Marlowe's Shade

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Teddy K Wants to Run Away

The guys at Pundit Review are back and they are on Ted Kennedy like white on rice:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's blistering call yesterday for a
speedy pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq drew a scathing rebuke from Republicans, who accused Kennedy of torpedoing American foreign policy.

``It's remarkable that Sen. Kennedy would deliver such an overtly pessimistic message only days before the Iraq election,'' said Republican National Committee spokesman Brian Jones.

``Kennedy's partisan attack stands in stark contrast to President Bush's vision of spreading freedom around the world."

Go see what else they have to say about our Senior Senator from MA.
papijoe 5:25 PM |

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Smuggler Who Cried Lobo

From Yahoo! News

The Boston dirty bomb threat is a hoax.

Baja California state prosecutors said the tip was made by People trafficker Jose Ernesto Beltran, who called a law enforcement agency in California while high on drink and drugs to warn that a group of Chinese migrants planned to launch an attack.

"He was going to take the Chinese over (the U.S. border) but they didn't pay him," prosecutor's office spokesman, Moises Uribe, said by telephone from the city of Mexicali.

"He then took revenge by calling 911 in the United States and telling them that the group planned to carry out a terror attack on Boston," he added.

What a credit to his profession.
papijoe 11:56 AM |

Commemorating the Liberation of Auschwitz

From Raphi in Toronto

There are troubling parallels between the systematic vilification of Jews before the Holocaust and the current vilification of the Jewish people and Israel. Suffice it to note the annual flood of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN; or the public opinion polls taken in Europe, which single out Israel as a danger to world peace; or the divestment campaigns being waged in the US against Israel; or the attempts to delegitimize Israel's very existence. The complicity of the Allies in WW II is mirrored by the support the PLO has been receiving from Europe, China and Russia to this very day.

If this day is important to you, I recommend the whole thing.
papijoe 11:30 AM |

Entry 1-27

The roof started leaking last night, so I was off and running this morning without my prayertime. Bad idea, but God is faithful and after a near road rage episode, he was in the car with me and I was reduced almost to tears. The day has gone much better since.
papijoe 11:27 AM |

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Mystery of the Dead Microbiologists

I venture into conspiracy territory only with great trepidation, but some posters I respect a great deal on LGF such as Fiery Celt submitted a long list of microbiologist who have recently died under mysterious circumstances in these three posts.

Most of them were verifiable through primary sources. Unfortunately moonbats sites like and Indymedia are also all over them. I've flirted myself with conspiracy theories [eg Kennedy assassination], and the problem I found is once in the seductive arms of a conspiracy theory, all reality gets processed through it, because once you've convinced yourself it's true, all new information is required to support the theory. And of course, that's not objectivity.

Looking at the list, I would toss out anyone in the "in his 70s, but had a strong heart, yet mysteriously had a heart attack" catagory. Similarly, any of the Iraqi scientists, who were most likely bumped off for any number of reasons. But even after throwing out data points that could have other explanations, there are still a lot of very suspicious deaths, much more than it would seem wise to attribute to coincidence. Some of the departed include David Kelly of the BBC "sexed up" report scandal fame and high profile Soviet defector Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik.

Usually a story like this wouldn't get more than a shrug from me, but biological weapons, as Mark Helprin relates in his most recent OpinionJournal article, are terrifying.

Although nuclear detonations in American cities are not to be slighted, still, the greatest and most likely perils are natural epidemics and biological warfare. A common belief among public health experts is that a viral shift such as that which caused the 1918-19 pandemic is almost certain. Estimates of the number of dead run to the hundreds of millions world-wide and scores of millions in the U.S. If nature fails to deliver an epidemic, it is unfortunately easy for a highly trained terrorist, by genetic manipulation, to create a super-virulent pathogen with a nearly 100% rate of mortality. Natural or artificial epidemics are collectively the greatest threat this country has ever faced, and will not be exceeded for decades to come.

In trying to figure out who would want to knock off microbiologists all over the world, I part company with the moonbats who point to government [shadow, and otherwise] plots and other sinister cabals. Germs are true doomsday weapons that don't distinguish between friend and foe. Only lunatics would use them. The research that governments are doing is and has always been defensive, note how several of the researchers were involved in combatting diseases like West Nile and Ebola. I think this excerpt from Helprin's article may give us a clue to the perps:

But though the biological sciences advance day by day and could put up a spirited defense, they can do so only if efforts are begun now on a scale several orders of magnitude beyond what is scheduled. Given current plans and preparations, this will not occur, and the greatest enemy the country has ever known will have no opposition.

If we are already behind the curve in preparing for a pandemic [natural or man-made], losing dozens of potential researchers would put us in very bad shape. So my guess is that insane terrorists are the most likely culprits. It is conceivable that totally unhinged PETA types or whacko environmentalists [a la 12 Monkeys] could see the depopulation of the Earth as a goal to be acheived by any means necessary. But I don't think any of those groups have the training and infrastructure to pull off a global campaign of murder. So what other group is left that doesn't fear death, hates the modern world, has the least to lose and has the funding, know-how, and infrastructure to reach these people, even in their own labs?

Well, maybe I should allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.

I did find this article enlightening though...

Update - This article looks at the possibility of a connection between suspected terrorists in Memphis and some of the researcher deaths in that area.
papijoe 8:47 AM |

Entry 1-26

Focus, focus, focus. I'm back to that. The demands of the day want to crowd in so quickly. Again there was that sense that my life is set up all wrong if I want to abide in God. The sense of shame I feel when I realize how screwed up my priorities are can because another excuse for not trying to enter into His Presence. But when we accept Jesus as our savior, his sacrifice allows us to approach the Mercy Seat no matter what the circumstances are.

I read something the other day in Watchman Nee about how most never get full salvation, and I know that I fall into that category. We are told that we are saved, but we continue to live as carnal Christians, and don't get the full deliverance from the flesh that is available to us. This was a shock to learn because I think nowadays, the Church assumes that we will fall again and again into sin and we are reassured that it doesn't affect our salvation [which I believe for the most part is true], and we are told to be patient that God will do a work in us and deliver us from everything. But if we choose to abide in Him all the time, that wouldn't be an issue. I know that even Paul had a thorn in his flesh that God allowed to keep Paul humble, but I'm starting to believe most of our carnality serves no good purpose. The problem seems to be our will.
papijoe 6:49 AM |

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Plane Forced to Land: Link to Boston Terror Threat?

Posted by Lyana at LGF

A group of suspected illegal immigrants was being questioned early Tuesday after federal officials forced their single-engine plane to land here.

The Cessna carried at least four suspected illegal immigrants who were detained along with the craft's pilot by homeland security officials in connection with a possible smuggling operation, according to newspaper and broadcast reports.

OK just a routine immigration case, right?

Capt. Jeff Humphrey, San Antonio police special operations commander, told the San Antonio Express-News in Tuesday's editions that the five suspects were under investigation in connection with a smuggling operation involving Chinese nationals.

The newspaper said the five had been flying south of San Antonio when they were intercepted and ordered to land. Federal agents and San Antonio police surrounded the plane after it landed.

Federal authorities said the plane was flying in American airspace illegally and that those aboard the craft appeared to be Chinese, according to San Antonio television and radio station WOAI.

The Express-News said federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials asked for backup from San Antonio police, who provided a Chinese linguist to translate for the two male and two female passengers.

Could be a coincidence, but I have to wonder if it is related to the this story.

The only recent update I could find that was directly related to the terror threat story was that Mexican authorities have detained the man suspected of calling in the original tip, and is being questioned.

Oh, I almost forgot this detail about the grounded plane:

Online records of the Federal Aviation Administration show the 20-year-old plane is co-owned by Afzal Hameed of Dover, Delaware. The other co-owner is listed as Alyce S. Taylor, but no address is given for her.

Update - lawhawk found this article that states that offically the two stories aren't linked, but the investigation seems to be headed in that direction.

And Michelle Malkin has dug up some dirt on Afzal Hameed:

Guess who trained at Alpha Tango Flying Services--which, by the way, caters to Saudi Arabian flight students(!!!!):

Among their clients were three Arab flight students investigated by the FBI, including Al Qaeda operative Abdul Hakim Murad, who was arrested in Manila in 1995 and later convicted in New York of plotting to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the Pacific, then crash a suicide plane into CIA headquarters.

Curiouser and curiouser...
papijoe 10:10 AM |

Spengler on "Hypocrisy"

From Asian Times.

A report came out recently from France on the mental health of Frenchman, and it is not good. Excuse some of us if we are not shocked.

IT IS official: the French are a nation of depressed pessimists, wracked with self-doubt and unable to see a positive future.

This gloomy portrait of the current state of Gallic morale - or rather the lack of it - was made public yesterday in a damning report by France’s prefects, the country’s top administrators.

"The French no longer believe in anything," the report said. "That is the reason that the situation is relatively calm, for they believe that it is not even worthwhile expressing their opinions or trying to be heard any more."

The country’s 100 prefects went on to use the words "lifelessness", "resignation", "anxiety" and "pessimism" to describe the attitudes they believe prevail in France today.

This all fits in with today's theme from my journal entry. If anyone knows about vanity and existential depression, it's the French. Christians like myself would attribute this to the French mania for eliminating God from public and private life. Before long we are pointing out the plagues of disease that blighted grapevines and humiliating military defeats that occurred since the French Revolution and before long a real tone of schandenfreude starts to enter the discussion. This is of course unseemly for Christians. Hypocritical even. And this hypocrisy of Christians is Spengler's subject for today.

...apart from the saintly, only the unashamedly wicked are guiltless of hypocrisy. The rest of us pay homage to standards that we do not uphold in practice. For the sake of filial piety we honor parents who well might be unpleasant people, and uphold civic virtues that our leaders honored more in the breach than the observance. The fact that we acknowledge virtue even when we pursue vice makes civil society possible.

For the sake of domestic harmony we tell lies daily. We do not tell our wife that she looks fat, or our child that he is a dullard, or our aged mother that she is a nasty old harridan. The first recorded lie of this genre was told by God in Genesis 18:12-14. The matriarch Sarah laughed at the angels' prophecy that the elderly Abraham would father a son; God interrupted, and told Abraham that Sarah thought that she (rather than he) was too old. Thus hypocrisy has divine sanction.

It is true that sexual repression makes one miserable, but so does sexual license, the more so if one is female. Sex is not the problem, contrary to Sigmund Freud. The problem is life. When Faust tells Mephistopheles that he wants to experience life with all its joys and sorrows, the devil answers pityingly, "Believe me - I've been chewing on this hard cookie for thousands of years, and from cradle to grave, no one has ever been able to digest this sourdough." Life by definition is a failure. First you will grow old (if you are lucky) and then die. Family, religion, culture and nation offer consolations in the face of death, within limits.

Vanity, vanity. The French are depressed because they are seeing how the cookie crumbles (Sartre tried to tell them that decades ago), yet by calling the faith they abandoned long ago hypocrisy, they've burned that bridge as well.

The healthy instinct of the public, which prefers the fantasy ideal of happiness to modernist truth telling, illustrates why hypocrisy only deserves two cheers. We cannot tolerate the continuous disappointments of family and civic life, without the hope of something better. Bible Belt Christians are not merely hypocrites but also sinners. They do not only go against the rules, but also against their conscience. Religion does not presume human perfection, but a longing for perfection. That longing is what makes it possible to chew Mephisto's sourdough. It is not surprising that throughout the industrial world, all but the religious have given up on family life.

Hypocrisy and self-satisfaction are the banes of American Christians, although a lot of that dross was burned away in the televangelist scandals of the 80's. A more humble and compassionate Church as started to emerge, pretty much unheralded. Spengler doesn't go out too far on a limb to hold out hope to a miserable Frenchman. I get the uncomfortable feeling that he has left that to someone else, who would extend a hand in humility and love through a veil of smug hypocrisy.

Boy, I don't envy that guy!

papijoe 7:17 AM |

Entry 1-25

The word "vanity" has come to mean obsessive pride in one's appearance or status. But the origin is in the Latin word vanus which means empty. In Ecclesiates, King Solomon says, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." . He is saying that all that we do or hope for is empty and meaningless. Watchman Nee would say that anything not of the spirit is vanity. That's what I came away with in my prayertime. Not only is there no good thing in me, but neither in the world. This was a hard truth for me to look at this morning as it was for Solomon. This is why Ecclesiates always seemed so existential and depressing.

Maybe that's why it's followed by the Song of Solomon.
papijoe 6:39 AM |

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Price We Pay to Serve

Via The Diplomad, "Ed Stanton" posted this on Soldiers for the Truth. Ed is the nom de guerre/plume for a naval officer serving on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Just another firsthand tale of our relief efforts for the tsunami victims vs that of the UN and our "allies":

I went in for breakfast as I usually do, expecting to see the usual crowd of ship’s company officers in khakis and air wing aviators in flight suits, drinking coffee and exchanging rumors about when our ongoing humanitarian mission in Sumatra is going to end.

What I saw instead was a mob of civilians sitting around like they owned the place. They wore various colored vests with logos on the back including Save The Children, World Health Organization and the dreaded baby blue vest of the United Nations. Mixed in with this crowd were a bunch of reporters, cameramen and Indonesian military officers in uniform. They all carried cameras, sunglasses and fanny packs like tourists on their way to Disneyland.

My warship had been transformed into a floating hotel for a bunch of trifling do-gooders overnight.

As I went through the breakfast line, I overheard one of the U.N. strap-hangers, a longhaired guy with a beard, make a sarcastic comment to one of our food servers. He said something along the lines of “Nice china, really makes me feel special,” in reference to the fact that we were eating off of paper plates that day. It was all I could do to keep from jerking him off his feet and choking him, because I knew that the reason we were eating off paper plates was to save dishwashing water so that we would have more water to send ashore and save lives. That plus the fact that he had no business being there in the first place.

He's just getting started. Read more about how the Navy is expected to provide free transport to Dan Rather, free chow to NGOs, and risk their people and equipment to help a government that won't let them fly training missions in their airspace and what that means for our defensive capabilities.
papijoe 4:35 PM |

Communist Time Capsule

I saw this posted at Song of Time from a book published in 1963 called "The Naked Communist", the "Current Communist Goals" for that era. Whether these were quoted from a direct source or gleaned from experience, they were still prophetic. Here's a selection:

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

Go check out all 45 of them and see how many have been accomplished. Did we really win the Cold War?
papijoe 2:41 PM |

One Suspect Captured in Boston Terrorist Threat

From Fox News

One of the 13 Chinese nationals allegedly involved in a terror plot against Boston was in custody and being questioned by authorities on Saturday, FBI sources told FOX News.

Authorities were interrogating Mei Xia Dong about her involvement in a possible terrorist plot against Boston that was made public in an FBI report Friday. Airport and transit authorities responded to the report by boosting security — adding patrols, activating radiation detectors and posting pictures of some of the suspects.

I'm still betting this is an immigrant smuggling operation gone awry, but we probably won't know for sure until all the fugitives are rounded up.
papijoe 8:23 AM |

Chavez and Minions Mix Threats Against Colombia With Anti-Bush Rhetoric

From El Tiempo, translated by Google

Hugo Chávez threatens to 'freeze' relations if Colombia does not admit error

It demanded an apology of Bogota, or otherwise it would close borders, reduce to a minimum the bi-national commerce and cancel the Transcaribean Pipeline.

The hard declaration made the Venezuelan agent chief executive to the closing of a mass march summoned by the party of Government (V Republic) in "defense of the national sovereignty and against interventionism".

At issue is the capture of the FARC leader in Caracas. Meanwhile Colombia claims there are 7 other FARC guerrillas and one from the ELN that are also taking refuge in Venezuela.

Here are some photos of the Chavista march. Chavez's followers reflect their leaders obsession with Bush and link him to Uribe at every opportunity. Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

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The sign says "Satan Bush Killer of the World".

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Che and Osama

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"Uribe and Bush, World Terrorists"

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This was one of many nasty caricatures of Condoleeza Rice in the rally.

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Chavez bets Bush a dollar that he will be in office longer. Of course it's a sucker bet because dictators don't have term limits.

Chavez won't rest as long as Colombia is a strong US ally. He has consolidated his grip on Venezuela and he is a master demagogue, particularly in his use of the media. Brazil's offer to mediate this conflict is a joke as Lula is one of Chavez's strongest allies. He will continue to try to isolate Colombia from its neighbors while supporting terrorists against Colombia.

papijoe 7:27 AM |

Entry 1-24

Prayertime was relatively short, but better than it had been last week. There was a lot of peace, and somehow a sense that my life is sailing into calmer waters was re-inforced.

We had a relatively minor blizzard this past weekend, it turned out to be not as bad as we though but at one point it was very windy. I've had a lot of anxiety over the house, and there is always the possibility of leaks from ice damming or frozen pipes bursting. But thank God none of those things have happened. I have a very strong sense of God's mercy and grace on our family and I'm grateful for it.
papijoe 7:15 AM |

Friday, January 21, 2005

Update on Boston Terror Threat

The Boston Globe reports that a disgruntled smuggler may have tipped off Feds in revenge for a deal gone bad.

Law enforcement officials said yesterday they were investigating whether the tipster who told authorities about four Chinese nationals and two Iraqis plotting an attack on Boston had labeled them terrorists to exact revenge for being cheated in a smuggling or drug operation.

These new details, as well as names of other Chinses nationals, have emerged:

The tipster called the California Highway Patrol from Mexico late Monday night and said he had helped smuggle the four Chinese nationals, along with two unidentified Iraqis, into the United States and that they were expected to arrive in Boston, via New York, in four days, the officials said. The caller said that ''nuclear oxide" or ''nuclear fiber" was going to be smuggled to the group through a tunnel system in Mexico into lower California, they said.

The unidentified caller directed police to a package he had tossed over a border fence into California with three visas that had been issued to three of the Chinese nationals by the Mexican embassy in Beijing and a Chinese identity card for the fourth, the officials said.

According to one official, inside the package were airline ticket stubs indicating that the four had flown from Beijing to Mexico City. Some documents in the package, including baggage claim tickets, contained 10 additional names, but it was unclear what their connection was to the six or whether they are aliases for them.

The Associated Press reported last night that nine of the additional names are Chinese: Yu Xian Weng, a woman either 40 or 41; Quinquan or Quiquan Lin, 21; Liqiang Liang, 28; Min Xiu Xie, 27; Xiang or Xing Wei Liu, 22; Mei Xia Dong, 21; Xiuming Chen; Cheng Yin Liu; and Zao Yun Wang. The 10th name is Jose Ernesto Beltran Quinones, of unknown age or national origin, according to the AP. The FBI said that none of the 10 appeared previously on any kind of watch list, the AP reported

Authorities say it's common for smugglers to seize travel documents from their human cargo and keep them until they are paid for their services.

The threat about nuclear material, along with the tipster saying that the four Chinese are chemists, prompted fear among some law enforcement officials of a so-called dirty bomb: a conventional, or nonnuclear, explosive laced with radioactive components.

It's entirely possible that these are just illegal immigrants caught in a smuggling deal gone sour, and the terrorist angle is part of the revenge. If they had the papers on the Chinese which the smuggler provided, why nothing on the Iraqis. My guess is that they don't exist. But the fact that they are chemists is disturbing. And if they flew out of Beijing, they must have had some official pretext for going to Mexico, like a conference or business. It's too soon to jump to any conclusions but I hope they are caught and this gets cleared up. It would be ironic if they ended up being asylum seekers.

Update - In a report from The Boston Herald, one of their sources also considers the view that the terrorism report is bogus:

``It could be a drug deal gone bad and he's using this threat of a terrorist attack to bring a ton of heat down on someone,'' one source said. ``It could be someone getting dimed out because someone is (angry).''

If nothing else, this case illustrates how difficult and uncertain counter-terrorism efforts are. In the future I will cut the FBI a little more slack.
papijoe 8:17 AM |

Entry 1-21

The baby kept me awake last night. My prayertime was basically a power nap. Tomorrow's another day.
papijoe 7:13 AM |

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Top Ten World Fallacies

From the most excellent Diplomad:

1) There's some magic "Third Way." Even one of our best allies in the world, Tony Blair, believes in this. This is a shame, because we like Blair. It was much worse when Bill Clinton was president because he believed in it, too (well, to the extent that Clinton believed in anything.) He and Blair held hands, sang Kumbaya, and preached "Third Way" to others. There's no third way that works. Communism is an obvious failure; prosperity is directly proportional to free markets. More capitalism equals more prosperity. (Note: Please remember this "Wrong Idea" as in a subsequent post we review some new UN UNsanity.)

2) Foreign Aid Helps Poor People. No. Foreign aid largely helps the High Priest Vulture Elite, airlines, restaurants, hotels, car-rental companies and other service industries that cater to the HPVE. Freedom, trade, capitalism and education help poor people. Plus it also matters that their culture teaches them a work ethic (see number 8 below). The old saw that "foreign aid is when the poor people of a rich country give money to the rich people of a poor country" has more than a kernel of truth. BTW, try to name any country that has been developed by foreign aid.

3) If the USA Pressured Ariel Sharon, there'd be Middle East Peace. Middle East peace will happen when the culture of violence changes on the Arab side of the equation and the Arabs drop the goal of destroying Israel. The Palestinian "right of return" is part of destroying Israel. We see Yasser Arafat's death as a good start; and Mahmoud Abbas getting elected. But let's not put a halo over his head just because he's not Arafat.

4) You can't make a country democratic by force. This is anti-Americanism and anti-Iraq-invasion thinking mixed with historic amnesia. The Brits conquered India and left it democratic. We bombed Germany and Japan to smithereens, occupied them by force and left them democratic. We invaded and occupied Afghanistan and it's on the way to being democratic. We have a better than even chance of doing the same with Iraq.

Go read the rest
papijoe 9:11 AM |

Dirty Bomb in Boston

This has already been well covered by Little Green Footballs. What was odd yesterday is that they trotted out these local al Qaeda fugitives. I had heard that Shukrijumah was trying to get back into the country by way of the Mara Salvatrucha gangs. The threat seemed to be serious enough that state officials were huddled in the MEMA bunker in Framingham.

But the truly strange thing about this story is the Chinese. Who are these people? The Pinyin transliterations of their names suggests People's Republic. All the other information on this threat is so sketchy that it wouldn't be surprising if it turned out to be a false alarm. But the fact that officials were able to come up with names for the four Chinese is troubling. The possibility that China could be this involved in terrorism is staggering. Another possibility is that they are simply illegal aliens who were along for the ride and the FBI wants to question them to get more information on the Iraqis.

However this statement from MA Governor Mitt Romney would seem to suggest otherwise

"The intelligence information indicates that people were going to be traveling to New York City and then they were going to be coming to Boston and that the threat was targeted at Boston or the Boston-area. We don't have any reason to believe that they're in Massachusetts at this point, don't even know that they're coming here, but the information is sufficiently specific that we wanted to look into it very, very carefully," Romney said.

Mitt does bring up another possibility:

"We don't know whether that's a reliable tip or whether it's something designed to make people fearful, to interfere with the inauguration festivities perhaps..."

More recent reports are focusing only on the four Chinese without mentioning the Iraqis.

According to The Boston Globe, this kind of attack is almost inevitable.

Anyone with any information about this threat should call the local FBI office at 617-742-5533
papijoe 8:11 AM |

Entry 1-20

Despite the coffee, I spent my prayertime in a comfortable torpor. I kept trying to break through but I was half awake half dreaming the whole time.

Comfort zones are always dangerous for Christians, and I believe comfort has made more of us ineffective than hardship. The key is to discipline ourselves so God doesn't have to use hardship to wake us up.
papijoe 6:38 AM |

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Glen Wishard Proposes Blogging Code of Ethics

I thought I'd post this while the MS legal team is reviewing it.

1. Never post nuclear launch codes on your blog.

2. Never use “impact” as a verb.

3. Remember to be biased and prejudiced against things, not biased and prejudiced towards things. Also, your job is to wreak havoc, not "reek havoc".

4. The people who disagree with you are fascists, not “facists”. A facist is a person who participates in Farcical Aquatic Ceremonies.

5. If you are a US resident who is getting paid to blog, do not accept payment in Food Stamps, as this is a felony under federal law. If you accept sex or drugs as payment for blogging, do not donate blood.

6. Never accept payment of any kind from persons who are under 18 years of age (or under 6 years of age if you live in Canada). Never accept payment from persons whom you know to be institutionalized for mental health reasons, from nursing home directors, or from CBS News editors. If you receive funding from the CIA, never give them a receipt.

7. If you web-cam yourself while blogging, please do not wear an SS uniform, a Star Trek uniform, a Munich-style anarchist ski mask, a Dan Rather-style sweater, or underwear that is inappropriate to your gender. Remember always that you represent the blog community.

8. Avoid excessive use of internet acronyms like MSM (Mainstream Media), SCUM (So-Called Unbiased Media), BOOBS (Blogs Obviously Owned By Soros), etc. These confuse the MSM squares who will soon be getting most of their editorial analysis from us.

9. Do not attack other blogs in a selfish attempt to promote your own blog. Attack other blogs in order to maintain the overall tactical readiness of the blogosphere.

10. If you have to hang out in bars with reporters, or if you’re sleeping with reporters, don’t badmouth the blogs. Don’t go to Big Media suck-fests and tell stories out of school, or apologize for “blogger triumphalism”. Don’t be an Auntie Wonkette.
papijoe 8:06 AM |

Entry 1-19

I was warned that the hardest thing was going to be staying focused. That is true, but in more ways than I ever imagined. This morning I realized that prayertime, journaling, reading, etc are not the focus. God is. I get so wrapped up in what I'm trying to do that I forget the real reason that I'm doing it.

Having said that, my prayertime was much better than it has been all week. But I also realized that the now familiar peace that I start to experience is also not the goal. It's just the first awareness of His Presence, like the first gray hint of dawn. I've felt something of God's Presence in the past, He's spoken to me, even once in an audible voice, but I'm starting to understand that there is infinitely more. I can't say much else.

At some point I had to question the point of journaling. What good are words in the Holy of Holies? This may seem contradictory, but that is why the Bible is so precious to Christians. When you realize what it really is, calling it the Bible or Scripture seems inadequate, and expressions like "the Word of God", "Our Daily Bread", and "The Sword of the Spirit" start to acquire real meaning. The image of food and sustenance is apt, particularly when our own words and thoughts fail. Human speech, ordered in the heavenlies, can convey much more meaning, but there is a catch. Imagine hacking your way through a jungle and suddenly coming upon a modern superhighway. There is even a car there waiting for you. Now you need to learn to drive.

papijoe 6:54 AM |

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Colombian/Venezuelan Border Tensions

From Yahoo News

I've been dreading this kind of news for a while

Venezuela dispatched extra troops as part of an effort to tighten security along its border with neighboring Colombia, but officials on Monday denied that the move was linked to a heated dispute over the capture of a rebel leader in Caracas by bounty hunters paid by Colombia.

Fortunately Alvaro Uribe is a leader with huevos.

Uribe issued a statement late Sunday leveling Colombia's most serious and explicit charges, accusing Venezuela of having sheltered Granda and saying other Colombian terrorists and rebel camps are inside Venezuela.

"Colombia will deliver proof to the government of Venezuela about the protection that authorities of this country provided to Mr. Granda. The sheltering of terrorists violates the sovereignty of Colombia," Uribe's statement said.

Regardless, Chavez seems to be doing all he can to intimidate the Colombians

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recalled his ambassador and suspended commercial ties, demanding that Uribe apologize. But Colombia's president said he has the right to offer rewards for the apprehension of Colombian terrorists, wherever they are.

On Monday, transport trucks carrying food and fuel were backed up on the Venezuelan side of Maicao, a dusty border crossing in western Zulia state while National Guard troops checked vehicles for contraband.

"I've been waiting here since 10 a.m. because of the checks" by troops, said Renato Ruzardo, a trucker transporting sugarcane syrup to neighboring Colombia.

I'm very worried about this, but I take comfort that God is raising up his army in the jungle in the very same region.
papijoe 1:07 PM |

Will China Be a Superpower?

The Spectator's Martin Vander Weyer says no. is worth reminding ourselves why China is not necessarily destined for greatness, and certainly does not deserve our unmixed admiration. First, its present growth rate is very far from sustainable, dependent as it is on slave wage rates, corrupt bureaucracy, near total absence of environmental controls and a financial system which is at best rickety and at worst, by Western standards, insolvent. Second, as Bill Emmott wrote in 2003 in 20:21 Vision, China today is in fact only ‘a modest country at best’, whose gross domestic product per capita, even on a PPP basis, is still only a fraction of that of neighbours such as South Korea, and on a par with Ukraine.

And although China is obviously far from modest in population, at 1.3 billion, it could be overtaken on that front within a couple of decades by India, which also has claims to superpower status in terms of technology, weaponry and what China most glaringly lacks, a democratic government that the world respects.

According to him, undemocratic governments pose some practical problems:

Eventually, lack of democracy will itself become a brake on economic progress, holding back reforms and imposing too many costs — all those bribes for local officials, all those well-paid jobs for their cousins. At that same point, foreign investors will become disenchanted by the lack of an untainted judicial system which might help them enforce contract terms and get their money back.

At times the dismissive tone sounds almost personal.

As for progress for the benefit of mankind, the Chinese may be queuing round the block for MBA courses taught by professors flown over from Harvard, but their tally of Nobel prizes won on home ground is precisely zero (the roll includes two Chinese-born, American-based particle physicists, Chen and Lee, in 1957, and one Taiwanese American chemist, another Lee, in 1986). By comparison, the University of California alone has notched up 15 laureates since 1980. As for literature, the 2000 prize went to Gao Xingjian, born in Jiangxi province, who had to burn a suitcase full of manuscripts during the Cultural Revolution and find exile in France before he could write freely. Ancient China was a great and splendid civilisation; the China built by Mao and Deng is not.

He makes some good points about the environmental devastation that the runaway growth is creating and that certainly is a factor. But it is "the barrel of a gun", as Mao would say, that I think is the key for the projection of Chinese power.

Militarily, on the other hand, China is very big, at least in one sense — and it has unresolved territorial issues over Taiwan (which the US might feel obliged to defend) and the South China Sea that might one day lead to conflict. According to a helpful public website provided by the CIA, China has 208,143,352 men between the ages of 15 and 49 who are fit for conscript military service. But only 2.5 million of them are permanently in uniform, many of their senior officers are busy making fortunes in real estate, the defence budget is surprisingly small because Beijing is so bad at collecting taxes, and the national stock of long-range missiles of the sort which really make you a global player numbers only about 20, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. That would make a pretty short fireworks display compared with what America has in its armoury.

I don't believe the Chinese always measure themselves by the standards of Western countries and I think it is a mistake for us to do it as well.

Underestimating China would be most unwise.

papijoe 8:18 AM |

Rabbis Rule Temple Mount is Off Limits to Jews

From Ha'aretz

Chief rabbis Yonah Metzger and Shlomo Moshe Amar, and a number of important rabbinical figures associated with the national religious world, have issued a halakhic ruling reiterating that it is forbidden for Jews to enter any part of the Temple Mount in our times. A similar halakhic ruling was issued a few months after the Six-Day War in 1967.

The current ruling was signed also by former chief rabbis Ovadia Yosef, Avraham Shapira, Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, the rabbi of the Western Wall, and heads of well-known national religious-oriented yeshivas.

It is seen as a blow to the members of the Temple Mount movements who have been trying for years to get a wider circle of rabbis to endorse the present-day entry of Jews to the holy site.

The ruling points out that Jews must avoid the entire site of the Temple Mount.
papijoe 7:42 AM |

Entry 1-18

The seasonal analogies are already getting old, but today prayertime was not so much the battle it's been lately as a tough slog through a winter storm. I did just about everything "right". I even got up half an hour early. Here's where I think the catch is sometimes. I know I've made a connection when I "feel" something. If Watchman Nee is correct [and he is certainly scripturally sound] what occurs in my spirit will usually overflow into my soul. When I "feel" nothing, two explainations are possible. What is going on in my soul can quench the spirit. Or what is going on in the spirit is not perceivable to the soul. Both point to a problem with the soul, something amiss in the will, thoughts and/or emotions.

As I was trying to meditate on what I had read the night before, one passage from Nee's book had somehow been redacted from my memory, which at one point was almost photographic. I could even see exactly where the sentence was on the page in my mind, and even parse out some of the structure, but the words didn't come back. I figured that this editting of my memory had to be significant. I got the book afterwords and this was the forgotten sentence:

Neither God nor the devil can do a work in us without our consent, because the will is free.

I believe that's almost verbatim. Although I thought I understood the idea of free will, I've, through observation of myself and others, grown accustom to the automatonic behavior of mankind. This is not our true nature but is due to our living entirely in the flesh. Interesting that this was wiped from my memory. The whole purpose of this sturdy is to hear from God, and something in my will is resisting that. From the perspective of the flesh that is understandable. If your phone rang and the caller ID said it as from God, would you pick it up?

Which reminds me of a story:

On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes.
When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry way.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man on the other end wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor was dumbfounded and couldn't figure out what the guy was talking about. Then the caller said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer."

The pastor remembered the apparently misdirected call and apologized for disturbing the gentleman, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife. The caller said, "That's OK, let me tell you my story."

"You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. I was afraid to answer!"

The man who had intended to commit suicide is now meeting regularly for counseling with the pastor of Almighty God Tabernacle.

Snopes says it's an urban legend, but I've found some more detailed versions that came from a syndicated gospel radio show. I guess only God knows.
papijoe 6:54 AM |

Monday, January 17, 2005

Irishman Becomes Famous Pundit in Israel

OK, I'm checking out the columns in Arutz Sheva this morning when all of a sudden I see this familiar face staring up at me:

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Why it's Patrick al-Kafir from Clarity and Resolve! Not only did he get to post a fine column but he got two links to his blog to boot!

Turns out Patrick has been a contributing columnist since last August. Don't know how I missed it, unless he was using a different pic.

Here's a sample:

In the 1960s, Yasser Arafat set out to build an internationally recognized political entity and a new national identity for an immigrant people out of the raw material of lies, terrorism and murder. And he pulled it off. He conned the world into rewarding terrorism and bankrolling one of the most colossal scams in modern history: the spurious conceit of a nation called "Palestine" and a people called the "Palestinians". As much as I think he was a despicable, homicidal charlatan, I've got to admit that he pulled off a truly impressive feat of imagination and audacity.

Ah, but even arch-terrorists must die. I can't say that his passing wet my eyes too much - certainly not as much as, say, Jacques Chirac. And the mainstream media, which wrote stirring paeans to the deceased progenitor of modern Arab terror. Heck, even Jimmy Carter dropped by ol' Abu Ammar's tomb a couple of months after he was dropped into it. The world (which he conned) seemed almost to be saying, "Well, perhaps he was a terrorist, but damn it, he was our terrorist!"

And then came the hope for "a new era of peace in the Middle East" (as if Israel has anything to do with the dysfunctional and violent culture endemic to the rest of the area); the hope for a more moderate terrorist to lead Palestinian Arabs back onto the Road Map of destroying Israel more subtly, more quietly. Mahmoud Abbas, will you please report to the PLO's front office, and bring your compendium of lies and half-truths.

I'll be reading the older columns all day. You can also find him on Israpundit.

papijoe 7:42 AM |

Entry 1-17

This morning's prayertime was another battle. Yesterday pastor was talking about how we have to find a place where we can go to be alone with God with no distractions. I realized that I've construct my life [both inner and outer] to give a place to everything but God. I found it easy to get discouraged when I saw that from that point of view I'm much worse than I thought I was. But regardless, I finally found my peace today, at least for a little while.

I got back to reading Watchman Nee, and he confirmed what I vaguely remembered reading a long time ago. In terms of our make up as spirit, soul and body, the contruction of the Temple of Solomon is a perfect analog. The outer courts represent the body, the soul is the Holy Place, and the spirit, where God's Shekinah Glory is on the Mercy Seat, is the spirit.

This comparison to the Temple has been used by Jesus Himself, and also Paul. Reading it an acknowledging it intellectually is one thing. Acting as if I really understand all of the implications is something else.
papijoe 7:20 AM |

Sunday, January 16, 2005

China as Israel's Greatest Ally?

From Israpundit

A number of young and ambitious Israelis have formed a non-governmental organization called the East-Oriented Alliance (EOA). The EOA sees that decadent Europe is succumbing to Islam, and that the United States, despite the resurgence of the Christian Right, is not far behind. Indeed, EOA sees (as do American classicists) that multiculturalism-cum-feminism dooms the last bastion of Western civilization. So EOA is looking to the East. Their game? The China card.

This is weird for so many reasons.

papijoe 8:02 PM |

Friday, January 14, 2005

A Comanche Mourns the Holocaust


Why would a Comanche Indian write an opera about the Jewish Holocaust? Shouldn’t an American Indian write about his own Trail of Tears? Why this convergence of cultural ethos? Why this crossing of paths?

I hear these two giant, genetic dirges in the same key. Both are the lamentations of unwanted people. But, the reason I chose to write an opera on the Jewish Holocaust has to do with my educational background and personal experience.

David Yeagley sounds like a fascinating individual and I'd like to find out more about him. This whole idea that a tragedy can be so overwhelming that a person can only process it in terms of a similar tragedy is very powerful and potentially unifying to people of goodwill.

Although I’m an Oklahoma Indian, I speak the artistic language of Europe. It so happens that, since I was a young teenager, Jewish people have always valued what I have to say. They have appreciated me and my work. Therefore I have always felt close to Jewish people.

I’ve also studied the Bible, privately and professionally, and had some formal Jewish studies. I am familiar with Jewish family life and worship. In Connecticut, I had Jewish neighbors who loved me as their own. (In fact, twice, they actually saved my life – terms for endearment, indeed.)

I trust the Jews with my tears. I once told a rabbi how I felt about Jewish people. I confessed, “I know if I really wanted to cry my heart out, I could come here (the synagogue) in the sanctuary, and just cry. No one would make me feel embarrassed. No one would shame me. No one would ask any questions. Everyone would understand. The Jews know.”

I've heard of many Native Americans that were sympathetic to the Jews. For some very personal reasons, this makes me very happy.
papijoe 7:41 AM |

Engelhard on Gratitude

From Arutz Sheva, one of my favorite columnists admonishes us on what we should not expect for our relief efforts.

Menachem Begin also expected gratitude from "the Muslim world and the rest of the world" after he gave away the Sinai, and after he told Anwar Sadat, "On your way back to Egypt, take a slice of kugel and a chunk of Israel." (Who needs the Sinai?) Begin thought the nations would be so grateful they'd come around and say, "How wonderful is this man! With him, we can talk. Oh come let us adore him."

This did not happen.

Ehud (who needs Israel?) Barak, also known as Neville Chamberlain, offered Arafat everything, including the kitchen sink, and what was the gratitude? An Intifada.

We're still getting "gratitude" from France after saving the French from speaking German.

Saudi Arabia was ten minutes away from being engulfed by Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Who came to the rescue, so that 20,000 "royal" members of the House of Sand and Saud could retain their sovereignty and continue to stone women for alleged adultery? The United States, that's who came to the rescue. The gratitude? That came September 11, 2001. Fifteen of those 19 hijackers were Saudis.

For more gratitude, we go to Sri Lanka. The Israelis, who know a thing or two about disaster, offered to help, and the answer was yes, no, maybe. Bring your world-class Jewish doctors, but without the Stars of David. Something got lost in translation when an e-mail message went around saying that the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, blasted Israel for not coming through, when in fact it had, big time. A corrected e-mail announced that the same Vatican newspaper had actually reproached Sri Lanka, not Israel, for being so touchy and particular at a time like the tsunami.

That's straightened out, but will Sri Lanka and the other nations who benefit from Israel's generosity in technology and science, tsunami or no tsunami - will they give thanks?

Will Indonesia and the rest of the Muslim world remember America for America's sacrifice and generosity during these days of calamity?

Don't hold your breath, also known as, you must be kidding.

We should provide aid regardless and do it with no strings attached. We will be criticize no matter what we do, so we might as well do the right thing. The ingratituted itself doesn't bother me so much as the lies and misrepresentation of the true goals of charity that we are seeing from many sources, the UN not the least of them.
papijoe 7:18 AM |

Entry 1-14

There is a lot I should be grateful for today, yet I feel very heavy. I was going to say that I felt spiritually dead, or heavy in my spirit, but that is not how it works. The spirit is never heavy and it is the opposite of dead. I need to get the focus off my flesh.

The adversity I've been going through this year has help to keep me on track spiritually. Now that it appears that there may be a respite, and the first thing my flesh wants to do is forget about how God has sustained me and go back to it's own devices. How can God bless me with prosperity success and acclaim if even the mere prospect starts to push me away from Him?
papijoe 6:36 AM |

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Syrian Missile Deal

From the Jerusalem Post

This is the first I've heard of this. Ominous news for both the US and Israel.

Israel anticipates that the US will use its leverage to help scuttle a Russian arms deal to Syria because of concern that sophisticated missiles would be smuggled into Iraq and endanger American troops there, senior diplomatic officials said Wednesday.

After two weeks of whispers and rumors about a crisis in Israeli-Russian ties, Israeli officials confirmed that the disagreement was over a large weapons deal to Syria that reportedly includes the Igla SA-18, among the most sophisticated shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles on the market, and the Iskander-E ground-to-ground missiles.

Syrian President Bashar Assad is scheduled to visit Moscow on January 24 to sign the deal, the first major Russian weapons deal to Syria in more than a decade.

I've heard rumors that the US is planning a strike on Syrian on the 20th of this month. Nothing I've been able to confirm.
papijoe 8:49 AM |

Entry 1-13

Most of my prayertime was lost in an ambush that started in the hinterlands of last nights dreams. Barely escaped. Bad timing for me as I have an important presentation this morning. Hoping to avoid the time squeeze I had yesterday, I got up a half hour earlier. But I'm here, I'm grateful, and I can do anything in Christ who strengthens me. Praise God!
papijoe 6:35 AM |

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cynicism towards US Relief Efforts from the Ivory Tower

From Shahid Alam the Northeastern University professor who recently compared the 9-11 murdering hijackers to the Minutemen of the American Revolution:

The following statement from outgoing US Secretary of State Colin Powell captures the contradictions in the American concepts of manifest destiny and its own perception as a nation apart from, and generally superior to, others. He was pontificating in Indonesia, the country worst hit by the recent Asian tsunami as well as being the most populous Muslim state, after the US government announced a substantial increase over its initial aid package offer for the disaster. “What it does in the Muslim world is (being) given an opportunity to see American generosity, American values in action,” declared Powell. “America is not an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim nation. America is a diverse society. We respect all religions.” Certainly the US is as ethnically diverse as they come and, equally assuredly, constitutionally it is as secular a state as any.

But perception and reality can sometimes make nonsense of long-held truisms. A cross-section of the media and citizens in several Muslim countries in the Middle East have taken the view that the US is providing aid primarily to serve its political purpose. It is exploiting the situation, as a Jordanian columnist sees it, to try to improve its image. And these two perceptions make interesting studies in contrast about American declarations and deeds. While an Iranian thinks that Americans talk more than they do, the leading Egyptian daily derides the initial US allocation of $15 million as being “less than what America spends every minute in its war in Iraq.” Washington later raised its pledge to $350 million as an exercise in damage control, but much damage had by then been done to the American image, and followed it by sending Powell to Jakarta to try his hand at disaster management, and he began his efforts by uttering the kind of words that sound hollow and irritate not a few, including Muslims.

In the article he can't deny that the US relief efforts are stunningly effective. But like the UN, posturing and PR are more important to him than actual results. What he actually knows about what is going on from his office on the Boston campus can be compared to an eyewitness like The Diplomad
papijoe 7:30 AM |

Entry 1-12

I didn't plan for the bad weather this morning and spent my usual prayertime watching the Weather Channel to see if it was safe to try to make it into work. There's a real snapshot of my priorities. By God's grace I made it in ok, but starting my day off like that puts me in the unmerciful clutchs of circumstances. I've done a lot of driving in bad weather and much of it was in a truck that handled very badly in those conditions. Heavy snow and freezing rain are the worst and I have to admit that I now have a conditioned trauma response to winter storms. It's also a good spiritual metaphor for what I'm trying to do in my daily journey of faith. Staying on the Road is all about Traction, if you lose it, watch out! Prayertime is making sure the rubber meets the Road.

If the metaphor sounds corny, try to imagine it as lyrics to a bluegrass gospel song. Ok, it's still corny...
papijoe 7:06 AM |

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More Political Commentary from Middle Earth

Sure, they're famous now over at Discarded Lies. But between the champagne receptions and red carpet events, evariste found the time to send me this. Whatta guy!

Today, much of the Western intellectual establishment supports the Islamic terrorists. This goes beyond simple opposition to the war in Iraq. (Tolkien also depicts the response of hopeless pacifism, as in King Theoden—still under the influence of Saruman's agent Griga Wormtongue —when he laments, "Hasn't there been enough killing?" and refuses to attack the enemies at his door.) The hardcore leftists want the Iraqi insurgents to win. Filmmaker Michael Moore calls them "minute men" and "freedom fighters." Left-wing websites celebrate the killing of American soldiers and claim solidarity with Muslim revolutionaries. Some of the most virulent anti-Israeli rhetoric can be found in American and European universities.

Western leftists are feminist, pro-gay, and morally permissive. And yet, they are willing to make common cause with radical Islamists who brutally repress women, punish homosexuals by execution, and impose the harshest of legalistic codes. Just as Sauron would eat Saruman for dinner, Western intellectuals would not last one day under an Islamist republic. And yet, the hatred Western intellectuals have for the civilization that brought them into existence is so great that they will embrace its every enemy. How can this be?

University professors and students have long been deconstructing the great achievements of Western civilization, chanting in anti–liberal arts demonstrations, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western civ has got to go." The vogue of multiculturalism has meant criticizing Western culture in favor of non-Western cultures. Many Islamist terrorists are graduates of these universities, which schooled them well in the evils of the West.

One clue might be found in the terrorist taunt that "we love death more than you love life."

Tolkien disliked allegory and wasn't attempting to make any overt political or social statement. Yet his work remains a such a rich vein of comparisons to current affairs because high art sees through the glass more clearly than the rest of us do.
papijoe 7:12 AM |

Entry 1-11

Now when my daughter gets a time-out, she huffs, "It's not fair!". Usually she's right, if I was fair, I would have disciplined her sooner.
So when I have that same attitude, I have to logically assume that my sense of being wronged is inflated at best, and that the root cause is ingratitude.
This is what I struggled with in my prayer time today. I didn't feel the peace until I was driving into work, and there was nothing else to credit but the inexplicable ability to rejoice in all circumstances that that obviously didn't come from my own efforts. I have to keep coming back to this over and over again.
papijoe 7:05 AM |

Monday, January 10, 2005

Journal Entry 1-10

We've started reading John Bevere's Christian devotional Drawing Near and as part of that I'm keeping a daily journal. I'll be posting my entries for any who are interested.

I was considering in my prayer time today what prevents me from "drawing near" to God and having intimate time with Him. I've certainly had the experience in the past, but it has always been haphazard.

I though about how on Mt Sinai the Israelites [Ex 19,20] became afraid of God and asked Moses to be an intermediary. As a Christian, I don't have that excuse, instead of in fire, smoke and loud noises, God came down as a baby since then.

The more honest answer is that what stands in the way is my flesh. This too is a cop out. I had the revelation recently that is entirely possible to be miserable in the flesh and still be rejoicing in the spirit. This explains how a woman can look back sentimentally on the birth of a child when in fact she was in agony. The spirit, when it breaks through always trumps the flesh.

The little I've been reading so far of Watchman Nee's Spiritual Man has also helped. Some would make the absurd claim that we are only bodies. Most, at least after some thought would say that we are flesh and something less material involving emotions and intellect. In fact we are body, soul [thoughts, emotions, will] and spirit. I don't want to digress too much into an involved discussion of this, but our being is in our souls, which can choose between flesh and spirit. We were designed to choose spirit, but rarely do and therein lies the rub.

So as I'm trying to spend a mere 20 minutes with God, all manner of carnal distractions have to be taken captive. I did actually have a few precious minutes in His Presence, and even then it was a struggle to maintain. John Bevere points out that when we are called to pray without ceasing, it is supposed to be a dialog with God that goes on all day. That's the point of this study. All the rest is about how to do that.
papijoe 6:51 AM |

Engelhard: PR for Israel

From Arutz Sheva

Hasbara means public relations in Hebrew, and that's a loose translation; it's especially loose as it's practiced from Israel. Lovers of Zion have no spokesman. We once had Abba Eban. Maybe he was to the Left, but he was good, and now he's gone. We once had Benjamin Netanyahu, a weak prime minister but a terrific speaker for Israel. But he's busy doing something else these days.

That leaves us to fend for ourselves, and that's weak. Centuries ago, as Elie Wiesel reminds us, the great Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev cried out to the Almighty, "Zol Ivan blozen shofar." Let our enemies praise your glory, since you favor our slanderers and oppressors over us. That was a cry of anguish and helplessness that we feel even today. But we have no Berditchever Rebbe or anything close.

Israelis seem blissfully unaware that their war is being fought on the "front pages". Our newsprint runs with Jewish blood. The Mohammad Al-Dura incident singularly provoked the Palestinian Arab tempter tantrum that has taken more than one thousand Jewish lives, in addition to thousands more injured and maimed.

Turns out that the whole business was a fraud, that it was staged, but the image of a boy huddled up in his father's arms against "Israeli gunfire" justified the uprising for the Arab world and for the entire world. Who spoke up for Israel? Nobody. Or if someone did, he or she did a rotten job.

papijoe 6:44 AM |

Friday, January 07, 2005

UN in Your Pocket

According to the EU Observer [originally posted from another source by song_and_dance_man on LGF] at a speech at the UN, Jacques Chirac called for a new tax to help the poor:

French President Jacques Chirac has called for an international tax to help fight poverty.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Mr Chirac praised a report prepared by a French working group, which suggested an international tax be levied on arms sales and some financial transactions in a bid to eradicate poverty.

And look who's already on board.

The report contains "technically realistic and economically rational solutions", said Mr Chirac, according to Reuters, who has joined forces with Brasilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to push the anti-poverty agenda.

Thank goodness the current Administration is willing to point out the absurdity of this plan.

But Mr Chirac's ideas were strongly attacked by the US delegation.

US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said, "global taxes are inherently undemocratic. Implementation is impossible".

But if anyone still thinks this could be a good idea, check out this account of the organization that took us to task for being stingy in the tsunami relief effort from Diplomad. This was posted by Rancher at LGF.

This Embassy has been running 24/7 since the December 26 earthquake and tsunami. Along with my colleagues, I've spent the past several days dealing non-stop with various aspects of the relief effort in this tsunami-affected country. That work, unfortunately, has brought ever-increasing contact with the growing UN presence in this capital; in fact, we've found that to avoid running into the UN, we must go out to where the quake and tsunami actually hit. As we come up on two weeks since the disaster struck, the UN is still not to be seen where it counts -- except when holding well-staged press events. Ah, yes, but the luxury hotels are full of UN assessment teams and visiting big shots from New York, Geneva, and Vienna. The city sees a steady procession of UN Mercedes sedans and top-of-the-line SUV's -- a fully decked out Toyota Landcruiser is the UN vehicle of choice; it doesn't seem that concerns about "global warming" and preserving your tax dollars run too deep among the UNocrats.

Sitting VERY late for two consecutive nights in interminable meetings with UN reps, hearing them go on about "taking the lead coordination role," pledges, and the impending arrival of this or that UN big shot or assessment/coordination team, for the millionth time I realized that if not for Australia and America almost nobody in the tsunami-affected areas would have survived more than a few days. If we had waited for the UNocrats to get their act coordinated, the already massive death toll would have become astronomical. But, fortunately, thanks to "retrograde racist war-mongers " such as John Howard and George W. Bush, as we sat in air conditioned meeting rooms with these UNocrats, young Australians and Americans were at that moment "coordinating" without the UN and saving the lives of tens-of-thousands of people.

Seeing these UNocrats perched at the table, whispering to each other, back-slapping, shaking hands, they seemed like a periodic reunion of old cynical Mafia chieftains or mercenaries who run into each other in different hot spots, as they move from one slaughter to another, "How are you? Haven't seen you since Bosnia . . .." As the hours wore on, however, and I nervously doodled in my note pad, shifted in my chair, looked at my watch, and thought about all the real work I had to do that evening, I decided that, no, labeling them mafiosos or mercenaries was much too kind. They seemed more to be the progeny resulting from a mating between a mad oracle and a giant carrion-eater.

This is a great blog and I recommend reading the entire series of posts since the disaster to get the picture of what the UN or similar organizations would do with your hard earned money. But the racketeering aspect pales before the the senseless loss of life that is a given when these parasites get involved with any global crisis.
papijoe 1:21 PM |

Setting the Euros Straight

Two of my new favorite blogs Mystery Achievement and CUANAS have a real knack for finding other cool blogs that I've never heard of. I'll credit them both for finding this jaw dropping post from Varifrank:

Today, during an afternoon conference that wrapped up my project of the last 18 months, one of my Euro colleagues tossed this little turd out to no one in particular:

" See, this is why George Bush is so dumb, theres a disaster in the world and he sends an Aircraft Carrier..."

After which he and many of my Euro colleagues laughed out loud.

and then they looked at me. I wasn't laughing, and neither was my Hindi friend sitting next to me, who has lost family in the disaster.

I'm afraid I was "unprofessional", I let it loose -

"Hmmm, let's see, what would be the ideal ship to send to a disaster, now what kind of ship would we want?

Something with its own inexhaustible power supply?

Something that can produce 900,000 gallons of fresh water a day from sea water?

Something with its own airfield? So that after producing the fresh water, it could help distribute it?

Something with 4 hospitals and lots of open space for emergency supplies?

Something with a global communications facility to make the coordination of disaster relief in the region easier?

Well "Franz", us peasants in America call that kind of ship an "Aircraft Carrier". We have 12 of them. How many do you have? Oh that's right, NONE. Lucky for you and the rest of the world, we are the kind of people who share. Even with people we don't like. In fact, if memory serves,once upon a time we peasants spent a ton of money and lives rescuing people who we had once tried to kill and who tried to kill us.

Do you know who those people were? that's right Franz, Europeans.

Theres is a French Aircraft carrier? where is it? Right where it belongs! In France of course! Oh why should the French Navy dirty their uniforms helping people on the other side of the globe. How Simplesse...

The day an American has to move a European out of the way to help in some part of the world it will be a great day in the world, you sniggering little f*cknob..."

The room fell silent. My hindi friend then said quietly to the Euros:

"Can you let your hatred of George Bush end for just one minute? There are people dying! And what are your countries doing? has helped more than France has. You all have a role to play in the world, why can't you see that? Thank God for the US Navy, they don't have to come and help, but they are. They helped you once and you should all thank God they did. They didn't have to, and no one but them would have done so. I'm ashamed of you all..."

He left the room, shaking and in tears. The frustration of being on the other side of the globe, unable to do anything to assist and faced with people who could not set aside their asininity long enough to reach out and help was too much for him to bear. I just shook my head and left. The Euros stood speechless.

Later in the breakroom, one of the laughing Euros caught me and extended his hand in an apology. I asked him where he was from, he said "a town outside of Berlin". He is a young man, in his early 20's.

I asked him if he knew of a man named Gail Halvorsen.

He said no.

I said "that's a shame" and walked away to find my Hindi friend.

Well done, sir.
papijoe 7:45 AM |

More on Salvadorean Gang

From the Boston Herald

I posted the other day on the al Qaida-linked Salvadorean gang La Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 that has a strong presence in East Boston and other local communities. Here's another warning from a Texas congressman.

A Texas congressman said MS-13 gang members and Middle Eastern aliens are using the border in his district to sneak into the country - and Boston should be worried.

U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (D-Texas), co-chairman of the House Border Caucus, told the Herald he is ``very concerned'' about al-Qaeda's link to Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a gang he described as ``extremely vicious.''

The Herald reported this week that a chapter of MS-13 has taken control of a swath of East Boston, prompting Boston police to create a task force to take down the violent, drug-dealing thugs.

Last month, a Muslim man from Bangledesh, Fakhrul Islam, was arrested alongside a reputed MS-13 gang member and 11 others after the group waded across the Rio Grande into Brownsville, Texas.

The alleged MS-13 member, Francky Sanchez-Solorzano, 21, was arrested and deported back to his native Honduras within days of the Dec. 4 bust, Ortiz said. Islam's status in the country remained unclear.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has publicly said a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, has offered top dollar to infiltrate the United States via the Mexican border.

``Boston should be worried,'' said Ortiz's spokeswoman, Cathy Travis. ``These terrorists and gang members are getting on a bus here in Texas and heading to the East Coast.''

FBI officials steadfastly deny any connection between MS-13 - a brutal, international criminal organization that has thousands of members across the country - and the terrorist al-Qaeda network.

``The FBI has not established a link between MS-13 and al-Qaeda,'' said Joe Parris, supervisory special agent in the FBI national press office. ``There is no link established.''

But Ortiz said the Bush administration is ``in denial'' and should tell the American people the truth.

``It's established that Mara Salvatrucha and al-Qaeda have had meetings. Middle Eastern people are willing to pay millions to get into this country,'' Ortiz said yesterday.

The partisan-sounding jab at Bush aside, I hope the FBI isn't asleep at the switch on this. The other possibility is that they are doing something, and all this attention may be making their job harder.
papijoe 6:42 AM |

Thursday, January 06, 2005

French Whine le Troisième

Remember Antoine Audouard from Tuesday's post, who couldn't understand our déplaisant attitude towards his countrymen?

He can add the following to the list of points to consider.

In Jacques Chirac is quoted as making this statement on the US relief efforts for the tsunami victims:

"Bush is making propaganda by deploying huge resources. He is using it as an opportunity to give the United States an image other than that of the Iraq war,"

Them's fightin' words Antoine.
papijoe 2:06 PM |

Sharon to Prevent Abu Mazen From Visiting Temple Mount

From Arutz Sheva

Prime Ministerial Adviser Raanan Gissin said today that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has decided against allowing PLO leader Mahmoud ("Abu Mazen") Abbas to film an election promo on the Temple Mount.

The elections are to take place on Sunday, and the PLO has requested that Israel allow Abu Mazen to film on the Mount during the elections last days. Today, Gissin was quoted as saying that the decision has been made and Abu Mazen will not be allowed to film at the holy site, "even if he comes to Jerusalem."

When asked if Sharon will himself go up to the Temple Mount, Gissin said that it is a possibility. He also noted that the last time Mr. Sharon went up to the Mount, four years ago, he expressed the hope that the next time he went up there, it would be as prime minister of Israel.

Smart move.
papijoe 10:43 AM |

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

East Boston Gang Linked to Al Qaida

From song_and_dance_man at LGF

A burgeoning East Boston-based street gang made up of alleged rapists and machete-wielding robbers has been linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, prompting Boston police to ``turn up the heat'' on its members, the Herald has learned.

MS-13, which stands for La Mara Salvatrucha, is an extremely violent organization with roots in El Salvador, and boasts more than 100 ``hardcore members'' in East Boston who are suspected of brutal machete attacks, rapes and home invasions.

At face value, linking a Salvadorean street gang to al Qaida seems like a stretch.
In recent months, intelligence officials in Washington have warned national law enforcement agencies that al-Qaeda terrorists have been spotted with members of MS-13 in El Salvador, prompting concerns the gang may be smuggling Islamic fundamentalist terrorists into the country. Law enforcement officials have long believed that MS-13 controls alien smuggling routes along Mexico.

The warning is being taken seriously in East Boston, where Raed Hijazi, an al-Qaeda operative charged with training the suicide bombers in the attack on the USS Cole, lived and worked, prosecutors have charged.

Also, the commercial jets that hurtled into the World Trade Center towers in New York City were hijacked from Logan International Airport.

With the proximity of Logan to East Boston, it makes sense to take this seriously. And these are some evil dudes:

Among the most notorious local crimes attributed to MS-13 was the gang rape of two deaf girls, one 14, the other 17, in a Somerville park in 2002. Three MS-13 gang members were charged in the brutal rapes, during which one victim was knocked from her wheelchair before the assault.

My former pastors and 72 year old mom are doing missionary work in the Eastie projects. Please say a prayer for them.

Two locals stories about terrorists in the same day. Yikes!
papijoe 3:44 PM |

Businessman Under Investigation Has Links to Local Mosque

From the AP

Back in November I posted about the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester.

It appears now that one of their former members is under investigation for ties to al Qaida linked charities.

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to halt citizenship proceedings for a Quincy businessman who headed an Islamic charity so the FBI can continue investigating whether he lied about his involvement with organizations that include one associated with Osama bin Laden.

U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan asked that Emadeddin Z. Muntasser's naturalization hearing, scheduled for Thursday, be postponed. U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel did not immediately rule on the request and gave Muntasser until Wednesday to file his response.

Muntasser, whose citizenship application has been pending for more than two years, is "currently the subject of a pending federal criminal investigation regarding statements he made to the FBI," according to documents filed in federal court.

Muntasser, 40, is a Libyan national who owns the Logan Furniture chain and was a founding president of the Boston-based charity Care International.

His affiliation apparently goes back to his student days at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

When Muntasser applied for permanent U.S. residency in April 1992, he listed the organizations he'd been involved with - groups like the Graduate Student Organization at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater, and the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester.

Here is the byzantine account of his ties to dubious oraganizations:

[Care International], which is not affiliated with the global relief organization CARE International, says in its promotional materials that it was formed to help war orphans, widows and refugees in Muslim nations. But the organization has been scrutinized because of its links to groups that support terrorism.

In June, Muntasser sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, claiming his citizenship application had been needlessly delayed. In response, prosecutors filed documents in court revealing that Muntasser was the subject of an FBI investigation into statements he made during a 2003 interview with federal agents.

The documents indicate that Muntasser's involvement with Care and the Boston branch of a group founded by Osama bin Ladin in the 1980s has sparked attention from the FBI...He also listed "Alkifah Refugee Center, Boston Chapter."

Known by various spellings, the al-Khifa Refugee Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a recruitment office for Mektab al Khidmat, or MAK, which bin Laden co-founded in the 1980s to recruit mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, according to the 9-11 Commission.

The U.S. government has called MAK the "precursor organization to al-Qaida." Some people involved in the first World Trade Center bombing were connected to the Brooklyn center. President Bush designated MAK/al-Khifa a global terrorist organization soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Care International was incorporated in 1993 with Muntasser as president. Care used the same Commonwealth Avenue address as al-Khifa's Boston chapter, and in its literature, it praised mujahideen activities around the world, including Bosnia, Chechnya, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Al-Khifa's Boston newsletter, "Al-Hussam" or The Sword, eventually became the newsletter for Care. The Investigative Project, a Washington organization that tracks extremist Islamic groups, provided copies of the newsletter to The Associated Press.

Care has never had its assets frozen or been named by the government as a terrorist organization, but has had transactions with organizations that have.

According to testimony before a U.S. congressional committee, Care gave $180,384 from 1996 to 2000 to the Global Relief Foundation, a group that has had its assets frozen and been accused by the U.S. government of providing financial support to al-Qaida.

According to state charitable filings, Care also received a $5,750 donation in 2001 from GRF.

Muntasser's official relationship with Care ended in 1996 and it was not clear whether he continued to be involved with the organization.

Still, when Muntasser filed for citizenship in October 2002, the application asked if Muntasser had ever been a member of any organization, association or other group. He checked "no."

In January 2003, the Joint Terrorism Task Force served him with a subpoena. The court documents do not say what Muntasser told federal agents during the interview, although he told an immigration officer in April that the agents asked him "mainly about Care and also asked about Libya." Muntasser said he traveled extensively to his native country, in part to help his family reclaim property seized by the government.

He got a new attorney and amended his citizenship application in November 2003, adding organizations he'd been involved with, including Care and Al-Khifa. He also gave more information about his travels, which included a one-month trip in early 1995 to Afghanistan and Pakistan as a representative of Care.

The day after he amended his application, he was interviewed by an immigration official. Then, Muntasser was detained in March when he returned to the U.S. from abroad.

Interviewed under oath by an immigration officer on April 6, he discussed his travels to the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying he visited orphanages, schools and handicraft shops. In that interview, which is on file in federal court, Muntasser also talked about his work with Care, describing it as "humanitarian work."

With his citizenship application in limbo, he sued in June. In August, U.S. Attorney Sullivan asked the court to hand the case over to the Department of Homeland Security, "which is best suited to investigate Muntasser's eligibility for naturalization."

In his filing, Sullivan said that if Muntasser lied to the FBI, "that fact would bear on his moral character and his eligibility to naturalize as a United States citizen."

In a blistering response, Muntasser's attorney, Friedman, decried the "needless delay and endless investigations," surrounding his client's citizenship application. He dismissed the government's claims as "wild speculation."

"Muntasser has not been charged with any crime, let alone convicted," Friedman wrote.

Despite what his lawyer says, Mr Muntasser was not truthful in his application, and I would seem that there is a good case for his deportation.
papijoe 6:53 AM |

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Prager on Judeo-Christian Values


This has been a great week contentwise, and here is Dennis Prager with a value statement that I can get behind 100%. I just want to post the whole thing, but I'll restrain myself.

Now, it is time to make the case for Judeo-Christian, specifically biblical, values. I believe they are the finest set of values to guide the lives of both individuals and societies. Unfortunately, they are rarely rationally explained -- even among Jewish and Christian believers, let alone to nonbelievers and members of other faiths.

So this is the beginning of an admittedly ambitious project. Vast numbers of people are profoundly disoriented as to what is good and what is bad. Just to give one example: Take the moral confusion over the comparative worth of human and animal life.

The majority of American students I have asked since 1970 whether they would save their dog or a stranger have voted against the stranger.

A Tucson, Ariz., woman in late 2004 sent firefighters into her burning home telling them that her three babies were inside. The babies for whom the firemen risked their lives were the woman's three cats.

The best known animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), funded by the best educated in our society, has launched an international campaign titled "Holocaust on your plate," which equates the barbecuing of millions of chickens with the cremating of millions of Jews in the Holocaust. To PETA and its supporters, there is no difference between chicken life and human life.

Only a very morally confused age could produce so many people who do not recognize the immeasurable distance between human and animal worth. We live in that age.

We do in large measure because values based on God and the Bible have been replaced by secular values. The result was predicted by the British thinker G.K. Chesterton at the turn of the 20th century: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything."

Yes, the moral record of Christian Europe is a mixed one -- especially vis a vis its one continuous religious minority -- Jews. And one has to be quite naive to believe that belief in God and the Bible guarantees moral clarity, let alone moral behavior.

But Chesterton was right. The collapse of Christianity in Europe led to the horrors of Nazism and Communism. And to the moral confusions of the present -- such as the moral equation of the free United States with the totalitarian Soviet Union, or of life-loving Israel with its death-loving enemies.

The oft cited charge that religion has led to more wars and evil than anything else is a widely believed lie. Secular successors to Christianity have slaughtered and enslaved more people than all religions in history (though significant elements within a non-Judeo-Christian religion, Islam, slaughter and enslave today, and if not stopped in Sudan and elsewhere could match Nazism or Communism).

In fact, it was a secular Jew, the great German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, who understood that despite its anti-Semitism and other moral failings, Christianity in Europe prevented the wholesale slaughter of human beings that became routine with Christianity's demise. In 1834, 99 years before Hitler and the Nazis rose to power, Heine warned:

A drama will be enacted in Germany compared to which the French Revolution will seem harmless and carefree. Christianity restrained the martial ardor for a time but it did not destroy it; once the restraining talisman [the cross] is shattered, savagery will rise again. . . .

What is needed today is a rationally and morally persuasive case for embracing the values that come from the Bible. This case must be more compelling than the one made for anti-biblical values that is presented throughout the Western world's secular educational institutions and media (news media, film and television).

OK I posted all of it but three paragraphs, but I think that's still fair use. Now go read the other three!
papijoe 3:50 PM |

Anti-Israeli Bias in the Global Press

Posted at LGF by Joel

Every now and then I post something because I don't want to lose track of it. I don't have any brilliant commentary. I'm still in shock after reading two of the articles at the deep anti-semitism of the British press. I know it was bad, but not this bad.

In Britain, it is open season on both Israel and the Jews.

A British journalist in Israel chronicles the shocking, systematic anti-Israel bias of the European media.

The BBC’s very own Mideast foreign policy.

Britain's Disingenuous Iraq-Israel Linkage
papijoe 3:01 PM |

French Whine Redux

From International Herald Tribune

French author Antoine Audouard complains in his piece "America's ridiculous hatred of the French" that despite the their longstanding disdain and hostility to the US, our contempt for all things French is déclassé

While Antoine can take the usual jokes about body odor and his country surrendering to visiting drum and bugle corps in stride, some things really cut to the quick:

...the hysteria of French-bashing has given way to a more insidious form of bias. For example, it was humbling for us French to watch Democratic operatives desperately trying to hide John Kerry's French relatives - who had come to be with him at the Democratic convention - from the news media. And it was rather funny to hear the advice given by some television pundits to Kerry minutes before the first debate: "Don't speak French." (He didn't, and by the way, it made no difference.) And whether in rustic tabloid lingo or in the more refined language of broadsheets, the typical out-of-touch East Coast liberal is more often than not "French-speaking" or "Bordeaux-drinking."

He seems to be as out of touch with American sensibilities as Kerry was when it comes to understanding the causes of this animus.

Why the French exception? Several reasons spring to mind. France's opposition to the war in Iraq is the first, of course. This has infuriated the political establishment - Republicans and Democrats alike. And during times of war, patriotic sentiment can quickly become xenophobic. Having cast themselves in the role of Cassandra (who was endowed with the gift of prophecy but not with the talent of making herself heard), the French should not be surprised by the American Agamemnon's resentment.

To go back in history a bit, France is one of the few major European countries to have never undergone any widespread immigration to America. So there is no French minority to pander to, no French lobby to placate.

Also, the French delude themselves in valorizing their historical relationship to America: Lafayette vs. Eisenhower, the Statue of Liberty vs. the Marshall Plan - there is something wrong, even shocking, about comparing France's help during America's War of Independence with the role of America in the two world wars.

After these random-seeming rationalizations, he gets to the core of his complaint which is that it is one thing to disagree, but another to "indulge in contempt, or even hatred, for a society, its history, its culture, and its people." Nowhere does he address decades of American perplexity at the contempt, ungrateful hostility and backstabbing the US endured after aiding France in two World Wars and Vietnam. In trying to parse out his logic, I can only suggest that the disconnect is that the French seem to traffic in symbols, while the majority of Americans base their judgment on deeds.

So it may be helpful to those of Antoine Audouard's mindset to catalog some of those recent deeds that have formed our national opinion of France.

Frenchmen like Antoine Audouard who seem to have some interest in maintaining civil relations with the US need to focus more on what their leaders are saying and doing and less on their Gallic pride.

papijoe 7:19 AM |