- Cats love fish.
- Cats hate water.
It's irrefutable, I tell you. IRREFUTABLE!
Dicentra spectabilis is the botanical name for the common bleeding heart. Though I might be common, I'm not much of a bleeding heart. Not in the political sense, anyway. I chose the name because I thought it sounded cool. And because I like to grow them.
The family was actually from another city, one with a much larger airport than this one. But they had opted to drive the extra miles to receive the coffin here ... so they could avoid the demonstrators who had lately been showing up.
As Advent draws to a close, and Christmas nears, perhaps it would be fitting to perform a spiritual inventory, and consider whom you may have wronged in thought or in deed this year.
On the other hand, this is also your opportunity to demand an apology from any wanker who may really have pissed you off this year.
To have "evidence and no doubt." That is what those that put themselves forward as our "wise men" seem to propose to us day after day from their sterile rooms high above the avenues. They have the "indubitable evidence" from which we should derive, they insist, doubt about all that for which they have no evidence. First and foremost in their blinded vision is their iron requirement that we should doubt the original myths that have made us and sustained us as individuals and as a people across the centuries. In their pointless world, they would have us cast off the old myths and embrace their "new and improved myths -- complete with evidence;" myths made of purposeless matter "hovering in the dark."
And seeing what they have become, we turn. Turn away.
I wrote in a previous post titled "What is Easy vs What is Right," a comment on the most recent Harry Potter film:...Rowling's series has become the metaphor of our times. Whether this is conscious or unconscious on Rowling's part is neither here nor there.
When Dumbledore says to Harry at the end of the movie (paraphrasing), 'Dark and difficult times lay ahead. Soon we will have to decide between doing what is easy and what is right,' he is expressing the critical moral issue of our own time.
There are many people in this country who always demand that we take the easy path. Those are the same people who put enormous stock in opinion polls and make decisions based on how popular they are likely to be. Somehow they have forgotten—if they ever knew to begin with—that doing what needs to be done, the right thing, is not always the popular thing. The hard choices and the sacrifices necessary to see them through, are beyond the moral, intellectual, or physical capacities of such people—unless they can feel the polls are with them—then it magically becomes very easy.
I personally am not easily offended by hearing viewpoints with which I disagree, not because I don’t think the viewpoints are offensive, but because the emotional state of being offended gives one no “added value,” and in fact, is almost always detrimental to one’s spiritual well-being. You see, being offended is one of the tricks the ego uses to justify itself. The ego secretly enjoys and gets a thrill or a “rush” out of being offended. When you are in this state, the ego achieves a false sense of nobility by elevating itself above whatever it happens to be offended about. Most "activists" are people who perversely enjoy being offended -- it's like an addiction to the ego.
Thus, the most low, common, and coarse individual can feel better than others by being in a semi-permanent state of offense, as you will have no doubt noticed that the left tends to be in. If you take away “being offended,” what’s left of the left? Just listen, if you can tolerate it, to Air America, or read Dailykos or the New York Times editorial page. They are “all offended, all the time.” Indeed, we are now in the midst of World War III because a bunch of religious fanatics are chronically offended, whether it's angry jihadis in Khartoum or jihadis angry about a cartoon.
This isn't about religion. Jesus is doing just fine in the United States. Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized American Christianity unique in the Western world. What the rabbi in Seattle and the cops in Riverside are doing is colluding in an assault on something more basic: They're denying the possibility of any common culture. America is not a stamp collection with one of each. It's an overwhelmingly Christian country with freedom of religion for those who aren't. But it's quite an expansion of "freedom of religion" to argue that "those who aren't" are entitled to forbid any public expression of America's Christian inheritance except as part of an all-U-can-eat interfaith salad bar. In their initial reaction, Seattle Airport got it right: To be forced to have one of everything is, ultimately, the same as having nothing. So you might as well cut to the chase.
What, after all, is the rabbi objecting to? There were no bauble-dripping conifers in the stable in Bethlehem. They didn't sing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," either. That's, in effect, an ancient pop song that alludes to the birth of the Savior as a call to communal merry-making: No wonder it falls afoul of an overpoliced overlitigated "diversity" regime. Speaking of communal songs, they didn't sing "White Christmas" round the manger. A Jew wrote that. It's part of the vast Jewish contribution to America's common culture.
But the Woman that God gave him,
every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue,
armed and engined for the same,
And to serve that single issue,
lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be
deadlier than the male.
She who faces Death by torture for
each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must
not swerve for fact or jest.
So it comes that Man, the coward,
when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council,
dare not leave a place for her.
Men have to pretend, to themselves as well as to women, that they are not the servants and supplicants. Women, cunning minxes that they are, have to affect not to be the potentates.
November 29, 2006
Dear Ms. XXXX:
Thank you for your emails of November 22nd. I appreciate your views on the possibility of discussions regarding Iraq with the Iranian and Syrian governments, the Iraq Study Group and the President's nomiation of Robert Gates to become the next Secretary of Defense.
I share your concern about the possibility of conducting negotiations with the Iranian and Syrian governments. Just this week, the President reiterated his position that if discussions are to begin with Iran, they must first address Iran's nuclear development program. Specifically, Iran must suspend it [sic] nuclear enrichment programs. Regarding Syria, I do not know how constructive talks would be, especially since that government continues to undermine peaceful efforts and initiatives not only in Iraq but also in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
I look forward to the publication of the Iraq Study Group's report. Though, I do not necessarily believe that this document should be seen as a strict plan that commits our nation to a specific course of action, I am always eager to examine new proposals and ideas on how we can obtain our goals more efficiently and effectively. This, of course, includes other proposals such as those that are being developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Security Council. However, I will always be suspicious of any plan that calls for the withdawal of our forces from Iraq before the security situation greatly improves.
Another such initiative is due to be published this week: The New Army Field Manual for Counterinsurgency Warfare. This is a vital document that will directly address what I have heard from many returning soldiers, that the Army's culture is one that emphasizes the use of fire-power and conventional warfare rather [than] stability and counterinsurgency operations. This new doctrine will be helpful to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rest assured, irregardless [sic] of the conclusions in any of these documents, including the Iraq Study Group report, I remain committed to a course of action that achieves the goals best articulated by Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, United States Ambassador to Iraq. He stated: "Our goal is to enable Iraqis to develop a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian representative democracy…" that can fully meet its security obligations. Our mission is to provide assistance to the Iraqi government in providing security, defeating common enemies and bringing peace and stability to the nation.
Regarding your comments opposing Robert Gates's nomiation to become the next Secretary of Defense, I must respectfully disagree. I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Gates on numerous occasions and he was an excellent member of President H. W. Bush's national security team during the First Gulf War. This was highlighted by the fact [that] he was nominated and confirmed to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency shortly thereafter. Dr. Gates will also bring a foreign policy perspective to a war that increasingly requires military leaders to use political expertise. Further, he is a pragmatist, who will work with allies and make necessary changes to our tactics and initiatives. Dr. Gates has my full support.
Thank you again for your emails.
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator
Let’s begin our story by noticing that in this country, mainstream Republicans or conservatives have very strong amber/traditional values. Hence, when they say that "character counts," or that they want to "instill values in people," or that they are "the party of values," they almost always mean amber values only, traditional values, ethnocentric values: nationalism, family values, militarism, patriotism, patriarchalism, good ole Biblical injunctions and command morality. They do not mean green values, red values, teal values, turquoise values, etc.
I know of no conservative who values nationalism, or patriotism, or militarism for their own sake. Usually it is because of an awareness that the United States is by far the greatest and most decent nation that has ever existed. In other words, to feel patriotic or nationalistic about the United States is simply based on objective reality. It’s not the same as feeling patriotic about some crappy little country like France, where shame would be the more appropriate emotion.
Wilber seems to conflate patriotism and nationalism with bad patriotism and nationalism, as if they aren’t worlds apart. Iranian nationalism: bad. Palestinian nationalism: bad. Nazi nationalism: bad. If I were a citizen of those places, assuming I wasn’t completely brainwashed, I would hardly be patriotic. Again, this would be an objective assessment of the situation. Those are bad and evil governments that do bad and evil things on purpose.
One of the reasons these color schemes hold no appeal for me is because my primary values are truth and decency. The latter follows from the former, because evil on a widespread scale is usually only possible if it is rooted in massive lies. Nazis murdered Jews because they believed lies about them, just as Islamists want to kill Americans because they believe lies about us. If people simply believe the truth and behave decently, everything else will pretty much take care of itself.
LIkewise to say that conservatives simply value “militarism” outside a moral framework is seriously misleading. Yes, I would like America to have the most powerful military in the world, for the simple reason that I want the most moral and decent nation to be the most powerful. It’s the same reason why I want the police to be more powerful than the criminals. To suggest that I am merely “pro-violence” would be another serious distortion. I am pro moral violence and anti immoral violence, a distinction that is often lost on the left. Yes, I want to kill bad people before they murder more good people.
Wilber seems to be treating Christianity with some contempt in the remark about “good ole Biblical injunctions and command morality.” If by command morality he is referring to absolute moral standards such as “do not bear false witness,” “do not steal,” and “do not murder,” then I suppose I am for “good ole Biblical injunctions.” They seem infinitely more wise to me than the morally relativistic blather you will hear on the typical college campus.
The blogs seem to thrive, don't they, on the following propositions:
— All progress by those I sympathise with is illusory, and real control continues to be exercised by their opponents. If there are any real gains, they are only temporary.
— All reverses are real and lasting, and more damaging than they at first appear.
— The mainstream media are completely in the hands of opponents, and consistently misrepresent things to the detriment of those I sympathise with.
— We are all going to die.
Conclusion: to feel good, read the blogs of the opposing viewpoint to your own.
Officer Desubijana, Federal Air Marshall Grewenow, and I boarded the aircraft and located [deleted]. I requested [deleted] point out the individuals he witnessed together in the gate area. Officer Desubijana and I asked the six passengers [deleted] pointed out to us to get up and leave the aircraft. Systematically from the rear to the front of the plane, we asked all six to leave the plane. All parties left the plane cooperatively. It should be noted that two of the individuals were seated in the rear, two were seated in the middle, and two were seated in the front of the aircraft; all of which stated they were travelling together.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;...
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life