Diary and Commentary

Page 9

 

MAY 25

 

Call Me Nostradamus

 

Finally. 

 

The US will commence with the destruction of the Iranian regime:

 

The Bush administration has cut off contact with Iran, and Pentagon officials are pushing for 

action they believe could destabilize the government of the Islamic republic.

 

What tipped the scales toward outright US intervention in Iran was the latest bombing in Saudi Arabia. Intelligence shows that it was financed by the Iranians. Iran is certainly no stranger to the export of violence, having served as a focus of international terror since 1979---more so than Iraq ever did. Suicide bombings, the murder of diplomats, blasting airliners out of the sky, financing of Hezbollah in Lebanon, bombing Jewish cultural centers and embassies, sending murder squads into Iraq: this grisly regime has begged destruction for decades. It has nothing to offer its citizens or the world except murder, terror and tyranny.

 

It will not take much to end this government, as the theocracy in Iran is wildly unpopular. Some Iranians expressed hope that the US military would turn right after Baghdad and occupy Tehran. 

 

Iraq, Iran---and next will come Syria: The Islamic terror regimes are all coming to their end.

 

 

MAY 29

 

The latest Gallup poll has an intriguing insight into the signs of our times. 

 

Those expressing a great deal or a lot of confidence in Congress declined, to 29 percent from 40.

Americans who expressed a great deal or a lot of confidence in the military rose, to 79 percent from 58 in 1975.

 

The Harvard Institute of Politics backs this up:

 

A poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics, based on interviews with 1,200 college undergraduates last month, 

found that 75 percent said they trusted the military "to do the right thing" either "all of the time" or "most of the time."

 

The press does not fare well:

 

Public confidence in the media, already low, continues to slip. Only 36%, among the lowest in years, 

believe news organizations get the facts straight, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows.

 

Translation: Americans trust their military. This must drive leftists loony---that is, more loony than normal (if 'normal' they be.) And the hallowed organs of leftism---the press and Congress---have suffered a great decline. 

 

Alas! What is a poor leftist to do? Well, he can always become a college professor or high school teacher.

 

 

 

MAY 30

 

MAY 31

Hell and the Congo

I do not like the word 'hopeless.' But I can think of no other to describe Africa. News from that unhappy land is of three types: bad, worse and terrifying. What does one say to this?

From her hiding place in the woods outside the Congolese town of Bunia, 

Ruta Bonabingi watched as militiamen roasted and then ate the severed arms of her dying daughters.

 It was the horrifying finale to 48 hours of terror for Ruta and her family.

 

"The Lendu were going about with machetes, chopping off one arm from the shoulder and then the other. 

Some people were screaming but most were silent. Then I saw them. Their arms had already been cut off."

 

The militiamen calmly cooked the flesh over an open fire before throwing their victims, some of whom were still alive, 

into the flames. "They were both moving, although very weakly," Ruta said. 

 

Basara Mateso, a local tribesman, managed to escape the slaughter. But some of his children were not so lucky:

 

As he fled, he became separated from two of his seven children. When he ventured back a few hours later 

he found the bodies of both his teenage daughters, hacked to death with machetes. "Ngathi was cut across the chest," 

he said. "Mami's head was missing. Both of them were without their hearts and their livers. 

Their bellies had been cut open."

 

Missionaries, Catholic priests and foreign aid workers have all confirmed that some Lendu militiamen

 have been eating their victims' hearts and livers, apparently in the 

superstitious belief that it would make them invincible.

 

To all optimists and idealists and humanitarians and do-gooders and multilateralists and liberals: Got any ideas?

 

Fifty years ago Everest was summitted by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Since then more than 1000 have climbed it. Right now there are 30 teams making the attempt. Cost of each ascent? Between $65,000 and $70,000. Everest is becoming---has become---a commercial enterprise where bored professionals with time and cash on their hands can hire a company to carry them---sometimes literally---to the top of the world.

Has Everest has been diminished by all this? Perhaps. But what was once the province of only a handful of mountaineers has become accessible to almost all. A rarefied aristocracy of climbers has become a democracy.

Some see the commercialization of Everest as a sort of parable of our modern world:

Very little truly remote wilderness is left in the world.

 The big prizes have been snagged, tagged and bagged. 

The deserts have been watered, the jungles ''roaded,'' the oceans plumbed. 

The few unclimbed peaks and unvisited woodlands that remain are evaporating quickly.

 

Little of this is true---which is a good thing. The careers of Gene Savoy and Vincent Lee are instructive. There is yet a great deal of adventure and exploration to be had. Avoid the 'adventure tour' companies. Get in shape. Invest in top gear. Save your money. Do some research. Quit your job. Fly to Peru. There are yet lost cities to be discovered and forgotten civilizations to be brought into the light.

 

 

Bye.

JUNE 2

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Some years ago I was tending bar on a day bright and clear. Another bartender of my acquaintance came in and ordered a drink. She was visibly disturbed, shaking so much she could not light her cigarette. I lit it for her and asked her what was up. She said she had been walking by the public library. There had been a man outside handing out photos which showed the results of an abortion. He gave her some, she took a look and then headed straight for my bar. I asked to see the photos. They were disturbing indeed. I asked her if she supported abortion. She said that of course she did. (This was in Portland, Oregon.) 

I write as the House of Representatives has scheduled a vote on a bill banning an especially grisly form of abortion called a partial birth abortion (also known as a "late-term abortion".) What exactly would be banned? I have made a separate page here so that those who wish to see what their tax dollars pay for can do so. Why a separate page? Because the photos are very disturbing.

The ancients were not so squeamish as we. They called this sort of thing infanticide. Here is the modern procedure:

What must it be like to assist in such a procedure? One nurse tells her story:

In September, 1993, Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse with thirteen years or experience, 

was assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion clinic. Since Nurse Shafer considered herself "very pro-choice," 

she didn't think this assignment would be a problem. She was wrong. This is what Nurse Shafer saw:

"I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who

 was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. 

The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving.

 His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and 

inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, 

like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. 

Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out.

 Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy.

 It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen."

 

Those who assist and perform such procedures have been congratulated:

 

To:           Abortion Providers
From:       Patricia Ireland, President
Subject:    National Day of  Appreciation for Abortion Providers

Date:        March 10, 1999

 

On behalf of the National Organization for Women, I want to extend our most sincere appreciation for 

your work. Without your bravery and commitment to reproductive rights, women across the country

 would not have access to exercise our constitutional right.

 

 

Is it 'brave' to take a pair of scissors and shove them into the back of a baby's head?

 

What sort of 'commitment' is shown when one can stick a high-powered suction tube into a baby's head and suck the brains out?

 

Like that bartender I once knew, I think I need a drink.

 

 

JUNE 3

 

Like the French Bourbons before him, Chirac has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. At a recent meeting of the Group of Eight nations in France

 

Chirac however could not resist again taking aim at the US-led invasion, repeating his view that it was illegal.

"I didn't approve of it and I still don't approve of it," he said. 

"One can possibly make war alone, but one cannot make peace alone."

 

So let us get this straight: The Iraqi people have no legal right to any freedom unless granted by Chirac and the UN? The Iraqis thus should have silently suffered tyranny and murder and rape and torture and poverty until and unless Chirac and his minions deemed them worthy of salvation?

 

This is what happens when state-worship supplants God-worship. The Christian world view is that there are natural rights that are inalienable to every man. They are granted by God, not the state, and thus cannot be taken away or denied. This is the view put forth most insistently by the Declaration of Independence. It justifies in the eyes of God resistance to any dictatorship that attempts to alienate these rights from its citizens. And likewise the US Constitution and Bill of Rights: the powers of the people---including the right to bear arms---come from God and not from the state. It is the people who grant rights to the state; thus the state is limited in size and authority and its ability to work mischief. 

 

This is also why abortion is so hateful to a Christian. It denies a child his right to life, a right granted by God. No state can thus  deny it. Recall Jeremiah1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you." There is no moral difference between a state sanctioning an abortion and a state torturing a man to death. Any attempt to find wiggle room between them is mere sophistry.

 

Few states in history have based their legitimacy upon Natural Rights. Most have been little more than grimy and grubby tyrannies. Their citizenry lived and died in anonymous darkness at the behest of the state. It was thus in Saddam's Iraq. But no more. And no thanks to Mr. Chirac and the UN.

 

 

JUNE 20

 

Random Thoughts

 

Ah! I have returned from the US of A and can now prepare myself for the 'year of living dangerously.' The magnitude of what I have in mind is beginning to concentrate my mind wonderfully. The small matter of an entire year unemployed and with no job awaiting me at the end of it should bother me, but it does not. There are more pressing and immediate things at hand, such as simply surviving for 200-odd days in a tent in some jungle or upon some Andean ridge. Still, this will be more fun (at least for now) than grading papers and attending faculty meetings.

********

When I was a lad in my teens I lived in Portland, Oregon. Even then California was noted for its---how does one say it?---outlandish lifestyles. Oregonians saw themselves as untouched by any taint of Californian uncleanliness and living in some forested idyll. A local movement sprang up: "Don't Californicate Oregon!" Cars with California license plates were viewed with suspicion, and visitors from California were welcomed with a sign advising them not to stay long.

 

Well.

 

All that ailed California 35 years ago has now infected Oregon. (Actually the moral rot started some time ago.) Portland has all the signs of decay that San Francisco has, just in abbreviated form. Aggressive, alcoholic, drug-addicted and urine-stained homeless; public fountains used as lavatories; parades of homosexuals working their obscenities in broad daylight; gaggles of teens festooned with tattoos and piercings; used needles (and other used devices) littering streets and byways; parks rendered unsafe when the sun goes down: all are present in Portland. Those Californians who migrated northward years ago to escape the madness simply brought their illness with them; they were the illness.

 

********

Ten years ago I was married, studying and tending bar in Portland. My accumulated worth was zero. Today I am single, unemployed and beginning one year of travel. My accumulated worth is $100,000. Go figure.

 

********

Mr. Bush has made it plain that Iran will not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. He also has made it plain that North Korea will not be allowed to keep the ones she has. How does Mr. Bush intend to keep these promises? Neither nation has shown any inclination to voluntarily abandon its nuclear dreams. US forces as currently deployed cannot at the same time make war upon North Korea and Iran and stabilize Iraq. The US simply has not enough troops for all this. What to do? Is there anyone who wishes to raise children in a world where the likes of Iran and North Korea have intercontinental nuclear-armed ballistic missiles?

 

Is it time to 'think the unthinkable'?

********

The US military under George Bush I had 18 divisions. Clinton cut these to 10---around 800,000 personnel were dropped all told. There are wars looming in North Korea, Iran and Syria. Where will the troops come from?

 

Today's Army consists of 10 divisions. Half of those are committed to Iraq. 

More forces serve in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Korea and, in smaller numbers, in dozens of other countries. 

The Army's strategic reserve here at home is just about large enough to execute

 a Saturday night raid on a mid-size whorehouse.

 

The US has not the military to act as a new Rome---not yet anyway.

 

********

So we have apparently not found WMDs in Iraq. So what? The UN is on record for 13 years claiming their existence and passing resolutions against them. Kurds and Iranians and Iraqi Shiites have been victims of them. Saddam has boasted of his WMD capabilities and threatened to use them. So where are they?

 

But where is Saddam? Neither he nor his hellish sons have been found. Does this mean that they never existed? The fate of Hitler was unknown until 1948. This did not stop the US from declaring victory in 1945.

 

 

 Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

 

With Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" still ringing in their ears and the clatter of helicopters overhead, 

soldiers rammed vehicles into metal gates and hundreds of troops raided houses in the western city of Ramadi 

after sunrise as part of a drive to quell a spate of attacks on U.S. forces.

 

Charlie don't surf, but does Abdul? How about Omar? And where is Colonel Kilgore? 

 

You gotta love post-modernist warfare, even more than you love the smell of napalm in the morning.

 

JUNE 22

On the fifth day in December of 2002 Staff Sergeant Brian Prosser and two comrades were killed in action fighting in Afghanistan. Brian's father waited a long time to write a letter to President Bush, but in May of this year he finally did. Here is part of it.

***************

May 2, 2003

Dear President Bush

Iíve been wanting to do this since the fifth day of December, two thousand one. Thatís the day, on a hill in Afghanistan, my son and two fellow soldiers gave their all to the cause of freedom and their country, I have never spent one second thinking they died in vain, but yesterday watching you and the way you conducted yourself on the ship, I knew it was time to write. I guess the odds of this letter getting to you are about the same as winning the lottery, but Iím going to chance it anyway, because even if you donít ever see it, I will feel better for writing it...

After my son died, I found myself doing things I never would have considered before (this letter is one). Along with this came some long hours of wondering and thought. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that whatís been missing in our country is faith: And its demise came out of the Viet Nam "experience"...

When I say faith; Iím not talking about only spiritual Faith. I mean faith in your parents, faith in your teachers, faith in the police, etcetera, etcetera. Whatís the first thing they teach you in the military? "Have faith in your buddy", " faith in your weapon", " faith in your commanders"...

The betrayal of our troops and the rest of us created a whole new species of Americans prone to suspicion and distrust...toward anything...and itís lasted thirty years, through multiple Presidents...

I can tell you sir, based on the literally hundreds of people that have connected with me through the mail, or talking, or the internet, our country is getting well...and you are the main reason. For the first time in many years we have a leader that says what he means and means what he says...and then does it! That really isnít an overwhelming assignment, but for some, itís insurmountable...

By example, you are showing not only Americans, but the world in general, "Proud to be an American" is not an idle statement. As once it was, it is again becoming a lofty goal for people to aspire to...young and old...

Iím glad Iíve lived long enough to be a witness to this transition...

I have a piece of work on a wall in my home, written by somebody much smarter than I am, entitled "The Strength of a Man". Among other things, it says: "The strength of a man is not how much he can lift, it is the burden he can carry".

You show the effects of carrying the load necessary in protecting, not only your own people but the others in need, throughout the world. But more importantly, you show, also, the grit to get it done.

In closing, Iíll share this: While you would not be considered a large man physically, the shadow you cast is as big as any in history...big enough to cover the World. Iím proud that you are representing me and the land that I love.

Respectfully,

Brian Prosser

***************

You are not looking for commentary, are you?

JUNE 23

 

 

The future---such as it is---of Africa:

 

 

This child lives in the Congo. Here is a description of what his childhood and that of his fellows is like:

 

The war has shuttered their schools, left them lame and hungry, killed their parents before their eyes. 

It has turned children into merciless killers and haunted them with memories of mayhem unfitting for the most hard-bitten grown-ups. Girls have been raped, toddlers have been butchered, babies left crying among dead bodies.

 

 

Any guess as to what type of society such children will make when they grow up?

 

 

All the mayhem in the Congo can drive a fellow to, well, eat. President Chirac certainly thinks so:

 

Mr Chirac and his wife managed to spend over euro2.1m on groceries from 1987-95, 

during his long spell as mayor of Paris before he became head of state.

 

Which works out to $177 a day.

 

 

Another sign that Iraq is becoming a normal country:

 

Mohammed Majed's makeshift bar is a trash-strewn parking lot beneath a highway overpass somewhere

 in the Baghdad sprawl. It's got half a dozen plastic tables and chairs, a barbecue grill, a cooler filled with 

cans of beer and a boombox pumping out Arab pop tunes. It has plenty of cheap whiskey and gin. It has the open air.
    It isn't much but, with the teetotaling Saddam Hussein and his regime no longer in charge, 

Mr. Majed's establishment is hopping by mid-evening, packed with tipsy customers stopping off for a nightcap.
    "Everyone expresses themselves their own way," said Mr. Majed, a skinny 25-year-old with an easy laugh.

 "Some write graffiti. Some start a newspaper. We like to drink."

 

Saddam was a teetotaler? So was Hitler; so was Caesar. Actually, Islam forbids alcohol at any rate, though its understanding of it is, well, a bit odd:

 

A woman beckons a salesman to a house. She offers him a choice ó either rape her, 

kill his own son or drink alcohol. The man replies that since he's a Muslim and can't kill or rape, 

he'll drink the alcohol. He winds up getting drunk, raping the woman and killing his own son.
    "A man who drinks can't tell the difference between his wife and his sister," said the mullah.

 

No doubt about it, that mullah should not drink.

 

Oh...and it was certainly nice of that mullah to remind us that Islam forbids killing. But he should call up ex-Iranian president Rafsanjani. He seems a bit confused on the subject:

 

Rafsanjani said last year that on the day the Muslim world gets nuclear weapons the Israeli question

 will be settled forever ''since a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, 

while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.''

 

So, a show of hands please: How many of you believe that Israel will allow Iran to get nuclear weapons?

 

Stay tuned...

 

 

New Zealand Gets Serious

 

With the disaster in the Congo, overeating in France, imbibing in Iraq and Iranian nuclear mischief, it is good to see that at least one nation has the proper perspective on things. New Zealand is going to tax, um, 'animal gasses.'

 

New Zealand farmers are making a stink about government proposals that they pay 

a levy on the flatulence released by their livestock.

 

The center-left government, which supports the Kyoto Protocol, wants to use the money raised

 - about $4.9 million a year - to fund research into ways of minimizing the impact that the country's

 cattle and sheep population allegedly is having on the planet's climate.

 

Hmm...I wonder how the Kiwis will measure this?

 

The human population of New Zealand is 4 million, while the bovine is 55 million. Clearly, this proposed tax represents a tyranny of the minority.

 

 

JUNE 24

 

Call Me Nostradamus

 

A Washington Post poll taken yesterday shows that 56 percent of Americans support military intervention against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. Mr. Bush has prepared the ground well. The mullahs who rule Iran most certainly understand what this means. In the midst of massive demonstrations, economic collapse, foreign policy failure and enemy legions on every frontier, their time is coming to an end. The greatest terror state in the world is poised to fall. Few will mourn.

 

Americans held hostage in Iran from 1979-1980.

Message to mullahs: We remember.

 

*********

 

And what about Syria and the flat-headed killer who rules there? A few days ago US forces were chasing a convoy of pricy automobiles trying to flee from Baghdad to Syria. Intel believed that Saddam and his sons were in the convoy. As it neared the Syrian border, some Syrian military attempted to help the Iraqi fugitives escape. A firefight ensued with US Special Forces. Several Syrians were shot, others taken prisoner, the convoy was destroyed and DNA samples were collected.

 

Here is the geo-political situation that now presents itself to Bashir Assad: His terror-state is surrounded by enemies---Israel to the south, Turkey to the north, US-occupied Iraq to the east and a carrier battle group off his coast; his colony Lebanon grows more restless and difficult daily; his minions in Hamas and Hezbollah are being systematically picked off by Israel; his soldiers sent to Iraq to murder US forces are being shot to death by their enemies; US troops cross his border with impunity to engage his own army; the Israeli Defense Force peers from Gaza all the way to Damascus; his oil pipeline from Iraq has been destroyed; his economy is suffering a colossal melt-down. 

 

Quite a screw up, Bashir!

 

 

JUNE 29

 

This is my last day here. I leave tomorrow for parts yonder, far yonder. I am neither elated nor miserable. Perhaps 'bittersweet' would describe thoughts and feelings now. This past year has been one of death and resurrection, of finality and hope, of bright lights and dark passages. I can expect nothing less for this coming year, one of truly living dangerously.

 

I look forward to it with a wild trepidation.

 

 

I will be fifty years old on July 16. One is supposed to be wise at that age, or at least be less of an idiot. So, some thoughts on 'Life, the Universe and Everything':

 

Drink wine now and again. Jesus did.

 

Show kindness to all children. Jesus did.

 

Forgive your enemies. Jesus did.

 

Never trust the person who looks back at you in the mirror. He is your worst enemy.

 

God made the world not for Himself, but for you. Go see it.

 

Man makes cities. God makes mountains. And jungles. And forests.

 

Go to a Church or Mosque or Temple or Synagogue as often as you can.

 

The world does not care about your problems.

 

Never refuse a favor.

 

Break the habit of using foul language.

 

You cannot love too much. You can, however, love improperly.

 

The world hated Christ. It will hate His followers.

 

Gold is rare and costly. So is Honor. So is Chastity.

 

Give away as much of yourself as you can.

 

You know no Love until you empty yourself.

 

The world knows its own, and Christ knows His own. No one belongs to both Christ and the world.

 

True freedom is internal.

 

Life is priceless. Death does not end it.

 

What comes out of a man is vastly more important than what goes into him.

 

If you have not read the Bible, how can you possibly comment on Christianity?

 

When most people say  'God is love' what they really mean is 'Love is God.'

 

Jesus died on the Cross. The Christian must join Him there.

 

You know no bondage until you are a slave to sin. You know no freedom until those bonds are broken.

 

There is never a reason for rudeness or unkindness or cruelty.

 

Spend time alone.

 

Both Good and Evil echo for years.

 

The higher you climb, the fewer the people but the clearer the view.

 

There is nothing remotely as joyful as being clean on the inside.

 

Call your mother more often. Right now if you can.

 

Reward the Spirit, but punish the Flesh.

 

Avoid those who are morally unclean, for they pollute all they touch.

 

Learn how to be silent.

 

 

First Nuke the Whales...

 

How many species of whale are there? There are 75 of them. How many are endangered? Five species are endangered. How many cetaceans still exist? There are millions of these leviathans inhabiting the oceans of the world. What are the greatest killers of whales? Killer whales kill far more of their brethren of the deep than does man. How much of this does Greenpeace tell you? Greenpeace mentions none of this.

 

Ever hear of Eugene Lapointe? You can see his CV here. Here is a sampling of his views on this subject:

 

 Lapointe says that ďGreenpeace is a typical example of a multi-million dollar business concern that is 

entirely non-productive. It creates no wealth for society, but instead plays upon the gullibility of 

well-meaning individuals, insidiously undermining the technological basis that create wealth in the first place.Ē 

 

There is more. He writes that the annual seafood catch of commercial fisheries is 90,000,000 tons. But whales consume between three and six times this amount. So to increase the world's declining fish stocks as we should kill more whales. 

 

And eat them.

 

 

...then Nuke the Vegetarians

 

Stop the presses! The rain forest (what most people call 'the jungle') is imperiled! Why those damn loggers and gold prospectors and capitalists and farmers!

 

Except it is not they who are digging up the abode of Tarzan, but the eating habits of vegetarians which demand soy in place of meat. It seems that  environmental chic is becoming more and more identified with vegetarianism. These types are consuming vast quantities of soy, leading suppliers of the plant to look around for increased acreage. (See Economics 101.) This is found in Amazonia, where deforestation has increased along with the increase in soy consumption:

 

It's clear that the soy boom is an important element of this in the southern Amazon 

and if ways are not found to minimize the impact of the inevitable spread of soy farming, 

it is difficult to see these figures [deforestation] falling in coming years.

 

Of course there is a profit motive involved, as there is in anything of this world.

 

Brazil is expected to overtake U.S. soy production in a few years, making it the world's 

No. 1 producer of a crop that offers large profits for farmers and gives a sizable boost to Brazil's trade accounts.

 

So you want to save the rain forest and fish? Then eat whales and avoid tofu.

   

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