I'll be away for a few days... so the blogging will be intermittent.
John Watermelon-Camp has, evidently, released an anti-war song. Hugh Hewitt played snippets (thankfully, just snippets) on his show last week. It sounded kind of like Springsteen trying to sound like Dylan trying to sound like Guthrie... anyway, here's an open letter from Mellencamp. Same drivel about the supposed lack of WMD, no body-bag holding Saddam, no connection to 9/11, etc. Time does not permit analysis of this letter right now, but hopefully I can get to it and the song in the near future.
This past weekend was dark. We are, thank God, not near any of the fires in the southland. But we are downwind. Saturday morning was unusually dark... as if a dense fog had settled in. But this fog never lifted - and the sunlight that eventually managed to filter through cast an orange glow all about. Walking outside you were immediately hit with the smell of smoke. Tiny flecks of snowy ash drifted down ever so gently; covering everything. Then the winds came. Hot. Dry. They ripped through our neighborhood, attempting to sap the life out of the vegetation. Tonight it's cool and the winds have stopped... pray for the firefighters.
And muslim fanatics have celebrated by attacking the Red Cross and Iraqi police stations. Iraqis made up most of the victims, supposedly because they were considered collaborators by the terrorists. A fifth suicide bomber failed and was shot by Iraqi police... he turned out to be Syrian. Should we note a connection there? Does anyone believe that the attacks are meant to bolster the Iraqi people into rebellion? The Washington Post seems to think so, "President Bush yesterday put the best face on a new surge of violence in Iraq as his top defense aides huddled to discuss additional ways of thwarting the anti-American rebellion there before it becomes more widespread." No, these attacks are strategic in their planning and targeting... the U.S. Look at the headlines, listen to the Democrats "debate"... if they had their way we wouldn't have gotten into this "mess" and we should get out now while we can save some face. From the Post, "Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a presidential candidate... "Does the president really believe that suicide bombers are willing to strap explosives to their bodies because we're restoring electricity and creating jobs for Iraqis?"" That's the point isn't it John? Except you've missed it... this isn't some clean operation that will be over before the evening news. The President warned us it would be long and hard... beyond his term and, God willing, his next. I suppose you would have us run home and hope that they... the suicide bombers, the radicals, those that would detonate a bomb that rips apart a 14 year old Iraqi girl carrying her infant sibling... you would hope they won't come looking for us? Well... it'll be a lot harder for them to while Bush is in office.
Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 8-10 pm; Nov. 4th, 8-9 pm - The Elegant Universe, how String Theory unifies Quantum Physics and General Relativity. Check William Lane Craig's website for articles related to the existence of God as well as how the Kalam Cosmological Argument relates to the beginning of the Universe.
Greg Koukl, from Stand to Reason (a Christian apologetics organization), has written a short article titled Never Read a Bible Verse. The point of his piece is to get us away from focusing solely on a particular Bible verse and look, at a minimum, at the paragraph the verse is contained in. Walt Russell, a professor at Biola University, relates in his book Playing With Fire how a "word" is the lowest level of information in written communication (the lowest level that has "meaning" attached to it). From that level we move up to the highest level through a series of steps that include: sentence, paragraph, chapter, book and, finally, "big idea." Here's the rub - the intended meaning of a word can only truly understood when it is viewed within the context of the higher levels. The problem we as Christians tend to have is that we primarily focus on the lower level (e.g., sentence / verse) without taking the time to understand the bigger picture. Russell relates how we typically will read the Bible expecting to get blessed personally - in other words, we read it for insights on ourselves. We might end up asking ourselves, "What does this verse (or passage) mean to me?" Russell says we should be asking, "What does this verse (or passage) mean?" The meaning, or interpretation, is static. It means what the author wanted it to mean when he wrote it, and it has continued to mean that up to the present. Now that makes the meaning a Public thing - it is shared equally among all. This flies in the face of deconstructionism which considers the text to mean whatever the reader wishes it to mean. Okay, so how does that static meaning help us? Russell comments on how, when seeking spiritual formation as we study the Bible, we need to understand the Public to Private methodology involved. As stated above, Meaning is Public, but the next level towards Private is Application. There may be several intended applications of a particular text - the applications may be broad or they may be narrow (e.g., you can't take "Thou shalt not murder" much farther down the road). The final step towards a Private aspect of interpretation is Significance. The text may have a personal significance for you that differs from me simply because we have different life experiences. Koukl and Russell believe that the literary genre will also dictate how we are to interpret the passage. The Bible is a collection of literary genres and these genres have unique contributions to how we communicate. Again, this makes sense if you understand the aspect of communication. Your expectations of the information received differ between watching Seinfeld and the Evening News... or reading the Front Page vs. the Classifieds... or listening to Neil Diamond vs. Bob Dylan... or studying I Kings vs. Psalms. That's because they represent different "genres." The genre has distinct structure and purpose and it guides how we should interpret the text. A classic example is Jeremiah 29:11. A lot of people like to hold that verse close to their hearts as evidence that God has a specific plan for their lives (indeed, a plan for prosperity and freedom from harm). When Koukl disagrees with that line of thinking someone invariably brings up this verse. He responds by asking them what they know specifically about the prophet Jeremiah (e.g., who was he?, when did he live?, what were his prophecies concerning?, etc.). Typically they know very little. He then asks them to at least read the paragraph that Jeremiah 29:11 is contained in (if not the entire chapter). Do that for yourself and you'll find that the Lord was speaking to exiles who had been banished from the land... and it was to be 70 years before the Lord was to bring them back! It should also be clear from the passage that even though the Lord did have a plan for the exiles, He did not expressly say He would reveal it to them. The focus of the passage is not about us, but about God and Israel, and how He dealt with their obedience and disobedience. That's the main contribution of the prophetic books and it should structure how we read and study them. Therefore, rather than read a verse looking for insight on ourselves, Koukl and Russell say to read the passage in light of the literary unit. A practical example with regards to Jeremiah 29:11 is to study the Lord's letter to the exiles in light of the entire book of Jeremiah which is, in turn, studied in light of the entire Bible. P.S. Koukl and Russell also reference How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. You can listen to lectures by Stuart here.
Unfortunately, I can't recall where on the web I saw this nominee for best bumper sticker of the year: "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you're reading it in English, thank the military!"
Here are a few comments I received from various homeschoolers regarding First5 California: I cannot stand those commercials “My husband and I often joke that our youngest will have an awful life if those ads are to be believed. Even though our older two went to preschool, I am sure it is not what First5 envisions - it was a lovely church school two days a week for 3 hours each and for the most part no "academics". “I agree with your blog about health programs being available for families that need them, but as far as I can see those ads do not talk a lick about health. They are done in such a way as to make moms and dads feel like they are doing a disservice to their children by not sending them away (I think they want them sent away 5 days a week for 4-5 hours from what I have seen). “For those who have not seen them one shows an infant cooing and being so very cute and a voiceover from the parent saying I just want her to be happy, I want her to be successful, I want her to go to college, etc. etc. (normal hopes and dreams of most parents as they look into the eyes of their precious gift). Then the announcer says something along the lines that studies show that kids who go to preschool tend to achieve these things more than those that don't - UGH my poor son will never be happy because I did not send him to preschool (I am such a bad mom). “Sorry, you kinda hit a nerve. My kids of course are beyond the preschool years, but I think that this message also heard on radio stations will have an effect on young moms just starting out. I mean we all want the best for our kids and now "studies" have shown that preschool is the answer. I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with preschool, just that it is not NECESSARY in most cases. I certainly can think of exceptions, but for the vast majority it is not a necessity.” Well, I can comment on the Georgia program and “if the CA turns out like it, the homeschooled preschoolers are much better off. We moved to Georgia when my oldest daughter was 4, and she attended. First, almost all the work the dc does goes into their file, you rarely get work that comes home. Second, they aren't required to do anything they don't want to. Basically, you are getting glorified daycare, and it was a full school day. Third, they aren't allowed to teach them beyond the curriculum, for example their was a little boy in my daughters class that could read quite exceptionally for a 4 year old, and do math facts, they could not work on teaching him any new information. There were reasons we had her in there, but no other dc of mine ever attended it. It would be a good program for a dc who spent all day in front of the TV, or something similar.” The NEA has long held the belief that children need to be in daycare and preschool because too many of them are coming into K with their parents' “morals and values. It takes them too long to un-teach those morals and values and then they have to begin teaching the 'correct' ones as dictated by today's PC social design. This is not secret. It's been available for anyone to study up on and know for at least 20 years. What HAS changed is that they now have parents fighting for mandatory preschool. Why? Money. If the school begin holding compulsory preschool it's all on the tax dollars and the parents won't have to write their own checks for child care. “Insidious, isn't it? They are not only working towards stealing your child's values but enlist 'you' to help.”
Have you heard of the California Children and Families Commission? Have you seen the commercials on the tube recently by First5 California? They are the ones that promote the idea that children who attend preschool will be better adjusted socially and do better academically (not only in K-12 but in higher education as well). My initial assessment, based solely on the commercials, was one of skepticism towards the idea that toddlers aged 3 – 5 are better off at a preschool than they are at home. Yet, the idea was purported to be backed up with scientific data, so I decided to take a little closer look. Here’s a statement from the Winter '03 newsletter published by the California Children and Families Commission: “The California Children and Families Commission has adopted “First 5 California” as its new overarching school readiness identity. We believe that the name First 5 California conveys the importance of the first five years of life, the period of time during which a child’s brain develops most dramatically. The new name will be used in all Commission public education efforts, on any printed materials developed and, over time, may become the primary identity of the organization.” The Commission members include: S. Kimberly Belshè, Elizabeth Rice Grossman, Sandra Gutierrez, Karen Hill-Scott, Rob Reiner (yeah… “Meathead”), Louis A. Vismara, Grantland Johnson, and Kerry Mazzoni. Okay, if you read the material on their website and in their brochures it looks pretty good. They are, after all, concerned with a child’s health and well-being – that’s good. They want to insure that underprivileged families get proper medical and nutritional data for their children from pre-natal to kindergarten age – that’s good. But when you sniff out the details you also see that they want to make available universal preschool for all children – that’s not good. The reason why I believe it to be a dangerous move is that it begs the question of mandatory preschool. Is that on the horizon? It’s certainly not dictated as such on their material but, based on their presentation, if it isn’t on the backburner it certainly is in the kitchen. Take, for instance, the article titles in the Winter '03 newsletter: “Going to Scale with Pre-Kindergarten: Moving Toward High-Quality Early Learning Opportunities for All California 3- and 4-Year-Olds,” or “In Large and Small Counties, Plans Underway for Universal Preschool” (emphasis added). When addressing the need for “pre-kindergarten” one of the articles states, “As the science of early childhood development tells us, a child’s preparation for school and for life begins not with preschool at age 3, but much earlier, starting with a healthy pregnancy and continuing with nurturing, stimulating experiences through infancy, the toddler years and beyond.” Again, I have nothing against health programs aimed at developing a healthy population from the womb and beyond, but in reading on you find, “…recent research findings and a supportive climate of public opinion in California suggest that the time is right for a phased initiative to dramatically improve the accessibility and quality of pre-kindergarten programs for all 3- and 4- year-olds in California. High-quality pre-kindergarten experiences help reduce performance gaps in the first grade, which in turn have been shown to lay the foundation for observed performance gaps in later grades. Recent longitudinal studies have found that children exposed to high-quality preschool show lasting gains on a variety of educational and other dimensions all the way into adulthood…” The scientific research is footnoted and is reported as, Cunningham, A.E. and Stanovich, K.E. (1997). Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later. Developmental Psychology, 33(6), 934-945. I have not yet attempted to access that literature, but here's a similar article by Cunningham and Stanovich. It would be interesting to see what parameters and conditions were used in the study. What groups were compared? It is unlikely that toddlers from homeschooled families were part of the study. I wonder (also) if toddlers from stay-at-home moms were part of the dataset? Understand here that I take no issue with the conclusion of the study referenced above. Based on its title it appears to posit that early reading is – good! Bob Dylan also stated the obvious in a song once... “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows!” It should be intuitive that a mind enhancing activity such as reading will reap benefits later in life – especially if compared with mind deadening activities such as watching 6 hours of videos in one sitting. I can see the results of this just down the hall from where I’m writing this – my 8 year old daughter. She was not brought up on videos and was reading the Little House on the Prairie series when she was 4 (note: that series is considered to be 4th grade level). But here’s the rub – would it have been better for her to have been in a state run preschool, as part of a class of 15 - 20 kids -or- was it better for her to be nurtured at home by her caring, loving mother? So we flashback to the commercial on the tube that shows a young mother picking up her child from preschool. In it, we hear the mother tell her mother how thankful she was that she was sent to preschool. Fade to white and listen to a voiceover inform us that scientific data indicates those children who attend preschool are more likely to… [you get the idea] Now tell me… how big a step is it from: a) having preschool available to all 3 and 4 year olds?, to b) requiring all 3 and 4 year olds to attend preschool? (after all, isn’t it scientifically proven to be better?) Think I’m an alarmist? Check a USAToday article by John Merrow titled, European preschools should embarrass USA. Here are a few clips, “Today in France, essentially all children ages 3 through 5 attend preschool, most in public programs. It's the same across Europe. Almost all 4-year-olds in England, Luxembourg and the Netherlands go to public school. So do more than 70% of Greek children of preschool age, more than 80% of Spanish children and more than 90% of those in Germany, Denmark and Italy. Virtually every industrialized country in the world provides free, high-quality preschool for children regardless of family income. “Georgia… is at the head of the preschool class. It requires all school districts to offer preschool classes to all students… Overall, 70% of Georgia's 4-year-olds are now in some form of publicly subsidized preschool. The program was the brainchild of former Georgia governor Zell Miller, now a U.S. senator, who has said he believes that "preschool is more important than the 12th grade in high school."” (emphasis added) Merrow produced a PBS documentary titled, “THE PROMISE OF PRESCHOOL.” From the intro, “For parents, educators, and lawmakers, the promise of preschool is that children will enter school ready to learn, but, in reality, the results are mixed.” Make no mistake about it, the children in California are being targeted for inclusion in preschool. In “Free Preschool for All?,” an article that originally appeared in the May-June 1998 Children's Advocate newsmagazine, Leslie Weiss stated in the first line, “Today, half of California's 1.1 million three- and four-year-olds attend child care or preschool. Within 10 years, all of them could be in publicly financed preschool.” (emphasis added) The question is: are there any ulterior motives behind this type of action? Read on (and California homeschoolers - look for a familiar name), “In March, a task force of educators, parents, and child care professionals released a far-reaching report calling for "universal preschool" in California. Convened by state schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin, the task force set the goal of providing a half-day of high-quality preschool for every three- and four-year-old in California by 2008.” That’s right – former Superintendent Delaine Eastin – for those of you outside of California, she is known as every homeschooler’s nightmare. Now, to be fair, this quick expose has not proved ulterior motives. Consider the description of The School Readiness Bill AB 56, “AB 56 calls for preparing a child to start his/her education in good health with appropriate learning support for individual needs. This preparation includes access to preschool for all families who desire it and the access to community services from infancy through preschool that identify developmental concerns before they become a barrier to learning. Panelists: Lynn Daucher, Karen Hill-Scott, Carol Liu, Rob Reiner, Darrell Steinberg” (emphasis added) And the task force mentioned above had to convene at some time right?, and Delaine Eastin happened to be the Superintendent when they convened… but still, it’s got to make you wonder. Who’s to say that, after they corral all the 3 and 4 year olds, they won’t go after newborns to 2 years? (based on some scientific study, of course) You will note that, when reading the articles promoting universal preschool, you find it pretty much expected that children have to go to preschool. Our society has become accustomed to the two-income family as being the norm. The stay-at-home mom is considered an oddity. Shockingly, she is thought to be depriving her child if she doesn’t expose the child to the social activities of a preschool. Have we drifted that far from our roots? Do we now really consider the state to have a better handle on how our children should be nurtured? I excuse all those single mothers or families that, for financial reasons, really do need to have their children in preschool. But, to be honest, there are a lot of families out there that could exist on one income. There are a lot of mothers out there that are splitting their time between a career and their children – and the children are getting the short end of the stick. What can you do? 1) Link or e-mail this blog post and / or the links I’ve posted to your homeschool web forums. If you’re in California, stay aware of First5 California’s activities. If you’re out of California, find out what is going on in your state. 2) Let your representatives know that you don’t want more government intervention, but less; that you don’t want more taxes to force you into two incomes, but less; and that you welcome health-care assistance, but the educational nurturing of your preschool children is strictly your business. 3) e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have comments and advice.
In between watering the frontyard and ripping out a dead lavender I caught a portion of the Hugh Hewitt show today. In the spot I heard, he had cut live to a debate on Fox News Channel. I don't know who the players were but the topic centered around William Arkin and the General Boykin issue. Comments were made about a statement Boykin is reported to have made when referring to a Somali warlord. Boykin said, "my God was bigger than his god." One of the debaters stated that the God of the Judeo-Christian religion was essentially the same one as Islam's Allah. Therefore, as he reasoned, Boykin's statement was theologically inconsistent. Well, his conclusion is not just wrong, it is FLAT OUT wrong. Don't let anyone snooker you into believing that Allah is the same as Yaweh. 1. Islam states that Allah is God and Muhammed is his prophet. There is no room in Islam for a God that relates to humans on a personal level. Allah is one person and essence. Islam considers Jesus to be a prophet but in no way considers Him to be equal with Allah. 2. The Jews believe that Jehovah is one God, but reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah. 3. Christians believe that Jehovah is God and the He is One. We believe that God is One in essence, yet exists as 3 Persons. This is not a contradiction: the way He is one, He isn't three; the way He is three, He isn't one. Note the Athanasian Creed: "That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence. For the person of the Father is a distinct person, the person of the Son is another, and that of the Holy Spirit still another. But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal…. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three gods; there is but one God. Thus the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord. Yet there are not three lords; there is but one Lord. Just as Christian truth compels us to confess each person individually as both God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords…" Now... it doesn't take a theologian to see that there ain't much equality between choices 1., 2., and 3. Sidenote: check A Scientist's Perspective on Islam.
Check the April 2003 edition of Touchstone Magazine. It generated quite a few subscription cancellations. In the title article, The Godless Party: Media Bias & Blindness - And the Big Story They Missed, Rod Dreher outlines how he feels the Democratic Party lost their religion. He's a politically conservative journalist, which he readily admits may seem like an oxymoron to some. He does give us pause, though, to understand how some well meaning Liberals may simply not understand their bias. Consider, "I once proposed a column on some now-forgotten religious theme to the man who was at the time the city editor of the New York Post. He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. "This is not a religious city," he said, with a straight face. As it happened, the man lived in my neighborhood. To walk to the subway every morning, he had to pass in front of or close to two Catholic churches, an Episcopal church, a synagogue, a mosque, an Assemblies of God Hispanic parish, and an Iglesia Bautista Hispana. Yet this man did not see those places because he does not know anyone who attends them. It's not that this editor despises religion; it's that he's too parochial (pardon the pun) to see what's right in front of him." This reminds me of the time, years back, when I sold Real Estate. There was one house listed that was occupied not only by the husband and wife owners, but by their three, large dogs. That in and of itself is not very unusual, but when you take into account the fact that the owners were not overly concerned with picking up after their dogs (and I'm not referring to the dog's toys) you might get a drift... or a whiff, of what I mean. Essentially, the house REEKED! Yet, as far as the owners were concerned, the whole world may as well have smelled like that... they didn't notice it. Okay, so maybe we can give Liberal journalists the benefit of the doubt most of the time. But what has that got to do with the Dems? Dreher goes on to describe their slip into secularism, "Until relatively recently, both major parties were of similar mind on issues of personal morality. Then came the 1972 Democratic Convention, at which secularists - defined as agnostics, atheists, and those who seldom or never attend religious services - seized control of the party and nominated George McGovern. Prior to that year, neither party had many secularists among its delegates. According to a comprehensive study of survey data from the Democratic delegates, the party was badly split between religious and moral traditionalists on one side, and secularists on the other. They fought over moral issues: abortion, women's rights, homosexuality, the traditional family. What the authors call a "secularist putsch" triumphed, giving us what Richard Nixon mocked as the party of "acid, amnesty, and abortion," and instigating - with help from the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973 - the long march of religious and moral conservatives to the GOP, which became the party of traditionalists by default." (emphasis mine) Dreher comments on how the divide between traditionalists and secularists widened, and how it also effected relations with minority groups and those typically viewed as disadvantaged. "The divide has become so stark that the authors have discerned a new kind of voter: the "anti-fundamentalist." According to the 2000 ANES [American National Election Study] data, the hatred of religious conservatives long apparent among Democratic convention delegates has found a home among a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. Twenty-five percent of white respondents in the ANES survey expressed serious hostility towards religious conservatives, as opposed to only one percent who felt this strongly against Jews, and 2.5 percent who disliked blacks and Catholics to a strong degree. (Ironically, these are people who say they "strongly agree" that one should be tolerant of persons whose moral standards are different from one's own.") Eighty percent of these voters picked Bill Clinton in 1996, with 70 percent choosing Al Gore in 2000." (emphasis mine) The link is then made to the current influence that the media has by its reporting strategy with regards to the Religious Right. "But their most striking finding was the near total lack of editorial and news coverage devoted to the increased importance of secularists to the Democratic Party versus the role of traditionalists in the GOP. The numbers are mind-boggling: 43 stories on secularist Democrats, 682 stories on traditionalist Republicans. In 1992, the Times alone published nearly twice the number of stories about Evangelicals in the GOP than both papers did about secularists among the Democrats for the entire decade. The bias is even worse among television journalists, who filled the airwaves with stories about the "Religious Right" and the Republican Party, but who didn't file a single story - not one - about the Secular Left's relationship to the Democrats." The media has a hand in shaping public opinion. Being in bed with the Liberals will produce biased reporting - we have to understand this. How to fight it? Blogs certainly pass valid information along, but perhaps the war will only be won one person at a time. Scientific theories are validated primarily by one method - testing. Worldviews should follow the same verification. Indeed, there are many tests one can apply to a worldview to TEST its reliability. Ron Nash, in Faith & Reason, and Chuck Colson, in How Now Shall We Live? outline tests that may be applied to worldviews. In our day to day dealings with Liberal secularists who may be our colleagues or friends we need to gracefully show them how to test the two opposing worldviews. Easy? Nope. Productive? You bet. Also check out several other articles in the April 2003 Touchstone issue including: Voting as Christians, and Political Orphans: How the Democratic Pary Left Traditional Believers Behind
Per MSNBC, Carrying money for Hamas?: Head of Muslim chaplain program headed to Syria with cash, tells the story of Abdurahman Alamoudi, founder of the Muslim chaplain program for the U.S. military. "Now he’s in jail, caught heading to Syria with $340,000 in cash, money prosecutors believe came from Libya. According to FBI counterterrorism chief Steve Pomerantz, “It’s very hard to explain in any innocent way a suitcase full of money going from one terrorist-sponsoring nation to another terrorist-sponsoring nation.”" Rep. John Warner should personally call General Boykin and apologize. Rumsfield is right... if we don't change our tactics in this war we will have no reliable way of measuring its effectiveness. Instead of tieing Boykin's hands and causing him grief over constitutionally protected speech, we need to let him do his job. On the tube they showed a clip of Alamoudi at a protest outside the White House in 2000. He is heard saying, "Hear that, Bill Clinton. We are all supporters of Hamas. Allah Akbar!"
Rumsfeld Memo Questions Progress in Terror War, so says the Washington Post. Do you remember 9/11? Are you as concerned for our safety, more concerned, or simply just don't care anymore? One of the worst things that can happen here in the U.S. is that we become complacent in our dealings with this War on Terror. What do we need to do, and KEEP on doing, to make our country safe for our children? This threat is unlike anything we've faced in our 227 years of existence. Check www.freedom.gov Here I link the commentary by Hugh Hewitt on the 2nd anniversary of 9/11. Please take the time to read it... and then ask yourself if you should respond to the Rumsfield memo with partisan politics in mind, or with the security of the U.S. in mind. Finally, read Romans 8.
The L.A. Times has an article on the Terri Schiavo case titled, Complexities Mount in Florida Right-to-Die Case. Right to Die?... Right to DIE?! Is John-Thor Dahlburg or his editor blind or biased? (okaaaay! I know we know the answer to that one!) Say, Mr. Dahlburg? Intentionally starving someone is killing them. This case isn't about the Right to Die, it's about the Right to KILL. The perpertrators well admit that before she became brain-damaged, Terri Schiavo did not outline her desires should such a situation arise. So now we have her husband taking legal action to have her killed (that is, when he can pull himself away from his pregnant girl-friend and their one child). Regarding Gov. Bush stepping in to have Terri fed, Michael Schiavo's lawyer George Felos said, "It was just an absolute trampling of her personal rights and her dignity." Come again? Bait and switch - Felos tries to turn this into an issue of personal rights because, as we all know, in America we have the RIGHT to [you fill in the blank]. Or, "It is a direct assault on the separation of powers," Democratic state Rep. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach attorney, told CNN. "I mean, the governor will be able to essentially say, 'I disagree with the courts, so I will rule differently.' And I think anybody who has been in junior high civics class knows that is not the way our nation and this state is founded." Maybe Dan Gelber, Esq., has never heard of the Emancipation Proclamation. Words... Words have meaning.
Beltin' Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) was letting loose regarding the Ban on Partial Birth Abortion. In the L.A. Times article she is quoted, "For the first time in history, Congress is banning a medical procedure that is considered medically necessary by physicians," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who led the fight against the bill. "This is a radical, radical thing that is about to happen." Wow, I actually agree with you Babs! It is radical for us to actually protect the unborn! But Boxer is flat out wrong when she says the procedure is considered medically necessary... or at least, maybe she ought to present the number of times per 1,000,000 pregnancies when it is considered medically necessary. You won't see her go down that road (she may be crazy but she's not stupid). How ironic that she's fighting for the right to suck out the brains of viable unborn children, while across the country judges are witholding nutrition from Terri Schiavo. Well... maybe it's not so ironic.
How ridiculous can it get? Rumsfield says there will be a formal investigation into Boykin's remarks / activities. John Warner (R-VA) has even asked that Boykin step aside because of his remarks. And now for a moment of IRONY: Alec Baldwin just participated in a conference, hosted by the "National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), which was co-founded in 1997 by Sami Al-Arian - the former University of South Florida professor charged earlier this year as a fund-raiser and organizer for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The money Al-Arian allegedly raised went to terrorist operations overseas that killed at least two Americans." (thanks to Michelle Malkin) The purpose of this conference was to bash the US Patriot Act, John Ashcroft, and the "oppressive" War on Terror. Among the continued Liberal droning was the supposed assault on the Bill of Rights by the Patriot Act. So, how is taking means to apprehend terrorists considered an assault on the Bill of Rights, but demanding that General Boykin keep quiet and be removed from his job not? From the Washington Post article, "Aside from legal questions, Boykin's comments have generated a political problem for the administration, which has tried to convince Muslims that the war on terrorism is not aimed at their religion. The Boykin case has received wide coverage in Muslim countries and has led to angry editorials in newspapers from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan. "Ali Ahmed, executive director of the Saudi Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit that seeks to foster democracy and human rights in Saudi Arabia, said many Arabic-language newspapers have accused the Bush administration of hypocrisy for condemning Mahathir's recent comments about Jews while excusing Boykin's statements on Islam. An editorial Tuesday in the Saudi daily Al Riyadh, entitled "Who projects the ideology of hatred?", argued that Boykin's remarks were far "more disgusting" than Mahathir's." I spent time in Saudi Arabia twenty years ago. Most Westerners, simply put, do not understand the line of reasoning that goes on in the Middle East. If, for instance, you are involved in an automobile accident in Saudi with an Arab, it makes no difference whose fault it really was; since you are a foreigner the fault is yours… because, so the reasoning goes, since you are a foreigner you don't belong here - since you don't belong here this accident wouldn't have happened if you weren't here - hence, you are at fault. I'm not saying whether this is right or wrong reasoning, I'm just illustrating how the reasoning goes. If you are skeptical of that then simply ask anyone who has worked in that region… you'll be surprised.