Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No Right Angles

Following Mike Huckabee's controversial television spot in which he spoke openly of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, while attempting to subliminally suggest a Christian message by standing in front of a book shelf, the ACLU (Anti-Christian Liberal Union) has filed an injunction in Federal Court barring the inclusion of any right angles in political advertisements.

An ACLU representative, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “We simply can not have God sneaking into our political dialogue through the use of right angles. Left angles would be just fine, but right angles certainly are excluded by the ‘separation of Church and State’ clause in the US Constitution.”

The ACLU lawyers who participated in drafting the injunction reported that they went through several iterations before arriving at a satisfactory definition of “right angles”. They settled on language which permits angles only if they are less than 70 or more than 110 degrees. Previous language was rejected when it was discovered that it would preclude the use of both the “hammer and sickle” logo and the “star and crescent” symbol, icons of the Hillary Klinton and B Hussein Obama campaigns respectively.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In search of global warming

Last week, the MS Explorer took to the seas with 154 passengers to search out signs of global warming.

Today, the ship rests on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, spewing oil and diesel fuel into the pristine polar environment, miring an untold number of helpless baby seals and polar bear cubs and creating a carbon footprint that rivals Al Gore's.

Fortunately, all of the passengers and crew were rescued before the ship sank last Friday.

The media headlines read "Cruise ship sinks". None are fretting about the ecological impact of this shipwreck. There are no estimates of the number of thousands of gallons of petroleum leaked into the ocean or the number of fish, seals, or whales killed. In fact, the media was strangely silent about the fact that this cruise ship was owned by Al Gore's buddy and fellow environmental wacko Bruce Poon Tip.

Tip, CEO of G.A.P. Adventures, regularly offers cruises to the Arctic Ocean to observe the melting polar ice resulting from global warming.

Of course the media does not reveal the most ironic aspect of the sinking of the MS Explorer. What caused the gaping hole in the side of the Explorer which caused it to founder and sink as they searched for signs of melting polar ice? They hit an iceberg.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scary movies

In America, Halloween is ranked second among all of the holidays in dollars spent on holiday celebrations.

That puts Halloween ahead of Easter, when we celebrate Jesus victory over sin and death, ahead of Independence Day when we celebrate freedom and liberty, and ahead of Thanksgiving when we express our thanks to God for the innumerable blessings he showers on us.

So what is the significance of this last day of October? What is the compelling message that leads Americans to consider this day a higher priority than Jesus resurrection? The message is simple: "Boo!". Yeah, that's it. "Boo!"

It is traditional to watch a scary movie today. Blood, gore, a guy with blades on his fingers jumping out and making you scream, psychos, evil villains, undead, zombies, chainsaws, hockey masks, and people meeting an untimely demise are common themes in these films. I don't watch many of these films, but I do admit to enjoying "Silence of the Lambs" and "Psycho".

Tonight, in keeping with this tradition, I am going to watch a real bone-chiller, perhaps the most frightening movie of them all: Waco: Rules of Engagement.

What makes it particularly horrific is that the sequel is apparently on the way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Your tax money at work

Dallas City Hall is launching a new billboard campaign against saggy pants.

Granted, wearing your pants down on your hips with your underwear sticking out looks dumb. But of all the things they could spend our tax money on, why that?


What makes the Newsboys so good?

Last weekend we drove down to Austin to see the Newsboys in concert. The Newsboys are a Christian band from Australia who have been around for just about as long as U2. Unlike U2, they have not lost their original greatness, as they continue to add to their 6 gold records. Their name sums up who they are and what they are about. "Gospel" means "Good News" and their purpose is to spread the news of Jesus Christ.

So what is it that makes the Newsboys so good?

They are extremely talented musically. Watching Peter Furler go from guitar to bass to drums, all while singing in his own gravelly style is remarkable. But there are lots of talented acts out there.

Their concerts are lots of fun. The high-tech lighting and video make it an amazing experience. And who can argue with upside-down dueling drums and Captain Crunch fights? But their greatness is not just in their entertainment value.

In my opinion, what makes the Newsboys uniquely great is one man who does not even appear on stage. His name is Steve Taylor, and he writes most of the lyrics. I listened to Steve Taylor's solo work way back in the day. He was something of a firebrand, belting out confrontational lines such as "You're so open-minded that your brain leaked out." My favorite song from his solo career is called "Bad Rap", and it includes this verse:

You save the whales, you save the seals,
You save whatever's cute and squeals.
But you kill that "thing" that's in the womb
Would not want no baby boom
Good, bad, laugh and scorn
Blame yourself for kiddie porn
Convenience is the law you keep
And your compassion's ankle deep.

Who ya tryin' to kid, kid?
Wrap it in a fine philosophy.
Who ya tryin' to kid, kid?
But your bottom line still says "me, me, me"
Got your heads together now?
Got a way that's better now?
Who ya tryin' to kid, kid?
Steve Taylor has written dozens of songs for the Newsboys, and I wish that I could share a whole bunch of them with you. We could discuss how he uses a song about Breakfast to show how we don't mourn like those who have no hope, or how he uses plays on sounds and names in a song about how our lives and words must point people to Jesus. But to really do them justice, you'll have to sit down with the lyric sheet, listen to the music, and get lost in the wit and genius of a great songwriter, but most importantly appreciate how he uses his gift to bring glory to God.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Circular arguments

Scientists say that they have "taken a baby step in trying to answer the cosmic question of where we come from. "

Their answer: dust.

"In the end, everything comes from space dust," said Markwick-Kemper of the University of Manchester in England.

But where does the dust come from?

The Spitzer Space Telescope was used to address that question. Astronomers used the telescope to find and identify a large amount of recently-formed space dust in the wind bursting out of a massive black hole 8 billion light years from here. They used the wavelengths of light coming from the quasar to determine the makeup: glass, sand, crystal, marble, ruby, and sapphire.

Ok, so where do black holes come from? They are the remnants of massive stars which have burned themselves out and collapsed under their own gravitation into a dimensionless point.

And where did the original star come from? Well, from space dust of course. It's that old chicken and egg problem all over again. You need dust to make stars and you need stars to make dust, so where did it start in the first place?

When science starts with the assumption that there is no God, it rejects the only possible first cause. Science, in its true form, is an investigation into the creative work of God. The Bible says that "you are dust, and to dust you shall return," but it also says who made the very matter of the dust out of nothing. God made it, and until scientists acknowledge that fact they are only running in circles.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Pledge

Fifty Boulder Colorado High School students walked out of class today to protest the Pledge of Allegiance and it's phrase for which this blog is named: "one nation under God".

I could go into a rant about public education and the fallacy that the Constitution includes a "separation of Church and state." But I'd rather talk about that phrase which engenders such controversy. Saying that we are one nation under God is not a religious statement, and it does not depend in any way on one's personal opinions or beliefs. It is a simple statement of fact, and its truth doesn't change if you refuse to acknowledge it. It is true whether I believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Diversity, Wicca, Mother Earth, Harvey the Rabbit, or Darwin. How can that be? Simple. Truth is not a function of what I think. It exists independent of my opinion or belief. Regardless of how sincerely or fervently I believe that the Earth is flat, that doesn't make it so.

"One nation under God" is much more of a statement about God than it is about America. We are under God because God is over all, not because we are somehow special or better or more deserving than any other nation. Ultimately, every nation is under God, and the time is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. But why wait? Those who acknowledge God and honor Him experience the blessing of being in His will, while those who defiantly refuse to acknowledge God's sovereignty are missing out on that blessing and instead will experience God's wrath and judgment. Each of us has that choice: life or death, blessing or cursing. Which are you picking? For me, I choose life. And I pray that America makes the same choice.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


In 1884, an English clergyman and teacher wrote a fascinating little book called Flatland, telling the tale of a resident of two-dimensional Flatland, mathematician A. Square. Mr. Square describes what it is like to live in a two-dimensional world and details the workings of their society, where women are thin, straight lines, the lowliest of shapes, and men have various number of sides, depending on their social status. Irregular shapes are looked down upon as inferior, with sharply pointed triangles being the lowest form for a male. These dangerously-shaped men are suited only for life as a soldier, the most degrading of occupations. Regular polygons are highly respectable members of society, the more sides, the better. Mr. Square tells about how these inhabitants of Flatland recognize each other and interact as they go about their lives without any concept of a direction that is "up, but not north".

Then one day, A. Square encounters something he has never seen before: a shape which has no sides at all, but appears to curve smoothly. Even more remarkably, it seems to grow larger or smaller and sometimes disappear entirely, only to reappear somewhere else. As Mr. Square interacts with this amazing creature, he comes to understand that it is a sphere, a three-dimensional creature existing outside of the plane which had defined his entire existence. Mr. Square tried to explain this third dimension to the other inhabitants of Flatland, but they derided him as crazy. This third dimension was beyond their experience or ability to understand, so they concluded that it could not exist.

It occurred to me that trying to understand God is like an inhabitant of Flatland trying to imagine a sphere. God exists outside of time and space. After all, he created them. He pre-existed this universe, and He will continue on after it comes to an end. Just as the sphere could look down on Flatland and see what was happening inside a closed room, God is not bound by the constraints of time and space as we are. He is all-present in time just as He is all-present in space. He does not need to look ahead to see the future. He is already there.

As humans we try to impose our tiny vision and short-sighted wisdom on God, saying "If God were good and loving, he would do things MY way." How foolish of us to think that we know better than God! How presumptuous to think that we can wrap our finite minds around His infinite being. It is unsettling to not fully understand why God acts as He does, but sometimes we must accept that while we don't know the reasons, we trust God and know that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and that He is ultimately in control.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Britney is lame, the sky is blue

There is some kind of big uproar because Britney Spears crashed and burned in her performance at the VMA. I was just curious enough to watch the video of her "disastrous" performance. I have seen her perform before, and each song consists of a meaningless hook repeated a zillion times while she undulates around the stage in almost no clothing. In her VMA performance she repeated a meaningless hook a zillion times while she undulated around the stage in almost no clothing. Her pop star status clearly has a lot less to do with any alleged musical talent and more to do with her trademark belly-button wiggle move. What I fail to grasp is not why this performance is considered to be bad, but rather why it is any worse than any of her other performances.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Marry your cellmate?

A friend directed my attention to a web site which claims to "Assist those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their Daughters." The site, which I will not draw further attention to by naming, lists underage girls "for sale" as brides. They say that the idea is for parents to list their daughter, her age, photo, and description along with a "bride price". Men can click the "Propose" button to offer to pay the family for the opportunity to marry the daughter. They list Bible references mentioning arranged marriages and paying the "bride price" to the father in exchange for the daughter's hand in marriage.

So essentially you have a web site trafficking in underage girls sold for sex, claiming to be a Christian operation.

But as I looked at the site, there were several red flags which screamed "fake!"

The listings themselves appear to be written to entice pedophiles. The photos couldn't possibly be real -- they look like photos from a teen model contest. And the testimonials are just far too outlandish to be real.

Here is one sample ad, name removed to protect the innocent.

*****’s grandmother married at 13, her mother married at 13, and ***** has decided she wants to keep the tradition going. She would prefer to stay close to her large extended southern family and loves farm or at least rural life. She got an A in Home Economics and has read up on what else would be expected of her as a wife and is looking forward to it.

Notice the thinly-veiled reference to this child being eager for sex. In most of the ads, sexual availability is implied, although carefully never stated.

Here is one of the "Testimonials"

My mother thought I was getting ‘too frisky” and that I had to get married right away before I lost my purity to some high school boy. They found me a husband and my parents were able to keep their house and pay off my mother’s medical bills. I was so glad I could help them, and being married at my age (I'm 16 now) has a lot of advantages, like my own credit card!

Again, suggesting that these girls are just dying to have sex with some older man.

As I looked further through the web site, it mentions that only men living in the United States can use the service. Supposedly this is because they need to follow up on the satisfaction of their customers, and it is just too hard to do that outside of this country. More likely, they only have jurisdiction in the US so they don't want to deal with men in other countries.

They specify that only adult men may "Propose", and all of the girls listed are underage. It is clearly set up to create an illegal situation, but the "Frequently asked questions" list says that it is all legal.

But here is the real ringer.

The web site's html code includes "search engine fodder" designed to bring in traffic from people searching for certain phrases. These key words are inserted into the web page source by the creators in hopes of attracting certain people to their site. So what does this sites key words indicate about who they are hoping to bring to their web site?

Here is a partial listing of the key words:

forced child slave prostitute hooker whore escort teen sexy sex childwatch naked abuse pervert preteen toy buy money sold young single horror polygamy rape slavery hot blonde brunette redhead 13 14 15 16 17 underage illegal teenage delinquent juvenile foreclosure virgin escort
It does not exactly prove that this is a sting operation, but it does prove beyond any doubt that the intentions are not Christian in any way, even in the misguided sense that they claim. It may be a Department of Justice sting operation, or it might be a site trafficking in underage girls for money. I'm leaning towards thinking that it is a sting, but I reported the site to the DOJ Center for Missing & Exploited Minors just to be safe. But either way, what bothers me is that they claim to run this sick operation based on the Bible. The Bible does not command or even endorse arranged marriages, and it absolutely does not condone violating societal standards or laws regarding the proper age for marriage or sexual relations, and the concept of selling a daughter is completely reprehensible by Biblical standards.

So if it is a sting, please don't claim to use the Bible in your operation!

Update: This web site was a hoax, not a sting or a real operation.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I won the lottery!

There is the old joke about the guy who keeps praying that God will let him win the lottery, and he doesn't win and doesn't win. And finally God tells him "Help me out here. Buy a ticket."

My stand is that if it is God's will for me to win the lottery, He has no trouble providing the ticket. Buying a lottery ticket is a loosing proposition, and therefore is poor stewardship of the money that God has blessed us with.

Today the news reports that four people won the $330 million MegaMillions jackpot, including one person here in Texas. A $330 million payoff on odds of 1 in 176 million sounds like a pretty good deal. What you won't hear them trumpeting so loudly is that no one of those people will walk away with anything remotely close to $330 million. The cash value of the jackpot is $190 million. Split four ways, they each get $47.5 million. But the government, as they hold out that money with one hand, grab back 28% of it with the other hand in taxes, leaving $34 million, or about ten percent of the advertised payout. Spending a dollar for a 1 in 176 shot at $34 million doesn't sound like such a great deal, does it? Not that $34 million is anything to sneeze at. But when you consider that people spent $600 million chasing that jackpot it seems like a case of mass hysteria.

The real winners are those who didn't buy into it. Like me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Vick finds Jesus

"We all make mistakes," said Michael Vick. "Dogfighting is a terrible thing and I reject it ... I found Jesus and turned my life over to God. I think that's the right thing to do as of right now."

I'm not going to speculate here about whether this is a genuine decision or a calculated sympathy ploy. The timing is suspicious, but that's a matter known only by God and Mr. Vick.

What I can say with complete certainty is that it came a bit late. No one is beyond the reach of God's grace. Just look at Saul, who hunted down and killed Christians before meeting Jesus and being transformed by God into a great missionary. But if Vick had been similarly transformed a year or two ago through a genuine, life-changing encounter with the Living God, his life would be very different today.

Some people think that being a Christian is just about going to heaven when you die, but they are missing out on the fact that eternal life starts the moment you accept Christ as your savior, and at that moment God takes your old messed up life and supernaturally turns it around into something exceptionally good. Living life today in fellowship with God is just as much a benefit of salvation as going to heaven when I die.

I am thankful that God saved me when I was young, because He spared me from many of the stupid choices that people make when they try to live without Him.

The truth about Michael Vick will be seen in his life ten years from now. But how much better would it be if he had turned his life over to God ten years ago, and not had to lose so much to be forced to "find Jesus" in prison, watching his NFL career crumble before his eyes?

It is wise to learn from other people's mistakes, because it helps you to avoid making them all yourself. Perhaps Michael Vick could have avoided this calamity in his personal life by learning from other people's experience. And maybe you can learn from Michael Vick's experience. Don't wait until your life is ruined to turn to God. Do it now. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, and allow Him to turn you into a new creation. Do it today.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bush did it

President Bush is to blame for a lot of bad stuff that has happened in the past years.

He pulled some strings to get Katrina to hit New Orleans, right in the spot where a bunch of environmentalist wackos prevented the Corp of Engineers from building a better sea wall. And if that's not enough, Al Sharpton says that Bush actually put dynamite under the levies to make sure that they would fail.

Bush caused the I-35 bridge to collapse into the Mississippi river in Minneapolis.

And Bush lied and got all of our dumb troops stuck in Iraq to profit his contractor buddies. That certainly was not about terrorism -- after all, Bush was behind 9/11 too!

But this one tops them all.

Now we have the bombshell revelation that President Bush got a 20-year-old pregnant and denied her the entitlement of drinking mai tais on a tropical beach.

A 20-year-old Illinois college student is whining because she won’t be able to vacation in Costa Rica, because she got pregnant, because she couldn’t get birth control anymore, because it cost $20-a-month more at the university clinic, because its federal funding was cut, because President George Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act.

I can't make this stuff up, folks. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that

Last spring, 20-year-old pre-med student Elizabeth Harris had only Costa Rica on her mind. She was hoping to wine and dine there while taking a few biology courses.
But the Waukegan native and University of Illinois at Chicago junior had to skip her trip. Having gone off birth control, Harris found she was pregnant. She said she quit when the cost of her prescription at the UIC clinic more than doubled. "[The price] steered me away," said Harris. "I don't blame them [UIC], but I might not be in the situation I am in now."

The cost of Harris’ birth control -- NuvaRing, a monthly contraceptive, at the UIC clinic was $35, up from $15. “She said that even though UIC provides free condoms she would only use them ‘once in a while.’ Other times she and her partner were feeling spontaneous and ‘it just happened,’ she explained”.

The story portrays Harris as the helpless victim of Bush's budget cuts and makes the case for more Federal funding of birth control: “Harris, coming from a low-income home, said she cannot afford to pay so much more for birth control.”

Sure. And what is the cost of the cell phone she was shown holding in the newspaper photo? She could afford a trip to Costa Rica, but couldn't afford $35 for birth control? Maybe if she can’t afford to protect herself, she should -- perish the thought -- abstain from sex.

How does anyone get the idea that taxpayers are required to pay for her birth control? That spontaneous sex excuses reckless behavior? That extra-marital sex is no problem, ethically or morally?

This is not just a case of one girl publicly sticking her foot in her mouth over her irresponsible behavior. It reflects a society which has lost its mind.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two years

Two years ago today I launched "One Nation Under God" onto the internet with great fanfare. Since then, I have taken the blogosphere by storm, accumulating almost a dozen avid readers. In memory of the two year anniversary of this blog, I am going to repost the guiding principles I laid out two years ago. I believe that they apply now as much as ever, and I believe that each of the 161 posts in this blog have worked to advance these principles.

1. America is great in spite of its government, not because of it
2. The earth is not fragile. Capitalism is not a threat to the environment.
3. Without the Second Amendment, the rest of the Bill of Rights is meaningless.
4. Budget deficits are caused by excessive spending, not insufficient taxation.
5. Parents are responsible for raising their kids, not villages and certainly not Hillary Clinton or the Federal Government.
6. Entrusting your retirement to the stock market is less risky than entrusting it to Congress.
7. Terrorism is an evil which must be wiped out, not appeased.
8. Most of the things that Congress does are outside of its Constitutional authority.
9. Free Market forces are better at improving society than government regulations.
10. Subsidizing irresponsibility is a very bad policy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Vick's mistake

Michael Vick, star NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, is looking more and more guilty of the charges that he not only participated in the barbaric "sport" of dog fighting, but that he also exercised extreme cruelty in killing poor-performing dogs in inexcusably inhumane ways.

But what really stands out to me is the stupidity of this case. Its not just that this guy was making $13 million per year on a ten-year NFL contract, and he threw it all away for less money than he made in a week. It is pretty clear that Michael Vick was not into dog fighting just for the money. He got a sick thrill out of torturing, mutilating, and killing.

And that is where Vick's ultimate stupidity shows through. Michael Vick chose the wrong victims to take out his viscous tendencies upon. He picked dogs -- animals who society hold up as cute cuddly pets. Animals upon which the animal rights movement has bestowed rights and protections on the same level as adult humans. In fact, the outrage in this case seems more far-reaching than the outrage over American citizens tortured and murdered by terrorists.

Michael Vick should have been more selective in choosing his victims. Instead of dogs, Vick should have unleashed his violence on a group which society has reduced far below human level -- one which no one will care about, no one will be outraged over, no one will defend. He should have taken up dismembering a form of life so low that the death and carnage will seem commonplace.

Michael Vick should have chosen a hobby of ripping unborn babies limb from limb. It would have satisfied his sick blood lust and his thirst for profit, and we would all have yawned and gone back to watching our football. No one would have wondered why we care about dogs more than about human babies. There would be no criminal charges, no media uproar, no calls for years of incarceration. If Michael Vick were just a bit smarter he could have avoided all of this hassle, and instead of being demonized, he would be held up as a hero of the left, defended as a champion of women’s rights, and praised for having the courage to end a defenseless human life weighing less than the steak he eats for dinner.

That is the senseless stupidity in it all. All Michael Vick had to do was pick on someone who no one cared about.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The horror!

You can rest assured that this intersection in Dalhart Texas is the only place where Dodson and Liberal intersect.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Who is the artist?

Our family spent the last week in Yellowstone National Park.

We hiked through the mountains and along the brink of a mind-boggling canyon, watched the wildlife, and observed many different aspects of the interactions between rock, water, heat, and time. We saw the energy from the molten core of the earth unleashed by the Yellowstone Volcano in the form of geysers, hot springs, steam vents, and boiling mud pots. We were dwarfed by mountains formed by the collision of massive plates of the earth's crust.

At the West Thumb Geyser Basin, on the shore of Yellowstone Lake, Ranger Steve led us on a ranger-guided walk through the thermal area. A professor of geology, specializing in hydro-geothermalogy, he is highly intelligent and very qualified to discuss the scientific basis for the geysers and hot springs in that unique region.

Ranger Steve

Ranger Steve described the constant change seen in the thermal features as the work of an artist. This great artist works in the mediums of rock and water interacting with the heat from the magma intrusion of the Yellowstone Volcano. This artist's tools include earthquakes which alter the "plumbing" system deep in the earth, thermophile bacteria perfectly adapted to feed off of the energy of the scalding water and convert the sulfur into sulfuric acid, and the occasional cataclysmic volcanic eruption which "wipes the slate clean" so that the artist can begin an entirely new masterpiece of creativity.

As you experience Yellowstone, it is easy to see it as the work of a great artist. However, when Ranger Steve identified the artist, he got it completely wrong. He said that the artist whose creativity was seen at Yellowstone was “Mother Earth.” But the earth screams with signs of an active creativity, intentional design, a purposeful application of power, and a delight in beauty and variety of creation. None of these are traits of a chunk of rock orbiting a star in the outer fringes of an inconsequential spiral galaxy. Creation is evidence of the existence of a creator. Design points to a designer. Purpose is proof of a higher intellect directing the course of existence.

The artist of Yellowstone is not an impersonal one. Even Ranger Steve admits this by personifying the earth with the name “Mother”. But the earth and the forces of nature which Ranger Steve lifts up as the artist are themselves the creations of God. If you exclude the possibility of God as the source of creation, then Ranger Steve’s naturalistic view of Yellowstone being a product of chance is the only option left, but that doesn’t make it scientifically sound. There is nothing scientific about rejecting the one explanation which best fits the observed facts without any basis other than a refusal to admit the existence of a creator with the authority to define moral boundaries.

Only God could be the great artist of Yellowstone, artist of the universe, and artist of our lives. An honest look at Yellowstone confirms without a question the truth of God’s existence, his role as creator, and his continued care for his creation. Everywhere I looked I saw proof of God’s greatness. I am awed to serve a God who could conceive of the things I witnessed, intelligent enough to design them to work in such perfect harmony, powerful enough to create them by his Word alone, and loving enough to let me experience the results of his creativity.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Changing my name

I have decided that if the list of options for the Republican nomination remains unchanged, I will change my name to "None of the Above" and declare myself to be a candidate. Now if Fred Thompson or Newt joins the race, that would be another matter.

But look at our current choices.

We have a New York abortion supporter who supports gun control. His claim to fame was his response in the days after 9/11, which was indeed admirable. He also has a good record of cutting taxes, fighting crime, and greatly reducing the welfare roles in his home state. I'd vote for him over Hillary in a moment, but I'd sooner switch parties than vote for him in the primary.

Then there is that idiot from my former home state. I voted for him for the Senate, but that was before he got presidential aspirations and started vying for the middle-of-the-road vote. These days he teams up with people like Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold to bring us horrible bills like the campaign finance travesty and the amnesty bill for illegal aliens, and to undercut President Bush's excellent judicial nominations.

Right now, the best of the "top tier" candidates is Mitt Romney. I would vote for a true conservative Mormon before I would vote for, say, a liberal "Baptist" former governor of Arkansas who doesn't inhale. But I am not sure that Mitt is a true conservative at heart. He knows the right things to say, but his track record of actual accomplishments is not that solid.

Surely this is not the best we have got.

I would love for Newt to get into this race. Newt is a true conservative revolutionary. Some people think that is a contradiction, but Newt excels at generating new ideas based on solid free-market conservative principles. His plan for "Winning the Future" is full of innovative ideas which, like his Contract with America, will really work and bring about the right kind of change. I recognize that Newt is one of the most vilified people in America, but that is really because he was so effective as Speaker of the House. If Newt runs, he's my man.

Fred Thompson is a close second. He is not a revolutionary like Newt, but he is 100% solid as a conservative. Everyone loves Fred right now, but I think that it may be a honeymoon phase. He has some baggage, too. And while he is right on in terms of issues and positions, suggestions that he is the next Ronald Reagan are certainly overblown.

So encourage Newt or Fred to throw their hat into the ring, or get ready to vote "None of the Above".

Friday, June 22, 2007

Vote of no confidence

Six months after taking control of Congress, the Democrats have accomplished little or none of their stated objectives, and the public is responding.

In a Gallop Poll released on June 21, 2007, the public's confidence in Congress is at an all-time low of 14%. Gallop polled 1,009 adults on their confidence in 16 different institutions. The military received the highest vote of confidence, with 69% of the respondents expressing high confidence. The Democratic Congress, which has spent most of its time staging symbolic nonbinding resolutions, denying funds to our troops, investigating legitimate firings, and grandstanding on topics like the minimum wage, tax increases, and embryonic stem cells, was ranked dead last.

Lower than HMOs.

And eleven points lower than the President.

I would say that this indicates that the Democrats have misread the message sent in the last election. Let's hope that Republicans can get their act together, find a solid candidate or two, and get back on message in time for 2008. The door is open.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good news and bad news

This is a follow-up to Tuesday's post about Lockheed promoting "Gay Pride Month".

Wednesday morning, the banner was removed from the web site. HR indicated that they received a flood of protest. However, they did not acknowledge that removing the banner was a result of the complaints. Normally these "special announcements" stay up for two or three weeks. This one lasted 48 hours.

The company issued an official statement:

The recognition of Pride Month on InSite is not intended to endorse or promote anything. Just like the prior "special announcements" of Black History Month, Women's History Month, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, and National Day of Prayer, we are acknowledging widely recognized days and months.

We certainly understand that not all employees will relate to all of these events. Nevertheless, we feel it is entirely appropriate to provide the information, which we do in an objective, straightforward way.

Ralph and I appreciate and respect your opinion. You absolutely have the personal right to disagree with the content of the posting. We will, however, continue to inform our employees of widely recognized events focused on diversity and inclusion. Our intent is to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to feel accepted and welcome in the workplace.

This statement is flawed in several ways.

First of all, when you use the word "Pride" you are making a value judgment, not an objective delivery of information.

Secondly, if you are familiar with the history of the Stonewall Riots, you will know that this violent attack on police officers is a far cry from the non-violent social action of Martin Luther King, and is not something that Lockheed Martin should be celebrating.

Third, Gay Pride is not analogous to Black History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month. The rich cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the employees at Lockheed Martin is something worthy of celebration, but lifestyle choices about who people have sex with is a private matter, not something we should have our noses rubbed in.

But we will make sure that they acknowledge red-blooded American Christian occasions. They gave their word.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Remember Lockheed, the great All-American company dedicated to protecting and defending our freedom by producing the most dominant fighter jets in the sky? Take a look at what recently showed up on our internal web page, the one that tens of thousands of employees see every day:

This is brought to us by our Fort Worth Diversity Council, you know, the one that excluded me as a member. The banner is a link to a promotion of “National Gay Pride Month”. I know that today's society says to be proud of things that ought to be shameful. But I didn’t think that Lockheed would stoop to this kind of thing. I am guessing that someone said “Hey, you have Hispanic Heritage Month and Black Heritage Month, so why don’t you celebrate Gay Pride Month? We feel excluded!” But certainly they recognize that these are not analogous. Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the different cultural and ethnic backgrounds of our employees, not lifestyle choices about who people have sex with. I think that ought to be a personal matter.

Lockheed has established the standard that anything offensive is not permitted. That policy covers email, internet content, posters, and speech. So I can’t send out non-business related emails using company assets if someone might be offended by them, and I can’t put up potentially offensive posters in my office. But I know that a lot of people find this promotion of “Gay Pride Month” to be offensive. I do. So I sent an email to management saying that I find it offensive. They can’t argue with that and say that I don’t feel that way. So all that remains is to see if they comply with their own policy.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Glimpse Inside Don's Mind

Chicken wearing a purple wig
Monkey polkas with a pig

Horses flying in the sky
Putting makeup on his eye

Elevator full of paisley fish
Ask you for your Christmas wish

Pickup trucks with lettuce waltz
Shiny lobsters with no faults

Silly little peaches sing
As they soar on silky wing

Melancholy oysters hop
In circles as the floor they mop

Lemons eating split-pea soup
Snorkel in a chicken coup

Neon pansies jumping rope
Soon go golfing with the pope

Bulldozers are playing chess
With a lawnmower wearing a dress

Octopus with red bow-tie
Flies a kite up in the sky

Pickle floating in a shoe
Asks a skunk "How do you do?"

So you think this is bizarre?
The truth is more strange by far

Sunday, May 13, 2007

To the mother of my sons

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, described an excellent wife far more eloquently than I could manage. My own attempts to describe my wife would certainly fall far short, so I dedicate these words to my wonderful wife, my partner, my love, and the mother of my three sons.

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Alec Baldwin

Last week Alec Baldwin left a scathing, vitriolic, profanity-laced, threatening answering machine message for his 11-year-old daughter Ireland.

Here is what he had to say:

Hey I want to tell you something, ok? And I want to leave a message for you right now because it is 10:30 here in New York on a Wednesday and once again I made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone to call you at a specific time. When the time comes for me to make the phone call I stop whatever I am doing and I go and I make that phone call at 11 o’clock in the morning in New York and if you don’t pick up the phone, at 10 o’clock at night. And you don’t even have the God damned phone turned on. And I want you to know something, ok? I am tired of playing this game with you. I am leaving this message to tell you: you have insulted me for the last time. You have insulted me. You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being. I don’t give a damn that you are 12 years old or 11 years old or that you’re a child or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn’t care about what you do as far as I’m concerned. You have humiliated me for the last time with this phone. And when I come out there next week I’m going to fly out there for the day just to straighten you out on this issue. I’m going to let you know just how disappointed in you I am and how angry I am with you that you have done this to me again. You’ve made me feel like shit and you made me feel like a fool over and over and over again. And this crap you pull on me with this God damned phone situation that you would never dream of doing to your mother and you do it to me constantly and over and over again. I am going to get on a plane or I am going to come out there for the day and I am going to straighten your ass out when I see you, do you understand me? I am going to really make sure you get it. Then I’m going to turn around and I’m going to come home, so you’d better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with me because I’m going to let you know just how I feel about what a rotten little pig you are. You are a rude thoughtless little pig, ok?

Baldwin and Basinger have been locked in a brutal custody and visitation battle over Ireland for years, and it is safe to say that the nastiness is not limited to Baldwin. Basinger is using her daughter as a weapon against Baldwin. People are lining up to bash Baldwin for his horrible parenting, for his verbal abusiveness against his daughter, and even for not knowing how old she is. A few others like “Men’s News Daily” magazine are coming to Baldwin’s defense. I don’t think very highly of Alec Baldwin, who seems very arrogant, self-absorbed, and self-important, and has demonstrated an instability and inability to control his temper on a number of other occasions. The tirade reveals the depth of the Hollywood egotism, the “world revolves around me” mentality that leads him to feel so incredibly put out when he stops what he is doing to call his daughter. Can you blame her for not answering? I would have blocked his number if I was in her situation.

But this is not a men-versus-women issue or a Baldwin-versus-Basinger issue. This ugly, indefensible rant reveals the nature of divorce. Divorce is a destructive, evil practice which rips homes apart and hurts everyone involved. The worst part of divorce comes when kids are involved. The kids are not at fault for the divorce, but they are caught in the middle of a tug-of-war caused by the parent’s selfishness. I understand that there are a few cases where divorce is a necessary evil. If one spouse is physically abusing the other or abusing the kids, the other spouse has the obligation to end that situation by any means necessary, including divorce. Irreconcilable infidelity is also legitimate grounds for divorce. But even in these cases, divorce is the lesser of two evils.

In Malachi 2:16 God says “I hate divorce.” Now we know that God is love, so anything he hates he must hate out of his love for us. God’s hatred of divorce is based in his love for the people who he created in his own image. The preceding verses reveal why God hates divorce:

…because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

Marriage is a covenant instituted by God thru which God takes a man and a woman and joins them to be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24) Jesus commanded that no man should separate what God has brought together. He was not just making arbitrary rules. He was speaking in love, to prevent little 11-year-old girls from getting evil, nasty voicemails from their dads.

In Ephesians 5:28-29 Paul wrote:

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.

Selfishness is the root cause of divorce. Sometimes it is one-sided selfishness, but usually there is plenty to go around from both husband and wife. But God’s plan for a loving marriage requires that we set aside our own self-interest and instead nourish and cherish our spouse. “Nourishing” means to create an environment which promotes health and growth. If I nourish my spouse, I make sure to provide all that she needs, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Cherishing my spouse means that I value her highly, as a precious treasure. How many divorces would there be if every husband, instead of thinking first about himself, devoted himself to nourishing and cherishing his wife, and if every wife did the same for her husband?

When some Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, he summed it up perfectly:

"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Monday, April 16, 2007

That explains a lot

There is a question which perplexed me for years.

Why do sumo wrestlers shave their legs?

I have searched for answers and struggled with the staggering philosophical and existential ramifications of this weighty matter. I have sought the council of wise and knowledgeable individuals and poured though many authoritative texts and ancient tomes seeking any insight to shed light on the deep and impenetrable mystery. But all of my efforts were futile. The answers I so diligently sought eluded me.

Then I heard that a sumo wrestling exhibition was coming to Fort Worth, and a glimmer of hope broke through the mounting frustration. As a powerful and influential member of the vast right-wing conspiracy I had no trouble getting press credentials from the media moguls I hobnob with. So armed with my Turner Broadcasting ID (Ted is a closet conservative, don’t you know?) I walked through the crowds of screaming sumo fans, past the security checkpoints, and into the back room where the wrestlers were preparing for their contests. I found one particularly large wrestler just finishing the daunting task of shaving his massive legs. As he put his Bic shaver away I asked him my most pressing question:

Why do sumo wrestlers shave their legs?

He answered: “We are tired of being mistaken for feminists.”

Monday, April 09, 2007

Intelligence analyst challenges Good Friday 'Spin'

(2007-04-06) — While Christians around the world gather for so-called “Good Friday” observances, an intelligence analyst studying primary source documents challenged the “irrational exuberance of the true believers,” and said his research to date indicates things did not go according to plan.

“At this point, you have a leader in whom a lot of people had placed their hopes, who failed miserably,” said the unnamed source who is in the process of translating and exploiting the documents. “There’s no progress — no movement at all. It’s a classic case of a bad plan, poorly executed. A rational person would ask, ‘What’s so good about it?’”

The source said that “while fanatics encourage taking a longer term hopeful view of the situation, and try to position the conflict as an epic struggle between good and evil in which good ultimately triumphs, the immediate reality on the ground shows the enemy has won, the plan lies in ruin and the way forward is blocked by an immovable obstacle. Redeployment appears to be the only viable option remaining. Any way you look at it, it’s a dark day.”

“You can call it Good Friday if you wish,” he said, “but that’s just spin. I can’t say it any clearer, ‘It is finished.’”

Friday, April 06, 2007

Draft Newt

When I think of the definition of "Conservative" one picture comes immediately into my head.

The picture is Ronald Reagan.

Next to Reagan's towering figure, none of the three leading contenders for the GOP nomination even come close to measuring up.

But there is one person who still wears the mantle of the Reagan Revolution. That person is former Speaker of the House and mastermind of the Contract with America, Newt Gingrich. This is a man who still believes in the principles of Reagan which the rest of the party is now paying the price for abandoning. Principles like limited government, lower taxes, reduced spending, free-market economy, and a strong defense. Newt is the only person on the scene with a combination of a solid ideological base, great new ideas for how conservative principles should be implemented today, and a proven track record for getting things done.

Not since Reagan himself has any man been as vilified by liberals, government establishment types, and the media. That is because Newt is dangerous to their vision of a more socialized, centrally-directed America. But Hillary has baggage too, and I think that her's will stick more than Newt's.

Visit the Draft Newt web site and read his position papers on many important issues, and if you prefer him to the existing options, register to join the Draft Newt movement. Let's get this great leader into the race!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Secrets of life

I have discovered that there are two secrets to life which assure that you will be happy, successful, prosperous, and fulfilled.

1. Never tell anyone everything that you know.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The World's Shortest Books

by Willie Nelson

by Jacques Chirac


by Jane Fonda & Cindy Sheehan.
Illustrated by Michael Moore

by Janet Reno

by Rev Jesse Jackson & Rev Al Sharpton

by Hillary Clinton

by Bill Clinton

by Osama Bin Laden

by Bill Gates

by Shane

by Dennis Rodman

by Ray Nagin

by Al Gore & John Kerry



by Dr. J Kevorkian

by Eminem

by Barack Obama

by Ellen de Generes & Rosie O'Donnel

by Harry Reid

by Mike Tyson


by Hillary Clinton

by O.J. Simpson

by Ted Kennedy

by Nancy Pelosi

Monday, March 26, 2007

Deadbeat dads

There are not many life forms on this planet lower than a parent who does not pay the required child support. Most are members of the platyhelminthes family. But there are a bunch of dads, and even a few moms, who fall into this category, and I support even the most drastic measures to extract what they owe. One big problem in collecting delinquent child support is that it is treated as a local matter, and if the deadbeat moves to a different city, there are all sorts of jurisdiction problems in collecting the money.

Today FoxNews reports that pizza delivery boxes are being used to distribute mug shots of deadbeats. The idea is that people on the run from the law don't want to get out in the open, so they order pizza. Good idea, but I think we can do better.

But it would not take a whole lot to effectively force a large percentage of these deadbeats to pay up. Here is how to do it:

Add a line on the Federal 1040 form which says: If you are currently delinquent on any child support payments, complete form XYZ and enter the unpaid balance on this line.

That amount becomes part of your tax liability, and failure to pay it is then tax fraud, a Federal crime which the IRS is quite adept at dealing with.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stick it to 'em

Hillary, who voted to send our troops to war in Iraq, now wants to surrender Iraq to the terrorists. At least on even-numbered days that is her position. She always states this idea in carefully-crafted weasel words so that she can't really be pinned down. For instance:

"We never should have gone there, we never should have seen the mismanagement and the bad decisions that have unfortunately marked this administration's behavior. But we are there now and we have to end the war in the right way," she said to applause.
If you support the Democrat's plan to cut and run, the right way means leaving now and letting the terrorists overrun Iraq. On the other hand, if you would like America to win the war on terror, ending the war the right way means finishing the job as promptly as possible and leaving behind a stable democracy in Iraq. Hillary is happy to straddle the fence and let both sides interpret her statement as supporting their position. Of course, American victory in Iraq would be disastrous to the Democrats, who have staked their entire political future on defeat, so they are hell-bent on getting our troops out before they can win.

Given that Hillary wants to be President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and take on the task of dealing with Islamofascists determined to destroy America, I think that it is fair to ask about her plan for winning the War on Terror.

The good news is that she came right out and told us.

Hillary spoke at a fundraiser in a Manhattan hotel ballroom filled with New York elected officials and wealthy Democratic donors:
"I turn off a light and say, 'Take that, Iran,' and 'Take that, Venezuela.' We should not be sending our money to people who are not going to support our values."
Yeah, that will do it. Hillary is ready to really get tough. Stick it to ‘em Hillary. Turn off a light.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Movies worth two hours of your life

I often take shots at bad movies and the Academy which drools over them.

You might make the mistake of thinking that I am generally anti-movie. The truth is, I love a good movie with a solid plot and good acting. I thoroughly enjoyed the three films from the Mexican directors which won a number of awards this year: Pan's Labyrinth, Children of Men, and Babel. I tend to like gritty, dark films. I am a big fan of Hitchcock and the film noir genre. My favorite films include Double Indemnity, Vertigo, Dial "M" for Murder, Rebecca, The Maltese Falcon, Laura, A Witness for the Prosecution, Chinatown, The Shawshank Redemption, and LA Confidential. These days, Hollywood has a tendency to be shallow and unoriginal, substituting special effects, foul language, sex, and cheap laughs for plot and character development. And the Academy is much more impressed with a liberal agenda than a good story line.

So when Hollywood creates a film with a superb story line, good production value, great acting, and a clear presentation of a Christian world view all in one package, I do sit up and take notice. When they portray a man committed to faith in God, compelled by that faith to take action against injustice in spite of tremendous opposition, persevering through years of setbacks, facing hopeless obstacles, and battling his own personal demons, I am so impressed that I must encourage you to see this film.

The film I am talking about is "Amazing Grace", based on the true story of William Wilberforce, the man who ended the British slave trade. The title comes from Wilberforce's partnership with John Newton, the former slave ship captain turned monk and anti-slavery activist, who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace". It is a film of redemption and restoration, but also it is a call to each of us to confront the injustices of our time, reminding us that a life of faith can not be lived out in solitude, retreating from the public arena. Instead, we must be engaged with the culture, shaping the culture and being an influence for what is right and just. As Christians, are we acting out that kind of influence today? If so, would the abortion industry be flourishing? Would pornography be big business? Isn't it time that Christians stop ignoring injustice and start confronting it?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Carbon cop-out

Al Gore got up on stage to accept the Oscar, looking like he had just swallowed Michael Moore. He urged us to have the will to do something about the imminent crisis of global warming. He jets around the world in his private airplane telling us regular schmucks to walk or ride a bike instead of driving, and to cut down on our energy usage. When it was revealed that he consumes 15 times as much electricity as the average American and flew more than 400,000 miles in his private jet last year, his reply was that he lives a "carbon neutral" lifestyle. He invests in "green" companies which are researching alternative energy sources, and that investment offsets the damage he argues is inflicted on the fragile climate by the millions of pounds of carbon dioxide he produces.

But does it really?

Perhaps he should invest in companies which produce tofu, bran, and bean sprouts to offset the high-fat diet which has resulted in his rather portly figure.

Perhaps a rapist could offset his rape by investing in a battered women's shelter.

Investing in companies which research alternative energies does not do anything to remove the "greenhouse gases" which Al Gore is telling the rest of us to stop producing. If Gore really believed the hysteria he is spreading, shouldn't he lead by example?

His concept of using "carbon offsets" to reduce his "carbon footprint" and achieve a "carbon-neutral lifestyle" is completely bogus.

It is even sillier than one of my favorite liberal guilt-relieving schemes of the past, the "socially responsible mutual fund".

Liberals feel bad about investing in the American stock market. You see, American corporations are the cause of nearly every evil in the world. Certainly they are far worse than Al Qaeda, and they probably even give President Bush a run for the money. Corporations pollute, destroy the habitat of snail darters, produce dangerous automobiles which cause global warming, don't provide adequate health insurance for their employees, give huge undeserved bonuses to their executives, and worst of all, make profits. Investing in these monsters is far worse than surrendering the War on Terror. Unthinkable.

Hence, the "socially responsible" mutual funds. These funds screen companies to eliminate those which carry on such horrific businesses as defending our country, producing firearms, building SUVs, providing oil, and making cigarettes. Of course they would never dream of investing in the most evil corporation of all: Wal Mart. They won't come out and say it, but the definition of "socially responsible" is always "politically correct from the liberal viewpoint".

I used to wonder why there was no "socially responsible" mutual fund based on the conservative definition of the phrase. You know, one that invested in Hummer, Lockheed Martin, Smith and Wesson, Exxon, Weyerhaeuser, and of course Wal Mart. This mutual fund would invest in the engines which drive our economy, create jobs, produce innovation, and provide the goods and services that we all want and need. And when I started to list out the companies which qualify, I recognized that the mutual fund already exists. In fact, I already own it. It is the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. It owns shares in almost five thousand companies, large and small, covering all industries and sectors.

Perhaps we should consider this investment to be a liberal offset.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lottery Mania

This morning, at least two people won shares in the $370 million Mega Millions Lottery jackpot. They faced the 1 in 175 million odds, and won. Those people will get a lot more media attention than the 600 million suckers who voluntarily paid into the jackpot.

I am going to resist the temptation to comment on the lottery, and instead, share with you my proven strategy to beat the system.

You heard me right. I have perfected a secret method which turn the odds in your favor.

Here is how I do it:

Simply write down the numbers you WOULD pick if you were going to buy a lottery ticket.

Then, when your numbers are not selected, celebrate that you did not waste a dollar on those losing numbers.

Then invest the dollar in something with a positive expected return. For instance, you could give it to your local Church, or invest it in the stock market.

Some times I even skip straight to the last step.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Islamic Justice coming to a town near you

Occasionally it is good to be reminded of who the enemy is, and what life would be like if they were permitted to prevail. Here is an example of Islamic "justice" as practiced under Shariah. Al Qaeda's stated goal is to impose Shariah first on the entire Middle East, and then on the entire world. If we surrender in Iraq as the Democrats are advocating, Al Qaeda will be one big step closer to achieving their goal.

A 19-year-old Saudi woman who was kidnapped, beaten and gang raped by seven men who then took photos of their victim and threatened to kill her, was sentenced under the country's Islamic-based law to 90 lashes for the "crime" of being alone with a man not related to her.

The woman's ordeal began a year ago when she was blackmailed into meeting a man who threatened to tell her family they were having a relationship outside wedlock, which is illegal in the desert kingdom.

She met the man at a shopping mall and, after driving off together, the blackmailer's car was stopped by two other cars bearing men wielding knives and meat cleavers.

During the next three hours, the woman was raped 14 times by her seven captors.

One of the men took pictures of her naked with his mobile phone and threatened to blackmail her with them.

Back at home in a town near the eastern city of Qatif, the young woman did not tell her family of her ordeal. Nor did she inform the authorities, fearing the rapist would circulate the pictures of her naked. She also attempted suicide.

Five of the rapists were arrested and given jail terms ranging from 10 months to five years. The prosecutor had asked for the death penalty for the men.

The Saudi justice ministry, however, said rape could not be proved because there were no witnesses and the men had recanted confessions they made during interrogation.

The judges, basing their decision on Islamic law, also decided to sentence the woman to lashes for being alone with a man in his car.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Calling the Oscar

James Cameron's film "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" is a shoo-in for next year's Academy Award for "Best Documentary".

Just as Al Gore's global warming boogieman fiction and Michael Moore's mockumentary were sure things long before the envelopes were opened, you can take this one to the bank.

Some people think that making a good historical documentary is about presenting solid fact supported by undisputable physical evidence, consistent with the consensus of historians, archeologists, sociologists, and forensic scientists, as well as with other records from the period.

Those people are old fashioned and naive.

All indications are that qualities such as the truth of the claims are no longer relevant. What matters now is the political agenda behind the film.

It constantly amazes me that people are willing to buy into wild claims like this. These are the same people who talk about how reading The Da Vinci Code opened their eyes to what is really going on in the world and breathlessly listen to Art Bell to find out if earth is passing through the photon belt yet.

Scholars, both Christian and secular, are already lining up to dispute the central claims in Cameron’s film. They point out many obvious flaws: the names on the caskets were common. You would expect to find those names on many caskets from that time period. Jesus came from a poor family in Galilee. You would not expect the family to have an expensive burial plot near Jerusalem. It is not at all clear that the boxes were found together. The authenticity of the inscriptions has been questioned, as has the claim of exactly what the inscriptions say. Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, said that the inscription claimed to say “Jesus” is more likely to say “Hanun”, another common name. He points on that ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher.

Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the film’s claims fail to hold up by archaeological standards but make for profitable television.

"They just want to get money for it," Kloner said.

But there are more convincing proofs that Jesus’ body was not buried in that box next to his “wife” and “son”.

History would not have unfolded as it did if that was the case.

In the days following Jesus’ crucifixion, a great deal of commotion revolved around the claims that Jesus had raised from the dead. These claims and the growing movement of Jesus’ followers undermined the authority of Rome and Pilate, the Roman governor. If Jesus body had still been in the tomb, Pilate would have certainly produced the body to lay the issue to rest. The Christian movement would have been extinguished. But Pilate could not produce the body of the man who he had sentenced to die, so it was no longer in the tomb where it had been buried.

Some people will claim that Jesus disciples stole the body and hid it to support their claim that he had risen. This story doesn’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

The tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers and sealed with Pilate’s seal. A Roman soldier who fell asleep at his post or failed to protect what he was guarding would be executed. Jesus disciples, comprised of a few fishermen, a tax collector, and other tradesmen and farmers, were no match against Roman soldiers. Jesus followers had neither the money nor the motive to bribe the guards. The Jewish leaders had both the financial resources and a pressing reason – to put to rest the growing Christian movement which threatened their authority.

Any way you look at it, stealing Jesus body to back their claims that he had resurrected would require a grand conspiracy involving many people, and such undertakings seldom hold up for long. And if the disciples had gone to such lengths to steal the body, they would certainly not bury the body in Jesus’ family tomb with his name engraved on the box. They would have to dispose of the body to ensure that it would never be found or identified.

Finally, if the disciples had conspired to steal the body to support what they knew to be a lie, what would possibly lead eleven of the twelve to face violent deaths still professing the truth of the resurrection? Andrew, Bartholomew, Philip, and Simon were all crucified, James bar Alphaeus, Judas, and Matthias were stoned to death, James son of Zebedee was beheaded, Matthew and Thomas were both speared to death, and Peter was crucified upside down. Only John died of natural causes, exiled on the island of Patmos for his faith in Jesus. Not a single one of them, facing horrific deaths, recanted their testimony that they had seen the resurrected Jesus. As first-hand witnesses, they were convinced beyond a doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead, proving that he was who he claimed to be – the Son of God.

Real scholars and historians recognize James Cameron’s film for the hogwash that it is, and Christians know that Jesus is not buried in a tomb. We know that he lives because he is actively transforming our lives every day. He lives in our hearts, not figuratively or metaphorically, but literally.

Since “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” is based on obvious falsehoods, why am I so convinced that it will win the Academy Award in the “Documentary” category? The historical precedence is clear: Al Gore won in spite of the fact that the central assertions of the film are demonstrably false. And Michael Moore won with a film which used an assortment of fabrications to support a highly questionable thesis, leading me to question why it is eligible for the Documentary category. Inaccuracies do not seem to be a roadblock to success with the Academy. In fact, they seem to be a requirement. These Oscar winners along with other nominated films such as “Jesus Camp” and “Iraq in Fragments” have one thing in common: a political agenda. Bashing conservatives or Christians scores big points, but debunking Jesus is the ultimate, even if the facts don’t really line up.

So Mr. Cameron should start writing his acceptance speech. Unless, of course, Michael Moore makes a film claiming that President Bush is Osama Bin Laden’s long-lost brother, citing Daily Kos as “evidence”.

Friday, February 16, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Just heard on NPR that today's Congressional hearings on "global warming" were postponed due to a heavy snowfall.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm in, and I'm in to win!

I think that it is about time that I get in on the hottest trend.

Every day now it seems that someone new is joining the contest, hoping for their chance to gain power, wealth, and fame. They make their case to the media, posture for the fawning news cameras, and bask in the new-found notoriety. And the speeches. So...articulate. They ardently deliver tear-jerking accounts of their youth and vague but moving promises of what they would do if selected for such a position of prominence.

The truth is, so many people have declared their candidacy that I am beginning to feel left out. Looking at all of the options, I feel that I am at least as qualified as most of them. As with most of the rest of the crowd vying for the coveted mantle, some technicalities may stand in my way. But I will not be dissuaded. The fact that one leading candidate, a fresh clean face recently arrived on the stage whose name is commonly confused with another iconic figure, has a long history of snorting cocaine is not standing in his way. Why should some minor details hinder me?

And so, after careful consideration and the formation of an exploratory committee, I have decided to join the fray, throw my hat in the ring, and declare my candidacy.

You may think it folly for a tall, lanky man from Indiana to enter this arena. You may even consider it to be the height of audacity. But I am in, and I’m in to win.

I hereby announce that I am joining the paternity battle for the baby of Anna Nicole Smith.

I’m one of the few people in America who has not already claimed paternity of the baby and the hundred million dollars that comes with the deal. Minor technicalities like the fact that I never met Ms. Smith should not stand in the way of the pursuit of wealth and fame.

In what other country in the world can anyone, no matter how humble their origins, aspire to someday sue for paternity of a golddigger's baby and become a multi-millionaire?

If that's not the American dream, I don't know what is.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Celebrity confusion

I was a bit confused when I heard the news reports that Anna Nicole Smith had died.

I thought that OJ Simpson killed her about fifteen years ago.

To tell you the truth, I can't keep all of these pop-culture trash celebrities straight. Exactly who is Anna Nicole Smith? And why should we all be interested in the fact that she is dead? As near as I can tell, more than five thousand people died in America yesterday. Why should her death stand out as newsworthy?

What has she accomplished in her life to deserve the storm of media attention?

I racked my brain to recall anything at all about her.

Was she the one who went on a drunken binge, neglecting her kids as she had wild drug-ridden parties? Maybe, but that doesn't narrow it down much. That describes most of the pop-culture world.

There was something about a pop icon running around without any panties. Was that her?

She doesn't share a name with a hotel chain or a city in Europe, so that claim to fame doesn't apply to her either.

Plastic, artificially enhanced, over-made-up bleached blondes with screwed up personal lives are a dime a dozen. Why not instead report on someone who has improved the world by their own personal sacrifice. You don't even have to wait until that person dies.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

We know who is to blame!

So I was walking past a TV and saw just enough of the football game to know that Chicago was beating New Orleans in a slight snow flurry.

And my first thought was: Where is FEMA?

Snow flurries in Chicago in January certainly constitutes a natural disaster, probably caused by global warming resulting from Republicans driving SUVs. And President Bush was far too slow getting FEMA on the scene to deal with the catastrophe. If there was ever any doubt that there is a conspiracy against New Orleans, this surely puts it to rest.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Surrender by any other name

Before the election I told you that the Democrats want to surrender the War on Terror.

Now they are admitting it.

Of course they don't all agree. They are still debating exactly how fast to give up. Some want to loose immediately. Others want to loose more slowly, over several months. But they all agree that defeat is their ultimate objective.

Of course they can't call it surrender. In fact, their biggest problem is what to call their plan to cut and run to make it acceptable to the American people. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, I offer to help them come up with a name. In fact, I have several ideas:

Strategic Skedaddle -- Sounds like a strategy for victory, if like most of us, you don't know what a "skedaddle" is.

R-U-N-N-O-F-T -- Borrowed from Mr. O'Daniel in "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?". I figure that if you spell it, some people won't figure out what you are really saying.

Phased Redeployment -- Oh, they already thought of that one.