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Saturday, September 15, 2007

More Episcopalian Rifts

From WorldNetDaily:

The Episcopal Church is on the verge of a mass exodus if it doesn't repent of its approval of homosexual relationships, warn the leaders of three diocese that signaled their intent this week to leave the 2 million-member denomination.

The dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and Quincy, Ill., have stated if they don't receive assurances by Sept. 30 that the House of Bishops will not reject the consecration of bishops living in a same-sex relationship and same-sex blessings, they are prepared to cut themselves off from the Episcopal Church in the USA.

The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which, led by bishops in Africa and Asia, largely has maintained traditional doctrines.

This speaks very well of the leadership of these three dioceses. Given the apostate behavior of the Episcopal denomination in general, it would be easy to get the impression that the whole denomination had gone down the tubes. But this illustrates that while there may be some in leadership positions of the denomination, far from all Episcopalians no longer care what their Bible says.


Pastor Fired for Praying in Jesus' Name

From WorldNetDaily, a pastor in Florida is fired for praying in Jesus' name:

Harvey told WND as a Christian chaplain, he routinely supported other faiths, such as Islam, expressed by patients by getting them access to someone who could help them directly with their needs.

"There are some things I can't do as an evangelical pastor. For example, I can't offer certain things of the Catholic faith, including confession. I would get a Catholic priest," he said.

He said the issue first arose several years ago when he was asked to pray over the opening of a new hospital unit. He was told he would not be allowed to include "in Jesus' name."

He objected, and was ordered to take a diversity course, which he did.

Then at a staff meeting in August, he closed with a prayer in the name of Jesus, he said.

"That's what sparked this issue. I have written documentation. I was pulled into the office on Friday and told 'Under no circumstances will you pray in this name again,'" he said. "I said, 'I can't abide by your wishes.' She also told me I should tell my volunteer chaplains they shouldn't pray in Jesus name either. About four or five days later, I was relieved of my duties."

I know a pastor here in South Dakota who was fired from chaplain duties at a hospital for similar reasons, essentially for being "too Christian."

Christians are instructed by their master, Jesus, to pray in his name:
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Chaplains have to facilitate access to the beliefs of other religions in their multi-faith work environments, and most of them understand that and have no problems with it. But the secularist institutions they work for have sometimes strayed so far from the Christian roots of this country that they don't understand that it's unreasonable to ask a Christian minister not to be faithful to his own beliefs.

What a sad day, when a chaplain--someone specifically hired for their religious affiliation--is fired for being faithful to their religious affiliation. This, in a country that once recognized that all rights came from our Creator, and that the free exercise of religion should not be abridged. A country made up of 50 states, all of whom acknowledge God in their state constitutions.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Hardees Tones Down Commercial

From AOL Money:

The fast food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have pushed the bounds of good taste before with TV ads featuring Paris Hilton, Hugh Hefner and a woman riding a mechanical bull while chomping a burger.

But their most recent ads featuring a teacher who dances on her desk and touches her backside while rappers in the classroom talk about her "flat buns" has apparently gone too far.

CKE Restaurants Inc., the chains' parent company, will edit the character from the ad after receiving loud complaints from educators.

The myth is that it will do no good to say something, it'll do no good to complain. This disproves the myth.

It's a pity that decent people don't use their voice more often to condemn societal rot. Perhaps they forget that we got a lot of this societal rot because it's proponents used their voice to complain and advocate the rot. It works both ways, but conservatives and Christians are usually too docile to exercise their options.


NYC Pays Parents to Parent


From the New York Daily News, New York City is paying parents to send their children to school and ensure they pass tests:

Families can get up to $5,000 a year in payouts. An annual medical checkup gets each family member $200. The families get up to $500 if a child attends high school 95% of the time and an additional $600 for each Regents exam teens pass.

Once, in the forgotten mists of time, mothers and fathers used to do this without being bribed; they did it for the eccentric reason that they cared for their children, and wanted the best for them.

It used to be known by the quaint term "parenting."


Cabela's Vote Next Week

The vote on the land giveaway to Cabela's is coming up next Tuesday, and today I got another mailer from Cabela's--this one a folded 4-page flier.

The main problem I had with the Cabela's deal was destroying a multi-million dollar Visitor Information Center (VIC) that is less than 10 years old, and shoving it inside Cabela's in less than half the space.

But now that's off the table; the VIC is staying where it's at.

Then there's the question of the giveaway of 30 acres of city property to Cabela's and the TIF itself.

While I still suspect that TIFs are being issued on flimsy grounds, I believe Rapid City most likely makes it's money back--it just takes a while.

Excepting the VIC, for me the question of the Cabela's deal comes down to this: would they have come without the TIF and the land giveaway? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know this with any certainty, but my fear is that the city essentially did what you don't do when buying a house: make your best offer first.

However, at this point, the horse is already out of the barn, and that offer has already been made. Now, the question becomes, if we take the land giveaway off the table, will they still come?

It has been said that this question is a gamble, a gamble many aren't willing to take. As for me, I'm not either. I think the city should have and maybe could have made a better deal, but what's done is done. The city is now in a much weaker position when it comes to negotiating.

I could hope that all the hubub over this might send a signal to city hall to shoot for a better deal in the future. Whether they'd get that signal could also be debated; if the land deal passes, they might see that as a tacit endorsement of what they did and become emboldened to continue or surpass deals like this.

In any event, I hope the land deal passes, for the reasons I've mentioned above. I think Cabela's will be good for the area, regardless of whether the sales tax amounts reach projections. Calling out the city on a questionable deal is a good thing; gambling that the deal will still go through if a substantial part of it is rescinded is, I think, too risky.


General Lies and Power?

The Weekly Standard blog has a good MoveOn.org-esque ad that, if MoveOn.org was around 65 years ago, you might have seen in the papers, entitled "General Eisenhower or General Lies and Power?"

Go check it out.


Homosexuals CAN Leave the Lifestyle

Christianity Today has an article on "An Older, Wiser Ex-Gay Movement."

Some of the cited findings by psychologists Stanton Jones of Wheaton College and Mark Yarhouse of Regent University:

By most measures, the average participant experienced statistically significant change in his or her sexual identity and sexual attractions.

Such changes were generally modest, though, with decreasing homosexual attraction more significant than increasing heterosexual attraction.

Exodus can describe 38 percent of its programs' participants as successes, changing to either a "meaningful but complicated" heterosexuality (15 percent) or a stable chastity (23 percent).

Surprisingly, a "truly gay" subpopulation showed the clearest changes in sexual identity and attraction.

No evidence of increased mental distress was found.

Given society's overwhelming efforts to convince homosexuals that there's nothing wrong--either from a spiritual or health standpoint--, a success rate of 38% is pretty good. According to some figures I've seen drug rehab programs only have a success rate in the single digits...and drug use is almost universally viewed in a negative light.

When someone gives their life over to Jesus Christ and is born again, they aren't perfect (unfortunately). But for the first time in their lives, they have the God-given power to resist those sinful temptations.

For Christians, some sin problems go away fairly consistently (I haven't had a drink in 15 years), while others take longer to master (I still get angry when I shouldn't sometimes, sometimes I still curse, etc.).

Former homosexuals may sometimes "fall off the wagon" or whatever you may call it, just as I sometimes say "*&!@%." But with Christ's help, they get back up again and move onward toward the sanctification that God is working in all of us who are His.

The article concludes of ex-homosexuals who have lived outside "the life" for some time:
They live by radical ideas about sexuality—that we are not, as our culture would have it, defined by our desires, heterosexual or homosexual. Rather, we are defined by our Creator and Savior. Our attractions, always disordered to some extent, must be submitted to Christ, who alone can redeem us. For those who feel strong same-sex attractions, that task is especially difficult. But it is the same basic struggle every Christian must face.

Very true. The Bible even has a list of people who have given their lives over to Christ and were delivered out of many sins (including homosexuality):
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Redemption and change are available from God for anyone that wants it. The catch: you have to admit you need it before you can have it.


NYT: Working for Failure

From CNS News, apparently the New York Times is pretty upset that President Bush isn't listening to them when they repeatedly try to tell him that the war in Iraq is a failure:

The editorial blasted Bush for failing to draw Iraq's neighbors into a solution to the conflict; "the world is still waiting" for Bush to involve Middle Eastern nations in a diplomatic effort, the newspaper said.

"Once again, it is clear that Mr. Bush refuses to recognize the truth of his failure in Iraq and envisions a military commitment that has no end," the editorial said.

(Do they mean a milityar commitment like the one we have in Germany and Japan, where we still have troops after 60 years, or perhaps the one like Korea, where we still have troops after 50 years?)

I can understand how they'd be upset. After all, the NYT and many other media outlets, in conjunction with the Democrats in Congress, have worked very hard to create a failure in Iraq. They have a lot invested in failure there, and it must be frustrating not to have the president--and the troops--be on board with that failure.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

NYT Ad Discount: Giuliani Says 'Me Too!'

From The Hill:

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said Thursday that he is asking The New York Times for the “same heavily discounted rate they gave MoveOn.org” for his campaign to run an ad in Friday’s paper.

Giuliani, calling MoveOn.org’s controversial “General Betray Us” ad “abominable,” said his campaign is asking the paper for a comparable rate for an ad to run following President Bush’s speech on Iraq.

Think Guiliani will get it? Are you holding your breath?


Study: Voter ID Laws Don't Diminish Turnout


The National Center for Policy Analysis highlights a report from the Heritage Foundation which shows voter ID laws have insignificant if any negative effect on voter turnout.

Among the findings:

White survey respondents in photo identification states are 0.002 percent less likely to report voting than white respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.

African-American respondents in non-photo identification states are 0.012 percent less likely to report voting than African-American respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.

In general, respondents in photo identification and non-photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.

African-American respondents in photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to African-American respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.

Hispanic respondents in photo identification states are just as likely to report voting compared to Hispanic respondents from states that only required voters to state their name.

Voter ID laws are frequently criticized by liberals as intimidating minority voters. (If they want to talk about reasons to be intimidated, they should talk to the purple-thumbed Iraqis who had their first free election a couple of years ago, despite the very real threat of violence from terrorists).

In reality, I suspect they protest voter ID laws because liberals have been shown in the past to benefit greatly from the following voting blocks which are aided by inadequate voter identification: illegal aliens, felons, dead people and pets.


The Eternal Big Win

I doubt that anyone lives up to it all the time, but have you ever seen a Christian who doesn't seem get despondent over the future, one who isn't fretting most of the 1001 things-to-be-afraid-of that the media throws at us every day?

From todays' Men of Integrity devotional:

I spoke on a Sunday in the church of an old friend, a pastor and lifetime fan of the Chicago Bulls. It just so happened that on that Sunday the Bulls were competing in the NBA play-offs for a berth in the finals.

My friend was beside himself with excitement and high hopes. But because he is also very conscientious, instead of watching the scheduled game, he videotaped it. Then, when all the services were over, he was able to unwind by watching his "delayed version" of the game.

In the game's early stages, the Bulls were playing poorly and getting killed. Chicago was down something like 20 points in the first half. So I was amazed at the lack of anxiety expressed by my usually fanatical friend. He didn't get upset. He didn't hang his head. He didn't yell at the coach.

"What's with you?" I asked, puzzled, "Aren't you concerned about the outcome of this game?"

"Not a bit," he replied. "One of the fellows at church tonight watched the game this afternoon, and he told me that the Bulls pull it out in the fourth quarter."

God reveals eternal outcomes so that we can face life's greatest trials without overwhelming concern.

The Christian who isn't overly worried about the future is the one who's holding firmly to the eternal perspective. (I wish I could say this was me all the time).

We may not know every detail, but we know the final outcome will be the big win for God's team.


GOP Frontrunners Dis Values Voters

From OneNewsNow:

Joseph Farah, publisher and editor of WorldNetDaily, says the September 17 debate in Fort Lauderdale will differ from other events in that it will focus on pro-family issues that values voters care about. Farah states that apparently Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain do not really care about value voters because they are declining to participate.

"There seems to be a concerted effort to dodge the agenda of the pro-family movement," he says. "Some of the front-running candidates have less than a stellar record of voting and governing on those issues."

Farah admits he is disappointed that Fred Thompson has also declined to take part in the debate. "That is a real shame," he says, "because I know many people are hoping that he might be that alternative candidate [for] people who are dissatisfied with the choices of Romney and Giuliani and McCain."

By giving traditional Americans nothing to get excited about and little to support, perhaps these "frontrunners" are looking to duplicate Bob Dole's stunning victory over Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential election.


Anti-Americans 'Die In' on Saturday


I see from CNS News that the communist organization ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) (presumably to make the world safe for tyrants?) is planning an anti-American peace protest "unlike any other":

Organizers of an anti-war protest scheduled for Sept. 15 said Wednesday that the demonstration will be "unlike any other" as activists gather to demand an immediate end to the war.

The protest, organized by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), begins with a rally near the White House, continues with a march to the U.S. Capitol, and concludes with a "die-in" that organizers estimate will involve approximately 1,000 people lying down near the Capitol in a symbolic effort to represent dead U.S. soldiers and dead Iraqis.

Brian Becker, ANSWER's national coordinator, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that the demonstration "will be unlike any other anti-war protest in recent years because it will culminate in a massive civil disobedience," referring to the "die-in."

This is really nothing new. Mindless groups like this have been doing these idiotic "die ins" for years.

When I was a young Security Policeman at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha back in the mid-1980s, that stupid "Hands Across America" anti-nuke peace group and some other idiot groups converged on Offutt during the summer of 1986. They did one of these die-ins, and it was one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen grown human beings do.

But back to today. Disagreeing with the reasons for and need for the war in Iraq is one thing (however mistaken and myopic). But why do you think it is that 90% or more of this anti-war sentiment is being fueled by people and groups like this that hate America, American values and the American way of life?

Is that a coincidence?


500 Scientists Counter Anthropogenic Global Warming

From EarthTimes.org, a list has been compiled of more than 500 peer-reviewed scientists whose work refutes elements of the current anthropogenic global warming hysteria:

A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.

One day this fantasy will be recognized for what it is: a socialist attempt to hamstring capitalism and the West.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fred Thompson and Church


Yahoo News has an article on Fred Thompson's faith, with the title "Thompson Says He's No Churchgoer, Won't Tout Religion on Stump." (Is this a setup to sabotage him with Christian voters? Since there is no bias in the "mainstream" media, I doubt it, but who can be sure?)

The article indicates he attends church regularly at home in Tennessee, but perhaps not so regularly when he travels. It also mentions a reluctance on the part of Thompson to discuss faith.

Does this "disqualify" him with Christian voters? Not necessarily.

While I do agree with Founder John Jay that "...it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers," I don't think that "prefer[ence]" necessarily extends to the automatic exclusion of others. (That's not even to say that Thompson isn't a Christian, just that he may not be as open about his faith as many Christians would like).

Even if Thompson isn't as "regular" and verbose in his faith as some of us might like, he certainly seems to be positive toward Christian values and principles--an attitude that definitely goes in his favor, as some other candidates on both sides of the party aisle are not exactly friendly toward Christian values.

Then consider also that not everyone who says they are a Christian, or even acts in some ways like one, actually is one or is friendly toward Christian principles. Recall the Bible Bill Clinton toted out of church on his way to the limo which took him back to the White House where he disgraced himself and the Oval Office with an intern? Some people shamelessly use religion as a prop of respectability, so the informed voter shouldn't let themselves be fooled.

There may be other candidates who appear more comfortable in their faith and more willing to openly defend their religious values, but if it comes down to Fred Thompson versus a Left-wing secularist, the choice for me won't be difficult at all.


New York Times Subsidizes MoveOn.org


The pajama warriors strike another blow for truth and journalistic integrity.

Newsbusters exposes the find by blogger Confederate Yankee that the New York Times gave MoveOn.org a $102,000 discount on it's anti-war smear ad against General Petraeus.

Jake Tapper at ABC News reported that MoveOn.org paid $65,000 for its full page anti-war advocacy sliming of General David Petraeus. This figure raised the suspicions of attentive blogger Confederate Yankee whose intuition appears to be correct. (h/t Michelle Malkin) While looking up the current New York Times rate book he discovered that MoveOn.org received a $102,000 discount on the standard political advocacy rate that is advertised at $167,157.

I wonder if they give discounts like that to Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, or other conservative groups?

Nope, no media bias here.


China Planning to Cripple US Pacific Fleet

From WorldNetDaily:

Codenamed "Pearl Harbor II" by the Pentagon, the plan calls for a simultaneous attack on the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet in the Pacific and the disabling of communications at its headquarters at Pearl Harbor and with the Pentagon.

The plan has been uncovered by signals intelligence specialists at Britain's Government Communications Headquarters and at the equally ultra-secret National Security Agency base at Menwith Hill near Harrogate in the north of the country.

Meanwhile, our Congress that voted to approve normal trade relations with China continues to stand by while American purchasing dollars pays to strengthen this formidable threat.


Biofuels: Cure Worse Than the Disease

Maybe we need to rethink the ethanol thing?

From Reuters:

Biofuels, championed for reducing energy reliance, boosting farm revenues and helping fight climate change, may in fact hurt the environment and push up food prices, a study suggested on Tuesday.

In a report on the impact of biofuels, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said biofuels may "offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal".

"The current push to expand the use of biofuels is creating unsustainable tensions that will disrupt markets without generating significant environmental benefits," the OECD said.

"When acidification, fertilizer use, biodiversity loss and toxicity of agricultural pesticides are taken into account, the overall environmental impacts of ethanol and biodiesel can very easily exceed those of petrol and mineral diesel," it added.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

911 Victim, Survivor, Returns to the Pentagon


Army Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell was burned on more than 60% of his body, yet he survived, returning to the Pentagon today to share his experiences with a packed auditorium.

From the Department of Defense:

While lying on the floor after the explosion, waiting to die, “Instead of hearing ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” all I got was just more well done,” he joked.

But the humor was no cover for the emotion in his voice when he earlier described lying in the darkness and screaming to Jesus, saying “I’m coming to see you.”

Birdwell said the blast was not like those pictured in Hollywood movies, in which characters are able to see a ball of flame coming toward them and make a conscious decision to evade its blast.

“There was just that nanosecond between hearing the sound and then the concussion, the blast, the fire,” Birdwell said. “I was tossed around like rag doll. The next thing I know is I’m trying to get up. It’s black except for the ambient light of fires. I’m on fire. I got to my knees once.”

After the blast, unable to stand and unsure of which direction in the darkness to take, Birdwell said he collapsed to the floor and waited for “that feeling of the soul departing the body.”

“It didn’t come. I was like ‘Okay, Lord, I’m still waiting. I’m ready,” he said.

Instead, Birdwell said he started feeling cold water dripping on his face. It was coming from the sprinkler system and extinguished the fire on his body.

To what does he attribute his survival?
“An 80-ton, 757 came through at 530 miles an hour with 3,000 pounds of jet fuel and I’m still here and the plane isn’t,” Birdwell said. “You don’t survive that because the Army made you tough. You survive it because the Lord’s got something else in mind for you.”

HT to Free Republic.


Is There Hope for Us?


I read a lot of negative things over the weekend about the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack. In the blogosphere--and not even confined to the sector commonly recognized as "Left wing"--there seems to be so many people eager to forget it and put it behind them; some were open about the fact that they thought remembering that terrible day might cast President Bush in too favorable a light, and others seemed to loathe the patriotism, the love of country, the national unity fostered by remembrance of this event.

Apparently I am not alone in this observation, as Brent Bozell's column today addresses this attitude.

Over the weekend and yesterday, I experienced a certain grief for my country, that there could be so many people so eager to bury their heads in the sand, so many who cared so little about our country, so many people that, while so eager to commemorate a perceived failure of federal largess after Hurricane Katrina, only want to forget the worst attack on American soil since the War of 1812.

Then I read this story today from Breitbart.com, and gained some hope:

Six years after the September 11 attacks on the United States, most Americans view the plane hijackings that killed around 3,000 people as the most significant historical event of their lives, according to a poll released Monday.

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they see the attacks as the most significant historical even of their lifetimes, with more people on the east coast -- 90 percent -- choosing this view compared to 75 percent on the west coast.


The Rapid City Journal today was also asking for people to share how 911 affected them; the last time I checked, thankfully the vast majority of comments were ones you would expect from reasonable, patriotic Americans.

The saying goes that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. We lost nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans that day six years ago. Isn't paying that price one time high enough to wake us up?


At the Pentagon: Surviving September 11



By Bob Ellis
Dakota Voice

*Note: the following is an expanded version of my column in the Rapid City Journal today. It was difficult to do justice to the story in the space available there.


Do you remember where you were on 911?

Colonel Debra Shattuck, Commander of the 28th Maintenance Group at Ellsworth Air Force Base, recalls very clearly because she was serving at the Pentagon the day the terrorists attacked. (Full Article)


Monday, September 10, 2007

Parents Outsourcing Child Care

Some people have priorities that don't leave room for children, so they abort those children.

Other people can't bring themselves to kill their unborn children, but still have needs that are hindered by their children.

Now, there's a humane solution that lets the child live, yet allows the parents to be more fully self-actualized:


Report: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas


Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

My family and I visited the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site today. It's a Minuteman Missile Launch Control Facility (LCF) Delta-01 and Launch Facility (LF) Delta-09 that used to be part of the 44th Missile Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base at Rapid City until the wing was deactivated in the mid-90s. Now they've been preserved so that people can come and see a part of history from the Cold War.

The tour starts at Exit 131 off I-90 near Philip, South Dakota. You then caravan to Delta-01 where you get a guided tour of the above-ground facility where the living, eating, showering, etc. facilities were, and you get a tour underground from where the missiles would have been launched in the event of nuclear war.

After that, you caravan to Delta-09 and see the Minuteman missile still in it's silo (sans nuclear warhead, of course). There's a glass cover over the top of the silo, with the huge concrete blast door retracted, so you can look down at the dearmed missile. There's also an old Security Police Peacekeeper armored vehicle by the silo (they're tough, but not fun to ride in--I spent a little time in those things when I was in the service, though not in the missile field).

The first pic below is from the underground control facility at Delta-01. The plastic-covered key slot on the panel to the left of the phone is where one of two keys was inserted and turned in order launch the missiles (the other key slot was manned by another person about 12 feet away, so no one person could launch the missiles).



















This one is the glass cover over the missile silo at Delta-09.



















And this is looking down at the Minuteman missile at Delta-09



















You have to reserve a tour a long time in advance (ours was booked 2-3 months in advance), but it's worth it. You'll need about 2 hours, but it's very fun and informative. The two guys who led our tour used to work in the missile field, and one was one of the launch control officers who manned the keys underground, so they have a lot of stories to pass on.


'Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?' could be Washington, D.C.'s theme song

By Gordon Garnos

PREFACE: Labor Day weekend is the traditional kickoff for the presidential election coming up in just a little over a year. However, this tradition was busted a year or so ago by a number of candidates, hopefuls and other wannabes. Does all or any part of this have any effect on South Dakota? That depends. We could loose a U.S. Senator and gain a vice presidential candidate. South Dakota doesn't have to worry a lot about many of these presidential candidates rushing to our borders because we are a little short of voters. Nevertheless we need to keep focused on who may be our nation's next President. (Full Article)


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tyrants Never Learn

The following is from a comment left earlier this evening by an American hero, Sgt. Jim Baxter. I thought his service and sacrifice, not to mention the wisdom contained therein, demanded a full blog post of his comments:

-------------------------
Every September, I recall that it is more than half a century (62 years) since I landed at Nagasaki with the 2nd Marine Division in the original occupation of Japan following World War II. This time every year, I have watched and listened to the light-hearted "peaceniks" and their light- headed symbolism-without-substance of ringing bells, flying pigeons, floating candles, and sonorous chanting and I recall again that "Peace is not a cause - it is an effect."

In July, 1945, my fellow 8th RCT Marines [I was a BARman] and I returned to Saipan following the successful conclusion of the Battle of Okinawa. We were issued new equipment and replacements joined each outfit in preparation for our coming amphibious assault on the home islands of Japan.

B-29 bombing had leveled the major cities of Japan, including Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, Yokosuka, and Tokyo.

We were informed we would land three Marine divisions and six Army divisions, perhaps abreast, with large reserves following us in. It was estimated that it would cost half a million casualties to subdue the Japanese homeland.

In August, the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima but the Japanese government refused to surrender. Three days later a second A-bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The Imperial Japanese government finally surrendered.

Following the 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese admiral said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." Indeed, they had. Not surprisingly, the atomic bomb was produced by a free people functioning in a free environment. Not surprisingly because the creative process is a natural human choice-making process and inventiveness occurs most readily where choice-making opportunities abound. America!

Tamper with a giant, indeed! Tyrants, beware: Free men are nature's pit bulls of Liberty! The Japanese learned the hard way what tyrants of any generation should know: Never start a war with a free people - you never know what they may invent!

As a newly assigned member of a U.S. Marine intelligence section, I had a unique opportunity to visit many major cities of Japan, including Tokyo and Hiroshima, within weeks of their destruction. For a full year I observed the beaches, weapons, and troops we would have assaulted had the A-bombs not been dropped. Yes, it would have been very destructive for all, but especially for the people of Japan.

When we landed in Japan, for what came to be the finest and most humane occupation of a defeated enemy in recorded history, it was with great appreciation, thanksgiving, and praise for the atomic bomb team, including the aircrew of the Enola Gay. A half million American homes had been spared the Gold Star flag, including, I'm sure, my own.

Whenever I hear the apologists expressing guilt and shame for A-bombing and ending the war Japan had started (they ignore the cause-effect relation between Pearl Harbor and Nagasaki), I have noted that neither the effete critics nor the puff-adder politicians are among us in the assault landing-craft or the stinking rice paddies of their suggested alternative, "conventional" warfare. Stammering reluctance is obvious and continuous, but they do love to pontificate about the Rights that others, and the Bomb, have bought and preserved for them.

The vanities of ignorance and camouflaged cowardice abound as license for the assertion of virtuous "rights" purchased by the blood of others - those others who have borne the burden and physical expense of Rights whining apologists so casually and self-righteously claim.

At best, these fakers manifest a profound and cryptic ignorance of causal relations, myopic perception, and dull I.Q. At worst, there is a word and description in The Constitution defining those who love the enemy more than they love their own countrymen and their own posterity. Every Yankee Doodle Dandy knows what that word is.

In 1945, America was the only nation in the world with the Bomb and it behaved responsibly and respectfully. It remained so until two among us betrayed it to the Kremlin. Still, this American weapon system has been the prime deterrent to earth's latest model world- tyranny: Seventy years of Soviet collectivist definition, coercion, and domination of individual human beings.

The message is this: Trust Freedom. Remember, tyrants never learn. The restriction of Freedom is the limitation of human choice, and choice is the fulcrum-point of the creative process in human affairs. As earth's choicemaker, it is our human identity on nature's beautiful blue planet and the natural premise of man's free institutions, environments, and respectful relations with one another. Made in the image of our Creator, free men choose, create, and progress - or die.

Free men should not fear the moon-god-crowd oppressor nor choose any of his ways. Recall with a confident Job and a victorious David, "Know ye not that you are in league with the stones of the field?"

Semper Fidelis
Jim Baxter
Sgt. USMC
WW II and Korean War

Job 5:23 Proverbs 3:31 I Samuel 17:40
See: http://www.choicemaker.net/


If I Die Before You Wake


This was sent to me from a friend. I'm told it was done by one of our heroes in Iraq.

Watch it...take a good, long look. These are our soldiers who are being undermined by many of their leaders and fellow citizens here at home. These are the people being endangered by the politicization and self-loathing of some in America.

These are the humble heroes fighting and sacrificing for us. These are the average Americans who stepped up to defend us at home here in America, and our allies in Iraq, from some of the most evil people on earth.

No one wants peace more than the warrior, but no one knows better than the warrior that there are some things worth fighting for...and sometimes dying for.

It's called "If I Die Before You Wake."


Attack of the Democrat Surrogates


From The Politico, on Leftist attack groups such as MoveOn.org:

These groups have no problem going after Petraeus, as evidenced by heavy criticism of him by Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (“It is clear that Americans cannot trust any assessments that come out of this White House, or Gen. Petraeus when it comes to the war in Iraq”) and the Center for American Progress, among others. But it is a tactic that Democratic lawmakers themselves want to avoid.

“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,” noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. “The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”

Patriotic Americans should thank God we didn't have such treasonous, self-loathers in significant numbers during World War II. If we had, I'm afraid we'd all be eating sour kraut or sushi.

HT to the Weekly Standard blog.


We Hate the USA


I don't know how long the link will stay active, but if you haven't heard Rush Limbaugh's new parody song, click here to hear "We Hate the USA."

Conservatives and Christians have had their Lee Greenwood song "God Bless the USA" to express their passion concerning America; now liberals one of their own in "We Hate the USA."

Fair is fair.

P.S. While you're on Rush's site, you can hear an ad for Chuch Schumer's book "The Complete Loser's Guide to American History." I believe most liberals have already read it cover to cover many times, but if you don't have your own copy, now's your chance!


Hillary, Obama Running for President of Mexico


From Fox News:

Democratic presidential candidates were meeting Sunday night for the first debate broadcast entirely in Spanish, the clearest sign yet of the growing influence of Hispanic voters.

Are these Democrats running for president of Mexico, or some other South American country? It would certainly be good news for us Americans, if they are.


TV Family Hour Unfit for Children...or Anyone


From the Christian Post:

Once every 3.5 minutes of non-commercial airtime, the first hour of prime time is "assaulted" by violence, profanity and sexual content, said the Parents Television Council (PTC) in their study. During the 2006-2007 study period, almost 90 percent of the 208 television shows reviewed contained objectionable content.

Go read the whole article for specifics. There aren't many things I watch on prime-time TV anymore...and fewer still I'll let the kids be exposed to.

Remember the frog in the boiling pot analogy? I recall when I lived overseas for three years without coming back to the States in the late 1980s. When I got back here, I was struck by all the foul language and innuendo on prime-time TV. A lot more was being said and done than when I left in 1987.

No wonder our children are so poorly behaved, and no wonder they're so confused about life.


 
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