Friday, March 28, 2008

Fitna Update

Islamo-fascist terror wins another one. I don't necessarily blame them, but it says a lot when the men of the West can't protect themselves -- or won't. Even worse -- their governments won't allow them to protect themselves.

LiveLeak -- the site hosting the Fitna documentary on the Q'uran has posted this on their website:

Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill-informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to harm of some of our staff, LiveLeak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one. Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one another’s culture.

We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fitna -- Movie on the Q'uran

Here at LiveLeak

Warning: very graphic images.

Update 03/28/08: On second thought... It's probably not as powerful as it might have been 4 years ago. Those, by now, who don't think Islamo-fascist terrorists are a threat to Western civilization in general -- and Christianity in particular -- are either in denial, stupid, or cowardly.

Open Thread

No one comments anyway... feel free to -- you know -- comment -- or not.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Father Zakaria in Egypt

Has a website.

His website has a ton of documents on differentiating between the God of Christianity and Allah. They are, in fact and of course, different.

Here's a transcript on the concept of Adult Suckling in Islam. I kid you not.

The Middle East Media Research Institute is an invaluable resource for all this Middle Eastern -- translations, videos, etc.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Coptic Priest Zakaria Botros

Taking it to the radical Muslims from Egypt -- confronting them with their own falsehoods.

from National Review Online and Raymond Ibrahim.

Often the best way to confront a lie is crush it under the weight of its own absurdity. I pray Botros remains safe and effective. It sounds like God is using him mightily.

Not a Patriot

I'm tired of Democrats and liberals actively working against U.S. interests and those of our allies and then whining when someone calls into question their patriotism. Introducing Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts James McGovern -- not a patriot.

McGovern has been actively pursuing contact with FARC in Colombia. FARC is a Marxist gang that controls a significant chunk of Colombia, aids the international drug trade (cocaine and heroin), and would spread rebellion throughout South America if ti could, and is aided by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. McGovern is a despicable human being if this is even half true. There is nothing wrong with being against the Colombian Free Trade Agreement -- I'm quite certain there are many legitimate beefs against it. Trying to isolate the legitimate President of another country because you disagree with Bush's program is foolish at best -- treasonous at worst. In any case -- dealing with the likes of FARC is detestable.

Update: more here at Heritage Foundation's blog. h/t: Instapundit

Apparently the good people of Massachusetts don't pay enough attention to their politicians or maybe they're not so good.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Apostle Martyrdom as Evidence of Resurrection

I've long thought the strongest proof for the historicity of Christ's Resurrection was the fact that those best positioned to know the truth died horrific deaths defending the reality of that event. "Seeing is believing." Well -- these men saw, believed, and proved it. A blog called Parchment and Pen lays it out very well.

h/t: my friend Jeff at SoCalTheologica

He is risen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy Saturday

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient...." 1Peter 3:18-20



Not a bone of Him shall be broken. They shall look on Him whom they pierced.

It is finished.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Second Amendment -- an update

I updated this post in honor of the Heller case. Ted's given recent interviews. Here, however he is at his most concise.

The Supreme Court heard the DC gun ban case. Pray to God they uphold the DC Circuit's opinion.

What do you think Ted?
video

I think I know where Ted stands.

Mike Huckabee Defends Obama AND Jeremiah Wright

Anybody stumbling across this little corner of the blogosphere already knows the Obama and his preacher's racist and anti-American rants so I won't rehash that too much here. This story from ABC News about Mike Huckabee shows why he was wrong for the job of President. He is the prime example of milquetoast Christian trying to be "nice" and tolerant.

BS.

What Wright said and continues to think and believe is indefensible. I may not remember every sermon I've heard in my 35 years of Southern Baptist-hood, but I know enough to get the gist of what I've been hearing in any church of which I've been a member for awhile. Obama's claims of not hearing these things are weak at best.

I am tired of hearing of race. Enough! Liberals have used race as a weapon and it is finally backfiring on them. It is about time. Maybe now we can finally move past race.

Racism does exist -- I'm no Pollyanna, but Obama went to Harvard, makes more than I most likely ever will and is in the most powerful Legislature in the world and might become the most powerful man in the world. How exactly has he been disadvantaged? Anyone else would be lambasted for hanging out with an idiot -- a racist idiot like Wright -- and rightly so. Why should Obama get a pass? And -- who is Mike Huckabee give him one? We dodged the Huckabee bullet this time, I hope we miss it again when he comes around in 2012 or 2016.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Once

I watched the film Once last night. It is a sweet "love story" though not in the conventional way. It is also a musical though not conventionally. The music is a character in the film and the lead female protagonist named "Girl" is a different kind of Muse for the male protagonist "Boy" (though he's in his 30s). The plot is very spare -- and it works here and gives the film a natural feel. The low budget doesn't hurt in this department either. The sparse story arc gives a chance for the music and characters to really shine forth. It's not flashy like Atonement, but it is a sweet movie -- and the soundtrack must be awesome too. I'm downloading it soon.



And the soundtrack:

Monday, March 17, 2008

No Movie for Hopeful Men

I finally saw No Country for Old Men last night. The knock on the movie is that it is nihilistic and morally barren at worst; morally ambivalent at best. First let me say -- the movie is incredibly well-acted and scripted. I lived in West Texas for over 20 years and the cinematography captures the awesome sweep of that landscape perfectly. Josh Brolin's character and his wife are people I've known. I've known my share of West Texas sheriffs also -- and Tommy Lee Jones captures the type very well. The problem -- in the 10 years I worked for and with the Texas criminal justice system and over the 20 or so Texas sheriffs I've met and worked with -- I've not met one who would retire in a way that would be seen as a capitulation to evil. As a group such men have no Pollyanna views that evil will be vanquished in this life. The problem with the Jones character is not the emotions he feels -- many law enforcement have noticed an increase in violence -- especially with the globalization of the drug trade -- it's the way he deals with them. His surrender is nihilistic -- the very embodiment of Edmund Burke's bromide that evil prevails when good men do nothing.

Javier Bardem's character was so unrelentingly evil and sociopathic as to be a monster. He was a slightly less indestructible Terminator or a Jason Voorhies with a shotgun silencer and a pneumatic cattle gun. The movie's ending is ultimately unsatisfying and leads one to believe that there is no justice and that "fate" is implacable -- especially when good men move aside from the conflict in befuddlement and fatigue like Jone's sheriff. The movie is well cast, well-acted, is shot beautifully, and has great pacing, but the ending is empty. I don't need a happy ending, but even a tragic ending can be transcendent. If this were a franchise where we expected Friday the 13th parts 2 through 9 then it would be understandable on a crass commercial level. The fact that the Coens will not do that makes for a disturbing world view. The Coens no doubt get their point across very competently and artistically. Thank God that world is not the one in which we live.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Latest Literary Conquest

The Rape of the Masters by Roger Kimball. This book is everything I appreciate in criticism: insightful, witty, snarky, and brief! Kimball pokes a gaping hole through the BS that is post-modern art criticism (he could throw in lit crit too -- and perhaps music, but I wouldn't know enough of that). I love it when people plainly state their objectives. Kimball does so -- and delivers. He takes a handful of works by Sargent, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Reubens, and others and shows the sheer lunacy that is read into them by post-modern academics who need a place to vent their identity politics, dirty minds, and whatever other agendas they can read into these works. Highly recommended if you want to know the depths of damage post-modernism can do to modernity and Truth in general. Perfect second text for an art history or humanities class.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Forgotten Man by Amity Schlaes

This is billed as a "new history of the Great Depression" and it is. Schlaes' book is nothing -- almost nothing -- like the history I learned in school. FDR is always presented as this bullet-proof magician who did what he had to do to get us out of the Great Depression. In fact, Schlaes' book is a tour de force showing that FDR's mercurial -- almost child-like -- tinkering with the economy made the Depression worse and seems to have turned a 3or 4 year correction in the economy into an extended period of misery.

Schlaes tells the story through a series of brilliant vignettes and mini-biographies. Some people grew in my estimation: Andrew Mellon, Wendell Wilkie and Calvin Coolidge come to mind. Others fall: FDR, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson especially. I learned to admire Jackson in law school through his participation in the Nuremburg tribunals after WW2 and his principled concurrences in Korematsu and the Steel-Seizure cases in the 1950s. Jackson was FDR's attack dog and the worst kind of prosecutor as an AUSA and Asst. AG in the Dept. of Justice. Single-mindedness in trying to win a trial is admirable. Jackson went on persecutions of Mellon and others basically because he viewed wealth as a moral failing. Mellon was treated abominably by the federal government -- and still loved this country until his death. There were many times FDR and his advisers planned the demise of the rich from Roosevelt's personal yacht. The irony was lost on them all.

Also appalling was FDR's treatment of the economy as a toy. "Extra constitutional" does not begin to describe it. His legend making -- starting during his governorship of New York in the early 1930s -- has lasted until today. He set the foundation for his own myth aided by circumstance. The naivete that marked him at the Yalta Conference late in the War was always there. His assumptions that big business was evil, that the rich had only gotten that way by immoral or amoral means -- despite his own patrician roots -- and that central economic planning would work -- were early marks of his rose-colored view of the role of government power in the life of a nation. FDR is a mixed bag. He sincerely thought a strong hand was needed, that he had to try something -- anything -- to get the country going. The temptation to use the power was great and he succumbed in many cases. His naivete -- and great failing was in believing that government intervention could solve the problem. This included his near maniacal distrust of the private sector and punitive taxing schemes.

She also introduces a lot of interesting characters: Father Divine, Bill W., Rexford Tugwell and many others who played major and minor roles in the 1930s. Her treatment of economic principles is accessible for those who are not economists, which was perfect for me. I learned more about monetary policy, deflation, taxation, etc. than I would have ever otherwise.

As I mentioned a few days ago... this book is the perfect follow-up to Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. Revisionist history is in the air and that's a good thing, because the Left has had control of the discussion and the texts for far too long.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Brilliant New McCain Ad

I have my doubts about McCain's conservative bona fides, but this is a brilliant -- genius -- piece of campaign advertising.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Next book in the chute

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Schlaes.

Update: I'm almost 300 pages deep -- it is the perfect complement to Liberal Fascism and is a fascinating look into federalism, economics, and a lot of great vignettes highlighting some fascinating people. Fuller review when I finish it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Also reading -- Black Hawk Down

This book is my workout book for the next week or so. Loved the movie -- finally got to the book. The book -- of course -- is even better than the movie. Real heroes set against Clinton malaise.