Diary and Commentary
Live From Hell
Observe this fellow. His name is Gary Ridgway. Today he pleaded guilty to the murder of 48 women. As far as it is known he is the greatest serial killer in US history.
Mr. Ridgway became known as the Green River killer because he dumped the bodies
of many of his victims, all women he picked up on the streets, near the Green River
that runs through suburbs south of Seattle.
"I killed so many women I have a hard time keeping them straight," he said in the statement.
"I killed most of them in my house." "I killed a lot of them in my truck,"
he said at another point in the statement.
"In most cases, when I killed these women, I did not know their names," Mr. Ridgway
said in the statement. "Most of the time I killed them the first time I met them,
and I do not have a good memory of their faces."
Most of the killings were in the mid-1980's, with two others in 1990 and 1998.
Mr. Ridgway preyed mostly on prostitutes, drug addicts, young runaways
and other women on the streets and dumped their bodies
near the airport, in ravines, near the Green River.
"I wanted to kill as many as possible," he said in the statement.
Looks like he succeeded.
Honorable mention: Ted Bundy admitted to killing 'only' 30 women or so, but there were possibly as many as 100. Unlike Ridgeway, Bundy preyed upon college co-eds. He was executed in the Florida electric chair. So long, Ted!
These guys make Jack the Ripper look positively tame---well, sort of. He only claimed 4 victims, all prostitutes.
Why did they do it? Are they merely products of their environment, as modern psychology would tell us? If true, then why punish them? If the environment caused them to kill, then how could any of these crimes be the killers' fault? In fact, if the psychobabblers are correct, then no one could possibly be blamed for anything. The environment---childhood, upbringing, family life, television, whatever---would always and everywhere be to blame. Treat these killers then with psychotherapy and release them back into society when they are 'cured.' (But try not to live in their neighborhood, OK?)
But let us speak of things as they are. They killed because they were inhabited by demons, by the father of lies who was a murderer from the beginning. Let us call this fellow Satan---or Beelzebub, or Old Scratch, or 'Light Bearer'. Lucifer took these men--as he has taken all serial killers, as he took Hitler and Stalin and Mao, as he is taking Castro and Kim Jong-Il and Saddam---because he could take them. To put it plainly, these men knew not Christ and so were susceptible to demonic infection. Their disease was spiritual; thus the antidote---the cure---had to be spiritual as well. All the finest doctors with the finest medicines in the finest hospitals with oceans of gold and eons of time could not possibly have stopped these men from killing.
Bundy was stopped because he was executed, a fate from which few recover. We killed his body because we could not cure his soul. (Read those words again please.) We killed Ted for the same reason we used to kill witches, because he was inhabited by demons. Call it as you like, that is the truth of the matter. Ted would agree, were he available for commentary. (Actually, he did agree. See his interview with James Dobson hours before Ted's own execution.)
Oh...and have a nice day.
Art Imitates Life and Death
Recall the movie Manhunter, the first in which Doctor Hannibal Lector appeared. FBI agent Graham tried to use Lector to help him catch another serial killer. The same theme was used in Silence of the Lambs (a much inferior film, by the way). But how likely would it be for an officer of the law would use one serial killer to catch another?
Actually, very likely; it happened. Ted Bundy was drafted while in prison to help the police capture the Green River Killer---Gary Ridgway himself. This interview makes fascinating reading---but not after eating. Trust me, you will be reading things about Bundy that you do not need to know. I have warned you.
Well. I am now into my second week of 'rest and relaxation' in the USA and it is exhausting me. I am rested---and quite relaxed, thank you. I read, work on my web page, answer all e-mails promptly and eat too much cereal and ice cream. Something is missing, and that 'something' is the reason I am away from teaching for one year: solo, extreme backpacking through the wildest parts of Latin America. What I accomplished in South America created (or perhaps only encouraged something already latent) a desire for longer and more difficult expeditions, a need to push my physical limits---and my emotional, spiritual and intellectual limits---yet further, a hunger---and that is the right word---to go 'where no man has gone before'---or at least where few men have gone. I pace the floors here, a terror to my step-father's three cats, my thoughts never far from the jungles of Central America.
But I must be here for now. All is preparation: new gear, new books, planning new and impossible expeditions. And there is more: getting dental work done, seeing old friends, spending time with family, coming closer to God---all of these are as vital as getting in fine shape. But I am not by nature a patient fellow, though I am receiving this gift in dribs and drabs, and it is enough.
Besides, there is no point in simply getting on a plane for Guatemala City just yet. The rains up in the jungle regions have only slowed, they have not yet stopped. All is still muddy and soggy and mosquito ridden---doable but not enjoyable. And so I am here waiting.
I really should be in no hurry, as the real test will begin soon enough. And most certainly, the jungle is patient.
Revenge of the Nerds
Who are these poorly dressed, absurdly coiffed, hygienically challenged and slovenly geeks?
Give up? They are the Microsoft Corporation in 1978. Bill Gates is the goofy looking fellow on the lower left. The lesson here is that one should always be nice to geeks. Either you will work for one some day or their product will control the world---or both.
Now, do you not wish you had invested in these weirdoes way back when?
I have always wondered what was under these things. After all, legend had it that Moslem women were extraordinarily beautiful. But how could any non-Moslem tell? Where was the evidence?
Here is the evidence,
the lovely Miss Vida Samadzai.
For another opinion on the doings of the above lass, click on photo.
So you think that the woman above is beautiful? You are right, of course, but there are myriad forms of beauty. Such as this guitar, a Gibson Chet Atkins Studio CE:
Gibson discontinued this model in 1999. Several years ago I asked Gibson to make one for me. It did, though the guitar that arrived was not quite what I wanted. (It had a thinner neck, and I wanted a classical guitar neck.) I decided to put it for sale. That was almost three years ago, and it has not sold. I visited it recently and played it again. Truly this is a work of the luthier's art, a stunning instrument whose beauty will far outlast that of the woman you see above. I have ten guitars already, including a Telecaster, Stratocaster, a Parker Night Fly, and a Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion, but this Studio CE is the finest guitar I have played. It is decision time. Stay tuned.
I came. I saw. I bought.
While passing through Miami on my way to Guatemala some years ago I had many hours to kill. I hopped into a taxi and asked to be taken to a guitar store. Turns out that the driver was himself a guitarist by night. He took me to a store where an entire wall was devoted to the Fender Telecaster. I saw this, the perfect Blues instrument:
I say 'perfect Blues instrument' because that is what the Telecaster is. Almost every bluesman in the business plays one. To see the Blues played on some other guitar is a bit odd, rather like seeing jazz played on a Stratocaster. The Tele can also be used for Country and for Rock---recall that Jimmy Page's solo in Stairway to Heaven was played on a Tele.
Oh...guess where this beauty is now?
I have written before of the disconnect between the press and the US military. Very few journalists have served their country and fewer still call themselves conservative or attend any type of religious service. Recall that 87 percent of them voted for Clinton. They exhibit a clear disdain for the profession of arms and even more for Christianity. The American military---in the main conservative and Christian---returns the favor:
(photo taken by the AP November 17)
Such a gesture to such a press by such a military is vulgar---yet supremely accurate and entirely appropriate.
Oh, Those Peace-Loving Palestinians!
More From the Religion of Peace
Imagine the horror of a Palestinian woman raped by her brothers. Where to turn to solace? To her family? Hardly:
Rofayda Qaoud - raped by her brothers and impregnated - refused
to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager
a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did
what she believes any good Palestinian parent would:
restored her family's
"honor" through murder.
Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered
her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda,"
she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next,
Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!"
After her daughter
went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.
Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes.
No word of what this loving mother did to her fine sons. Perhaps she could have them enlist as suicide bombers:
(result of November 14 suicide bomb at synagogue in Istanbul)
And it is not just women killing women, but men killing them. A French aid worker, Bettina Goislard, was murdered in Afghanistan last Sunday. She was 29. And the culprits? One would think these killers of women would slink away, remain obscure, hide in shadows. By no means!
Taliban guerrillas claimed responsibility Tuesday for the weekend killing of a French aid worker...
Taliban spokesman Mullah Abdul Samad told Reuters:
"Yes, we did that. Our guerrillas were involved in killing that
Christian woman...We will not spare them."
Goislard [was] shot in broad daylight by two men on a motorcycle...
Pardon my language, but what the Hell is wrong with these people?
Real tough guys, those Taliban:
Who forced their women to dress this way:
And publicly beat those women who disagreed with their policies.
Or bravely shot them in the back of the head.
The man who ended this terrifying misogyny:
And the men who helped:
A Taliban Perfect Nightmare (and one reason why the US cannot be conquered):
But a real man's perfect woman (if she is also a Christian.)
A woman in Saudi Arabia was sentenced under Islamic law to 500 lashes for the terrifying crime of marrying too soon after her divorce. Elizabeth Taylor and her fellow Hollywood starlets are lucky they are not Saudis.
Oh...what will that Saudi woman look like after those 500 lashes?
Moslems claim that Islam improved the status of women in the Arabian peninsula. Good God! What was it like there before Islam?
Toothless Tiger, Clueless Dragon
The Chinese are at it again, engaging in one of their recurring fantasies. Yesterday they threatened Taiwan with war, proving yet again that the ruling elite in the Peoples Republic still imbibe in opium smoking:
"If the Taiwan authorities collude with all `splittist' forces to openly
engage in pro-independence activities and challenge the mainland and
the one-China principle, the use of force may become unavoidable,"
Wang [a top mainland official who deals with the Taiwan issue] was
quoted as saying in the China Daily.
Separatists were "set to pay a high cost if they think we will not use force,"
Wang said. "Taiwan independence means war."
Yawn. China has only the mouth---not the capacity or the will---to wage any sort of war against Taiwan. It has no blue water navy---that is, a naval war-making capacity that extends beyond its coast line. It can enforce fishing treaties and not much else. It lacks the tens of thousands of landing craft necessary to launch an invasion. At any rate it lacks the naval firepower to protect any invasion force. And the US has a carrier task force between it and Taiwan. Here is the business end of what China would have face (and the US has 12 of these):
Recall the recent Chinese fearful hysterics when faced with a possible 'invasion' of millions of starved and ragged North Korean refugees---and from a nation on its own border.
China has profound economic, social, political, military, environmental and cultural problems, all of which are self-induced and all of which are insolvable under the present Chinese regime. Outside of a few showpiece cities---themselves dirty, polluted, unhygienic, crime-ridden and crowded---unemployment is rife, perhaps to the tune of tens of millions. Communism has not the ability to create anything approaching wealth except for a small ruling elite. Most of Chinese technology was stolen from the West. China has under its control hundreds of millions of non-Chinese---in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia---few of whom are very cordial to the ferociously corrupt governing body in Beijing. The Chinese military---the Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA)--- is the largest in the world but uses 1950-era equipment. Its tactical and logistical abilities are woeful and obsolete. In any sort of encounter with the US military it would have a short and exciting life. The very best the PLA can do is to supply terrorist gear to al-Qaeda, Hezbullah, Iran and their like to keep the US otherwise occupied.
I could go on, but you get the point.
When I was in college there was a book required for a Soviet history course entitled Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984? The book was off by only a few years, but its point was right on the money. China is in a similar (or worse) condition to that of the USSR 20 years ago. Simply put, its communist system is unsustainable. All the regime can do is bluster, an emperor with no clothes---or in Chinese terms, a 'paper tiger.' Like Nero's regime in ancient Rome, its end is nigh---and good riddance. Few will mourn its collapse.
But what will replace it? Here is one possibility:
Heady stuff for a Christian to ponder. Impossible for the most brutal regime in the world to convert to Christianity? Christians know otherwise. As for non-Christians, please read the history of Rome. In Will Durant's words, Caesar met Christ in the arena, and the Carpenter won.
Here are other possibilities, none of which bodes well for the current Chinese regime and none of which contradicts the thesis above:
Coming Collapse of China
by Gordon G. Chang
China Dream: The Quest for the Last Great Untapped Market on Earth
by Joe Studwell
New Chinese Empire: And What It Means for the United States
by Ross Terrill
There is an old Chinese curse, 'May you live in interesting times.' I assure you that China most certainly does.
Mad Dogs and Frenchmen
Even their dogs don't like them:
PARIS (Reuters) - A French hunter was shot by his dog after he left a loaded shotgun
in the boot of his car with two dogs and one of the animals
accidentally stepped on the trigger, police say.
The man, from the village of Espelette in the Basque region,
was admitted to hospital in the nearby town of Bayonne on Monday
with leadshot injuries to the hip. "As he was driving along, one of his dogs
accidentally set off the gun," a police official said on Wednesday.
'Accidentally'? Well, OK, but if it comes to a trial how about nolo contendere or non compus mentis? I will accept any plea that keeps the noble pooch out of the slammer.
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