, I still haven't come up with a good answer.

Others were so skeptical that they caused me to wonder if I could know much of anything. Why not just "bag it" and try wild college girls and the good stuff that this world offered instead? It would have been a lot easier and more fun.

But instead of wild college girls, I wrestled with many questions that I couldn't answer ... like predestination. Oh, man. As I ascended the staircase in my mind, eventually I got to the top. But the questions ... and the understanding of the answers to those questions kept going up, and up ... well-above my mind's staircase.

I wasn't God, and there were things that ultimately I could not know for certain in this life.

But during that fretful, difficult but pivotal year when I was deciding what type of man I would be ... I kept coming back to those things that I could know, at least as well as a human being can know such things.

I came back to the resurrection of Christ. Paul, whose old life as Saul was shattered and whose new life began when he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, wrote in I Corinthians 15:14 that, if the resurrection were not true, then his faith would be "in vain".

Wow. Paul, the great rabbi who wrote more than half of the New Testament, staked the whole faith on the resurrection. It seemed pretty straigthtforward to me. What I really wanted to know was rather what I believed was true. Was Christ really "the Way, the Truth, and the Life?" If he rose from the dead, then He was and He is.

All my other questions were really on the periphery, because if I answered the one question I needed to answer, well, then I could deal with my uncertainties. Mind you, I am not dismissing curiosity or getting answers to serious questions. All I am saying is that answering foundational questions, or rather the foundational question, puts the others in perspective.

I mean, if you knew God was flying plane you were on, would you worry about the intracies of the engine?

So, I studied the resurrection. How much? Well, lots have studied it more. But let me put it this way: I've studied it more than any one I've met who doesn't believe in the resurrection of Christ.

The more you look at truth, the better it looks.

Where is the body, any way? That's a good starting point. I won't bore you with the details. If you are interested, it's all over the internet. The body of Christ is not, of course. You understand what I am saying.

I concluded that Jesus rose from the dead ... actually, physically rose from the dead. If He was and is God in human flesh, this could be done, after all. And if the resurrection is true, then many things are possible. Death loses its sting, and life has meaning ... every minute of every day.

Believing this, 11 most ordinary and unarmed men turned upside down and conquered the world. In fact, they even went back to the scene of Christ's crucifixion to begin their proclamation of the resurrection.

Eventually, all but one of them would die as martyrs. Only the "disciple that Jesus loved" would not die as a martyr. He was left behind with work to do, you see. In exile, John wrote the Book of Revelation.

Many proofs of the resurrection there are.

But one proof that means so much to me is that ... the truth of Easter saved my life.

See you next week.