Thursday, July 24, 2014
The Letter of ISIS Genocide
Along with many others, I
have changed my twitter account icon to this symbol, the Arabic letter nun. I’ll let Rorate Caeli (who may have begun this suddenly
viral practice) explain its significance:
Nun, the 14th
letter of the Arabic alphabet (the equivalent of letter N in our Roman
alphabet), is the first letter of the word Nasara (Nazarenes), the
way Muslims have called Christians since the beginning of their invasion of the
Christian world in the 7th century -- Christians under Muslim rule never called
themselves thus, since the intent of Muslims was to portray Christians as a
contemptible and disobedient sect.
genocidal physical elimination of Christians from the Mesopotamian city
of Mosul, Muslim terrorists marked each Christian-owned institution and
building with this letter, for the extermination of holdouts and expropriation
of their belongings.
My thoughts and prayers
have particularly been with Christians driven from their homes by ISIS
Islamonazis. And as St. Paul
wrote, if one of us suffers, we all suffer. Hence my modest decision to join those taking upon ourselves
that letter of anti-Christian genocide.
The collect for this week,
of the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, has struck me as particularly timely during
this awful period of anti-Christian persecution in the Middle East.
GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of
this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may
joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our
Labels: ISIS, Islam, persecution
Monday, July 21, 2014
Durham-in-Wonderland blog came to a close Friday. Some readers may remember that is the blog that closely
followed the Duke Lacrosse case. I
read and linked to it frequently.
I commend to you Dr. Johnson’s closing and reflective post.
This case is one reason my
enthusiasm as a Duke alum has greatly diminished through the years. The university conducted itself
horribly in spite of numerous rebukes from alumni. And the administration has learned little from the episode
judging from their once again showing little concern for the rights of the
With Dr. Johnson, I
particularly find egregious the conduct of the Group of 88 and their lack of
consequences for the same.
And yet for dozens of Duke faculty, this evidence
appeared irrelevant. Eighty-eight of them rushed to judgment, signing a
statement (whose production violated Duke regulations in multiple ways)
affirming that something had “happened” to false accuser Crystal Mangum, and
thanking protesters (“for not waiting”) who had, among other things, urged the castration
of the lacrosse captains and blanketed the campus with “wanted”
posters. As the case to which they attached their public reputations
imploded, Group members doubled down, with most issuing a second statement
promising they would never apologize for their actions. (Only three Group
members ever said they were sorry for signing the statement, and two of that
number subsequently retracted those apologies.) For months, the Duke administration
was either in agreement with the faculty extremists or cowed by them—or some
combination of both.
But Dr. Johnson is one
person who shone during this sorry episode. He did yeoman work in reporting on this case (for which he
eventually was greatly hassled by Duke).
I salute him and his blog as he brings it to a close.
Labels: Duke, false accusations, Group of 88
Friday, July 18, 2014
Barack Obama, Jerk
Those who ever voted for
Barack Obama owe our overseas friends an apology. For yesterday, a day of great gravity and tragedy, he once again
not only acted unpresidential, but also with a complete lack of class and
Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Everybody, please have
a seat. Please have a seat. It is wonderful to be back in Delaware.
Before I begin, obviously the world is watching
reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks
like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now, we're working to determine
whether there were American citizens onboard. That is our first priority.
like it may be a tragedy? When he made these remarks, it was already
well known the Malaysian Airlines plane has crashed from high altitude. And
then his next sentence makes it sound like the reason that it may be a tragedy is that there may have
been Americans aboard.
Now even I will give him
enough credit that he surely did not mean it would be a tragedy if Americans were aboard; if it’s just
Europeans and Malays then no big deal.
But could he have worded his statement with less sensitivity? I don’t think Obama is a Kenyan, but he
sure as heck is an Ugly American.
I've directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the
Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to
help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts and
prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.
Well, now that we’ve got
that annoying event out of the way, let’s laugh it up!
I want to thank Jeremie for that introduction. Give
Jeremie a big round of applause. (Applause.) It is great to be in the state
that gave us Joe Biden. (Applause.) We've got actually some better-looking
Bidens with us here today. (Laughter.) We've got Beau and his wife, Hallie, are
here. Give them a big round of applause. We love them. (Applause.) We've got
Governor Jack Markell. (Applause.) Senator Chris Coons, Congressman John
Carney, County Executive Tom Gordon, and the Mayor of Wilmington, Dennis
Williams. (Applause.) We've also got two terrific members of my Cabinet --
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is here -- (applause) -- and Treasury
Secretary Jack Lew is here. (Applause.)
Jack Lew's signature is actually on your money.
(Laughter.) Although it's kind of illegible. We teased him when he first became
Treasury Secretary that he was going to have to fix his signature a little bit
because it looked just like a caterpillar running along the bottom. (Laughter.)
If only we could fix our
And as if that is not bad
enough, he went on as if it’s just another day. He went out for a photo op burger. Another crisis; another photo op. And he went to New York for fundraisers. Of course.
Couldn’t he at least look
like he cares?
Labels: Obama, Ukraine
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Another Day, Another Hard Drive Missing UPDATED
Yes, yet another hard drive
relating to the operations of Lois Lerner has gone missing. This time it is from a very partisan
hack who worked under Lerner at the Federal Election Commission.
The Federal Election Commission recycled the
computer hard drive of April Sands — a former co-worker of Lois Lerner’s —
hindering an investigation into Sands’ partisan political activities, according
to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Sands resigned from the Federal Election Commission
in April after she admitted to violating the Hatch Act, which bars executive
branch employees from engaging in partisan political activities on federal time
and at federal facilities.
The twist is that Sands also worked under Lois
Lerner when the ex-IRS agent — who is currently embroiled in a scandal over the
targeting of conservative political groups — worked at the FEC’s enforcement
Both Sands and Lerner were
notorious for using their positions at the FEC to target conservatives. And when I say Sands was very partisan,
I am not overstating matters:
One of Sands’ tweets, from June 4, 2012 read “I just
don’t understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican. What
kind of delusional rhetorical does one use?”
“Dear every single Republican ever, When will U
learn that Barack Hussein Obama is simply smarter than U? Stand down, Signed
#Obama2012 #p2,” Sands wrote on May 1, 2012.
In a message fro Aug. 25, 2012, Sands called
Republicans her “enemy.”
In others, Sands issued fundraising pleas on behalf
of Obama. “Our #POTUS’s birthday is August 4. He’ll be 51. I’m donating $51 to
give him the best birthday present ever: a second term,” she wrote on July 18,
“The bias in these messages is striking, especially
for an attorney charged with the responsibility to enforce federal election
laws fairly and dispassionately,” read the Oversight letter to Goodman, an
But I trust she did not
conspire with Lois Lerner at the FEC to target conservatives. And I’m sure her hard drive gone
missing, and that after known illegal conduct on her part, is just an
convenient unfortunate coincidence.
Seriously, when are we
going to get real? With all these
hard drives “lost” surrounding Lois Lerner, there is obviously a cover-up going
on. There should be a strong
aggressive prosecutor going after Lois Lerner, the IRS, the FEC, and the Obama Administration NOW.
The Hatch Act requires strict neutrality of all
federal employees while on duty, and one would expect that to be particularly
observed in the FEC. Instead, Sands tweeted partisan messages from her office
in 2012; sent out fundraising pleas for Obama’s re-election campaign,
called Republicans her “enemy,” and said they should shut up and “stand down.”
When the Inspector General came knocking, however,
the evidence had vanished. The FEC “recycled” her hard drive, which meant that
criminal charges could not be pursued. How exactly could this have happened?
Sands was under suspicion of a crime under a statute which would
be updated later that year, in a bill signed by Barack Obama himself.
Shouldn’t the FEC have taken steps to secure evidence rather than destroy it?. . .
Issa now wants Goodman to produce all of the data
surrounding the destruction of evidence at the FEC, and wants it by July 28th.
How many more hard drives will get “recycled” at the FEC between then and now?
The sky’s the limit in the Obama administration.
No kidding. Which makes the appointment of a
prosecutor all the more urgent.
Labels: April Sands, FEC, IRS, Lois Lerner, Obamagate
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Let’s . . . Play the Race Card!
It’s time for that favorite game of Liberals and Leftists, Let’s
. . . Play the Race Card! (canned applause)
Our first contestant is
that oh-so-Lefty “Christian”, (canned laughter) Jim Wallis! (identical canned
Wallis earned the loudest applause of the night with
his statement that the Tea Party only existed because Obama was black. “Barack
Obama does not make this a post-racial society. This is the first friend I had
who has become president. He has been stunned by the reaction to him. There
would not be a tea party in America, I will this say this, if there wasn’t a
black man in the White House.”
Wallis quickly clarified that you could disagree
with Obama and not be a racist, noting that he had disagreements with him over
immigration, poverty, and drones. Apparently, criticizing Obama from the left
is not racist. “But [the Tea Party’s] disagreement with him is not about
policy. It’s about who he is as a black man because he represents the future of
America, and that makes a lot of white folks really angry and really scared.”
That’s right, Jim! The Tea Party’s problem with Obama has
nothing to do with Obamacare, massive deficits, tyrannical executive and
federal overreach, rewarding illegal immigration, attacks on religious freedom,
on privacy, or any other policy direction. Not to mention those made up scandals about veterans dying
on waiting lists and the IRS targeting the Tea Party. It’s all about race!
Way to play the race
card! Thanks for playing, Jim!
Our next contestant is
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid! (canned applause) Harry, while talking about your efforts to undo the Hobby Lobby ruling, you said this:
“People are going to have to walk down here and
vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think it’s —
they’re going to have — be treated unfavorably come November with the
elections,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday, according
The Senate will act soon to “ensure that women’s
lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Reid added.
Uh, oh! (canned laughter)
Someone forgot to tell Harry that Clarence Thomas is Not White.
Sorry, Harry. You get a Race Card FAIL. (obnoxious
buzzer, uproarious canned laughter)
But thanks for playing
anyway. And for your consolation
prize, we are giving you a framed photograph of Justice Clarence Thomas, just
in case you need to be reminded Clarence Thomas is Not White. (canned laughter)
And we will see you next
time on Let’s Play the Race Card! (canned laughter, lame music)
Labels: Harry Reid, Jim Wallis, race card
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Overcoming Idolatry (and bad chess)
I do not think I’ve
mentioned this here, but I am something of an avid chess player. I’m rated in the 1700s in
over-the-board play (as opposed to online play), which is above average for
tournament players but nowhere near chess master territory. But the time and effort I have devoted
to the game is surely a bit more above average.
And that leads to a problem
I had earlier this year. My chess
was not progressing and seemed to have not been progressing for some time. Instead, it was apparently regressing. And I was so unhappy – and angry –
about it, it was dragging me down in general. The effects of my bad chess were spreading to elsewhere in
I saw something had to
change. Increasing my efforts at
chess was not an option as I only have so much time and energy. Not to mention I think that would have given
chess too much priority in my life – a subject to which I will shortly
return. Continuing my level of
effort and prioritizing of chess was not working. And continuing such an exercise in frustration was not
At the same time, just
giving up and discontinuing serious chess altogether would have been wasting –
and tacitly admitting it was a waste – all those years of effort at the
game. The thought of all that
wasted effort was discouraging to say the least. I hoped there was another way.
Then there was the issue of
idolatry, of which I previously hinted.
In the back of my mind for some time, I wondered if chess was too
important to me. I knew for one
thing that I was spending too much time playing 5 minute chess online (which
many chess players can tell you can be both very addicting and very frustrating,
frustration compounded by those who think short time controls online exempt
them from decent sportsmanship). I
was already making some effort to cut back on that. But otherwise, I did not think I was making chess too
important to me – until my bad chess was becoming more persistent.
The unhappiness my bad
chess was creating and the fruitlessness of the time invested in it showed me I
probably had made chess too important, that it had become an idol for me. Idols are annoying; they never give
back the time and effort spent on them.
I was certainly experiencing that.
Now I certainly never came close to making chess more important to me
than God. But I do not think I am
being too hard on myself when I say that making something too important can be
idolatry – making a little god if you will – and that I had likely done that
After much thought and
prayer, what I decided is that I would make chess a hobby and only that. If I felt like playing or studying, I
would do so without expending too much time and effort. I would do so only when I wanted to
(and when more important matters were not pressing, of course). Chess had to be a fun thing to me, not
a very important thing to me. And if
the results were unimpressive, well, the results of making chess very important
to me were not only unimpressive but frustrating and discouraging.
I thought about but at
least put off a complete retirement from serious chess. I chose a semi-retirement if you will.
Now, I did see that it was
possible that being more relaxed and casual about chess might actually improve
my game. A poor attitude, particularly too much fear of losing, can stifle chess abilities.
(“Trying too hard” can as well but explaining that would take a whole
‘nother post.) I also saw that my
chess results could continue to decline.
But my results were not good anyway, plus I am at an age when one’s
chess tends to begin declining. Regardless
of my results, I wanted to have a positive attitude about the game and not let
all those years of past effort go to waste.
Well, to fast forward to
this past Fourth of July weekend, a funny thing happened. For the first time in months, I felt
good enough about my game to enter a tournament. And my play was pleasing, not perfect, but good overall with
no egregious blunders (Well, I have found a serious oversight with my PC. But anyway…) and some very pleasing
moves I probably would have missed in the past. And I had the energy to complete my games well.
Now energy had been a
serious downfall in past tournaments.
I did not sleep well at tournaments and my play declined as tourneys
progressed because my energy declined.
On two past occasions I missed fairly simple moves in the last round
that would have won sections for me in part because I was too tired to see and
But this time, I slept
better at a tourney than I had in years.
And I never konked at the board in part because I was more able to relax
and not waste energy on nerves.
Surely, that chess was not quite so darn important to me helped with
that. Perhaps it also helped give
me the clarity of mind to see things at the board fairly well, for me at
In addition, God was
providential in a number of ways to the point where I was even a bit
lucky. (Yes, there is good and bad
luck at chess, and it helped cost me at least one tourney. You do not want to get me started on
that unhappy episode.)
The result of all that is
that I got a monkey off my back and finally won my first Under 1800 section,
and that at a large tourney.
(Well, I tied for first, but who’s quibbling.) That and the good time I had made for a very happy weekend.
Now I did not expect the
results of fleeing idolatry to be so immediate and gratifying. And certainly one should not expect the
results of efforts at obedience to be so immediate. But I do think my happy weekend illustrates that fleeing
idolatry and putting things in their place just works better than the
alternative. (Read Isaiah 44:9-20
for a pointed commentary on that.)
I was a bit slow to apply
this to my chess. But I thank God
that he allowed me to suffer a little so I would finally make chess less of a
brazen idol. And I am thankful for
His providence and grace so quickly bringing about happy results of the same.
Labels: chess, life
Democrats, LGBT Groups, and Feminazis Hate Your Freedom of Religion
If there were any doubts
about the intent of the various genres of Leftists to crush religious freedom
under their agenda, their reaction to the Hobby
Lobby decision should remove those doubts.
Bill Clinton, Harry Reid, and even Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer supported the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. No more. Senate
Democrats are pushing a bill to weaken RFRA and undo the Hobby Lobby ruling.
Because free birth control pills and abortifacients for everyone is sooo
much more important than your freedom of religion.
LGBTCQXYZOHHELLIVELOSTTRACKALREADY groups are in such a panic that someone
might actually get to exercise their freedom of religion concerning acceptance
of the perversion of sex and marriage that they have reversed themselves and
are now urging the rejection of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because
it actually has language purporting to protect religious freedom. Horrors!
Meanwhile, the National
Organization of Womyn has put the Little Sisters of the Poor on their “Dirty
100” list because they object to providing contraception. Well, duh, they are a devout Catholic
organization. And many of NOW’s “Dirty 100” are Christian organizations, including Priests for Life and a
number of Roman Catholic dioceses and Christian colleges. One might as well castigate mosques or
synagogues as “dirty” for not hosting pig-pickins.
(NOW labels the aforesaid groups as the "Dirty 100" here.)
And if one finds my labeling
NOW “Feminazis” offensive, is not their labeling of religious groups that
object to participating in their agenda as “dirty” echo the vile use of the epithet “Dirty Jew” by Nazis and other anti-semites?
But what do you expect
from people so ethically bankrupt that they put free employer-provided birth control
over freedom of religion?
Labels: Democrats, feminists, freedom, freedom of religion, Hobby Lobby, NOW, Pink Shirts