31 December 2004
We are currently trying to install Movable Type so hopefully we will have comments that work and the ability to do permalinks soon. Maybe even a site counter...so I can see when the kids check in. Gee, who would have thought blogging actually requires work. After all, everyone just does this in pajamas...
One of my three readers commented that things seem to batch post, several days at a shot? Well, yes, because my laptop hates me and doesn't seem to want talk to the site. I'm working on it. The lag here has been more do to the surgery just kicking my butt: I haven't been undrugged enough to blog
Friday's Gun: Let's stay with the big boys:
Anzio Ironworks 50 BMG: 26" barrel, 19 pounds, bolt action. More than I can afford. And then there is the problem of where I can shoot one. The nearest range that lets me is 90 miles away...<sigh>
25 December 2004
CHRIST IS BORN!!! GLORIFY HIM!!!
24 December 2004
Gun blogging on Christmas Eve: All I want for Christmas is a Barrett's...
This one actually. It's a 10 shot semi auto that makes me drool. It's a "borrowed" photo that is posted next to my bed; sadly I ain't got the $7300 but if Santa is listening, I've been really really good. I love my State Arms but this is what I really want to find under my tree.
23 December 2005
My poor little mangolia tree seems shocked:
It's still white and its cold. Didn't get above 30 today which is rare here. While it made working in the shop a bit uncomfortable, it helps kill the fire ants, which is always a good thing. I spent the morning truing the jaws on my Taig lathe while watching the boys finished their pens and napkin rings for various gifts. I received the blessing of unction from my parish priest too, and slowly feel my Advent blues shifting into an expectation of the Feast. I'm not interested in reading my normal round of blogs as the worldliness and cynicism of people like Reynolds and Steve seems shallow. Even the religious blogs I normally visit as well as the news services seem less important as the Nativity draws near and the eternal overlay on the ordinary comes more apparent.
22 December 2004
We picked up Mother from DFW Airport today and had my stitches removed from the knee. Sadly, the knee was more fun. I only through I was in a blue funk about Christmas before. DFW Airport didn't help. I feel so sorry for the people who travel in this mess.
Denton got hit with snow today, and game leg and all, we had to run out and play in it. The boys got the biggest kick out of Grandmother throwing snowballs at Daddy and them (more importantly in their minds was she really nailed me a few times - age hasn't affected her aim at all.). It's the dense wet clingy snow we get in North Texas when it snows and it covers branches and trees in that beautiful drapery that is so picturesque, so Christmas card like. We may actually have my first White Christmas in Texas (after 25 years here).
20 December 2004
Lordy! I have been stoned. It's been three days and I haven't noticed. I wondered why my living room had pink platypuses in it. Now I know. I'd comment on the surgery except I am apparently unaware of what is going on in my life. So here I am, drugged out of my right mind, teaching a 9 year old to turn and a 30 year old to make ax handles (table saw, joiner, and router). Sanity: a totally unfamiliar concept.
17 December 2004
Knee gets scoped today. Probably not a lot of blogging, if any.
The gun of the day is the lovely New England Arms Youth Model, available as shown, in composite stock and stainless, or in blued steel and rainbow colored laminate stock:
We have three: mine in stainless to keep in the truck on the lease, the oldest in laminate and blued steel (with Nikon scope and the 20 gauge barrel, with Briley's choke tubes) and an exact match to that one under the tree in a package for the youngest. All in .243 caliber, which works for deer, feral hogs, and coyotes here in Texas. Make these nice people happy and get one for a kid you know for 12th Night. A nine year old will love you. Don't forget to write and tell them how helpful their list was.
16 December 2004
Hmmm, I wonder how the Ashcroft hatred is linked to general Bush hatred and to the current movement to get Rumsfeld. It appears that anyone who helps Bush must be destroyed so Bush is weakened. Facts no object. And if they (the attacked) are also Christian, so much the better. After all, Christians are all evil, white scum and Jesus was just a myth.
Why, yes, I'm pissed.
15 December 2004
Interesting conversation today with a blue-state couple. We were discussing politics (bad move to start with) and Ashcroft's name came up with a lot of hatred. I asked why, expecting something about the Patriot Act (which he had no hand in passing...see Congress) or the one of the many rumors Scopes reports on him (the boob one seems popular with liberal...incomplete weaning perhaps or extrapolation of the government welfare teat to a statue?). No. With incredible venom, they told me Ashcroft has prayer meetings with his staff in his office. Not during work hours, not mandatory, just people who share the same beliefs starting their day with prayer. It's wrong because the Constitution forbids the mixing of Church and Religion. (Never mind it forbids the establishment of a state Church and any prohibition of religion. Never mind church is not the same as religion.) How dare he pray! He must be evil!
Interestingly this seems to be a common concept for secularist: Not a denial or un-interest in religion but an active avoidance and aversion to it. It turns up in many place, the well publicized fights over Christmas Carols, over Nativity scenes, over any mention of Christianity in the public square. I've heard it from people bitching their co-workers discussed religion away from the office on lunch hours (Q: Don't they realize I don't want to hear that? A: Don't you realize you can get up and move?). It's on email lists I belong too where the predominate tone is all religions are the same (Really? Allah and Jesus? The Christian Trinity and the One of Judaism? Buddha and Quetzalcoatl? Bullshit!) and all of them developed from just health and dietary laws. The secular assumption is that these are all choices and hence we should give them up and listen to the stories of their little perversions. It doesn't seem to make sense to these people, who believe all things are possible, that one believes, in the Orthodox sense, because one is confident of the truth of the faith. Once that is decided, the remainder is no longer a choice but an obligation. One wonders what nerve Christianity touches that the objection to its very presence is so venomous? I am not Hindu and being told I violate the principles of that religion neither distresses me nor does it make me want to force them to watch me eat a cow. Try to get a real reason and you hear "this Baptist minster was ah asshole when I was in high school" or "all Christians hate <your pet topic>." Centuries old history, and bad history at that, is another favorite. What it really comes down to is the foretold hatred of God's Incarnate Word.
14 December 2004
Heard the expression "fart in church?" A new expression with the same implications may be "admitting you voted for Bush while in San Jose". I had dinner with one of my favorite liberal friends, a odd liberal in that he is pro-gun, and his lovely wife. During dinner, he jokingly said that he still loved me despite knowing I voted for Bush. I said, perhaps a bit too loudly, that hell, I worked for and donated to his re-election campaign. The entire restaurant stopped. In the silence, you could here one voice say "$%#^er" although no one was man enough to say it to my face. My friends were both apologetic and said "you have no idea how unpopular he is here." I believe I answered that they didn't realize how little I and most of us who live in fly-over country care what Californians think. After all, where I come from, our buses don't say "Have sex with a child, go to jail" or "There are other things besides AIDS" Doesn't anyone out here keep it zipped?
She's back and started in on women's hair. With any luck, she'll maybe explain to women why the sonority girl back-arc and those belly baring styles just don't make most of them look hot but instead make you look like you have a beer belly. Interesting to see she's added Glenn to Misha and Kim as admirers. Hmmm. What's the women's equivalent for a harem? And is there an application? 'cause even with the chicken hair, she's dang cute.
Big City Texas seems to have some interesting characters in it's blogsphere. Even down south.
13 December 2004
Chinese groceries are bad places to visit, when staying alone in hotel rooms. Especially if they sell Two Deer. Just saying.
California Traveling: What is it with the “me” culture of the west coast? Normally flights out of Texas are mostly civilized and the rude inconsiderate business traveler is the exception. (Business traveler because most people on vacation treat the rest of plane like shit; women seem to be the worse. Where a businessman normally sucks it up, the vacation traveler and most women travelers complain about the noise) Trips to LA or the Bay area are different. The planes are packed with people who don’t think the luggage limits, flight rules, or common courtesy apply to them. Makes you wish that earthquake would hit already.
Christmas time always sets me off into a blue funk; lately with the kids being in school seems to make it worst. I used to just hibernate or hide in the lab at work and in the shop or at the deer lease when not until the 24th of December. This year with concerts, school plays, and a higher than normal burst of business travel I can’t. So I find myself being hit on both sides as I try to prepare my soul for the Nativity of the Lord. So on one hand I have the secularists in our society to whom any god is preferable if it isn’t Jesus Christ. People spend all this money on gifts, burning themselves out with parties and shopping, and generating a fake but good feeling concern for the less fortunate. For a society that is mostly theist rather than Christian, one has to wonder why? The Christmas Tree, the songs, the gift giving, the various decorations are remnants of Christian or Christianized customs that come from a worldview that celebrated fully and totally the incarnation of the Very God who created all things into human form. As someone who believes this to be true, it depresses the hell out of me.
Surprisingly, or perhaps just confusingly to me, is my response to the exposure to the Evangelical celebration of Christmas. The intense depression was startling for how could they get it so wrong? They have definitely remembered the “reason for the season” as they express it and they believe as near as I can tell in the Incarnation, but the holiday is both celebrated out of proportion and overly emotionalized. Now I am very glad my sons have the opportunity to go to this school, as when they started there it was the only choice other than the rotting public schools in my part of Texas or the local private rich boy’s academy. We tried that: after my eldest learned to fight at a tender age because of being physically attacked by older Moslem kids for wearing his cross and verbally by the Jewish kids for the same, we decided this was not the best environment as we were planning on raising an American version of St. Dmitri of the Don. The school has good academies, excluding some weirdness in the life sciences about how life developed, and is pretty harmless on the faith, concentrating on Bible memorization (although we do watch that as closely as the science). However the advent season has become a round of parties and festivals, all with sweets and gifts, to celebrate Jesus' birthday.
Advent was never supposed to be this, nor was it all supposed to stop at Christmas day. First of all, the Early Church did not consider Christmas to be the focus of the year. That was Pascha, or Easter as it is called in the West. For if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, His birth and His death are meaningless. Even in this country, Christmas was a very minor occasion until the late 1800. A lot of that was reaction against the papal and high chuch fopperies by the early settlers in the Northeast. It only became a popular civil celebration with the influx of German and Eastern Europe immigrants. However, one major change occurred in the US and then started spreading. In countries where Christmas was a major celebration, the time before was a time of spiritual preparation, not a time of parties and excess. To a greater or lesser degree, this meant increased prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Following Christmas, the party ran for weeks.
The cycle of preparation and celebration is as common in the spiritual life as it is in day to day activities. Before your mother-in-law visits, the house will be cleaned, the yard sweep, the children threatened into good behavior and the dinner will in the oven. Similarly for centuries, before the celebration of the birth of Christ, his followers prepare by fasting, prayer, and charity. (I'm skipping the whole faith works discussion - for more see this.) By this method, we live the parable of the sower, clearing the soil of our hearts from the hardness of our own desire. In fasting we train ourselves to turn from good things for a greater good. For just as charity means more than almsgiving (money to the poor), fasting implies restraint from more than food. It’s a method of spiritually breaking up the stones in our souls. With charity, both by giving money, food and time as well as working harder at turning the other cheek, forgiving, being gentler with those around us, we cut back the weeds of pride and self-centeredness that choke off the seeds of God’s love. Finally, with prayer, both communal and private, we fertilize the ground of our hearts so we can truly be the rich good soil of the story. For 40 days we prepare and then we celebrate that God emptied Himself so we might be filled.
Following the housecleaning, the guest arrives and just as the enjoyment of a guest last for more than the day of his arrival, so Christmas has the days of the feast that follow it. The strange carol of the 12 Days of Christmas refers to this, when in England, the period between Christmas and Jan 6th was a continuous round of celebrates from Christ’s birth until the commemorations of the visit of the Wise Men. (In the eastern Churches, this day is the Baptism of Christ by St. John. Gifts there were traditional given on December 6th, St. Nicholas Day, in memory of the acts of charity of the man Santa Claus devolved from.) So as we try to clean up and get ready, the rest of the world seems to be eating and drinking itself into a stupor, that will run from Christmas to New Year’s Eve (when they redo the drinking part).
The side effect in this loss of the religious nature of the Nativity, even among the other Christians around, is I’ve gained the reputation as the man who hates Santa Claus (I do, at least the fat red man with the pointed toed assistants), who shoots at Rudolph (not really, just Bambi), and who refuses to wish people “Happy Holidays” or go to Christmas parties. However, hopefully on Christmas, when most people suffering from plum pudding toxicity and cuteness overload, I will be singing “Thy Nativity, O Christ…” with a gladsome heart, no longer suffering the blues. In the mean time, pray for me a sinner.
12 December 2004
Happy Namesday to Noah and Jessica Lynn…
So should a 12 year old boy get a compound bow for Christmas or a digital camera? The little one’s New England Arms’ Youth Model is already wrapped. And whatever does one get the babysitter?
11 December 2004
A link from Instapundit sent me over to Left2Right, which is a fascinating blog by what appears to be a pod of thinking liberals. The posts are relatively free of attacks and accusations: conservatives were not accused of stealing elections, eating children or shooting old people in any of the posts I found. It was all rather civilized. Two posts strike me immediately as worth reading and responding too. The most interesting thing about both of them is they highlight how the Left2Right blog is the example of the disconnect between left leaning thought and traditional morality. The one on Gay Marriage starts well; the author proposes rational arguments based on prejudice but then the poster (they have several) starts on the standard liberal line of "so do you know any?" as a way of addressing someone's question as to the nature of homosexuality. Sadly it almost always reduces to that. It must be lack of understanding; it can't be principles. So, for the record, I have gay friends, gay students, and gay coworkers. That doesn't change the fact I think its a sin. Actually to be a Christian, I have no choice in that. No more choice than with my friends who are fornicators. Nor does the possibility that it has a genetic component make it acceptable. My faith teaches we live in an unnatural fallen world. Lots of things exist that aren't right. I know someone who deals constantly with the fact their family has a genetic problem with booze; it makes drunkenness more of a sin, not less, for them. The fact I know, like and even love some homosexuals doesn't make right and doesn't even enter the equation of whether they should be allowed to marry. It's a whole difference discussion about civil unions which involves the relationship of the Church to the State and how far the State goes in pushing a set morality.
Similarly with the abortion post, if your faith says that life begins at conception, so does personhood and attempting to separate them as the poster did becomes a mockery. Now, my faith accepts that abortion can be the lesser of two evils in certain cases but it is still an evil that requires repentance. Other faiths vary. Let's be honest however, this is all bull. Health concerns in an abortion almost always translate as "I want this to go away," which you can find someone to decide means you will suffer psychological harm if you don't get it. That's why pro-lifers oppose "health of the mother" because we know its PC speak for wants of the mother. Abortion exists in this country not to save the life or physical health of the mother, not to help rape or incest victims, not to even aid the poor escape un-wanted pregnancies. Yes, those all occur but they are small percentages of the abortions performed. Abortions exist as a form of birth control for a large chuck of society and as a very nice profit center for the suppliers. One reason abortion providers are so adamant about secrecy is the truth doesn't look good. The truth is too cold blooded to admit yet in most circles.
That leaves the issue of choice but again where is the line? Making babies still takes two. So how much choice does Dad get? If he doesn't want the kid and Mother does, should he then be not required to support it? If he should be, then why shouldn't he be allowed a say in its death? How long does this choice go on? Mom is tied to that kid for a long period of time after birth: can you kill it before its weaned? How about before puberty? Maybe 18? The Dutch appear to have decided on 12. What about aged parents? After 70? The problem with an argument of choice is there really is no cut-off. Hence I think why we see that most people lean toward abortion permitted first trimester, not after (cut off dates vary a bit) and hanging the bastards who perform partial birth abortions... Why? because while its a devils deal, it at least works. However, no one who is a traditional Christian can accept it. Almost 2000 years of tradition opposes it.
More proof of the need to fix both the tax code and the immigration mess: Kerik has withdrawn because he had an illegal nanny and didn't pay taxes. While the concern has been express that this is how we got Janet Reno, when Clinton's first choice got zapped, I see a more personal issue. After the whole Zoë Baird mess, they "fixed" the tax code so it is now even more difficult for the average guy or gal to pay the taxes on their child care. (Never mind that a high dollar lawyer who didn't do it the old way meant she didn't want to do. That implies a moral judgment and we can't do that. Just ignore the fact Clinton wanted someone as Attorney General who does obey the law only when its convenient -and before Congress fixed it, the tax thing was just inconvenient, about 30 minutes once a quarter- because we all know laws only apply to us little people.)
The issue I see is neither the tax laws for childcare nor the immigration laws are working: the reason can be found in one of the wise fool proverbs from Judaism . When asked what causes theft and receiving the standard answers of human evil, greed, and poverty, the rabbi asks the fool who answers: "people who buy stolen goods." Until we as a nation decide to get serious about illegal aliens (and don't give me this shit about no one to do this work; we have had college students for nannies for years without problems -yes, their taxes were paid- because we choose not to hire illegals) and gets serious fixing the tax code so it isn't a work program for CPAs, this won't change. The fact that a good proportion of the people in positions of power in the US don't feel the law applies to them is another issue and one likely to get worse as morality is driven from the public arena. Thankfully it is a lot less here than other places or the UN, despite what some people think.
10 December 2004
The EAA Witness: A relatively inexpensive 10mm that shoots as well as any Colt I owned and only needed a decent trigger job. Shown with the extended magazine. While a double action but can be carried in condition one, it comes with white dot sites, which really help when the close vision starts to go (or your LASIK surgery screws it up: they don't mention all the issues)
UPDATE: Yeah, I'm working on the whole photography thing. Sorry about the glare but digitals don't seem as responsive as 35 mm SLRs were
Double Standard Time: Why isn't the ACLU suing this place? Maybe because despite some people claim the ACLU really doesn't give too shits about liberties but wants to push a highly specific left wing agenda. After all when was the last time they sued a Planned Parenthood over their personnel policies or demanded the same accountability that MDs and hospitals have to meet? They'd rather pick on the Boy Scouts because that helps them drive morality, individuality and religion out of the community.
9 December 2004
Warm, sunny afternoon and I am supposed to be writing. Well, the rifle shots tight and doesn't kick as bad as I thought. But, boy, is it loud. BTW 100 rounds of .50 BMG is a lot of ammo.
The Gripe Session in Iraq: Let's see Rumsfeld holds a open (not screened) Q and A with the troops which is immediately termed a grilling (did they use BBQ sauce?) because some guy asks a hard question, he gets a detailed answer, the press twists it, then we find out the question was staged, the anti-Bush crowd "pounces" on Rumsfeld... A set-up and an attack on the Bush administration for old troubles: does this seem familiar? And the MSM wonders why subscriptions and ratings are falling?
Then there is the issue of why the reporter didn't have the balls to ask the question himself.
8 December 2004
The ammo for that sexy little baby below got here today. I'm booking tomorrow off! How long will 100 rounds of .50 take to shoot?
UPDATE: The weather report is saying thunderstorms. Somehow I think 32 pounds of steel and lightening is a bad mix. Dang.
Ever meet some who is just too good at what they do to be real? I picked up a couple of custom blades today from Gene Osborn, a Fort Worth knifemaker, smith, and machinist. Besides the conversation and the knifes, I got to tour his shop. Amazing toys that man has. He's making videos on how to make things now. He's also got a bunch of other guys doing videos on all sorts of things too. The photo below shows a 10" cable Damascus knife and a 5.5" stainless steel knife, both with bloodwood handles. They are a fighting style from early Tejas (1820s) and believed to have influenced the Bowie. Interestingly in the larger knife, the Damascus pattern follows the edge. ( The photo is slow to load because otherwise the resolution was too low to see the markings in the larger blade's metal. BTW the lower one is legal to carry in Texas. <grin>)
Well, I spent the last two days in San Jose and the danged laptop wouldn't let me run MS FrontPage? So these will be updated tomorrow... For now, let's just say there is something twisted about a place where they have sighs on buses that say "Have sex with a child, go to jail." Over here in the red states, we don't have to say that. In fact, getting shot is kind of assumed. I got called for jury duty a bit ago on a 56 year old man who was accused of doing a 14 year old girl. They had a hard time finding 12 people who weren't willing to just lynch him and save the state the money. I also heard more than a few comments on what is wrong with her daddy because the accused wasn't shot. (BTW I got comments working now.)
7 December 2004
California trips are becoming my personal nightmare. An quick overnight to address a customer problem involved traffic delays taking 1.75 hours to cover 20 miles, flooding form the winter rains (hey the hills are green!) and exposure to the lovely California sub-culture. Going thru security at the airport was like the Chris Muir cartoons of Sam's trip. It was kind of amazing: I was stopped and asked for my ticket and ID four times from entering the security line to exiting. This by the same organization I have already four claims into for small things lost in checked luggage searches. Then they were the nasty remarks from strangers about my yellow ribbon and flag on the jacket collar and the W04 tag on my bags. Amazing. In a normal society, rude behavior like that pays with blood...but it is so nanny-ized out there people were shocked when I responded. It's sad in a way that I doubt we will ever speak of a somone saying "this is how a Californian dies" because the whining and whimpering will drown it out.
Actually that is unfair. There are lots of decent people in California and I know a lot of them. They just don't live in LA, San Fran, or Silicon Valley.
6 December 2004
Remember the Dane Geld (below): Spain should have read Kipling.
HIV isn't the only bad thing out there, but if a Republican wrote this stuff he'd get lynched. Similarly, Senator Reid on Justice Thomas: can you see what would happen if a Republican senator said the same about Justice Ginsberg?
Best of the Web reports today that a Mr. Polite (really) thinks pictures of Pres. Bush are partisan and divisive. So when did the Democrats make their secession from the Union official? Because if he isn't their President too, who is? Don't tell me. I shudder to think about it.
Hey! I made it to 49. Wow! Never thought I'd live so long.
5 December 2004
Arrrrgh. ANTEC 2005 papers are due tomorrow. See you Tuesday.
4 December 2004
Feast day of St. Barbara, Patron of those at risk for sudden death: Pray to Christ God for our troops, St. Barbara, and for all those who walk in harm's way so the rest of us are safe.
Advent and Christmas times funk hit today: Between the kid's concert last night and the exposure to a pseudo-Victorian Christmas at one of Texas's tourist traps (aka Grapevine), I am about ready to introduce my wrists to the band-saw. The concert last night was bad enough, with the fake cheer, the faculty having to show that they weren't the Music Man, and the endless thank you's - what is it in Texas Evangelical culture that makes people use "just" as an adverb in prayer. Arrrrgh. The differences between the Orthodox, Old Catholic, and even Old Protestant approaches (sadly only the first still exists) with the modern "Party until Christmas and then forget" still eats at me. I don't know anyone else who keeps the 12 days of the Feast either.<sigh>
"By hand and hammer, do all other arts stand" What took us to Grapevine was James Ryan's Blacksmithing Class. Unlike a lot of people these days (particularly hunters...I lost a lease because I come complete with 2 boys and that apparently cut into the drinking and whoring at deer camp...no I'm not bitter) James is very child tolerant and was willing to let my 12 year old work on his metalworking merit badge as part of his Saturday introduction to blacksmith. While I made a iron and copper ladle, Noah made a trivet for a dutch oven, a pot hook, a skewer, and a steak turner...To quote one of my classmates: "you realize that kid is showing all of us up." So anyway, with the smell of smoke and hot iron in my memory, I'm calling it a day. Below is the master-to-be at work: Badger Lords beware.
3 December 2004
Methodist Logical Disconnection: The Methodist minister I mentioned yesterday was found guilty of breaking church law 12 to 1. Interesting she was defrocked by a vote of 7 to 6. What does it say about the clergy of the U. M. C. when 6 people admit someone is violating church law but think she should not be punished for it? One has to wonder what that says about the sense of responsibility in that faith. Or the sense of sin... It's like a discussion I had on civil disobedience with a journalist: if you expect to get off because it was a protest, what does that say about your belief in the cause?
Well, the vote is consistent with how most churches in the US deal with morality: how many of the churches tolerate or tacitly approve of pre-marital sex, abortion, or usury? (We know most churches that accept homosexuals as couples accept the rest of them too.) All three of these as well as homosexual sex were considered sinful by the Church for hundreds of years. Christian ethics on these topics were pretty well written down and explained early on: no sex outside of a monogamous, male-female marriage, no killing of babies or the unborn, no loaning money for interest. Even as late as the 20th century C.S. Lewis still expressed concern with how one justifies usury and the modern economy as a Christian? (I think stock ownership handles it as I then own part of the business but loans for interest, which are the basis of homeownership in the US, were considered wrong)
"Those who pay the Dane-geld, never are free of the Dane." Roughly anyway... Spain is seeing an surge of bombings by the Basque ETA again. Does this surprise anyone? The Spanish showed after the Madrid bombings that they are willing to allow terrorists to dictate their foreign policy. This sends a message to ETA that maybe terror can determine the internal policy as well. Between the general response of the Spanish people to threats and this, El Cid must be rolling in his grave.
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Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...Instead of cat blogging like Glenn & Co., let's gun blog. A East Ridge/State Arms single shot .50 BMG rifle. The most notable thing when you first hold it is how big it is. The barrel is
36" and it weighs about 34 pounds. It's suppose to shoot a 4" group at 1000 meters. (I wish I could hold that well). Hmmm. Maybe in the future I'll do small boys and/or pretty girls with guns... I got a 12 year old who wants one of these for Christmas.
2 December 2004
"Treason never prospers, this then is the reason, because when it prospers, none dare call it treason"- Today's Dallas Morning News has a front page article that is an interview with an active, un-captured terrorist in Iraq. This butcher is killing American troops and Iraqi civilians and the interview paints him as a noble hero defending his country from the infidel dogs. He dragged his 13 year son along and the boy got killed (details missing). It's a disgusting read as the Washington Post reporter who wrote the article licks the boots of the killer, but it should be read for the line "Until the day of judgment, there will be jihad." Anyone who thinks we can deal with these people other than by force needs to hear that. In the mind of this murderer, all infidels must die. Any Muslim who dares to hope for a democratic Iraq is a heretic who must die. Women who want to be treated as equal, die. Non Muslims who want civil right, die. Islam's solution for any difference or disagreement is death. Of course, anyone with the ability to read should have read enough history to know how Muslims deal with non-believers and how delightful life as a dhimmi is. Why else does Saudi Arabia have no Christian or Jewish populations and why has Egypt's Christian population dropped from 25% to 10% in the last 25 years? I'll skip mentioning the Sudan's delightful approach to non-Muslims. What is really amazing is some journalist interviews someone killing our troops in war time and no one cares. Can you see what would have happened to the bastard in the time of WWII or Korea? Will readers (other than me) even bother to cancel their subscriptions?
What is it with the journalistic profession as a whole? What happened to being a news reporter or a writer? I have a friend, who as a journalist, continually says stuff like "if your mom says she loves you, check it out" and points this out as the journalistic idea. First, the arrogance of that statement is shocking if taken at face value. Secondly, it supposes that journalists are somehow less bigoted, less human that the rest of us. Now while the folks at NPR and CBS probably believe that as do the folks over in the journalism department, the rest of us would not agree. It is incredibly difficult to be totally detached and objective: what most of them substitute is a cynicism which is applied only to what they oppose. They end up doing is believing the worst of everyone they don't agree with and what should be reporting becomes gossip. (Hmmm. Wasn't gossip a sin at one time?) The whole mythos of protecting your sources adds to this as it basically means you're are saying "someone without the balls to stand by his words told me this was true" or "someone who was willing to betray their trust stole these documents for me." Then we can have the "human interest" questions. Basically if you can't get them to say what you want, you ask leading questions while claiming its for human interest. This morning the local news interviewed members of the local National Guard that are being sent to Iraq. The question "How do you feel about leaving your family before the holidays" was asked. Listening to the interview, you could hear the non-com also wanting to slap the reporter. How the hell do you think he feels? The point is he is going because its his job and he is honoring his commitment. The reporter then rephased his words to make it as negative as possible.
Teaching part-time at a school with a large journalism department, I have yet to meet a journalism major who wants to report the news: they all want to change the world, expose the crimes of the powerful, and make the world a better place. Interestingly its never a freer and more democratic place they want: its the broken dream of Marxism that they push. They apparently don't read history: neither Marxism nor Islam deal gently with journalists when they come to power. However, the current journalists have convinced themselves that they are different and above the silly common beliefs in patriotism and morality. "Is there a man with heart so dead, as never said, this is my own, my native land" Yep. They are called liberal journalists and many of them are found at the Washington Post, the NY Times and, sadly, the Dallas Morning News.
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The intolerance of the progressives: A Methodist minister publicly and knowingly violates the rules of her church and is tried for it in a church court. Should be a slam-dunk. But no, you see she is a lesbian and therefore the very church rule is wrong. The tired old saws are dragged out that Christ never said it was a sin. Never mind Judaism had a very specific answer to homosexuality, never mind Christ made many of the laws affecting morality harsher, never mind the universal writings of the Church Fathers from the days following the Resurrection oppose sex of any sort outside marriage, no matter Paul specifically forbids it... Nope. Not important. We go to the world of Boswell, where we re-write history through the lenses of our belief and all relationships are sexual, so that a ritual of brotherhood becomes a gay marriage and the story of Jonathon and David's friendship becomes a story of gay love. Now one can argue that at some times homosexuality was not considered worse than fornication, but it was never considered better. Both were grievous sins. I especially like the arrogance of the plaintiff in saying only an act of the Holy Spirit would give a innocent verdict. God is supposed to lie for her? Interestingly, she admits she considered going to other Christian Churches that have a more flexible interpretation of this issue. Now, without getting into the whole discussion of heresy, it is interesting that she chose a denomination where she knew this was not accepted.
I've wondered for a while now on how long it will be before the traditional Christian Churches start getting the Boy Scout treatment, where pro-gay groups start gunning for them like the ACLU is doing to the Scouts. Of course, from personal experience I know the ACLU supports only causes that fit its agenda: when have you seen an abortion provider sued by them for anything? Labor laws? Health codes? Don't hold your breath. While I honestly could care less what two other people do or even what other churchs teach as quite honestly my church considers them heretical to begin with, how long before my church starts getting slammed as we try to keep to the faith we inherited. The idea of tolerance does not mean making everyone conform to your belief. It means accepting that people are going to do things you don't like or don't agree with. (the Gay Patriot may sum it up best in his next to last paragraph here.) That's not what we see here. We see someone making an issue to force a change. This ain't a country with a state church; you can leave if you disagree. It will be interesting to see if this lady takes the case to a civil court to force her church to deny its own teachings.
1 December 200
and apparently the hiatus has not taken the edge away. My mornings are now complete as I can have my cup of Joe with Sam...Now if I can only get the Denton Record or the Dallas Morning News to run him. Hell, they run Boondocks and Doonesbury so you think they'd want another viewpoint, right?
Okay, yeah, I know but one can dream...
The Ukraine may be where Russia's attempts to re-establish the empire finally get noticed by the western press. Russia has been an imperial danger to its neighbors since it overthrew its Tartar overlords long ago and the communist overthrow of its first democratic government just meant a change in masters. Working at a University with a large crop of Polish and Baltic graduate students, one gets a sense of the fear they have that this is all deja vu, as the hope of freedom following WWII was crushed by Soviet Russia installing puppet governments throughout Eastern Europe. The world stood idle then and again in the 1950s when Hungary tried for freedom. Hopefully this time, the U.S. and other states can make it too risky for Russia to continue its attempts to subdue the Ukraine by installing their chosen man. If he is "elected", watch for the imposition of martial law, etc to prevent the Ukraine from becoming too free and maybe even joining NATO or the EU. A free and prosperous Ukraine is, like a free Poland, something no Tzar, crowned or not, wants.
For my whole three reader, we're finally got the modem in the van working. Hopefully I can figure out how to install MT this week and add such niceties as comments. I'll get a blog roll up too, so Mom can see where I've been. And Friday, I'm gun-blogging in the spirit of my fellow adopted Texan. This cat blogging stuff is for lawyers, college professors and those sorts...
By the way, thanks to Dorkafork for the logo...