Wednesday, December 31, 2003

MEAN DEAN. Even Salon thinks Howard Dean is mean spirited.

Monday, December 29, 2003

THE BEAGLE HAS LANDED. The EU’s expedition to Mars is not going well. The Beagle II evidently landed on Mars, but has not communicated with its masters. They are studying pictures of the surface provided by Mars orbiters placed by the U. S. They do see their craft. Hopefully, they did not miss the planet altogether. At least they know this space thing is harder than it looks.
I received the following by e-mail.

Please Help This Charitable Foundation
Dear Friends and Relatives: We have the distinguished honor of being on the committee to raise $5,000,000 for a monument of Bill Clinton.

We originally wanted to put him on Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not enough room for two more faces.

We then decided to erect a statue of Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C. We were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, or beside Jesse Jackson, who never told the truth, since Bill Clinton could never tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Democrat of them all. He left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on someone else's money.

If you are one of the fortunate people who have anything left after taxes, we expect a generous contribution to this worthwhile project.

Thank you. Bill Clinton Monument Committee

P.S. The Committee has raised $1.35 so far.

Now let me get this straight. Bill Clinton is getting $12
million for his memoirs. His wife Hillary got $8 million for hers.

That's $20 million for memories from two people who for eight years repeatedly testified, under oath, that they couldn't remember anything.

May God Bless America real good

Friday, December 26, 2003

AUDIT THIS CLASS. Atlantic Blog cites a story that the Illinois Board of Higher Education will audit professors. How do you do that? Measure beard length? OK, Mike, bad joke. I know you shave. I like the guy who will do the audit. He began with saying "I'm not an egghead". I can't wait to see how this goes. If he lives through the end of next year, it will be a miracle.
I am thinking of making this a fiction blog so I can exaggerate more.
CHRISTMAS MARATHON. Well, I survived. Isn’t there a song about that? I survived 5 Christmas celebrations and lived to blog about it. Not bad for a guy that seldom gets the Christmas spirit before Christmas Eve, and sometimes not at all.

First came Christmas with my brother and his family. They were going to his in-laws for Christmas, so we celebrated with them last Saturday. My youngest nephew is famous for opening his present, shrugging his shoulders, and throwing the gift on the floor. He was a little better this year, so maybe there is hope.

Second, we went to Tulsa to see the Oldest Daughter. She is still playing make believe at 23. We saw her in A Christmas Carol, where she played the Ghost Of Christmas Past. She did well and sang well. Afterward we met some of the other cast members who congratulated her on being the best “Past”. It is truly weird to talk to the male actors after a play. They have on this garish make-up that makes them all look like psychotic killers in drag from some horror movie. They are mostly super elated from the closing applause and flit around as if on cocaine. Or maybe I am missing something. Most of them did all this work for free, by the way, spending hours rehearsing and abandoning their families. It was interesting. And, it keeps them off the streets and the sex offender registry.

Third, we had Christmas with the in-laws. This involves having an early supper so we can go to the Christmas Eve service. This service was once held from eleven to midnight, which was romantic and, well, “Christmasy”, to make up a word. But I guess the new pastor liked to go to bed early, or do last minute Christmas shopping, for he moved it up to 6pm. Now, you must know that, as hard as it is to get the Little Woman out the door, her parents are infinitely harder. Often we all head to the car to find the M-I-L missing. So, we go back in the house, turn off the alarm, and find her in the bathroom or something, and repeat the process.

The service was really good this year, though. One reason was, the pastor did not do the kids story. You know the one. It is where he has all the kids come to the front while he reads a long story, they lose interest and begin walking around the stage, pulling each other’s hair, crying, and trying to use the bathroom. Parents go up to the edge of the stage and try to coax the worst offenders down without disturbing the pastor. Of course, the kid never comes. He either shakes his head for “no”, or runs off behind the pastor’s chair, or cries, or tries to use the bathroom in front of everyone.

Fourth, we had Christmas at home on Christmas morning in our traditional, highly ritualistic way. It goes like this. The kids wake up and begin banging on the floor upstairs to let mom and dad know it is time to get up. We torture them by telling them they cannot come down yet. They come down and we take their picture. They find their Santa Clause gift and, hopefully, express great joy and appreciation. Then we all open presents, one at a time, give hugs all around, and I try to drink as much coffee as possible. Then my mother calls and asks if we are ever coming over.

Fifth, we went to Mom’s, ate lunch, opened more presents, sat around, and finally, ended the whole thing. And I never attempted suicide even once.

The Little Woman went to work. So, the girls and I sat around and watched Alias reruns from the DVD I got for Christmas.

And, yes, Starbucks was closed. I only went up there once and stood at the door. Really.

Oh, and I took food to the nurses who were working the night away with the Little Woman.

WAY TO GET MY GLOAT. Read Andrew Sullivan today for stupid things said this year. And, no, they are not all by Wesley Clark.
ANOTHER WHINER. In contrast to the practical Ricky Williams is basketball player Latrell Sprewell. Sprewell was fined $25,000 after a game against his old team, the Knicks. Sprewell spewed obscenity at the Knicks owner and one of the Knicks assistants all during the game. The referees gave him a technical foul, but did not eject him from the game. Of course, that fine will be about what the guy spends on jewelry this week. It’s a shame he could not have the confidence and class to simply let his play speak for itself. Now he just looks even more like thug. (This is the same guy that choked his coach a few years back.) No lessons have been learned there.
ANOTHER REALIST. This from football player Ricky Williams. "My mom taught me don't expect anything from anyone. That's reality. When people are whining that it's not fair, well life's not fair. It's not supposed to be. I don't think fair is even a word. It's just an ideal."

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

THANKS to The Cone-Zone for the Iraq memo, copied verbatim below.
From the Commanding Officer at MWSS-171 to his Marines regarding

Work done in Iraq.

-----Original Message-----

From: Seitz LtCol Scot S

Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 8:40 AM

To: 1MAW MWSS171 All Personnel

Cc: Fenstermacher Col Stephen M; Kirkpatrick LtCol Stephen F; Chase

LtCol Eric T


Marines and Sailors,

As we approach the end of the year I think it is important

to share a few thoughts about what you've accomplished directly, in

some cases, and indirectly in many others. I am speaking about what the

Bush Administration and each of you has contributed by wearing the

uniform, because the fact that you wear the uniform contributes 100% to the capability of

the nation to send a few onto the field to execute national policy. As you read about these

achievements you are a part of I would call your attention to two things:

1. This is good news that hasn't been fit to print or report on TV.

2. It is much easier to point out the errors a man makes when he

makes the tough decisions, rarely is the positive as aggressively pursued.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...

the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active


... over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.

... nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.

... the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

... on Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts-exceeding

the prewar average.

... all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are

open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.

... by October 1, Coalition forces had rehab-ed over 1,500 schools -

500 more than scheduled.

... teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

... all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.

... doctors salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.

... pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to

700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.

... the Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccinations

to Iraq's children.

... a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's

27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals which now irrigate tens of thousands

of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men

and women.

... we have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone

services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.

... there are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. We expect

50,000 by year-end.

... the wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite

dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities

and towns.

... 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and

first-time customers are opening accounts daily.

... Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.

... the central bank is fully independent.

... Iraq has one of the worlds most growth-oriented investment and

banking laws.

... Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15


... satellite TV dishes are legal.

... foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and

extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for "minders" and

other government spies.

... there is no Ministry of Information.

... there are more than 170 newspapers.

... you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street


... foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go.

... a nation that had not one single element - legislative, judicial

or executive - of a representative government, now does.

... in Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory

councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years

happened when the city council elected its new chairman.

... today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and

professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.

... 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body

in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government.

... the Iraqi government regularly participates in international


... Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen

international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly,

the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit.

... The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is

reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.

... Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.

... for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites

celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.

... the Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects,

large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.

... Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis

to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force

cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics.

... children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents

disagree with the government.

... political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed,

maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.

... millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual


... Saudis will hold municipal elections.

... Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.

... Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.

... the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an


-- a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for

democracy and for peace.

... Saddam is gone.

... Iraq is free.

... President Bush has not faltered or failed.

... Yet, little or none of this information has been published by

the Press corps that prides itself on bringing you all the news that's important.

Iraq under US lead control has come further in six months than

Germany did in seven years or Japan did in nine years following WWII. Military

deaths from fanatic Nazi's, and Japanese numbered in the thousands and

continued for over three years after WWII victory was declared.

It took the US over four months to clear away the twin tower debris,

let alone attempt to build something else in its place.

Now, take into account that Congress fought President Bush on every

aspect of his handling of this country's war and the post-war reconstruction;

and that they continue to claim on a daily basis on national TV that this

conflict has been a failure.

Taking everything into consideration, even the unfortunate loss of

our brothers and sisters in this conflict, do you think anyone else in the

world could have accomplished as much as the United States and the Bush

administration in so short a period of time?

These are things worth writing about. Get the word out. Write to

someone you think may be able to influence our Congress or the press to tell

the story.

Above all, be proud that you are a part of this historical


God Bless you all. Have a great Holiday.

Semper Fidelis
STOPPING THE BUCK, NOT PASSING IT. Thanks to Armstrong Williams for this quote from Vice President Cheney. "It's easy in these jobs to pass on to your successors a particular problem that's a difficult one to deal with, rather than grab hold of it aggressively now. We know that to the extent that we pursue the war on terror aggressively now, that our kids and grandkids are going to be better off. If we duck, if we postpone it, if we pursue sort of a turn-the-other-cheek approach to international terrorism, the problem will only get worse, and some future administration will have to take on the task that rightfully we should because we're here now, we understand it. It's been brought home to us with those 3,000 deaths on 9/11."

Sunday, December 21, 2003

LISTED! Blogger finally has me listed on their recently published blogs list. Maybe some new readers will pop by. If you do, feel free to e-mail me at
'TIS THE SEASON. I am not the only one who has trouble with the Christmas "season". See Bene Diction.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Even the French have responded lately. The French have announced a willingness to work to reduce the debt of Iraq (much of which was incurred buying things in violation of U. N. sanctions). The fact is, people like you better when you do not cause a fuss. They can manage you, run over you, get what they want, and they like doing that. They do not respect you for it, however.

When you stand up to people and stand firm in your cause, they often do not like you as well. You are more difficult to deal with, you will not talk forever rather than act, and they often do not get what they want. But, they respect you. And ultimately, they must consider that you will continue to stay the course and they must deal with it. That is what is happening in the world.

And by the way, Howard, still no terrorist attacks on U. S. soil since 9-11.
BAD DAY FOR DEMS, GREAT DAY FOR BUSH AND REPUBLICANS! Yet another bad news day came for the Dems today, as they were hammered on several fronts. First, on the local front, the Dem's challenge to Texas redistricting suffered a double blow as the Justice Department passed the plan and the court held it was legal. The Starlegram called it a "huge blow to Democrats in Texas and nationwide". Of course, the process is not over, as they will appeal to higher courts, but you always hate to lose a round in a high profile case. Texas has been gerrymandered for years to benefit certain dems, but no one want to talk about that now, only that the Republicans did it in mid-decade. The new alignment would give the Republicans more seats to reflect the gains in Republican voting. This is also a great win for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The second blow came with the news that Libya will abandon its weapons of mass destruction in response to the President's policies and diplomacy. I'm sure we will hear Mad Dog Dean spew out that it is a coincidence, but we know the victory in Iraq, the sanctions against Libya, and the continued firmness of the President have lead this country to abandon its belligerance and live in peace.

In case Doc Dean is having hard time keeping score while criticing the President's foreign policy, that is (1) victory of the Taliban; (2) victory over Iraq; (3) Libya admits fault and pays restitution in the Lockerbie bombing; and (4) Libya gives up its WMD program. That sounds like a good record to me.

It that same period, Dean has flip flopped on positions, misrepresented the statements of others, maintained sealed files of his past position in Vermont, and received support of a guy who claimed to invent the internet and exaggerated his involvement in Vietnam.

Friday, December 19, 2003

JOHN STOTT: To bring our minds under Christ's yoke is not to deny our rationality but to submit to his revelation.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

GUILTY AS CHARGED! What a day for criminal court. Lee Malvo was convicted on all three counts. He is eligible for the death penalty. But, will a jury be able to sentence this young defendant to death? The testimony showed he felt no remorse. It will be interesting.
CHARGED! Michael Jackson has been charged with 9 counts. Seven counts are child abuse incidents, and two are administering alchohol to a minor.
SPACY SEMINARY. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, an institution that portrays itself as having both anthropomorphic feet on the ground, lists a new holiday in its calendar that is out of this world. This year seminarians will enjoy MARTIAN LUTHER KING day.

Thanks to Mike for the tip.
JOHN STOTT: The mind is not free if it is believing lies.
THIS IS NO DWARF. John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli in LOTR has some interesting things to say about the survival of western civilization. Read it here.
DEAN III. The Washington Post takes on Howard Dean for his "misstatements" and irresponsible remarks. It hurts. Read it here. The Post pretty much calls Dean an opportunistic liar. Maybe there is hope for journalism yet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

SHE'S BACK! The College Daughter is on her way back! Yeah! I miss her so much it hurts. I can't wait! Maybe we can all go to LOTR together. Yeah!
BACKING THE WRONG HORSE. The Catholic Church is not the only one backing the wrong horse. As Howard Dean continues to ride the anti-war wagon (that was for you musical fans), consider this. Sixty percent of Americans think Hussein should receive the death penalty. Eighty percent of people responding to a Gallup poll believe the capture of Hussein is a major achievement. Eighty percent of Americans believe we should not withdraw from Iraq. The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows public approval of the President’s handling of the war up ten percent and his overall job approval rating up 4 percent to 57 percent. NBC showed his job approval rating at 58 percent. Ride Howard ride!

I like this from the leading Iraqi newspaper: the Sun has returned to Iraq. Yeah.
THE POPE'S FOLLY. Cardinal Renato Martino joined the few yesterday in trying, unsuccessfully, to throw a wet blanket over the rest of the world’s joy at the capture of Saddam Hussein. Martino expressed pity for Hussein, especially that his medical exam was shown on television. You can understand his pity. You obviously want to show the upmost respect to a man who has rape rooms, beats the feet of athletes until they cannot walk, kills thousands of those in a different sect of his own religion, and will fall into history somewhere beneath Hitler and Stalin. It would be too easy to point out that the history of the Catholic church is full of the same stuff. Maybe the common ground generates the pity.

But more importantly is the motivation for the Vatican’s continued support of the old Iraq against America. Remember that even Italy supported us. It is the Vatican’s diplomatic effort to appease the Muslims. Part of this is to try to open the doors of Arab countries to Catholicism, as the church tries to protect and maintain its small remaining congregations in those countries. Part of it also is to try and insolate the church from attack as the Muslim jihad expands. So, the Pope issued a statement saying Muslims could get to heaven without faith in Christ (something I’ll wager he does not believe), sends envoys to rogue states, and panders to Arab countries in the press.

The sadder fact is the Vatican’s support will not help anyone. Sure, some of the critics of the President will cheer its support. His supporters will snort in derision. But even some of this opponents will not want to be aligned with the guy in the fancy robe.

The Catholic church has lost much of its moral authority, especially in the United States. Not just because it sides with our enemies, but because of the huge child abuse scandal. I do not think the Church can regain its ground here unless its leaders repent in sack cloth and ashes. So, who cares if they cater to a madman dictator. The made a deal with Mussolini, they can make one with Hussein and the other middle east dictators.

The further sad fact is that the Vatican misunderstands the nature of Islamic fundamentalism, or overestimates its abilities. Muslim fundamentalists do not recognize the right of anyone else to exist. They truly believe you must convert or die. It is not even enough anymore for you to be a Muslim, you must be a radical Muslim. Catholics are not exempt. In fact, Muslims remember that much of their historic struggle has been against Catholicism, as the Pope ordered the Crusades and Catholic armies impeded their march across Europe. Do you think it is merely coincidence that they changed the name of Constantinople?

Final proof may lie in the latest news. Intelligence services are warning that bin Laden may be planning a terrorist attack against the Vatican at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

DEAN II. Another guy who does not agree with Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, the French, and the U. N. is Hoshyar Zebari. Zebari is the defense minister of the Iraqi interim government. He addressed the U. N. about the rebuilding of Iraq.

Zebari said "one year ago, the Security Council was divided between those who wanted to appease Saddam Hussein and those who wanted to hold him accountable.
"The UN as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny of 35 years. The UN must not fail the Iraqi people again." Ouch. That had to hurt.

And listen to the response of Kofi Annan. You won't believe it. He said "I think the UN has done as much as it can for Iraq. So quite honestly I don't think today is the time to hurl accusations."

What did the U. N. do? It opposed armed intervention and failed to act at all. It has not helped since the war, pulling out after an attack and asking the U. S. to keep it safe. Can you say "loser"?

Zebari also scolded the U. N. for pulling out to Cyprus when the going got rough. For a guy who has lived with rough his whole life, it probably seemed a little cowardly. It certainly did to many who have not had it rough also.

Kofi continues to maintain that Iraq is too dangerous. This is a little funny. I just read a story of a mother who traveled there to see her daughter who is in the Army serving in Iraq. Missionaries have also gone there.

But there may be another reason for Kofi's reluctance. He said "In taking the difficult decisions that lie ahead, I need to weigh the degree of risk that the United Nations is being asked to accept against the substance of the role we are being asked to fulfil,". Meaning the U. N. would not go where it was risky unless they were in charge.

What we really need is more talk. "We need much greater clarity on what is expected of the United Nations by Iraqis and by the coalition in terms of assistance to the political transition." This is also what Dean wanted. More talk.

Remember Ruwanda? The U. N. pulled out of there when it got dangerous too. They talked. Millions died.

I think Zebari is wasting his breath. But you have to admire his candor.

DEAN DIES. In contrast to Joe Lieberman, Doc Dean has not been able to simply let the good news dog lie, he had to kick it. I like the fact that John Kerry has basically accused Dean of having multiple personality disorder, saying "there are many Howard Deans". Unless, of course, he meant the doc has moved forward on cloning.

Dean has moved to the front of the demo pack by opposing the war. This bodes well. The majority of Americans favored the war and believed Bush did the right thing. So you could see why the dems want to back the opposition. It's like saying "that horse lost the race, let's buy it!"

Dean continues on a losing tirade in his speach to the Pacific Council on Monday. He said the President's domestic policy is a recipe for economic disaster. Yet, all economic indicators are up. Even the stock market, which I do not think is a valid indicator, is up to 10,000! Inflation has remainded down. Housing starts are up. New jobs are coming on line.

Dean also said we could not afford to fail on the issue of national security. I agree and believe you have to vote for the President to secure it. The dems let the Arabs attack our embassies, residences, bases, and ships with no retaliation. They let Osama go when they had the chance to arrest him. So, it is hard to believe the former governor of Vermont is going to keep us safe. Especially since he brings up the issue to complain but does not offer an alternative. And how could he? The current plan is working perfectly - no attacks, remember? So, what could he do but carp about it? Nothing - which is what he is doing.

Here is a Dean promise that should scare you. He promises he will work to restore knowledge that comes from first rate intelligence undiluted by ideology. That is, we would have lots of smarts but no values. No thanks.

Dean makes the mistake of most liberals when he says America's influence is lessened because we did not get the French and Germans to help. We have more influence than ever, for we have shown that we mean what we say and we stand up for what we believe. Sure the French do not like us much. But, the Arabs respect us. They did not respect us when we let them attack us without reprisal, or when we left our men and women in captivity in Iran for a year. Contrast that, by the way, with the capitalist who went in and got his people while the inept, but Nobel Prize winning, president let Americans be imprisoned and tortured by a bunch of smelly college kids.

Dean's campaign slogan should be "Vote For Dean. Create an America the French will love."
LIEBERMAN LEADS. Joe Lieberman may be the only sane and honorable democrat candidate. I love his reaction to the capture of Saddam "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord".

He has also taken Dean to task for saying the capture of Saddam will not make America more safe. Lieberman said "If he truly believes the capture of this evil man has not made America safer, then Howard Dean has put himself in his own spider hole of denial. I fear that the American people will wonder if they will be safer with him as president."

By the way, Howard, here is the scorecard. There have still been no more attacks on American soil since 9-11-01. That, Doc, is a perfect season.

Monday, December 15, 2003

WEEKEND WARRIORS. This weekend we attended the state championship football game. The Baby goes to North Crowley High School and they played Bay City High School. (Isn’t that where Saved By The Bell was filmed? I kept Looking for Zach, but never saw him.) Anyway, our team has never won more than three games in a year, and lost four of the first five this year, before going on a 10 game winning streak. How does this happen? I do not know. I do not think they know, either.

It was a first for us. I have never attended a school, high school or college, where we had a winning record. When I was at Texas A&M, our team was so bad that, instead of kissing on touchdowns, we kissed on first downs. I still only got kissed about 3 times.

So, it was very exciting. It was also exciting to play at Kyle Field for the championship. If the Aggies will not win there, at least NCHS did.

The best thing was to watch the jubilation at the end. The football players hugged, turned cartwheels, and yelled. The band, cheerleaders, and high school kids ran on the field and congratulated them, and danced around in celebration. Winning creates great unity and identification. Everyone was “one” with the team and the celebration.

I usually only go to the football game to watch and cheer for the band, so it has been a new and great experience to watch the team win and yell for them. I am very hoarse. I am not sure my voice will hold up to a good team as well as a good band.

Yes, I know they caught Saddam in his hidey hole. But, if the Fort Worth Star Telegram could make this its headline instead of Saddam, so can I.

And yes, I did announce the Band from Kyle Field and, yes, it was great to be in the Aggie press box yelling over the microphone for the Mighty Panther Band.

Sometimes life is actually fun.

Friday, December 12, 2003

BIG HEADS II. You know, it might make a good hobby. I could be a head hunter. I would go around looking for big heads and take their picture when I find them. It would be like those photo safaris. But instead of being a Big Game Hunter, I would be a Big Head Hunter.
BIG HEADS. My mother-in-law knew Chuck Berry. Not Dr. Driver, the musician. She used to ride around with him in his Cadillac convertible. My guess is, he put the top down and drove around humming Johnny B. Goode while the M-I-L told him the same stories she now tells at the dinner table. I wonder if he believed her.

She is also descended from John Wilkes Boothe. I’m not sure I would admit that.

I read this guy’s blog today, but I’m afraid I lost the address. He said his wife’s uncle knew Lee Harvey Oswald. I thought I might send him my mother-in-law’s phone number.

I think the most famous guy I ever met was Mark White. I met him in the Fort Worth Club while he was running for governor. He was the Attorney General at the time. His aide introduced him as “General White”. I half expected him to have on a uniform. But, it turns out, that is what the proper protocol was.

He had the biggest head in the world. I shook his hand and looked up into his face and was dumb struck. I just stood there. His head took up my whole field of vision. I could not even speak. It was like one of the seven wonders of the world.

I’m trying to think of a comparison. My church friends remember the white headed gentleman that was our pastor. Bigger. I mean it. Bigger.

I had a big head as a baby. My pictures are funny, this big head up on this little baby body. I think they put a stick in the back of my shirt to hold it up for the pictures. But, mine stopped growing. You could say I kind of grew into my head. I would like to see his baby pictures.

He got elected governor too. One term only, but he did get elected. I went down and had breakfast with him once. Just me and him. And about 200 of his other lawyer friends.

Then he got beat and I became a Republican.

And grew into my head.
CARTER IS AS CARTER DOES. Jimmy Carter said something incredibly stupid and anti-American today. But, you expected that so why write about it. Can we not revoke his visa? I know I was young and stupid, but can I have my vote back?
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH. That sucking sound you hear is all the air being taken out of A & F. They are losing money and not doing well, even at Christmas. They should probably quit the clothing business and go into child pornography.

All the air is rushing in to fill the vacuum in Howard Dean’s head, by the way. By comparing the President to the Taliban he reveals the vacuum between his ears. He also reveals that he is pandering to the far left. He has become Gore’s bitter buddy. Soon hear him say Bush stole the election. Yawn. Swoosh.
O CANADA. Paul Martin is the new Prime Minister of Canada, replacing Jean Chretien after 10 years. Chretien is best known for ruining relations between Canada and the United States. While critics constantly carp at our President for supposedly failing to use diplomatic means, remember that Chretien announced his opposition to the Iraq war in Canada’s House of Commons, earning him a standing ovation.

Martin hopes to rebuild the alliance. Canada should remember that it is defenseless. It is the second largest country by land mass and has the most shore line to defend, yet it has minimal armed forces. They have total force of around 50,000 people. I recently read an article by a Canadian who asked why they should bother with armed forces at all, since the United States would protect them. If you want the United States to protect you, we want you to support us. If you cannot support us tangibly, you can at least not oppose us. Chretien was not smart enough to do this. More than likely, no one will want Canada, and so no one will attack it unless another madman rises to conquer the world or the Muslims make it out of Africa.

Of course, we could take it. But we always have these ethical and moral reservations. Plus, they have socialized medical care and we would have to manage that. So, instead, let us hope the Canadians will indeed act like allies and we will be gracious enough to receive them.
GRAU UND REGNERISCH. The sky has turned so dark the Christmas lights have come on at the Tandy Center across the street from my office. A light rain is falling and I am cold. Nonetheless, this government building is being merrily chilled by the air conditioning that continues to run no matter how high one sets the thermostat. I keep wanting to sing Am I Blue? but I know the answer.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

GORED BY AL. Gore's endorsement of Dean has been blogged to death already. But, don't you think he would have had the decency to call old Joe and say I'm endorsing the other guy even though you and I ran together and I said all those nice things about you? So the question now is, will the endorsement put Dean over the top or will it be Howard's End?
QUOTE OF THE DAY. From Douglas Wilson, “…prayer should not "be filled up with pious substitutions for um.”

Monday, December 08, 2003

DICK'S HATBAND IS STILL TOO TIGHT. Candidate Gephardt, as usual criticizing the President, says " a foreign policy that drives away natural allies in the war against terrorism does the country no good". He has it backwards. When a country is under attack, as ours has been, its allies are revealed. Those who rally to its side in support are allies. Those that do not are not. France is not our ally. They oppose us and our policies all over the globe. So we should not be surprised when they did not support us. We were, but that is American naivete. We think people remember what we did for them long ago. But politics is a what have you done for me lately game.

Gephardt also said theat domestic security had been shortchanged. How short of change is $100 billion? That is what has been spent on domestic security. And here is the real kicker. There has been no further attack on the U. S. since September 11. Sounds like good work to me.

Dick, loosen up the hatband. The blood is not flowing to your brain.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Correction, it is Susanna Cornett and you can read her blog, Cut On The Bias, here. She also has great pictures of the snowstorm in the East.
FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO IRAQ. Here is a moving account from someone who was there.

We knew there was a dinner planned with ambassador Bremer and LTG Sanchez.

There were 600 seats available and all the units in the division were tasked with filling a few tables. Naturally, the 501st MI battalion got our table. Soldiers were grumbling about having to sit through another dog-and-pony show, so we had to pick soldiers to attend. I chose not to go.

But about 1500 the G2, LTC Devan, came up to me and with a smile, asked me to come to dinner with him, to meet him in his office at 1600 and bring a camera. I didn't really care about getting a picture with Sanchez or Bremer, but when the division's senior intelligence officer asks you to go, you go.

We were seated in the chow hall, fully decorated for Thanksgiving when all
kinds of secret service guys showed up.

That was my first clue, because Bremer's been here before and his personal security detachment is not that big. Then BG Dempsey got up to speak, and he welcomed ambassador Bremer and LTG Sanchez. Bremer thanked us all and pulled out a piece of paper as if to give a speech. He mentioned that the President had given him this Thanksgiving speech to give to the troops. He then paused and said that the senior man present should be the one to give it. He then looked at Sanchez, who just smiled.

Bremer then said that we should probably get someone more senior to read the speech. Then, from behind the camouflage netting, the President of the United States came around. The mess hall actually erupted with hollering. Troops bounded to their feet with shocked smiles and just began cheering with all their hearts. The building actually shook. It was just unreal. I was absolutely stunned. Not only for the obvious, but also because I was only two tables away from the podium. There he stood, less than thirty feet away from me! The cheering went on and on and on.

Soldiers were hollering, cheering, and a lot of them were crying. There was not a dry eye at my table. When he stepped up to the cheering, I could clearly see tears running down his cheeks. It was the most surreal moment I've had in years. Not since my wedding and Aaron being born. Here was this man, our President, came all the way around the world, spending 17 hours on an airplane and landing in the most dangerous airport in the world, where a plane was shot out of the sky not six days before.

Just to spend two hours with his troops. Only to get on a plane and spend another 17 hours flying back. It was a great moment, and I will never forget it. He delivered his speech, which we all loved, when he looked right at me and held his eyes on me. Then he stepped down and was just mobbed by the soldiers. He slowly worked his way all the way around the chow hall and shook every last hand extended. Every soldier who wanted a photo with the President got one. I made my way through the line, got dinner, then wolfed it down as he was still working the room.

You could tell he was really enjoying himself. It wasn't just a photo opportunity. This man was actually enjoying himself! He worked his way over the course of about 90 minutes towards my side of the room. Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to shake a few hands. I got a picture with Ambassador Bremer, Talabani (acting Iraqi president) and Achmed Chalabi (another member of the ruling council) and Condaleeza Rice, who was there with him.

I felt like I was drunk. He was getting closer to my table so I went back over to my seat. As he passed and posed for photos, he looked my in the eye and "How you doin', captain." I smiled and said "God bless you, sir." To which he responded "I'm proud of what you do, captain." Then he moved on.

I copied this from a post of Susanna Corbett.

NYT DISGRACE. It has been a bad year for the Times. They have made up stories, used stories or so called facts for criticism long after they were proven false, their columnists have been caught in numerous falsifications, but they are not done yet! Now they have published an obituary of a person who is alive. The worse part is the violation of journalistic principles. They stole the story from the Daily Telegraph without attribution. They also did not check their sources. Did these guys go to journalism school? I did not, by the way, and even I know a newspaper is supposed to do that. Is it not plagerism when you steal a story without attribution? The NYT needs to do serious soul searching. Sloppiness is one thing. Dishonesty is another, and it is obviously rampant at the Times. I really do not know how one can continue to take it seriously.

Friday, December 05, 2003

PLAYING CATCH UP. It is weird to see Slate criticize John Kerry. And they went out of their way to do it, saying, if his wife, Teresa Heinz, will not trust him with her money, why should Americans? It seems that Ms. Heinz, who inherited 500 mil from her deceased husband, John Heinz, got a prenuptual agreement agreeing to keep separate their premarital assets, especially hers. It may be of more concern that she has never wanted Kerry to run for president, agreeing only recently. Another question, if Soros pumps his money into another candidate's primary run, will she try to spend equally on hubby?

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Speaking of restoration, I realize that Blogger ate my earlier posts. I'll try to restore them. Aarg. This is why people are moving to Type Pad. Mike, this is your chance to become an entrepeneur.
FREE TRADE RESTORED. President Bush repealed the steel tariffs. CBS news carried the story, blaming it on re-election politics. They made no mention of the counter sanctions threatened by the European Union and Japan. They made no mention of the ruling by the World Trade Organization ruling the tariffs in violation of trade agreements. They also made no mention of the effects of such tariffs on the economy.

Dr. Joseph Francois claims that 200,000 Americans lost their jobs due to the tariffs, more than the total number of workers in the steel industry. This also represents $4 billion in lost wages.

The object of the tariffs was to allow the steel industry time to reorganize. Two years is enough. Besides, why should these industries not have to compete on level ground? The steel companies are old companies that have made huge amounts of money. Why should they not have to keep up with the market like everyone else? When they were doing well, did they give any of us a break? No they did not.

Free trade will benefit the country and the economy, and eventually the steel industry, as it will be forced to improve to compete. The consumer should not be punished because a bunch of rich guys sat on their tails and let their competitors get the best of them.
MORE FALLOUT FOR EPISCOPALIANS. The Catholic Church has canceled an international meeting between with the Anglican Church as a result of the ordination of homosexual bishop Gene Robinson. The question is, how much pressure will this put on the Anglican Communion to drop the Episcopal Church? I confess that, as a Baptist, I am not sure I care if the Catholics and Anglicans get together. But the conflict is interesting.

First, it is interesting to me that a bishop cares more about furthering the homosexual cause than his church. He is willing to have people leave the already tiny Episcopalian denomination, then cause millions to break fellowship with his denomination over his ordination, and to break with years of orthodox tradition he has pledged to uphold.

Second, it is interesting to see the Episcopalian hierarchy feel the same way. The rank and file must feel horribly betrayed.

Baptists have from time to time felt betrayed by their leaders, and they engaged in unchristian behavior in their convention fights and made embarrassing public statements. But, we cannot begin to identify with the pain Episcopalian believers feel over this issue.

MORE CATHOLIC FALLOUT. The Catholics, of course, have their own moral crisis, as the child abuse scandal plays on. The Archdiocese of Boston is selling the palatial residence of the archbishop to help pay $85 million in settlements to compensate victims of sexual abuse by priests. That is 85 and six zeros.

This mahogany and marble Italian palazzo is where Archbishop Law sat and decided to move around pedophilic priests so no one would know they were having sex with the children of the parish.

The common theme here is supposed ministers of the gospel living in continual sexual sin, the church refusing to do anything about it, and the church reaping the consequences. You have to think about Paul’s outrage at the Corinthians for tolerating open sin in their midst. You also have to think that the sowing and reaping principle applies. I would worry about Romans 11:21, for if God id not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

WESLEY CLARK ON THE TRAIL. In his never ending quest to appear stupid, I mean relevant, Clark met with Madonna. Rumor has it that there was a miscommunication, though, as Clark wanted to talk about foreign policy, but Madonna said that was not what she meant by foreign affairs.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

CALVINIST T.V. My daughter is conducting her weekly Bible study in the den. I am stuck in the bedroom, watching television and reading John Gill on the internet at the same time. At the end of “Law And Order”, a mother testified against her own son. She asked the judge to put him in jail and not let him out. She said “he was born bad and he’ll die bad.” Later a policeman gave him a chance to prove he was not “beyond redemption”. He was the token Arminian, I guess.

The kid refused.

God said to Moses that he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. See Exodus 33:19. Paul repeated the passage in Romans 9:14 and adds in verse 18 that he hardens whom he wants to harden. And now we know it even works on t.v.
EVERYTHING EDWARDS. Here is a good review of Marsden's book Jonathan Edwards: A Life. It discusses the influence of Edwards on modern Evangelicalism. The title is boring, but the book sounds interesting.
PORKY'S. Go here to see a picture of congress trying to pass the energy bill.
CUTE MISSING FEMALES. Mark Byron has an interesting perspective on missing people, namely that cute females make the news, especially on slow news days, while dozens of males, and poor or plain females are ignored. Read it here.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY. You might as well laugh at yourself once in a while; everybody else

Monday, December 01, 2003

AIDS DAY. Today is AIDS Day. That does not mean you are supposed to go out and get it. No, it is to drum up support for those who have it. And there are a bunch of them.

The numbers are staggering. Worldwide, the U. N. estimates anywhere from 34 to 46 million people have HIV. Africa is suffering the most. 8000 people a day die from AIDS in Africa. Yet, 5 million people were infected this year. Some African countries could lose 26 percent of their work force. In Sub-Sahara Africa alone, over 26 million people have AIDS.

Much of the cry is for medicine. The U. N. is spending 5.5 billion for emergency treatment. You have to wonder why the waited.

AIDS was first diagnosed in 1981, so it has been active for about 20 years. It has spread across the world. Even China now has large numbers of victims.

The tragedy behind AIDS Day is that it will not address the problem. In Singapore, women dressed in sexy clothes handed out condoms. In Cambodia, girls held up signs that said you can kiss me and not get AIDS. Always the message is how to be careful having sex and how much sex you can have without getting the virus.
The problem is it does not work.

It is painful to state the obvious, but no one seems to get it, so let’s do it. First, there is no cure for AIDS. Repeat: there is no cure for AIDS. All the fancy medicines only ease the symptoms or extend life for a short while. So when you hear all the shouting for us to send more drugs, remember it is only a band aid. There is no cure. There is only death. Sooner or later, easier or harder, only death. All the five million who got it this year will die from it.

Second, AIDS is still primarily spread by promiscuous sexual activity. If you have sex with someone who has AIDS, or HIV, you will likely become infected, and you will die. You might escape with a condom. But, why is not that concept working? Maybe in some places they have not heard of condoms. But, really, how likely is that? Not very, except in the poorest areas. So, why do they not use them? Either they do not want to, or they do not have them.

Supply and demand could be a problem. You would have to send hundreds of millions of condoms to Africa to accommodate the folks that have AIDS. If 40 million people in Africa have either HIV or AIDS, and they have sex even once per week, that is 2,080,000,000 condoms per year needed for Africa alone. That would be great for Trojan stock, but who is going to buy them and distribute them? (Oh, I know, the U. S. should do it for free.)

Then again, if the people will not use them, it will not help.

There is one and only one place in Africa where significant progress has been made to stem the tide. It is Uganda. What is their program? They stress abstinence.

Monogamy works. If you do not have AIDS, and your spouse does not have AIDS, you will not get AIDS no matter how much sex the two of you have together. Marriage works. Fidelity works.

Abstinence works. If you do not have sex, you will not get AIDS. (Yes, I know there are exceptions, but not many.)

Sobriety works. If you do not inject drugs, you will not catch AIDS from a needle. If you are not drunk, you will be less likely to engage in promiscous behavior.

But, no one wants to say this in the U. N. We want condoms, we want sex, and we have AIDS, and we will die.

We can adopt old fashion values of morality and fidelity and live. Maybe if you did not tell the U. N. that it is in the Bible, they would not object so much.

Otherwise, you are bailing water out of the Titanic with a bucket. A bigger bucket will bail more water, but you will still drown when the ship sinks. Wake up and smell the coffee.