Archive for June, 2005

Sunday, June 19th, 2005

It is a grey overcast day in Carlisle, PA — quite a contrast in colors (deep greens and grey) to Mesa, AZ (sun-washed colors under blazing light). More like my folks place here.

I see more of my father in the mirror these days and find myself appreciating more of his decisions and attributes as I crowd the statistical half way point in my shuffle along this mortal coil.

Like faithfulness to wife, family and church. Still married to my mother, still concerned for his grown childrens’ welfare and still giving of time and treasure to the body of Christ.

I used to think his debt-aversion old-fashioned, but the airwaves are filled with talk hosts and advertisers selling get-out-of-debt systems.

Following your bliss sounds nice, but is likely more frustrating and harmful to others than getting up each day to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay until you’ve made provisions for life. and the long economic slog is made better by defining your worth primarily by your relation to God and spouse.

Happy Father’s Day to the man who has been steadfast over four decades as my Dad.

Whom the gods would destroy . . .

Thursday, June 16th, 2005

To complain of poor writing and poorer thought in the press is to remark on the rising of the sun or moon.

I bought and read Newsweek for the first time in a year or so because of their military fathers and sons story.

Another article covered the GM labor dispute, in which the CEO of the floundering company took a $2.5 million BONUS while demanding the workers, who make the products he was so handsomely rewarded for, take significant cuts in HEALTH CARE coverage. Scribbled Newsweek: “A roadblock to any deal is the union’s feeling that GM brass is not sharing in the sacrifice.”
“Feeling” — try “knowledge.” Facts are facts and they matter.
The cover story was decent except for the socialist tics as uncontrolable as the twitch of Dr. Strangelove’s arm. Isakoff’s stable-mates lack the moral weight to judge and pronounce the service of black servicemembers “noble.” The patronizing false presumption of a leftist protectorship, reflected in the gratuitous slap at military leaders as disproportionately white and male, jumps out and provides false cover for ingrained anti-US-military animus.

Still . . . a nice piece on sons following fathers in a noble calling. The call for leadership from the two senior political families in pushing their daughters to lead by example in military service is right dispite the ideologically tainted well in which the pen was dipped. TR and FDR were right and DC schools don’t seriously count as a combat zone.

The Army Times, June 20, 2005, reports that the Active, Reserve, and Guard components all are repeatedly falling significantly short of recruiting goals. Field grade officers spoke to the reporter about the sense of insulated elites who do not share the risk through their families — reaffirming a theme captured in the Newsweek piece. The Reserves have severely thinned their full timer NCOs for recruiting details to try to gain recruits while units suffer from the loss of full time support — eating the seed corn.

Real American Public Opinion?

Monday, June 13th, 2005

A small convoy rolls through the Southwest desert heat, maintaining a disciplined formation in the right lane of the interstate. And the American people passing by in airconditioned comfort wave thanks to this mix of citizen-warriors (not yet combat veterans) and warrior-citizens (veterans of one or more campaigns or wars) on the way back to their civilian lives from a week of training for war. Yellow ribbons continue to festoon all sorts of vehicles. So how effective is the propaganda arm of the anti-US military left, beyond its self-affirming push-polls?

No god but God, brief observation

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

Interesting review. Value is a reasonable articulation of internal Islamic disputes since the foundation of the faith. However, I bought it, read it, and found the absense of words conveying historical Islamic conquest/ violence against the established Christian and Hindu faiths grating as set beside words conveying Christian “agression”, starting with the Crusades. Protective against all external criticism, the author leaves me less than certain that I am seeing all the cards and getting the best internal assessment of what the chances and shape of a reformation [his word — what he asserts is already underway] towards a religion that almost exclusively practices a peaceful struggle of ideas, with violence the extremely rare fringe event.

A Tale of Two Ministries

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

AP story from WSJ Online China Orders Web Sites, Blogs To Register With Government

SHANGHAI – Authorities have ordered all China-based Web sites and blogs to register or be closed down, in the latest effort by the Communist government to police the unruly world of cyberspace.

“The Internet has profited many people but it also has brought many problems, such as sex, violence and feudal superstitions and other harmful information that has seriously poisoned people’s spirits,” the ministry’s Web site said in explaining the rules, which were quietly introduced in March.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world:

McCain-Feingold Online
WSJ March 23, 2005; Page A14

Since 2003, when the Supreme Court upheld it, McCain-Feingold has failed spectacularly in its stated goal of reining in fat-cat donors. Yet its uncompromising language has helped to gag practically every other politically active entity — from advocacy groups to labor unions.
The sponsors of the law […] sued the [FEC] for allowing [Internet website/ blog] “loopholes” and got a federal judge to strike down the exemption.
One of the more exciting things about last year’s elections was how the Internet galvanized voter interest and turnout — from the Howard Dean grassroots movement to the bloggers who kept Dan Rather on his toes. Some 75 million Americans are estimated to have used the Internet to get political information in 2004. Too bad the very law that was supposed to encourage this buzz may ultimately be its demise.

I don’t believe for a minute that McCain-Feingold was intended to encourage real republican buzz. I believe the court challenge makes the intent clear: Shanghaing the First Amendment with another law in the line of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Then and now, those who believed themselves annointed were freed to set aside a bit of the Constitution to stop what they felt (confusing their person with the polis) to be a significant threat to the public good.