Monday, November 16, 2015

The speech President Obama needs to make

Like it or not, the Paris attacks have placed us in a situation where war is probably inevitable. These people aren’t going to go away, and they won’t ever make peace. What’s more, it has to be done soon, not just because ISIS will continue to grow and metastasize, but more importantly because it’s vitally important that there be a Democrat in the White House if we’re to have any possibility of victory.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive.  But consider: If we wait until after the next election they will paint it as a purely Republican war and hamstring it at every opportunity, whereas Republicans are unlikely to hamper a war effort. (Yes, yes, the GOP has its own set of shameful tactics, But that’s not one of them.)  Our only hope of winning the war is if both halves of America are behind it. And this, my friends, is a war we absolutely cannot afford to lose.

This is what the President needs to say:

My fellow Americans,
I have hoped with all my heart not to speak the words I am about to say. For several years we have watched the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria with growing concern. Up until now their predations have been confined to the Middle East, a region far from our shores. Those actions have been reprehensible - genocide, slaughter and destruction - but America has taken only limited measures, primarily aiding and supporting our Kurdish and other allies in the region. We have seen ISIS take the form, not of a shadowy terrorist organization, but of a full-fledged territorial nation bent on expansion. ISIS has made it abundantly clear that they will not countenance peace, that they intend to dominate all other nations and will never recognize another nation as its equal.
The attacks upon our French allies in Paris have changed the situation drastically. As members of NATO, we are obligated to come to France’s defense. Therefore, as soon as I have finished speaking, I intend to call a joint session of Congress and ask them to declare that a state of war exists between ISIS and the United States.
I do not take this action lightly. If the last 14 years have taught us anything, it is that the American people do not relish the roles of conquerers and occupiers. We prefer to leave others in peace and live in peace ourselves, often at great risk or cost to ourselves. But this, ISIS will not have. In light of their intransigence, it is better to stop them while they are relatively small rather than allow them to grow larger and more dangerous. War will come, whether we like it or not; the only question is when and what size foe we will face.
Let me be clear: this is not a war on Islam itself. I spent much of my childhood among Muslims whom I knew to be good and decent people. Many of our own citizens are Muslim. Indeed, the vast majority of ISIS’ victims have been Muslim. I call on American Muslims to demonstrate their loyalty to this country, and non-Muslims to treat them with the respect you would show any other compatriots. Your neighbors are not your enemies. Nor are many of the people in the regions we intend to invade. Our enemy, rather, is any person who identifies as a subject of ISIS’ caliphate or bears arms on its behalf.
American soldiers have a long tradition of protecting civilians from harm. I will direct our troops to continue this tradition. Unfortunately, civilian casualties cannot be completely avoided. Innocent people will be hurt and killed despite our best efforts. For this I take full responsibility, and may God judge me for it as He sees fit.
Our men and women in uniform have been through a great deal in recent years, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Against our wishes, we must call on them once again to place their bodies between their beloved home and an enemy who would destroy it. I thank them for their service and honor them for the work they are about to do.
I call on Americans of all faiths to join Michelle and me in prayer for the safety of our troops and a quick end to this war. Thank you, and God bless and defend the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The perfect liberal candidate

He’s black. He grew up poor and knows what it is to depend on welfare and food stamps. He’s a healer and a man of science. He’s owned by no corporate interests. He doesn’t shrink from war, but he’s no hawk by choice. He’s a reconciler, speaking kindly and peaceably to people on both sides of the aisle. He believes strongly in free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. He has a passion for higher education and wants to see it funded for poor students.

In short, he’s exactly what liberals have said all along they want in a president. If Dr. Carson gets the nomination, voters on the left will have to choose between being genuine liberals and being Democratic party loyalists. So far, it’s the latter. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Faux Satanists to piddle in Christians’ punchbowl

Rapidly becoming the Westboro Baptist of atheism.

Let’s face it: these people don’t believe in an actual Satan. Yeah, I know, there’s an esoteric philosophical system that calls itself Satanism, but I doubt any of the yahoos behind this could actually articulate it. All the symbolism is deliberately chosen to create revulsion among Christians. That’s it. They only adopt the trappings of Satanism because Christians have learned to ignore atheists spitting on their sacred things.

I keep thinking of a quote from C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle:
There goes one who had called on gods he does not believe in. How will it be with him if they have really come?
I don’t really get excited about the coach’s prayers one way or another. He’s not hurting anyone, but it wouldn’t hurt anyone if he stopped, either.  It seems to me there are more important things to worry about. But for this bunch, it’s all about the hate.

Monday, August 10, 2015

So hands off that gearshift, mister!

Spotted while "touring" Britain on Geoguessr:

Using Google Street View's whiz-bang time machine thingy, it looks like it's been that way at least since 2008. Really on the ol' stick there in Worcester, aren't we? (So to speak.)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trust no fox in the green meadow...

... and no Christian on the Internet.

It’s funny, when I first started this blog, it was an outgrowth of apologetics discussions I’d been having with Protestants, especially Calvinists, like Tim Challies and the Bayly Brothers. The hostility level usually stayed low, but it was really clear that they and I weren’t singing out of the same hymnal, so to speak.

The times, they are a’changin’. Today I almost never get into arguments with Protestants. In fact, my best friend’s mother, a Fundamentalist whom I would have expected to find firmly in the Pope-as-Antichrist camp, frequently sends me links about Catholic things that she’s really impressed by.

Say what you will about militant atheists, they’ve caused the various Christian sects to bury the hatchet, and not between some heretic’s shoulder blades. Those people despise us all equally. The more ignorant they are, the more vitriolic their denunciations. I don't know for certain that all of them are atheists by philosophy; some may just be jackasses who get off on the idea that they're somebody's moral and intellectual superior. Sort of like they accuse us of being, but for real.

It’s not all that far from this:

to this:

Go check out the originals here and here, if you’re strong of stomach. Streicher and Betty Bowers could probably find a lot to talk about.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A few thoughts, and jolly well about time, too

Note: I have no idea what to do about the font on this post. I messed it up and nothing seems to put it right. Sorry for the dissonance.

In another month and a half, it’ll be a year since my last post. I’m durned if I’ll allow my blog to go to seed that long, so it’s about time I put some thoughts into pixels. In no particular order:

1. My posting hiatuses (hiati?) seem to coincide with a change in my ADD medication. I’m back on my old drugs now and I have a feeling my ability to write will return along with it.

2. My job situation went on a roller coaster ride last winter. I won’t go into details – I make it a policy not to talk about work anyplace I can get dooced – but the upshot is that I’m back at the Greatest Paper in the Northwest™ doing page layout and copy editing. I’m not complaining about that part; I like the work and I’m good at it. It’s just the ride there that left me feeling slapped around like a white-trash housewife the morning after payday. I’m working evenings, which is proving an adventure for my Lovely and Brilliant Wife as well as the three HFA kids she wrangles into bed every night while I’m gone.

3. I’ve become addicted to GeoGuessr. It makes my inner map geek turn cartwheels. Basically, it plunks you down somewhere in the world on Google Street View and you have to work out your location from signs and other externals. I find the USA and UK versions fun for idle amusement, but some of the other maps pack a real challenge. (Have you ever tried to get your bearings in the middle of the Russian steppe or the Brazilian highlands?) There are no actual rules about looking things up but I limit myself to having Google Maps open in a second tab so I have a larger area to look at. Not for everybody, maybe, but I love it. It’s kind of fun seeing all these places I would never have sought out on my own.

4. The Grille from Ipanema in Coeur d’Alene is fantastic. Yummiest Brazilian barbecue I ever threw a lip over.  I recommend it highly. My only regret is that they don’t serve Xingu.

5. I have another grandbaby. Drama Queen and her husband presented me with an adorable granddaughter in November. Okay, technically she’s their baby, but I think of them as merely her caretakers when I’m not playing with her. Seriously, take a look. Is this not hyperconcentrated cuteness?

6. I also lost my last grandparent, my grandmother, last month. She was 94. We had her memorial on what would have been her and Grandpa’s 75th anniversary. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

7. Covarr just got word that he has a role in the Masquers Theatre’s upcoming musical.

8. I hate wildfire season in central Washington. Not just because of the smoky air and the people losing their homes, but because there’s nothing but fire photos to put on the front page, and there are only so many things you can do with them. It’s like trying to find ways to make tuna casserole new every meal.

9. I think I need to post my political stuff here more rather than Facebook. I’ve had several people unfriend me over political stuff. I really don’t understand people who do that.

10. We took the kids on a family vacation this summer for the first time in five years. Went to the Cannon Beach Conference Center and then down to see the in-laws in California. The drive home was 16 hours. My butt is permanently shaped like a minivan seat.

11. Still waiting for SSI to kick in. The kids qualify and the functionaries we talk to keep assuring us it’ll be any time now, but we haven’t seen any money yet and some bills are starting to stack up. If I have any readers left, some prayers would be appreciated.

12. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife has taken up art and is beginning to post some of her creations on her blog. Amble over and take a look and let her know if you see anything you like. Yes, it’s for sale as soon as she gets set up to make prints.

13. I hate Caps Lock. Even though I use it every day. I especially hate retyping entire paragraphs because I forgot I had it on. Grr.

14. I still have my comments prior to 2012 exported from the now-defunct Haloscan system, but I haven’t figured out how to import them.

15. My ten-year blogiversary was in April, and I totally missed it. Yay me, I guess.

16. God continues to be good, the Catholic Church continues to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and I continue to be a mediocre Christian at best.

Now to tidy up the sidebar and fix the kids’ ages. And we’re back in the Blogosphere!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sort of a 9/11 post

Everybody's posting their 9/11 reminiscences today. Most people seem to have watched the whole thing on TV and wept or stood in shock. Oddly enough, I didn't. I had no idea anything was amiss until I got to work and saw my co-workers huddled around the radio. As it became clear that this was big, my first thought was "I hope Mary [my editor who was in D.C. for a visit] got some good photos."  Then the enormity of the whole thing struck me.

Such is the thought process of a newspaperman. And that day, our little afternoon daily actually scooped the big metro papers that had all gone to press before the attack. We were on the other side of the country, not any sort of a target for even the most hateful enemy. What are they going to do, terrorize our potato fields?

So I don't have a lot of memorial stuff. What I do have is a snippet of a column by Dorothy Rabinowitz that reminds me why America is worth preserving:

There are other faces of Muslim America. Five years or so after the terrorists drove their planes and passengers into the twin towers and the Pentagon, a cab driver from Pakistan remarked, as we drove past the rubble where the towers had stood, that he could never pass this place without trying to see them again in his mind. A painful effort, for all that it brought back. What was not painful, he added, was the memory of certain people in his neighborhood—a mixed but mostly white area of Queens, with many Italian-Americans, some Jews, and he thought some Irish. After the attacks, some of the men had come to him.

"My wife doesn't go out without a head cover," he explained. The men had come to tell him that if anyone bothered her, or his family, he must come to them.

"I must tell them and must not be afraid. Do you know," he said, in a voice suddenly sharp, "what would have happened if Americans had done this kind of attack in my country? Every American—every Christian, every non-Muslim—would have been slaughtered, blood would have run in the streets. I know the kind of country this is. Thanks be to God I can give this to my children."
Thanks be to God indeed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday, May 09, 2014

If Jonathan Edwards were a feminist nutcase

I mean, seriously, doesn't this have the same cadence as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?
Men, homo rapiens, you scum, you filth. There is no word to describe the extent of your evil, you are pure evil, pure lechery. I hate you, how I hate you. In the 250,000 years of your rotten, defunct existence, you have managed to kill 5 million years of life on earth...
Whew! I'd beg for mercy, if only it were possible for a homo rapiens wretch like me. RTWT, if only for an appreciation of the sheer artistry of the rant. I've known plenty of Fundamentalist preachers who couldn't approach that level of pulpit-chewing, mouth-foaming intensity. (No disrespect to Fundamentalists intended.)

This, incidentally, is the same womyn-spirit who wrote the roundly-mocked screed about how all sex (at least, any that could possibly fulfill its natural function) was rape. Go ahead and read that one if you like, but you'll want to take a shower afterward.

Akubra tip to V the K.