Diary and Commentary
Not Yet Ready For Antigua
I am still in Pana. Life is cheap and easy here---too much of both I think. The Internet here allows me access to my web page, and so I have been abusing this privilege as often as possible. I have indexed all of my scribblings since this page began in April of last year. They can be found on the ESSAYS page. I should be in Antigua tomorrow, for I cannot delay much longer. Honduras is calling.
Call Me Nostradamus
The ironies abound. In the aftermath of the horrendous earthquake in Bam Iranians are displaying increasing signs of hatred toward their government and love---yep, that`s the right word---for Americans. For example, though the Iranians were decidedly cool toward the European aid workers, as soon as the Yanks arrived they shouted "Amrikaayee...Khosh Amadee!" which means, "America, you are welcome"! The Americans were given flowers and were begged to stay as long as they possibly could.
When two Iranian leaders arrived, they stayed for less than one hour.
Though they were surrounded by "walls" of bodyguards, they could not be shielded from harangues and insults
hurled at them. "It is your fault this happened to us," one woman cried. "You knew that this could happen
and you liars never warned us." The hatred for the regime reached a fever pitch as it became clear that, in fact,
all the information about the seismic activities and dangers of the region had been made available
to the clerics for years, and they had simply ignored it.
This from the people whose government has referred to the US for more than two decades as "the Great Satan". The Iranian people are not stupid, and they know fully well which nation in the world stands for freedom and dignity. In this they are wiser than an entire legion of Western elite intellectuals---the Chomskys, the Zinns, the Mailers, ad nauseum---who have made a career out of attacking the US. These types hate America, and in their arrogant vanity they believe that all people should as well---Iranians, Iraqis, everyone.
And speaking of hatred, the Jew-hatred of the mullahs is legendary. But again the Iranian people do not buy into this nonsense.
A cab driver in Tehran was heard saying: "What nerve these mullahs have to turn away aid offered
by the Israelis...those poor people over there are constantly dealing with those suicide bombers,
who are probably financed by the clerics of the Islamic republic of Iran, and yet they
are kind enough to offer us their aid and these audacious zealots over here threaten to attack them!"
Would that the Palestinians thought likewise!
The mullahs are like all the other grubby tyrants in the world, ignorant of how their own people feel. These murderers will go the way of Saddam.
In the words of the prophet Nahum (3:18-19), who was speaking of another tyrant long ago not far from where today the mullahs rule:
Your shepherds are asleep, O king of Assyria; your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them.
There is no assuaging your hurt, your wound is grievous.
All who hear the news of you clap their hands over you.
upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?
Iran delenda est.
The Bearded Ones
What is it with those mass murdering tyrants and their beards?
Saddam, Castro, Che, those mullahs in Iran, Osama himself,
the Taliban, Arafat...the list is endless!
At least that pot-bellied North Korean fellow is clean shaven.
The Law of Unintended Consequences
There is something called "the Roe Effect." It takes its name after that infamous 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade that made abortion on demand legal. Well...when pro-abortion types exercise this right, this means that there will be fewer pro-abortion kids growing up in pro-abortion homes. Those conservative religious types would never have an abortion, and they also have more kids. The result is what we see today: children more conservative than before, and definitely more anti-abortion. The pro-abortion crowd is aborting itself into oblivion---clearly another case of God turning evil to good.
The Roe Effect has other consequences as well. Anti-abortion homes tend also to vote conservatively---on taxes, the military, government spending---and pass on these voting patterns to their swarms of children. Now, for whom will these hordes vote in 2004? in 2008? in 2012? Every year increases their number and lessens the number of their liberal bretheren. It looks like a conservative era is on its way---another sign of a second Great Awakening.
As this conservative mob moves through American society---through the courts, the universities and government---it will do nothing less than overthrow every vestige and redoubt of liberalism except perhaps in San Francisco and the Peoples´ Republic of Vermont. Look to see the following: Roe v. Wade overthrown, homosexuality denied any special legal status, a return to religion in the public square---including the schools---judges ruling more and more on a strict-constructionist basis, and so on.
Match all of this with the fact that America, unlike sterile and senile old Europe, has maintained a high birth rate. Demographers predict that very soon the US will have a population of 300 million and 350 million by 2020. And America`s population will average around 35 years old or so. The implications for the world are nothing short of astounding. Imagine an America 350 million strong with a young and conservative population and an economy twice as large as today`s. Imagine the effect on US foreign policy and on the size and power of the US military.
One study by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington,
predicts that the median age in the United States in 2050 will be 35.4, only a very slight increase
from what it is now. In Europe, by contrast, it is expected to rise to 52.3 from 37.7.
The likely meaning of this "stunning difference," as the British weekly The Economist called
the growing demographic disparity between Europe and the United States, is that American power
— economic and military — will continue to grow relative to Europe's, which will also decline
in comparison with other parts of the world like China, India and Latin America.
If you think the world is frightened now of US behavior, just wait a few years. In the late 1940s Walter Lippman wrote of an `American Century,´ but a second one is on the way.
Overheard on a street in Panajachel: "I hate Bush! Everybody hates him!" These words were spoken by an American woman who was conve rsing with two other foreigners. But if everybody hated Bush, how did he get elected? And how does he maintain his high approval ratings? I remember similar sentiments about Nixon and Reagan---everybody hated them too. Yet both were re-elected in landslides. The Bush haters are like the Reagan and Nixon haters, they move in rareified circles where no one would think of voting Republican or joining the military or attending any sort of relgious service. (OK, maybe a Unitarian one.) When Bush is re-elcted by a landlside, they will still hate him of course---and they will still be clueless why Americans like Bush.
There has been a shift in where Americans choose to live, from the East and the North to the South and the West. This means that if Bush wins only those states he won in 2000 he will be re-elected handily. Bush can lose Pennsylvania, California and New York, and it still will not matter. But he probably will win both California and Pennsylvania. And the Republicans are on the verge of winning at least 15 percent of the black vote. If they do, the Demcrats simply will have no chance for victory. What do the Democrats plan on doing? What is their game plan for victory? Merely repeating the "I hate Bush" stuff will not work outside of a small minority. And why do the Democrats seem to hate Bush more than Saddam? And why do they prefer France and her policies to those of their own country? The Democrats are driving over a cliff. Bon voyage.
With miltary victories and a rising economy to his credit, and with shifting US demographics Bush seems unbeatable. But he is doing more. With his expansion of government benefits to seniors, his outreach to illegal immigrants and blacks, his education programs, Bush is seizing what once were standard Democrat positions and making them his own, that is, Republican. Bush is after nothing less than the destruction of the Democrat Party.
Another reason why the Democrats will lose:
Democratic front-runner Howard Dean said Wednesday that his decision as governor to sign
the bill legalizing civil unions for gays in Vermont was influenced by his Christian views...:
"From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin,
he would not have created gay people."
Imagine how this message---to say nothing of Dean´s bizarre theological musings on God 'creating sinners'---will carry in the South, in the West and among conservative religious types. I need to ask, to exactly what voting sector is Dean trying to appeal?
Not to Christians to be sure. Here is Dean on Jesus:
Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised,
people who were left behind. He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything.
He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2,000 years,
which is pretty inspiring when you think about it.
Dean makes Jesus out to be some sort of liberal Democrat touchy-feely social worker type. Not a word about Jesus being the Son of God, of being God, of having died for the sins of the world.
And another reason why Europe is dying while America is resurgent:
Year-end polls reveal that the religious faith of Americans, traditionally intense, has strengthened
since the late 1980s. More than eight in 10 Americans today affirm that "prayer is an
important part of their daily lives." Even more -- 87 percent -- insist that they never doubt
the existence of God. Eighty-two percent of Americans told the Gallup International Millennium Survey
that God is "very important" to them.
In Europe, by contrast, 49 percent of Danes, 52 percent of Norwegians and 55 percent of Swedes
say God does not matter to them at all. When the European Union agrees on a constitution,
it will likely dispense with any mention of God.
Empty churches are one mark of post-Christian Europe, as is a mad rush to secularism and socialism.The result is decadence at home, a negative birth rate, stagnant economies and international impotence.
The Europeans have forgotten God, and so He has allowed Himself to forget them.
And perhaps He has forgotten the Democrat Party as well. It is the party of sodomite marriage, of abortion on demand, of birth control and condoms, of getting prayer out of public schools and religion out of the public eye. What does the Bible say about all of these things?
Thomas Friedman is perhaps the most-read syndicated columnist today. (I read one of his books, The Lexus and The Olive Tree.) In a New York TImes article he states
With the Islamist militant groups, we face people who hate us more than they love life.
When you have large numbers of people ready to commit suicide, and ready to do it by
making themselves into human bombs, using the most normal instruments of daily life — an airplane,
a car, a garage door opener, a cellphone, fertilizer, a tennis shoe — you create a weapon that
is undeterrable, undetectable and inexhaustible. This poses a much more serious threat
than the Soviet Red Army because these human bombs attack the most essential element of an open society: trust.
Well, a bit paranoid I must say. Are our foes really creating weapons that are "undeterrable, undetectable and inexhaustible"? It seems that we are deterring them---no terror in the US since 9/11---we are detecting them and we are exhausting their supply of suicide killers. The US Marine Corps is quite efficient at this sort of thing.
The terror will end when those who sponsor it are dead. It really is no simpler than that. We have dealt with this before. Recall the kamikazes in WW II. Recall Sherman's statement that the US Civil War would end when the 300,000 die-hard Confederates were killed. Recall Patton as he rushed into Nazi Germany odering his troops to always advance with their weapons firing---his desire of course was to kill as many Nazis as possible so as to smooth the transition to post-war Germany . The Japanese ran out of kamikazes, the US Civil War ended when the Confederacy ran out of those die-hards, the surviving Nazis were rounded up, and the radical Islamicists will run out of recruits. We have been here before.
Remember the fear that if the US went after the terror states that the "Arab street " would rise up? Well, it did not. It has pretty much kept quiet.The street that rose up was the American one. As I wrote on April 20
Simply put, the Americans "are mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore."
They were tired of decades of terrorism against their people and cities, against their military, against their allies.
They were tired of the astoundingly crude anti-Semitism that spewed forth from the Arab world.
They were tired of seeing on their TV screens scenes of ragged, illiterate mobs chanting on cue "Death to America!"
They were tired of turban-clad barbarians blasting their AK-47s into the sky and daring America to come get them.
She came and got them. She destroyed nations and is now rebuilding them. She has a talent for that.
Americans are remarkable for their patience, but enough was enough.
America has made her enemies' silly jihad look sophomoric and ramshackle.
They wanted jihad? Fine. America brought them one.
The Americans are on the march. They will continue to march until it is "over over there."
And it has only begun.
We do not need to fear any so-called "Arab street." Those radical Islamicists---in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya---are coming to fear ours.
It seems to me that half of our lives is spent making a mess of things, and the other half is spent trying to fix them. May God grant that I am well into my second half.
Failed States and Successful States
Have you heard of Ralph Peters? He is a retired US Army officer who writes on strategic and military affairs. Six years ago he penned a piece on how one can spot what has been called "failed nations." Peters identified seven factors, which are:
Restrictions on the free flow of information.
The subjugation of women.
Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
Domination by a restrictive religion.
A low valuation of education.
Low prestige assigned to work.
Using these "seven deadly sins" one can do a good analysis of every state on the globe. For example, where do the Islamic nations fit? European nations? African nations?
You will see a pattern emerge.
I will not repeat the arguments of Peters' eloquent essay, but a very timely release by the Heritage Foundation of its annual Index of Economic Freedom shows how Peters´ analysis works country by country. The Index lists nations in the order of the most free to the least free. In Heritage´s words:
The Index is an annual survey of the world's economies, including country-by-country analyses
and the most up-to-date data available on foreign investment codes, taxes, tariffs,
banking regulations, monetary policy, black markets, and more.
Last year the winner was Hong Kong. The top ten for 2004 are:
1. Hong Kong
4. New Zealand
10. Great Britain
The Brothers' Judd Blog makes the point that six of the above were English colones, and one is the mother country herself. More than anything this shows the importance of English Law to world freedom. Indeed, that---and her language---are her greatest contributions to civilization. I should add that the other three nations---Luxembourg, Estonia and Denmark---were given their freedom from either Nazi or Soviet tyranny by the English speaking peoples. And it is they who are leading the war against the Terror Masters and who have brought freedom to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Out of 156 nations listed on the Index North Korea is dead last, with Cuba next at 155. Israel (33) outranks all her Islamic neighbors except Bahrain (16)---the highest ranking Islamic nation---and the United Arab Emirates (24).
Iran is number 146, and Syria is 143---no surprises there. Chile (26) is ahead of all other Latin American nations. Suprisingly, Peru and Guatemala (both at 56) rank ahead of Argentina (68).
Here is a handy search function where anyone can find his own country´s ranking.
The terrors of the jungle are not only in the jungle:
A mountain lion attacked and severely injured a bicyclist in an Orange County park and
may have killed a man whose body was found nearby, authorities said.
The lion pounced on the 30-year-old's back, grabbed her by her head and began
dragging her, said her friend, Debbie Nichols. Nichols said she screamed for help and
grabbed Hjelle's legs in a struggle to free her.
After the attack, the body of an unidentified man in his 30s was found at the top of
a trail near a bicycle. Authorities weren't sure how long he had been there and couldn't confirm
if the man was killed by the mountain lion, but Miller said, "it's pretty obvious that an animal was involved."
Authorities said a second mountain lion in the area was hit by a car and killed late Thursday and would also be tested.
And I thought I was in danger in the jungles of Central America!
Call Me Nostradamus
Bush will announce plans for a permanent base on the moon from which a manned Mars mission can be launched.
The president wants to aggressively reinvigorate the space program, still reeling from the
Columbia tragedy nearly one year ago, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This cannot hurt his re-election either.
Syria and Iran are terror addicts---though certainly not the only ones. They can no more stop funding and fomenting terror than they can stop brutalizing their populations. This latest outrage is designed to create havoc along Israel's northern border.
Israeli sources said Syrian planes delivering aid for victims of the December 26
Bam earthquake, which killed over 30,000 people, brought back missiles and other
weapons for Hizbollah to Damascus where the arms were trucked to Lebanon.
These tyrannical states understand only one language. Both the US and Israel speak it very well indeed.
More from the "Bush is stupid!" front:
U.S. foreign policy on hot streak
...in the past six weeks, things have been going President Bush (news - web sites)'s way.
From Iran to North Korea (news - web sites), from Libya to the surprising new consensus
on writing off much of Iraq's $150 billion foreign debt, the administration has either achieved or
appears on the verge of significant foreign policy successes - and that doesn't include
the capture Dec. 13 of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).
Several foreign policy analysts from across the political spectrum also acknowledge
that Bush's diplomatic efforts were never as bad as political opponents insisted.
The administration's muscular approach to diplomacy seems to be paying at least some
dividends, particularly with the countries the president branded the "axis of evil" in his
2002 State of the Union address: Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
Now tell me again about the stupidity of invading Iraq?
More from the "Democrat Party meltdown" front:
AP Poll: Bush Backed by Core Supporters
big margins at the start of this election year, while traditionally Democratic-leaning groups
such as women have more divided loyalties, an Associated Press poll found.
On the question of re-electing Bush or definitely voting for someone else, men were more
likely to vote to re-elect Bush by 49 percent to 26 percent. And rural voters leaned toward
Bush by an equally lopsided margin. White evangelicals said they would support
Bush rather than vote for someone else by an even wider margin.
or the first President Bush were at this stage in their presidential re-election bids and about
So I ask again, could somebody tell me how the Democrats plan on winning this November?
More from the "Godless European socialist" front:
Europeans Puzzled by U.S. Mix of Faith, Politics
Europeans may have some problems grasping the ins and outs of American politics
at the best of times, but the transatlantic gap never gets bigger than when candidates
in the United States start talking about God.
"If a politician were to speak of his faith on the campaign trail as American politicians do,"
said Austrian analyst Peter Hajek, "the population would react
by asking 'Why is he or she telling us that?"'
"Europeans see it as a badge of honor that they have moved beyond religion, as a victory
of science and rational thinking," he said. "This is something Americans find dreadful
about Europe, that it is a godless society."
At least they admit it.
And what would one expect from a Godless society anyway? Well, a few world wars, a bunch of prison camps, Fascism, Nazism, communism, stuffing Jews into ovens---you know, those sorts of things.
More from the "the Iraq War was stupid!" front:
I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
---Libyan dictator and international terrorist Col. Moammar Gaddafi
Nice doggie. Now, roll over and play dead. But first, pay up!
Libya signed a $170 million compensation accord Friday with families of people who died in the
1989 bombing of a French jetliner, its latest overture to the West after decades as an international pariah.
Libya had already agreed to $33 million in compensation in 1999, but the families demanded
more money after Libya agreed to pay a far higher sum — $2.7 billion — to relatives of the 270
victims of the 1988 downing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. Most of the Lockerbie victims were Americans.
Now tell me again about the stupidity of invading Iraq?
Another Visit to The Law of Unintended Consequences
In both India and China abortion and infanticide of female babies is rampant. Both societies value boys more than girls. The reasons in India are economic and theological. A boy can support aging parents while a girl cannot be married without her family providing a dowry to the family of the groom. And only sons can provide the appropriate funeral rites to insure the soul's reincarnation.
In China the reasons are state-sponsored program of 'one child per family.' The government of China wishes to control China's population, so only allows one child for most families. Parents prefer boys for the already mentioned economic reasons, so any baby girl that is born can be secretly murdered so as to keep within the 'one child' ruling. Thus, the family still has the opportunity of having a boy the next pregnancy around.
The results of this slaughter of female babies in and out of the womb? In both nations there is a huge and growing disparity between the number of men and the number of women. Tens of millions of Chinese and Indian males of marriagable age now face the dismal prospect of not being able to find a bride. There are simply not enough females to go around. Who will then find one? Oh, the usual suspects: those with money and influence
Now, what do you think these tens of millions of single males are going to do, just stand around and bemoan their fate? Not likely.
Some have said we have gone to war for oil. I assure you that in the future nations will go to war for women.
The young city of Rome had not enough females,
and so it raided a Sabine town to kill its men and steal its women (c.450 BC).
Rape of the Sabine Women
Jacques-Louis David (1748 - 1825)
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