Archive for December, 2007

Christmas South Of The Border

It is that time of year again. I write not of Christmas actually, but of heading down south of the Rio Grande. For more years than I can remember I have spent Christmas in my tent in some Latin American country, usually in some God-forsaken jungle. This year will be the same.

School ends today, and by late tomorrow a friend and I will be in Antigua, Guatemala. Two days later will find us camped around the ruins of Tikal, an ancient Mayan city set in jungle. 

It will not be too wild this time. Near where we will camp is a comedor—an open air restaurant of sorts that has rice and beans, cold beer, rice and beans, chicken, and rice and beans.

I happen to love rice and beans. That is a very good thing. I love cold beer—another very good thing. I love the jungle too—yet another very good thing!

From the jungle we will make our way to Lake Atitlan. One can pass a fine week slowly walking around that lake, staying in Indian villages along the way. I hope that they have rice and beans.

My students always are a bit shocked when I tell them that I will be in my tent over Christmas. For them Christmas is presents and a tree and family and joy to the world and all around glee and merriment. And of course not a teacher or textbook in sight.

Those squealing adolescents are right of course. They are usually right of course.

They want to know how I could possibly spend the day of Christ’s birth in a tent. I respond that Joseph and Mary spent the day of the birth of the Christ child far away from their own country in a make-do shelter not their home. I too will spend the day of the birth of the Christ child far away from my own country in a make-do shelter not my home.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The truth of the matter is this. God had the idea of Creation before He created man. All of nature and the cosmos was brought ex nihilo into reality simply for the pleasure of His pinnacle of creation, man. He meant that we would enjoy it. And I assure you that the first man, Adam by name, certainly did enjoy what was all about him, what was made just for him.

When God presented Adam with Eve he naturally enjoyed it even more. You know the reason. It is not fit for man to be alone, and I doubt that Adam was ever alone after discovering the joys of the first woman. And who would blame him?

The point is that all of creation is a gift. All those jungles and mountains and plains and tundra and valleys and canyons and forests—all a gift, all made just for us. And what do we call a man who receives a gift but never opens it?

So out I go into ‘wild weird climes, lying most sublime, out of space, out of time.’ Those jungles in Guatemala fit rather nicely that description.

My next writing will be from somewhere in Guatemala.

Lake Atitlan

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Antigua

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 Tikal

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Gigantes bringing in the new year

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More Guatemalan photos here and here.

Schadenfreude and Degringolade

One is not supposed to revel at the sight of an enemy in pain. I hereby request a dispensation from all the relevant powers that be. I want permission to indulge in schadenfreude, ‘a delight in the misfortune of others’.

Not lightly do I ask for this. I know that the Carpenter tells us to love our enemies. May I ask Him if I can love an enemy while still exulting in his downfall? I quote His own special one, David.

Arise, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked. (Psalm 3:7)

Not bad! Here is another.

The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the Lord abhors. (Psalm 5:5-6)

Nice!

My pleasure at seeing an enemy fall derives from the problems of the amiable Mrs. Bill Clinton, the one and only Hillary. Of course my delight includes her concupiscent husband, old ‘Stained Dress’ himself.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.
Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you. (Psalm 5:9-10)

David was not thinking of that charming couple when he wrote those words, but such things merely show that ‘there is nothing new under the sun.’

Bill himself resembles Ahab of old, who ‘did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.’ Ahab’s wife was the pleasing Jezebel, a proto-Hillary indeed. Her influence upon ancient Israel, like Hillary’s influence upon our Republic, was entirely deleterious.

It goes with Bill and Hillary as it went with Ahab and Jezebel, that first he fell and then she fell. And their degringolade is a marvel to behold. They cannot claim that they were not warned.

I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants…because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin…Dogs will devour Jezebel…

There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols…(1 Kings 21-25)

At long last this nation is sick of the Clintons. They have been corrupting and staining our body politic since 1992. Even the fawning media, once so quick to excuse every lie and forgery and scandal of the Clintons, now have shifted their fickle gaze to Obama. The political machine built by the Clintons with Chinese and Saudi money and used to control the Democrat Party is collapsing like a termite infested whorehouse.

Although they have allies and are numerous,
they will be cut off and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, O Judah ,
I will afflict you no more.
Now I will break their yoke from your neck
and tear your shackles away. (Nahum 1:12-13)

Like that stained dress, the memory of Clinton will be with us for some time. This is good, for we need to be reminded of the shame we brought upon ourselves by placing such rude beasts to ride booted and spurred over this nation.

Creatures like the Clintons have existed since Cain. Their kind will walk among us until Christ puts an end to this vale of tears. The Clintons themselves will go the way of all political flesh, and one day their names will be in the obituaries. They will then have the remarkable experience of standing in front of a Judge whom they cannot bribe.

Everyone who hears the news about you
claps his hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
your endless cruelty? (Nahum 3:19)

Many will wonder but few will mourn.

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A Supreme Exercise In Waste

Ever wonder where all the money given to the UN ends up? You may wonder no more.

It of course pays for generous salaries for all the directors and sub-directors, secretaries and sub-secretaries, chairmen and sub-chairmen, advisors, administrators, all sorts of Pooh-Bahs, potentates and assorted layabouts, parasites and do-nothings.

It also pays for the true work of the UN, which is to write stuff that no sane person reads and no sane nation adopts.

See the dreadful list here.

To call such fluff and pap a waste of time is to belabor the obvious. It is more than that however.

We must imagine hordes and legions and battalions of scriveners all dutifully employed to churn out ream after dreary ream of this stuff. And my God, what sort of mentality could possibly derive pleasure from such employment?

Another thought: How many forests are destroyed so that these mind-numbing documents can be printed and promulgated all over the world?

Besides producing millions of acres of useless documents, the UN’s only areas of competence lie in arranging sexual adventures involving pre-pubescent girls for its blue helmeted employees in far off regions of the earth; and injecting the venom of Jew hatred in everything it touches.

To refer to the UN as a ‘scandal’ is like referring to Al Capone as a ‘retailer.’ Both words are accurate but hardly sufficient.

Would that Mr. bin-Laden had directed those planes into the UN building. Much good would have resulted.

Assuming the turbaned fellow is alive, he still has time.

(Hat tip: Assistant Village Idiot)

The Reward Of Esau

What do you get when a racial group votes year in, year out, for one political party? When that party relies with an arrogant confidence that the racial group will never, ever switch to the other party? When that party says and does anything and everything to keep that racial group in the fold?

You get this.

In the last five years, 557 people were slain on the city’s streets, making Oakland the state’s second-most murderous city, behind Compton.

Most victims are young, black men who are dying in forgotten neighborhoods of East and West Oakland.

Would you like more?

A majority grew up without a father – he was either murdered, incarcerated or abandoned his children.

Mom is typically absent, too, either because she’s working several jobs for minimum wage or because she’s also lost to the streets through drugs, prostitution or prison.

Enough.

Such grim statistics are replicated throughout our nation wherever the Democrat Party dominates—in Washington DC, in Chicago, in Philadelphia.

It gets worse.

The number one cause of death among black males is other black males. Black males represent 7 percent of the US population yet 60 percent of the US prison population. More than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Black babies are as likely to go under the abortionist’s knife as not—14,000,000 have already done so since Roe v. Wade.

All of this happened since the 1950s. Thomas Sowell informs us that the black family then was nearly as stable as the white; that Harlem was as safe as any other urban area; that black high schools routinely graduated the same percentage of students as white high schools; that blacks performed as well as whites on standardized testing.

What happened since the 50s? LBJ happened. The ‘Great Society’ happened. Big Government happened. Radical social engineering happened. Such policies did for the black family what collectivization did for the Ukrainians.

And all of this brought to them courtesy of the Democrat Party.

Try this little test: Find a black who votes Republican. Take your time.

What to do about all of this? How to wean blacks away from the Democrat Party? It does no good for Republicans to simply try to out-pander the Democrats in handing put government largesse. Given a choice between a real Democrat and a copy, a man votes for the real McCoy.

And no, I am not arguing that blacks should vote Republican so that all will be well. For it is not in politics that will blacks find Salvation—yes, I capitalized that word—but in Christ. Odd, the same is true for whites—and Native Americans and Asians and every other race you can imagine.

But first things first. Blacks must cease their support of that virulently anti-God party we call the Democrats. For it has given to them exactly what one would expect a group of God haters would give—abortion, fatherless families, servitude, violence. To clear things up a bit, all of those gifts come right from the Father of Lies himself.

You do not believe that the Democrats are anti-God? Pardon me then, for you are very ignorant.

To put the matter bluntly, blacks in the US have switched allegiance from God to the Democrats. They have sold their heritage for a mess of pottage and have reaped Esau’s reward.

Rather than shill for ‘the black vote’ Republicans should seek out blacks and plead with them to return to God. It might prove easier than it looks at first, for one strength of the black community is the black church. By and large these are Baptist and God-fearing, two things the Democrat Part most assuredly is not.

Once the hearts of blacks are changed by the Blood of Christ, perhaps we can work to change the hearts of whites.

(Hat tip: Clayton Cramer)

I do not, however, agree with Cramer’s conclusion, that a religious revival is ‘simply unimaginable in a post-Christian America.’ Such a belief diminshes God Himself. He can do to America what he did to the Roman Empire—if we let Him.

Choices

Yesterday I made the decision not to be a sheep. My hand was forced by all those bullet-ridden bodies strewn across Nebraska and Colorado.

I also remembered the words of the Carpenter.

But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.—Luke 22:36

I already had a concealed weapon permit. I was putting off getting a proper revolver. No longer. Now this will go with me at all times—alas, except to work.

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It is a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Airweight Model 642 revolver. It carries five rounds. Naturally I will have with me a speed loader with another five, though most gunfights involve less than three rounds total. I carry it in a Kydex hip holster.

While gun shopping these words were spinning in my mind. They are from an eyewitness in that Omaha mall.

When I saw the shooter, I stood there for nearly 5 seconds just watching…

Honestly, and as God as my witness, when I saw him shooting and as watched for a few seconds trying to figure out what he was going to do and what I should do, the thought that when through my mind was, “If I had a gun, I have a perfect shot.”

Yes, a perfect shot. I had a full side profile, I was close, and no one was visible behind him except a wall. I had a clear shot during the second round of fire…When I realized that I had no gun, fear instantly struck me, along with anger, and severe panic.

Read that part again: “…When I realized that I had no gun…” No gun. Helpless and at the mercy of a man without mercy.

He was lucky. Others were not. The unlucky ones went down as ducks in a gallery.

Some church goers in Colorado were wiser—and luckier. When evil showed its face there it met every Democrat’s worst nightmare, a Christian woman with a gun.

Many people are expressing relief that a volunteer security guard used her own gun to stop a man on a shooting spree Sunday. “She probably saved over 100 lives,” the Brady Boyd, the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, said on Monday. The female guard, a church member dressed in plain clothes, killed the gunman after he opened fire at the mega-church. Boyd said she “rushed toward the attacker and took him down in the hallway” as he entered the building.

Her name is Jeanne Assam, and she is a rather fetching lass. Watch her story.

I would like to go to my grave never having ended the life of another man. But such a choice might not be mine to make.

Carrying a gun at least gives me that choice. Without it I would have none, not even whether to die on my feet or on my knees.

(Hat tip: Clayton Cramer)

Exorcism Needed

Would Republicans prefer Obama on the Democrat ticket next November or Hillary? That is the question. That is the only question.

Yes, I left out Edwards. That fop will not make it to the election. There is little to say about his supporters other than they are an embarrassment to this Republic.

First let us dispense with the belief that there are meaningful policy differences between Obama and Hillary. There are not.

There is of course the vote to go to war in Iraq. Hillary voted yes. Obama had not yet entered the Senate though he trumpets today that he would never have voted for the war. Maybe, but irrelevant.

A campaign against either Democrat would of course point out the nanny-state, high tax, pro-abortion, pro-sodomite, socialist, anti-Christian, pro-illegal immigration and anti-military core of their party. Obama and Hillary will both try to cloud all of this of course. None of the Democrat playbook plays well in the heartland and some of it—pro-illegal immigration for example—plays well hardly anywhere.

The issue against Obama will be experience—he has none. The issue against Hillary will be character—most Republicans and more than a few Democrats find her entirely loathsome. They have good reason to do so, for Hillary is indeed entirely loathsome. Any rational and moral person who examines the life of Hillary would come to that conclusion. Democrats who support Hillary know this, but support her anyway. Their reasons can be found in the realm of psychology and need not detain us.

Obama brings a JFK freshness to the Democrat Party. It certainly could use some freshness. One does not really think of the phrase ‘cutting edge’ when one sees a Pelosi or Reid or Murtha or Ted or Bill. Obama injects vim and vigor into his party. Let us call him the ‘Viagra Candidate.’

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Let us also call him the ‘Oprah Candidate.’ He and Oprah are perfectly matched. Naturally the media have gushed about Oprah and Obama, as they have schoolgirl crushes on both of them, a sentiment tinged with more than a little jealousy. In the real world—you know, the one uninhabited by and unknown to the Oprah and the media—it will gain him little that he has received her imprimatur. Such support and enthusiasm will work wonders for the primaries but do little for the general election. The Oprah brings no votes for Obama that he would not have received anyway.

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And let us stop the shrieking that because Obama is black—he is mulatto, actually—that he will garner the black vote. Ladies and gentlemen, the Democrats already have the black vote. Nothing will change with Obama as candidate. The Democrat Party and black Americans have been in a master-slave relationship since before Andrew Jackson. Obama will not and cannot change this.

The Republicans will make an issue over Obama’s lack of experience and his leftism. That will be enough. Trust that they will also begin to call Obama by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama. You know why.

But my wish is for Hillary to get the nomination. The reason why is similar to the reason why Father Lankester Merrin did what he did to Regan MacNeil. The dread pollution of Clintonism must be thoroughly and absolutely exorcised from this land. Our Republic has suffered enough moral corruption from the Clintons. A Hillary defeat will begin the cleansing process. Biology will finish it.

The gangster clan we call the Clintons—the once invincible Gog and Magog of the Democrat Party—cannot survive the political defeat of Hillary. It will vanish like a maggot-infested corpse left out in the summer sun of Texas.

Only the stench will linger for awhile—that, a stained dress and the shame that a free people once put such creatures in charge of their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

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Gun Nut

We have read this sort of headline before.

Gunman who killed 8, himself at Omaha mall had lost job, girlfriend, home

The subtext fairly screams at us: ‘The reason Robert Hawkins walked into Westroads Mall and shot to death 8 persons was because he had a run of bad luck.’

Wrong. The reason the fellow murdered was because he was evil.

He was certainly not insane. He chose that particular mall because the good folks who run the place had banned handguns. Hawkins knew this. Those at the mall knew this. They hoped their luck would hold on that day. It did not.

And if you need a subtext for the ‘handguns banned’ sign, here is one: ‘Handguns are banned here. We know that you law abiding types will obey. We also know you non law abiding types will not obey. We wish the law abiding types best wishes and many good lucks.’

Hawkins was thorough and prepared—not common characteristics among the insane.

Armed with a rifle, he went to the sprawling Westroads Mall, filled with shoppers three weeks before Christmas. The Omaha World-Herald reported that the gunman had a military-style haircut and a black backpack, and wore a camouflage vest.

Witnesses said the gunman fired down on shoppers from a third-floor balcony of the Von Maur store.

The usual types from the usual mental health swamps will now emerge from their dens and begin to pontificate about guns and depression and unhappy childhoods and more money for health care and such.

All silly. All a waste of time.

Men like Hawkins have been with us since Cain. They will be with us until The 2nd Coming. There is nothing to do about them except kill them when they arise and bury those they kill.

At least Hawkins spared us a trial. An earthly one, that is.

(Update: More here.)

Return To Sender

As a mere boy I would wonder into my grandparents’ bedroom to marvel at the number of pill bottles on their dresser. There were dozens of them. It seemed to me that they lived on them. And the talk around their home always got back to their illnesses and ailments. There was the diabetes, the numerous heart conditions, their inability to lose weight, their blood pressures, their arthritis, their many stomach pains—all of which were treated more or less through the use of all those pills.

I have no idea if the medicines helped or not. They both died at reasonable ages in their 70s, so perhaps they did. But then their final ten years of life were not what I would call ‘living.’ Bedridden much of the time, walking so frustratingly slowly when not, always bemoaning this pain or that pain, outliving most of their friends, having little to do during the day other than stare at the television: perhaps they would lay in bed and wonder what the point of all that was.

They answered their own question by committing suicide, he with a pistol, she a few months later by starving herself to death.

I was doing a walkabout in Peru (1986-87) during all that, and the news got to me months later. I do not remember being shocked or even surprised.

After I returned home my mother revealed to me some news about my biological father. I never met him. All I knew was that he was a Mexican. I found out that he shot himself before I was born. I was shown an old faded photograph of him. He sure looked like me. Or I looked like him.

Two years ago I got a call from a sister-in-law who lives here in Oklahoma. One of my brothers was in a psychiatric hospital because he had tried to kill himself. His method was to place a rubber hose from the exhaust pipe of his truck into its cab and just await events. He was found in time. Perhaps it was his intention to be discovered, but who knows?

Mental health professionals and assorted mystics, fortune tellers, tarot card readers and alchemists have made careers and fortunes speculating upon why some of us have this ghastly urge to self-destruction. The combined answers of all these Pooh-Bahs are less than helpful. In fact they are all over the place. There is no common element among suicides except that their condition might—just might —run in families. Hemmingway is one example of this phenomenon.

This definition does not at all help:

Suicide occurs for a number of reasons such as depression, substance abuse, shame, avoiding pain, financial difficulties or other undesirable situations.

All this really says is that suicide happens. It covers every possible cause and every possible human condition. There is scarcely a man among us who escapes these conditions along the course of his life. Abraham Lincoln suffered most or all of them, as did Generals Grant and Sherman.

The one answer that makes any sense to the question of why some end their lives and why some do not is, “We do not know.”

The Catholic Church has some strong words about it.

That suicide is unlawful is the teaching of Holy Scripture and of the Church, which condemns the act as a most atrocious crime and, in hatred of the sin and to arouse the horror of its children, denies the suicide Christian burial. Moreover, suicide is directly opposed to the most powerful and invincible tendency of every creature and especially of man, the preservation of life. Finally, for a sane man deliberately to take his own life, he must, as a general rule, first have annihilated in himself all that he possessed of spiritual life, since suicide is in absolute contradiction to everything that the Christian religion teaches us as to the end and object of life and, except in cases of insanity, is usually the natural termination of a life of disorder, weakness, and cowardice.

Perhaps the real cause of suicide is a simple denial of God’s existence. For as Dostoyevsky wrote, “If God does not exist then all is permissible.”

Even—especially perhaps—suicide. It is a man’s final yelp at a universe that has become incomprehensible to him. In a last gasp of existentialist fury at the meaninglessness he imagines all about, he does what he thinks is the only real act he can freely do.

The suicide had received the gift of life, but his response is scrawl upon it, ‘Return to Sender.’

Hors De Combat

It happened right on schedule. Again—yet again— my lungs are under assault by some wandering virus or bacteria. This is the—what?—sixth time that they have suffered so since I returned to the US after 14 years overseas. It is tiresome, but what to do about it?

Being around 280 squealing adolescents all day has much to do with it of course. Many times a passing illness cuts a swath through the school and strikes down students and teachers.

So now I am out of the fight for as long as I need to be to recover. Modern medicines will seek out the enemy inside my ailing body, engage him and destroy him.

While the battle rages there will be no writing, little teaching and scant reading. There will be plenty of sleeping though, sleeping and perchance dreaming.