Friday, December 30, 2005

Sharp Knife Names Our "Person of the Year" 


There Are Sisters...And Then There Are Sisters.

After much debate among our vast Sharp Knife editorial board, including the usual head-scratching, some name-calling--and the near-outbreak of several fist-fights--I finally decided who should receive Sharp Knife's coveted and prestigious "Person of the Year" award.

But first, we are compelled to mention the "Non-Person of the Year" (not to be confused with "Un-Person of Several Years", Joe Plame).

The "Non-Person of the Year", sadly, has to be Miss Terri Schindler.

It still amazes, the speed with which Terri went from person to non-person, and the cavalier way in which the Sisterhood sold her out. Just as their Clinton Cult-of-Personality pathology forced the Femphibians to switch from supporting "inappropriate thinking" laws to supporting "one-grope rules", so this case forced them to defend the rights of ex-husbands to off their ex-wives. They 'volunteered' Terri to "take one for the team"--"one" being her very life. Why?

Because the philosophy of euthanasia and "assisted" "suicide" is almost identical to the philosophy of abortion.

And many a magistrate chose to defend the doctrine of Judicial Supremacy rather than a defenseless woman's rights. Indeed, with a "Burn-the-Village-to-Save-the-Village" zeal--on steroids--the Judiciary insisted that they were in fact protecting her rights...by starving her to death! I'm old enough to remember when liberals scoffed at such a philosophy, but that was back in the mists of time, before the Baby-vores Ruled the Earth.

Should I ever grow infirm, Your Honor, please; do NOT "defend" me to death.

While we grew louder and louder in our assertions that she was less and less human, Miss Schindler was, without any words at all, telling us what it means to be more fully human. May she Rest in Peace.

Although what we really need is a "Year of the Person", let's move on to our "Person of the Year".

My sole criterion was that the recipient be a member of the military services. A real service-member, not a Bill Clinton "I'm-on-active-duty-at-the-White-House-and-therefore-immune-from-lawsuits!" -service-member. And we have a winner:

Capt. Tamara Montgomery.

"An Army reservist for 22 years, Montgomery was sent to Iraq in April 2003 as part of a civil affairs unit."

"She oversaw more than 20 reconstruction and medical resupply projects, created a program at the University of Hillah to translate Western classics into Arabic, and won the prestigious General Douglas MacArthur Award for her leadership."

During her third firefight with Michael Moore's Minutemen, "Insurgents peppered Montgomery's convoy with automatic rifle fire on April 11, 2004, killing a Romanian security guard in her SUV. Montgomery, the rear gunner, was shot in the leg, and shrapnel severed the brachial artery in her arm. She managed to kill two insurgents, according to the military." [...]

"Twenty months later, she is recovered from her wounds and back at her job as a biologist at Merck & Co."

Wow. The captain can dispense vaccine with one hand...and hot lead with the other. And pet Flipper with the other. While quoting Shakespeare. And saluting.

In her own words:

""There is good being done, a lot of good being done. We want to see it finished. We want to see the Iraqi government (and the Iraqi military) be able to take over their country before we come home. Otherwise, all we've done is for naught.""

An armed patriot, a scholar...and a Big Pharmaceutical employee; three strikes and your in! Congratulations, Capt. Montgomery.

By the way, Capt. Montgomery, still proudly a Reservist, is 44. Forty-four. Did you anti-war college boys feel that twinge? That was your testicles shrinking while Boomer Mom is over there doing your job for you. While you're over here bitching about the non-existent loss of faux "civil-rights", she's over there quietly creating actual civil rights where they are most desperately needed.

Yeah; you felt it, alright.

And on second thought, nevermind; it's not your job. It's her's. She's earned it. What did you boys earn today? Besides a smaller panty-size, I mean? Now run along; Boomer Mom will protect you.

As they say in the coveted and prestigious awards industry, I can hardly wait 'til next year.

Monday, December 26, 2005

ManufacturedNews(tm) UpmadeUpdate(tm): 


by our "X"-ville correspondent John Hancock

(City "X", D.C., U.S.A.) A secretive and shadowy group of 2,985 anonymous "current and former officials" calling themselves "Group 'X'" published an Open Letter today, pledging to leak all of America's national security secrets to the New York Times, "if that's what it takes to wipe forever from the face of the earth the scourge of Militant Republo-Bushism."

For its part, an anonymous Times spokesman (Arthur 'Pinch' Sulzburger, Jr.) said the Times had agreed to publish the secrets. "As we say at the meetings, 'Anything which furthers the Great Cause of Our Day--getting women golfers into Augusta--is justified'," said the anonymous spokesman from his desk in the Publisher's office.

The "Group 'X'" letter reads, in part:

"We're baffled. We've leaked Pentagon documents. Diplomatic cables. CIA airplane tail numbers. Stories about secret prisons. Stories telling terrorists not to worry about being tortured. Stories about secret press releases(?), about NSA intercepts of collect calls made to 1-900-OSAMA, about where the government does and doesn't monitor for radiation, and how terrorists can avoid data-mining. We've done all this. Yet somehow Bush's poll numbers keep climbing. It's like the headline "Prisons are Full, Yet Crime Rate Keeps Dropping"!"--it's baffling!

"Anyway, we're mad as, as...Helena, Montana, and we're not gonna take it any more!"

"Therefore, by exercising our Right to run a Secret Anonymous Shadow Government--you know, just like it says in the Constitution--we the undersigned, who ye shall know by our "X"s, declare that we will leak to the New York Times any remaining National Security secrets not sold by Bill Clinton or stuffed down Sandy Berger's underwear and still inadvertantly possesed by the United States government."

"Yep, all of them. Nuclear bomb diagrams. Chem-Bio recipes. Battle-plans for impending attacks, Linc Chafee's charge account receipts at Victoria's Secret--all of them."

"'Why such a drastic step?' you may ask."

"Because, based on our deep and expedient study of History, we worship Lord Acton's dictum: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." (Note to Self: Huh; is it 'absolutely' or 'almost always'? And as a 'Lord', wouldn't Acton himself be a 'great man'? Oh, well; I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.)"

"For example, look at General Washington; he had absolute power but he refused to be made a king--and he freed his slaves! Okay, okay--that's not a good example. Okay--Hitler! Hitler was a dictator--just like Bush! Oh, wait...Hitler was already thoroughly corrupt when he was just a powerless scribbler sitting in jail. Okay; so that's not a good example either. But the point is this: George Bush is a Big Doody-Head!--that's the point."

"And we're going to prove to the American people once and for all that George W. Bush is guilty of defending America!"

When asked why these public officials were unwilling to run any risk by giving their names, yet perfectly willing to endanger the public for political gain, "Group 'X'" spokesman/hoarse whisperer "Malcontent X" spaketh thusly: "Endangering the American public is just the price we're heroically willing to pay. But endangering our pensions?--not so much."

In response to the letter, White House Communicableations speakman Ira Neas-Aboun issued the following steakment: "Under the Supreme Court's 'Kelo' decision, the President of course has the right to seize private property such as terrorists' phone calls for 'public purposes' such as winning a war... Thanks, Justice Breyer!"

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Years Ahead of Our Time 


From The Hotline's Blogometer, Dec. 9, 2005:

"Last p.m., Drudge Report reported that the RNC is putting out a video showing a "white flag waving over images of Democrat leaders making anti-war remarks." Dean is pictured in the Drudge version. Header at Conservative Outpost: "It's about time!" Header and 1st line from A Lady's Ruminations: "The White Flag Wavers"; "No, not the French this time." Power Line approves: "The Democrats need to pay the price of their defeatism." The title of their post is "Defeatocrats"; in an unrelated post, Hugh Hewitt also employs the term. It's similar to the term "Defeaticrat Party" from a recent Mark Steyn column, and the 1st usage appears to be on the blog Sharp Knife in 10/03."

Finally! Steyn is lifting my material instead of vice versa! This is great!

And speaking of great, here are some excerpts from that recent Steyn column , also containing brief movie reviews of George Clooney's "Good Night and Good Lucky CIA Hat" and Howard "Chairman Ho" Dean and Abu Musad "Insurgent Without a Cause" al-ZarqawiDean starring in "Bareback Mountain".

Mr. Steyn:

"The Iraq election's over, the media did their best to ignore it, and, judging from the rippling torsos I saw every time I switched on the TV, the press seem to reckon that that gay cowboy movie was the big geopolitical event of the last week, if not of all time. Yes, yes, I know: They're not, technically, cowboys, they're gay shepherds, but even Hollywood isn't crazy enough to think it can sell gay shepherds to the world. And the point is, even if I was in the mood for a story about two rugged insecure men who find themselves strangely attracted to each other in a dark transgressive relationship that breaks all the rules, who needs Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger when you've got Howard Dean and Abu Musad al-Zarqawi? Yee-haw!"...

"One day Iraq will be a G7 member hosting the Olympics in the world's No. 1 luxury vacation resort of Fallujah, and the Defeaticrat Party will still be running around screaming it's a quagmire. It's not just that Iraq is going better than expected, but that it's a huge success that's being very deftly managed..."

"George Clooney, the matinee idol, made an interesting point the other day. He said that "liberal" had become a dirty word and he'd like to change that. Fair enough. So I hope he won't mind if I make a suggestion. The best way to reclaim "liberal" for the angels is to get on the right side of history — the side the Iraqi people are on. The word "liberal" has no meaning if those who wear the label refuse to celebrate the birth of a new democracy after 40 years of tyranny. Yet, if you wandered the Internet on Thursday, you came across far too many "liberals" who watched the election, shrugged and went straight back to Valerie Plame, WMD, Bush lied.'

"Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers. That's what this is about: Millions of Kurds, Shia and Sunnis beaming as they emerge from polling stations and hold up their purple fingers after the freest, fairest election ever held in the Arab world. "Liberal" in the American sense is a dirty word because it's come to stand for a shriveled parochial obsolescent irrelevance, of which ''Good Night, and Good Luck,'' Clooney's dreary little retread of the McCarthy years, is merely the latest example. (Clooney says he wants more journalists to "speak truth to power," which is why I'm insulting his movie.)"

"The Anglo-American political tradition is the most successful in the world in part because of the concept of "loyal opposition." Yes, the party out of office opposes the party in office and hopes to supplant it, but not at the expense of the broader political culture. A party that winds up cheerleading for a deranged loser death cult is the very definition of pointless self-defeating sour oppositionism. So, as Zarqawi flails, Dean and Murtha and Kerry flail ever more pathetically, too. Just wait till the WMD turn up."


Nevermind; Mr. Steyn don't need meyn.

(UPDATE: Steyn has a subsequent column specifically entitled "The Defeaticrats" captured here, and it's a good one. And okay, okay; I spelled it "Defeat-"o"-crats" back in '03. But I think we can all plainly see that changing the vowel was done just to avoid giving me credit for this momentous contribution to humanity.

Yes, I'm the guy who named the Defeatocrats. Heh.)

When I was in prison, 


The Washington Times:

"GUANGZHOU, China -- A Chinese company has begun marketing kidneys, livers and other organs from executed prisoners to sick Britons in need of transplants.

Hospital Doctor, a British magazine, earlier this month reported that a firm called Transplants International was trying to recruit British patients.

Operations were to be carried out at Guangzhou Air Force Military Hospital ...

...Executed prisoners are the main source of organs used in the country's transplant operations, thousands of which are conducted each year. Up to one in 10 recipients are believed to be from other nations, mainly from elsewhere in Asia. There is also a market in Saudi Arabia...

...Dr. Na said military hospitals also have access to the Public Security Bureau -- the police. This means transplants that are a good match for potential donors are more readily available from the execution grounds.
Foreigners, after an initial checkup, are guaranteed an organ will arrive within two weeks."

'Guaranteed'? Is there a word more chilling? And many of these prisoners are no doubt political prisoners--real political prisoners, not thugs who stick-up 7-11s.

This must be stopped.

Lewis & Chesterton 


and discover turnips & Niatirbians:

C.S. Lewis:

"In the middle of winter when fogs and rains most abound, (the Niatirbians) have a great festival called Exmas, and for 50 days they prepare for it (in the manner which is called,) in their barbarian speech, the Exmas Rush.

When the day of the festival comes, most of the citizens, being exhausted from the (frenzies of the) Rush, lie in bed till noon. But in the evening they eat five times as much as on other days, and crowning themselves with crowns of paper, they become intoxicated. And on the day after Exmas, they are very grave, being internally disordered by the supper and the drinking and the reckoning of how much they have spent on gifts and on the wine.

(Now a) few among the Niatirbians have also a festival, separate and to themselves, called Crissmas, which is on the same day as Exmas. And those who keep Crissmas, doing the opposite to the majority of Niatirbians, rise early on that day with shining faces and go before sunrise to certain temples where they partake of a sacred feast.

But (as for) what Hecataeus says, that Exmas and Crissmas are the same, (this) is not credible. It is not likely that men, even being barbarians, should suffer so many and so great things (as those involved in the Exmas Rush), in honor of a god they do not believe in."--Xmas and Christmas: A Lost Chapter from Herodotus

"Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn't go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business too have a 'view' on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone's business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers. Neither of these circumstances is in itself a reason for condemning it. I condemn it on the following grounds.

1. It gives on the whole much more pain than pleasure. You have only to stay over Christmas with a family who seriously try to 'keep' it (in its third, or commercial, aspect) in order to see that the thing is a nightmare. Long before December 25th everyone is worn out -- physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merry-making; much less (if they should want to) to take part in a religious act. They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house.

2. Most of it is involuntary. The modern rule is that anyone can force you to give him a present by sending you a quite unprovoked present of his own. It is almost a blackmail. Who has not heard the wail of despair, and indeed of resentment, when, at the last moment, just as everyone hoped that the nuisance was over for one more year, the unwanted gift from Mrs. Busy (whom we hardly remember) flops unwelcomed through the letter-box, and back to the dreadful shops one of us has to go?

3. Things are given as presents which no mortal every bought for himself -- gaudy and useless gadgets, 'novelties' because no one was ever fool enough to make their like before. Have we really no better use for materials and for human skill and time than to spend them on all this rubbish?

4. The nuisance. for after all, during the racket we still have all our ordinary and necessary shopping to do, and the racket trebles the labour of it.

We are told that the whole dreary business must go on because it is good for trade. It is in fact merely one annual symptom of that lunatic condition of our country, and indeed of the world, in which everyone lives by persuading everyone else to buy things. I don't know the way out. But can it really be my duty to buy and receive masses of junk every winter just to help the shopkeepers? If the worst comes to the worst I'd sooner give them money for nothing and write if off as a charity. For nothing? Why, better for nothing than for a nuisance."--"What Christmas Means to Me"

Now, Mr. G.K. Chesterton:

"The world is round, so round that the schools of optimism and pessimism have been arguing from the beginning whether it is the right way up. The difficulty does not arise so much from the mere fact that good and evil are mingled in roughly equal proportions; it arises chiefly from the fact that men always differ about what parts are good and what evil. Hence the difficulty which besets "undenominational religions." They profess to include what is beautiful in all creeds, but they appear to many to have collected all that is dull in them. All the colours mixed together in purity ought to make a perfect white. Mixed together on any human paint-box, they make a thing like mud, and a thing very like many new religions. Such a blend is often something much worse than any one creed taken separately, even the creed of the Thugs. The error arises from the difficulty of detecting what is really the good part and what is really the bad part of any given religion. And this pathos falls rather heavily on those persons who have the misfortune to think of some religion or other, that the parts commonly counted good are bad, and the parts commonly counted bad are good. It is tragic to admire and honestly admire a human group, but to admire it in a photographic negative. It is difficult to congratulate all their whites on being black and all their blacks on their whiteness. This will often happen to us in connection with human religions. Take two institutions which bear witness to the religious energy of the nineteenth century. Take the Salvation Army and the philosophy of Auguste Comte.

The usual verdict of educated people on the Salvation Army is exressed in some such words as these: "I have no doubt they do a great deal of good, but they do it in a vulgar and profane style; their aims are excellent, but their methods are wrong." To me, unfortunately, the precise reverse of this appears to be the truth. I do not know whether the aims of the Salvation Army are excellent, but I am quite sure their methods are admirable. Their methods are the methods of all intense and hearty religions; they are popular like all religion, military like all religion, public and sensational like all religion. They are not reverent any more than Roman Catholics are reverent, for reverence in the sad and delicate meaning of the term reverence is a thing only possible to infidels. That beautiful twilight you will find in Euripides, in Renan, in Matthew Arnold; but in men who believe you will not find it-- you will find only laughter and war. A man cannot pay that kind of reverence to truth solid as marble; they can only be reverent towards a beautiful lie. And the Salvation Army, though their voice has broken out in a mean environment and an ugly shape, are really the old voice of glad and angry faith, hot as the riots of Dionysus, wild as the gargoyles of Catholicism, not to be mistaken for a philosophy. Professor Huxley, in one of his clever phrases, called the Salvation Army "corybantic Christianity." Huxley was the last and noblest of those Stoics who have never understood the Cross. If he had understood Christianity he would have known that there never has been, and never can be, any Christianity that is not corybantic.

And there is this difference between the matter of aims and the matter of methods, that to judge of the aims of a thing like the Salvation Army is very difficult, to judge of their ritual and atmosphere very easy. No one, perhaps, but a sociologist can see whether General Booth's housing scheme is right. But any healthy person can see that banging brass cymbals together must be right. A page of statistics, a plan of model dwellings, anything which is rational, is always difficult for the lay mind. But the thing which is irrational any one can understand. That is why religion came so early into the world and spread so far, while science came so late into the world and has not spread at all. History unanimously attests the fact that it is only mysticism which stands the smallest chance of being understanded of the people. Common sense has to be kept as an esoteric secret in the dark temple of culture. And so while the philanthropy of the Salvationists and its genuineness may be a reasonable matter for the discussion of the doctors, there can be no doubt about the genuineness of their brass bands, for a brass band is purely spiritual, and seeks only to quicken the internal life. The object of philanthropy is to do good; the object of religion is to be good, if only for a moment, amid a crash of brass.

And the same antithesis exists about another modern religion--I mean the religion of Comte, generally known as Positivism, or the worship of humanity. Such men as Mr. Frederic Harrison, that brilliant and chivalrous philosopher, who still, by his mere personality, speaks for the creed, would tell us that he offers us the philosophy of Comte, but not all Comte's fantastic proposals for pontiffs and ceremonials, the new calendar, the new holidays and saints' days. He does not mean that we should dress ourselves up as priests of humanity or let off fireworks because it is Milton's birthday. To the solid English Comtist all this appears, he confesses, to be a little absurd. To me it appears the only sensible part of Comtism. As a philosophy it is unsatisfactory. It is evidently impossible to worship humanity, just as it is impossible to worship the Savile Club; both are excellent institutions to which we may happen to belong. But we perceive clearly that the Savile Club did not make the stars and does not fill the universe. And it is surely unreasonable to attack the doctrine of the Trinity as a piece of bewildering mysticism, and then to ask men to worship a being who is ninety million persons in one God, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. But if the wisdom of Comte was insufficient, the folly of Comte was wisdom. In an age of dusty modernity, when beauty was thought of as something barbaric and ugliness as something sensible, he alone saw that men must always have the sacredness of mummery. He saw that while the brutes have all the useful things, the things that are truly human are the useless ones. He saw the falsehood of that almost universal notion of to-day, the notion that rites and forms are something artificial, additional, and corrupt. Ritual is really much older than thought; it is much simpler and much wilder than thought. A feeling touching the nature of things does not only make men feel that there are certain proper things to say; it makes them feel that there are certain proper things to do. The more agreeable of these consist of dancing, building temples, and shouting very loud; the less agreeable, of wearing green carnations and burning other philosophers alive. But everywhere the religious dance came before the religious hymn, and man was a ritualist before he could speak. If Comtism had spread the world would have been converted, not by the Comtist philosophy, but by the Comtist calendar. By discouraging what they conceive to be the weakness of their master, the English Positivists have broken the strength of their religion. A man who has faith must be prepared not only to be a martyr, but to be a fool. It is absurd to say that a man is ready to toil and die for his convictions when he is not even ready to wear a wreath round his head for them. I myself, to take a corpus vile, am very certain that I would not read the works of Comte through for any consideration whatever. But I can easily imagine myself with the greatest enthusiasm lighting a bonfire on Darwin Day.

That splendid effort failed, and nothing in the style of it has succeeded. There has been no rationalist festival, no rationalist ecstasy. Men are still in black for the death of God. When Christianity was heavily bombarded in the last century upon no point was it more persistently and brilliantly attacked than upon that of its alleged enmity to human joy. Shelley and Swinburne and all their armies have passed again and again over the ground, but they have not altered it. They have not set up a single new trophy or ensign for the world's merriment to rally to. They have not given a name or a new occasion of gaiety. Mr. Swinburne does not hang up his stocking on the eve of the birthday of Victor Hugo. Mr. William Archer does not sing carols descriptive of the infancy of Ibsen outside people's doors in the snow. In the round of our rational and mournful year one festival remains out of all those ancient gaieties that once covered the whole earth. Christmas remains to remind us of those ages, whether Pagan or Christian, when the many acted poetry instead of the few writing it. In all the winter in our woods there is no tree in glow but the holly.

The strange truth about the matter is told in the very word "holiday." A bank holiday means presumably a day which bankers regard as holy. A half-holiday means, I suppose, a day on which a schoolboy is only partially holy. It is hard to see at first sight why so human a thing as leisure and larkiness should always have a religious origin. Rationally there appears no reason why we should not sing and give each other presents in honour of anything--the birth of Michael Angelo or the opening of Euston Station. But it does not work. As a fact, men only become greedily and gloriously material about something spiritualistic. Take away the Nicene Creed and similar things, and you do some strange wrong to the sellers of sausages. Take away the strange beauty of the saints, and what has remained to us is the far stranger ugliness of Wandsworth. Take away the supernatural, and what remains is the unnatural. And now I have to touch upon a very sad matter. There are in the modern world an admirable class of persons who really make protest on behalf of that antiqua pulchritudo of which Augustine spoke, who do long for the old feasts and formalities of the childhood of the world. William Morris and his followers showed how much brighter were the dark ages than the age of Manchester. Mr. W. B. Yeats frames his steps in prehistoric dances, but no man knows and joins his voice to forgotten choruses that no one but he can hear. Mr. George Moore collects every fragment of Irish paganism that the forgetfulness of the Catholic Church has left or possibly her wisdom preserved. There are innumerable persons with eye-glasses and green garments who pray for the return of the maypole or the Olympian games. But there is about these people a haunting and alarming something which suggests that it is just possible that they do not keep Christmas. It is painful to regard human nature in such a light, but it seems somehow possible that Mr. George Moore does not wave his spoon and shout when the pudding is set alight. It is even possible that Mr. W. B. Yeats never pulls crackers. If so, where is the sense of all their dreams of festive traditions? Here is a solid and ancient festive tradition still plying a roaring trade in the streets, and they think it vulgar. if this is so, let them be very certain of this, that they are the kind of people who in the time of the maypole would have thought the maypole vulgar; who in the time of the Canterbury pilgrimage would have thought the Canterbury pilgrimage vulgar; who in the time of the Olympian games would have thought the Olympian games vulgar. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that they were vulgar. Let no man deceive himself; if by vulgarity we mean coarseness of speech, rowdiness of behaviour, gossip, horseplay, and some heavy drinking, vulgarity there always was wherever there was joy, wherever there was faith in the gods. Wherever you have belief you will have hilarity, wherever you have hilarity you will have some dangers. And as creed and mythology produce this gross and vigorous life, so in its turn this gross and vigorous life will always produce creed and mythology. If we ever get the English back on to the English land they will become again a religious people, if all goes well, a superstitious people. The absence from modern life of both the higher and lower forms of faith is largely due to a divorce from nature and the trees and clouds. If we have no more turnip ghosts it is chiefly from the lack of turnips."--"Christmas and the Aesthetes", Heretics

And of course, this;

Mr. Lewis: "The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God."

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

If We Had A Media 


instead of "Bush Spies on Americans", wouldn't the headlines read:

"Jihadist Collaborators Spy on Fellow Americans: Bush tries to catch them."?

And now for a Manufactured News Update:

(Washington, D.C.) President Bush gave his annual reading of "The Night Before Christmas" to a group of young children at the White House yesterday. Critics said it was actually a week before Christmas.

Sen. Carl Levin (D.-Michigan) gave the Democratic response. "This is an outrage. Now the President is lying to small children. Listen, kids; there's no such thing as Santa Claus. Or Christmas either, once we outlaw it," said Levin, who called for the President's impeachment, to be followed by an investigation.

When it was pointed out to Levin that President Clinton had also read Christmas stories to children, Levin explained "That was totally different; President Clinton read "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Endangered Reindeer" to those kids."

Arguing in the alternative, DNC Chairman Howard Dean said there was indeed such a thing as Santa Claus. "But," said the former Mayor of Vermont, "George Bush is illegally spying on Santa using NORAD tracking technology."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Unapologist 


"The Barbarian hopes--and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers." [...]

"In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true." [...]

"We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile." [...]

"Their Faiths turn to legend, and at last they enter that shrine whose God has departed and whose Idol is quite blind."

(Tip o' the ol' nacho cheese zucchetto to Steve, Steve, Steve, Steve.)

An Open Letter 


“YOUR EXERTIONS IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM, guided by wisdom and animated by zeal and courage, have gained you the love and confidence of your grateful countrymen; and they look to you, who are experienced veterans, and trust that you will still be the guardians of America. As I have the honor to be an American, and one of the free millions, who are defended by your valor, I would pay the tribute of thanks, and express my gratitude, while I solicit you to continue in your present honorable and important station. I doubt not America will always find enough of her sons ready to flock to her standard, and support her freedom; but experience proves that experienced soldiers are more capable of performing the duties of the camp, and better qualified to face the enemy, than others; and therefore every friend of America will be desirous that most of the gentlemen who compose the present army may continue in the service of their country until "Liberty, Peace, and Safety" are established. Although your private concerns may call for your assistance at home, yet the voice of your country is still louder, and it is painful to heroic minds to quit the field when liberty calls, and the voice of the injured millions cries "To arms! to arms!" Never was a cause more important or glorious than that which you are engaged in; not only your wives, your children, and distant posterity, but humanity at large, the world of mankind, are interested in it; for if tyranny should prevail in this great country, we may expect liberty will expire throughout the world. Therefore, more human glory and happiness may depend upon your exertions than ever yet depended upon any of the sons of men. He that is a soldier in defense of such a cause, needs no title; his post is a post of honor, and although not an emperor, yet he shall wear a crown--of glory--and blessed will be his memory!"

"The savage and brutal barbarity of our enemies in burning [the city] is a full demonstration that there is not the least remains of virtue, wisdom, or humanity, in the[m]; and that they are fully determined with fire and sword, to butcher and destroy, beggar and enslave the whole American people. Therefore we expect soon...by the blesssing of heaven, soon to work out our own salvation, and perpetuate the liberties, increase the wealth, the power and the glory of this Western world."

"Notwithstanding the many difficulties we have to encounter, and the rage of our merciless enemies, we have a glorious prospect before us, big with everything good and great."

--"A Freeman"

(From a letter to the editor of the New England Chronicle, December, 1775 --edited slightly to remove contemporaneous references.)

True then, true now.

(Tip o' the tri-corner to Dave M.)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wisdoms of Pearl 

DEC. 8th, 1941

Ordinary Everyday Christian has the words spoken on that day:


"No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. ...With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people--we will gain the inevitable triumph--so help us God."


"Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That...the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States."


"...without any thought except the total and final extirpation of the Hitler tyranny, the Japanese frenzy, and the Mussolini flop. There shall be no halting, or half measures, there shall be no compromise, or parley. ...They shall themselves be cast into the pit of death and shame, and only when the earth has been cleansed and purged of their crimes and their villainy shall we turn from the task which they have forced upon us, a task which we were reluctant to undertake, but which we shall now most faithfully and punctiliously discharge."

Huh...not a word was spoken of "exit strategies"or the "rights" of Nazi spies--only words of implacable determination and resolve, triumph and victory.

Victory First.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Engagement of Rules 


Kathleen Parker:

"In June, the Pentagon changed its Standing Rules of Engagement to allow commanders to limit individual self-defense by members of their unit. Interpreted for me by two Army judge advocate general officers (JAGs), this essentially means that soldiers and Marines may not have the individual prerogative to fire upon an enemy when they are faced with an imminent threat of death or serious injury. That belongs only to commanders, who may not be present to make a decision every time a soldier or Marine faces a deadly threat." [...]

"Not only does this new rule defy common sense and place service people at undue risk, say military lawyers with whom I've spoken, but it could make recruiting difficult. One, in an opinion piece he submitted to the Army Times, wrote: "If the Army thinks it has a recruiting problem now, wait until the mothers and fathers of prospective recruits learn that the military is trying to give more legal protections to possible Al Qaeda members demonstrating hostile intent than the Fourth Amendment currently gives to criminals in the United States.""[...]

"Just as important as the ability to fire when threatened is a soldier's understanding that his command will stand behind him. To believe otherwise could cause hesitation and indecision, leading to deadly consequences."[...]

"Those who have opposed the war all along are always careful to say that they nevertheless support the troops. It would appear that some Pentagon pencil pushers subscribe to the opposite view: Support the war, but not the troops."

Instead of repairing the damage done to the Pentagon on Sept. 11th, we should have assigned these rule-writers to those burnt-out offices. In the immortal words of the great Dr. Cpl. Capt. Floyd Suess-Pink:

"Hey, Sneetches; leave those troops alone!"

Support the war...AND the troops--YOUR troops.

UPDATE: Grim's Hall investigates further.

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