11/28/06

WIFE

From the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition newsbriefs:

Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE) recently adopted a national resolution against the expansion and plans to push it with their other ag agenda items in DC. They frequently go to DC en mass with their red coats and have developed relationships with legislators and lobbyists, I'm told. Here is some more info on WIFE.

Here is an article that was submitted to a newspaper editor for the McCook Daily Gazette by WIFE:

Taking Too Much

http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/1179084.html

McCook Daily Gazette - McCook,NE,USA

An excerpt:

In 1983 the U. S. Government created the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) in Southeast Colorado. At that time the promise was made that the site would never be expanded.
This year, that same government announced, through the Army at Fort Carson, expansion plans for the PCMS. Instead of taking 250,000 acres like in 1983, the new proposal would extend the site to 2.5 million acres.

The WIFE website:

www.wifeline.com/

11/27/06

The Dems show their true colors

From a retired soldier:

Well, it's not just John Kerry anymore. Now our good friend and resident fan of a return to the draft, Charles Rangel, says that soldiers have no other options but to enlist. I just keep learning more and more about myself from these guys. I learned today that I had no chance at a "decent" career in the civilian world, so I came to West Point and joined the Army instead. Thank goodness that Charley was here to explain the motivation of today's soldiers to me.

What a _____ (fill in the blank with your favorite description of a donkey's rear end).

It would seem that our military is composed of otherwise unemployable morons who are provided the most technologically advanced weaponry available, and trained by other morons to maximize that weaponry's use and effect on the enemy.

Full article at: http://www.nysun.com/article/44138

"If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career, or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq," Mr. Rangel, a Democrat representing Manhattan and Queens, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"If there's anyone who believes these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No bright young individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment," the congressman said.

Mr. Rangel was responding to a question about a study by a conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, which found that those enlisting in the military tend to be better educated than the general public and that military recruiting seems to be more successful in middle-class and wealthy neighborhoods than in poor ones.

Mr. Rangel's view is similar to the myth that the Army in the Vietnam war was made up primarily of draftees, and that line units were made up primarily of inner city blacks and poorly educated whites from the rural south. He, like supporters of that view, ignore the facts, the findings of various studies based on empirical evidence.

As the myth about Vietnam is not true, neither is Congressman Rangel anywhere near the truth in his ignorant utterings.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=4496

More from the Religion of Peace

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PWIK8YTZS8&eurl=

Except for the Iraqis...

...”We want to see peace, goodwill, and democracy in Iraq.”

“But that didn’t take into account the Iraqis”...

From the French newspapers.

And then we have this:



BAGHDAD, Iraq(AP) Militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive as Iraqi soldiers stood by, and seven Sunni mosques came under attack as Shiites took revenge for the slaughter of 215 people in the Sadr City slum.

With the government trying to avert a civil war, two simultaneous bombings in Tal Afar, in northern Iraq, killed at least 23 people. On Thursday, Sunni-Arab insurgents unleashed bombings and mortar attacks in Sadr City, the deadliest assault since the U.S.-led invasion.

Members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing 12 other Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood until American forces arrived, said police Capt. Jamil Hussein. Gunmen loyal to radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr began taking over the neighborhood this summer and a majority of its Sunni residents already had fled.

The gunmen attacked the four mosques with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and automatic rifles. Residents said the militiamen prevented them from entering the burned buildings to remove the dead, and they and Hussein said Shiite-dominated police and Iraqi military stood idly by.

Later Friday, militiamen raided al-Samarraie Sunni mosque in the el-Amel district and killed two guards, police 1st. Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq said. Two other Sunni mosques in west Baghad also were attacked, police said.

11/22/06

Thankfulness

http://www.michellemalkin.com/

What American journalists should be thankful for

By Michelle Malkin

November 22, 2006 11:05 AM

In between breathless condemnations of the Bush administration for stifling its free speech, endless court filings demanding classified and sensitive information from the military and intelligence agencies, and self-pitying media industry confabs bemoaning their hemorrhaging circulations (with the exception of the New York Post), my colleagues in the American media don't have much to time to give thanks.

Allow me:

Give thanks we don't live in Bangladesh, where you can be put on trial for writing columns supporting Israel and condemning Muslim violence. Just ask Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of Blitz, the largest tabloid English-language weekly in Bangladesh. He is currently facing a sedition trial for speaking out about the threats radical Islam poses in Bangladesh. He has been imprisoned, harassed, beaten, and condemned. In court last week, his persecutors read these charges against him: "By praising the Jews and Christians, by attempting to travel to Israel and by predicting the so-called rise of Islamist millitancy in the country and expressing such through writings inside the country and abroad, you have tried to damage the image and relations of Bangladesh with the outside world." For expressing these dissident opinions, he faces the possibility of execution.

Give thanks we don't live in Egypt, where bloggers have been detained by the government for criticizing Islam and exposing the apathy of Cairo police to sexual harassment of women. Just ask Abdel Karim Suliman Amer, 22, who was arrested earlier this month for "spreading information disruptive of public order", "incitement to hate Muslims" and "defaming the President of the Republic." Ask Rami Siyam, who blogs under the name of Ayyoub, and has been outspoken in his criticism of Egyptian brutality. He was detained this week along with three friends after leaving the house of a fellow blogger. His host, 24-year-old reformist Muslim Muhammad al-Sharqawi, had been detained by the Egyptian government this spring as he left a peaceful demonstration in Cairo where he had displayed a sign reading, "I want my rights." Sharqawi was beaten in prison over several weeks.

Give thanks we don't live in Sudan, where editors can lose their heads for not kowtowing to the government line. Ask the family of Mohammed Taha, editor-in-chief of the Sudanese private daily Al-Wifaq, who was found decapitated on a Khartoum street in September. He had been kidnapped by masked jihadi gunmen. What did Taha do that cost him his life? He insulted Islam, and dared to question Muslim history, the roots of Mohammed, and other Muslims. Before his murder, his paper was shuttered for three months and he was hauled into court for "blasphemy."

Give thanks we don't live in China, the world's leading jailer of journalists and Internet critics. Consider Yang Xiaoqing, jailed for five months because he reported corruption among local officials in the central Hunan province. Or Yang Tianshui, sentenced to 12 years in jail this spring for posting essays on the Internet supporting a movement by exiles to hold free elections. Or Li Yuanlong, a Guizhou reporter for the Bijie Daily jailed for two years on subversion charges because he dared to criticize the ruling Communist Party on foreign websites. Or any of the other 32 journalists and 50-plus bloggers behind bars.

Give thanks we don't live in Lebanon, where outspoken writers pay with their lives. Journalist and Christian Orthodox activist Samir Kassir, who was critical of Syrian involvement in Lebanon, was assassinated in a Beirut car bombing in 2005. His colleague, An-Nahar newspaper manager Gibran Tueni was killed in a car bombing last December. Lebanese TV anchorwoman and Christian journalist May Chidiak survived a separate car bombing last fall, but lost an arm, leg, and use of one eye.

Give thanks we don't live in Russia, where investigative journalists routinely wind up dead. Last month, unreleting reporter and Putin critic Anna Politkovskaya was found shot dead in her apartment. In the days before her death, Politkovskaya had been working on a story about torture in Chechnya, according to her newspaper Novaya Gazeta. She joins a death toll that includes Paul Klebnikov, the U.S.-born editor of the Russian edition of Forbes, who had been investigating the Russian business underworld, and was gunned down outside his Moscow office in 2004; Valery Ivanov, editor of the newspaper Tolyatinskoye Oborzreniye, also shot dead after investigating organized crime and drug trafficking in 2002; and Larisa Yudina, editor of the opposition newspaper Sovetskaya Kalmykia in southern Russia, who was stabbed to death by former government aides.

Give thanks we don't live in Denmark, where the cartoonists who dared to caricature Mohammed and challenge creeping sharia are still in hiding, in fear for their lives.

Give thanks we don't live in Italy, where a spineless judge bowed to jihadists and put famed war journalist Oriana Fallaci on trial for her sharp-tongued critiques of Islam. She succumbed to cancer before they could exact a vengeful penalty against the lioness. But they made the price of "insulting" Islam known far and wide to the cowering Western media.

Give thanks we live in America, land of the free, home of the brave, where the media's elite journalists can leak top-secret information with impunity, win Pulitzer Prizes, cash in on lucrative book deals, routinely insult their readership and viewership, broadcast enemy propaganda, turn a blind eye to the victims of jihad, and cast themselves as oppressed victims on six-figure salaries.

God bless the U.S.A.

More on the promise...or lack thereof...of Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi, soon to be Speaker of the House, would have one and all believe that she is the soul of non-partisanship, the soul of sweet reason.

She is not.

Here is an article from the September 4 issue of Time magazine:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376213,00.html

and an excerpt:

"Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House, portrays herself as a polite, grandmotherly lady...Don't believe it for a second. Would your grandmother ever say, "If people are ripping your face off, you have to rip their face off" (Pelosi's approach to handling attacks from Republicans)? How about "If you take the knife off the table, it's not very frightening anymore" (her explanation for why she won't let voters forget George W. Bush's unpopular Social Security proposal from last year)?"

And:

"The 66-year-old San Francisco lawmaker is an aggressive, hyperpartisan liberal pol who is the Democrats' version of Tom DeLay, minus the ethical and legal problems of the former Republican House leader."

Minus the ethical and legal problems?

It's Pelosi who backed Murtha, he who stinks of Abscam and a pile of other scandals, the Great Unindicted Co-conspirator, for the Majority Leader position.

It was Pelosi who was slapped down by her colleagues, who refused to support the Sultan of Sleaze.

Huh. Looks like bidness as usual. It's like the closing lines of Animal Farm, when you couldn't tell the difference between pigs and humans.

And this is what is meant by 'taking back the country'?

Here's the latest from Time about Pelosi and her lack of judgment:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1562299,00.html

11/19/06

Pelosi's Promise

There I was, out by the garlic patch, picking up all the trash that had blown into the yard from elseplace. The garlic patch, of course, is in winter mode, but I managed to shake a considerable number of seeds out of the flower pods for use next spring.

"Hey. Hey. Watcha doon?"

"Oh, hey, Billy, I didn't hear you slither up. I'm good. I'm shaking a considerable number of garlic seeds out for use next year. How about you?" I asked our cycling stalwart.

Billy removed his cycling helmet and adjusted the tinfoil liner. That boded ill. He's been remarkably stable of late. He shook out his dreadlocks and wiped some pizza sauce out of his beard.

"Had some pizza this morning, did we?" I observed.

"Naw. I was in Pebler yesterday and stopped in a Little Seezers there by Lowe's."

Ugh. Yesterday's pizza sauce, revisiting today.

"Hey. Hey. Wutcha think about Pelosi and her promise to bring ethical conduct back into the Congress?" Billy asked.

"Hah. I think Pelosi demonstrated a pretty good lack of understanding of ethics, as well as her moonbat mindset, when she backed Murtha for majority leader. That's typical of the leadership in the Democratic party these days. Listen to some of the crap that Howie Dean is coming out with."

"Wasn't Murtha involved in Abscam?"

"Yep. And a bunch of other things as well. He's what you'd call an 'unindicted co-conspirator. That comment he made when the money was on the table, 'I'm not interested...yet...' was enough for me. But apparently in the Democratic Party, you need to be convicted before you are too sleazy, and even then, they'll try to dance around it."

"Ain't the Ree-pubs the same way?" Billy asked.

"Of course they are. At that level, they're almost all political whores. That's the nonsense of it. People run around talking like the Democrats are the Second Coming, when in fact, they are just going to bring a new, and probably far more strident and childish, level of sleaze and slime to the table. Hey. At least the Republicans are professionals at it."

"So you think Murtha is a sleazebag?"

"You betcha. There's enough stink there that I wouldn't trust the man with the key to Dog the Bounty Hunter's chastity belt. I'm not talking about convicting the man; I'm talking about trusting him in a position of considerable responsibility. I mean...dude! would you vote for that kind of guy for a local office? Like...mayor? Or county commish?"

"Huh. Good point." noted Billy, carefully adjusting his tinfoil liner around his ears.

"And it goes straight to Nancy Pelosi's judgment and her own standards of ethical conduct, because she went for the guy. The fact that he got flushed down the toilet on the vote doesn't say much for the confidence of the House in her judgment, does it?"

"No, but it does give a glimmer of hope as to the brains of the rest of 'em, since they did flush him," Billy rather cogently observed.

"Yeah. We'll see how it floats. But Our Nancy is going to provide considerable entertainment over the next couple or more years. She's going to have that 'deer in the headlights' look more than once, I think."

Billy chuckled, rather maniacally I thought. He snugged up his gloves and said, "Hey, dude. I'm outa here. I'm thinking of going down to Port O'Connor and sleeping on the beach for the winter. Have a few at the Hurricane Junction if it's still there. Otherwise, I might just go over to Key West."

"Key West, huh? Well, keep your back to the wall down there, bud."

"Huh?"

"Never mind. C-ya when you get back."

And he pedalled off.

An excerpt from an article in WPO:

"Murtha, a longtime senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, has battled accusations over the years that he has traded federal spending for campaign contributions, that he has abused his post as ranking party member on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, and that he has stood in the way of ethics investigations. Those charges come on top of Murtha's involvement 26 years ago in the FBI's Abscam bribery sting."

The article:

http://tinyurl.com/ydzqpt

11/15/06

The Ineffectiveness of the System

A while back I finally had enough of the Becerra dog's incessant barking.

This mutt lives across the alley from my place. It's penned up all the time. Well, it might occasionally get out of the pen, but I have never seen it happen.

So the dog barks at the sun, the moon, the stars. Squirrels. Cats. Leaves blowing in the wind.

The mutt is a German shepherd. It has a deep, booming bark, and it carries.

I finally had enough of it. So I signed a complaint.

That complaint was paid off. 25 bux.

And the barking continued.

So I signed another complaint.

That one went to pre-trial conference. The outcome? A five dollar fine and 20 dollar court costs.

And the barking continues.

So.

Do I sign another complaint? Or do I just endure the barking?

Obviously the system in place for dealing with these kinds of complaints does not work.

That is why we have such a problem with barking dogs.

But what the hey. We have a pooper scooper ordinance. How many times has it been enforced since it was passed? Has there been any improvement up around city park? I haven't seen it. I was up there yesterday and there were several piles of dog poop right there around the playground equipment.

But what the hey. We have a pit bull ordinance. You know, to end all those pit bull attacks we were having.

I guess I should be happy with that.

11/13/06

Dapper Dan the ex-Sheriff Man

Dapper Dan Corsentino, that paragon of law enforcement leadership over in Pueblo County, has apparently refocused his attention from his zipper and is now in high whine mode over the beating he took at the polls:

http://www.chieftain.com/metro/1163426683/1

Knock it off, Dan. You weren't much of a sheriff. Why don't you MoveOn to something more typically self-serving? I'm sure you can find a job on a Congressional staff somewhere. Those outfits are always havens for the party faithful who have nothing else useful to contribute.

11/12/06

Joltin' Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman withstood the most savage and unsavory attacks from the moonbats of the Democratic Party to win back his Senate seat, as an Independent.

You'd think that would be a wakeup call to the likes of Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats of their ilk. It isn't likely to be.

At any rate, congrats to Joltin' Joe. If the Dems had any brains as a political party they'd run him as their candidate in '08. I'd vote for him.

From Cox and Forkum:

http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/000975.html

From the Danbury News-Times:

http://www.newstimeslive.com/news/story.php?id=1022224

11/9/06

Semper Fi!

Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps:

BT
UNCLAS
ALMAR 046/06
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC//
SUBJ/UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE - 10 NOVEMBER 2006//
POC/SGT M. BELL/ADMIN CHIEF/CMC STAFF GROUP/-/TEL:(703) 614-2326//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/

ON NOVEMBER 10TH, 1775, OUR CORPS WAS BORN AS THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS RAISED THE 'FIRST AND SECOND BATTALIONS OF AMERICAN MARINES.' EACH YEAR AS WE CELEBRATE OUR BIRTHDAY, WE PAUSE TO REFLECT ON THE MARINES OF YESTERYEAR WHO FOUGHT IN OUR TOUCHSTONE BATTLES AND FORGED THE MODERN MARINE CORPS WITH THEIR COURAGE, INTEGRITY, AND UNDYING COMMITMENT TO THEIR FELLOW MARINES. EACH OF OUR STORIED BATTLES IS A LINK IN THE LONG CHAIN THAT BINDS ALL MARINES TOGETHER-FROM THE CONTINENTAL MARINES AT BUNKER HILL TO THE TEUFELHUNDEN CROSSING THE WHEAT FIELDS OF BELLEAU WOOD. THIS CHAIN BINDS US TO THE MARINES ON THE CREST OF MOUNT SURIBACHI. IT PASSES THROUGH THE ICE AND SNOW OF THE CHOSIN RESERVOIR AND THE STEAMING JUNGLES OF VIETNAM, AND IT ANCHORS FIRMLY TODAY IN THE DESERT SANDS OF IRAQ.

THIS YEAR'S CELEBRATION AGAIN FINDS MANY FROM OUR RANKS SERVING WITH DISTINCTION IN HARM'S WAY. AS WE HAVE FOR THE PAST 231 YEARS, OUR CORPS IS ANSWERING THE NATION'S CALL. I CAN REPORT FIRST HAND THAT OUR MARINES FIGHTING ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE LONG WAR ON TERROR ARE PERFORMING BRILLIANTLY, ACQUITTING THEMSELVES WITH HONOR, DEDICATION, AND DIGNITY IN DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS ENVIRONMENTS.

ALL MARINES ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU ARE SERVING, YOU ARE ADDING NEW CHAPTERS TO THE LEGACY THAT WAS EARNED WITH SWEAT AND BLOOD ON OLD BATTLEFIELDS. JUST AS PREVIOUS GENERATIONS OF MARINES SHAPED TODAY'S MARINE CORPS, YOUR DEEDS ARE MOLDING THE CORPS OF TOMORROW. OUR CORPS HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER, AND ALL AMERICANS ARE EXTREMELY PROUD OF YOUR MAGNIFICENT PERFORMANCE AND UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO SERVE OUR CORPS AND COUNTRY. WITH HIGH CALIBER MARINES LIKE YOU, OUR FUTURE HAS NEVER BEEN BRIGHTER.

ANOTHER IRREPLACEABLE ELEMENT OF OUR SUCCESS AS MARINES IS THE TERRIFIC SUPPORT WE RECEIVE FROM OUR FAMILIES. THROUGH THE LONG HOURS, THE EXERCISES, AND THE COMBAT DEPLOYMENTS, THEIR SUPPORT IS UNCONDITIONAL AND FIRM. THEY GIVE US LOVE AND DEVOTION, PROVIDING US WITH THE STRENGTH TO DRIVE ON WHEN DUTY CALLS. TODAY WE SHOULD ALL ACKNOWLEDGE OUR LOVED ONES FOR THEIR PATIENT, STEADFAST SERVICE.

TO ALL WHO HAVE EARNED THE TITLE MARINE, TO THE SUPERB SAILORS WHO SERVE WITH US IN EVERY CLIME AND PLACE, AND TO OUR PRECIOUS FAMILIES - I WISH EACH ONE OF YOU A HEARTFELT HAPPY 231ST BIRTHDAY.

SEMPER FIDELIS AND KEEP ATTACKING

M. W. HAGEE, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS

Household tips and other wisdom

From a lawyer pal:

1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto, the blockage will be almost instantly removed.

2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

3. You can avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat just by using the sink.

4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use an egg timer.

5. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you will be afraid to cough.

7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget all about the toothache.

8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: In life, you only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move but should, use the WD-40. If it should not move and does, use the duct tape.

9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

Thought for the day: Some people are like Slinky toys. They are not really good for anything but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Dapper Dan the Sheriff Man

Dan Corsentino is out.

I expect that there are huge sighs of relief from women all over Pueblo County.

Now, if Sheriff-elect Taylor can concentrate on law enforcement activities rather than dining out and feeding his pals on the taxpayer's dime, things in the SO over there will improve considerably.

But there are few organizations that can pull internal snow jobs better than a sheriff's office. Sheriff-elect Taylor probably should be looking at some serious housecleaning over there, especially among the entrenched staff of Corsentino sycophants.

Otherwise, he'll be pulling knives out of his back for years to come.

2A

Quite predictably, 2A went belly up at the polls.

I suppose it would be less than tactful to say "I tole youse so."

Well.

I tole youse so. So did a bunch of other people.

Now. Do you suppose that them what's in charge could finally, at long last, get their heads out of wherever they've been and get the show on the road regarding tourism development?

C'mon. We the Taxpayers are funding a team of professional advisors, who have already either come all the way out here to discuss it with we Hicks from the Sticks, or have offered advice...all of which has been ignored in favor of some ill-conceived, poorly informed cockamamey schemes that the voters, not being all that stupid, have rejected handily.

I am speaking, of course, of the people at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade:

http://www.state.co.us/oed/index.cfm

and the Colorado Tourism Office:

http://www.advancecolorado.com/tourism/index.cfm

who were out here during the Community Assessment Forums.

So. How about we quit messing around and get back to going where the CAP was leading us?

And in the meanwhile, rather than the Chamber just sitting around waiting for mo' munny to be thrown at them, let's see something get done in the meanwhile with what resources are already available. A little imagination, a little of that entrepreneurial resourcefulness would go a long way toward convincing the voters - and the shopping public - that someone, whoever is in charge, has enough vision to actually accomplish something.

BTW. I recently made some travel arrangements. I noticed that the hotel had a ten percent lodging tax. I asked the reservations clerk if anyone had ever questioned that tax. Or had refused to stay in the hotel because of the tax.

Nope. "No" on both counts. In fact, she thought it was a really odd couple of questions.

11/8/06

Elections

The elections went pretty much as expected.

The Republicans, having screwed the country, have lost their majority in the House, and possibly the Senate.

How did they screw the country? Well...they had the opportunity to do good works, and missed it. In so doing, they have caused power to be turned over to the Democrats. Is that necessarily a bad thing? It depends. I voted for Ritter, for example, because I think he'll do better for us than Beauprez. OTOH, we now have Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House, and some of the other more volatile moonbats, such as Charlie Rangel taking over some rather important committees. That ain't good; it's worse than having Republicans in charge. And we'll see that, soon enough.

Stand by for some tax hikes, too.

11/7/06

Megalomania or God's Work?

"Hey dude!"

I was standing out in front of the Woodruff, looking through a new shooting magazine. I looked up to see Billy standing there, straddling his bike, wearing his iPod earbuds. He had the iPod going. I could hear the Stones doing "You Got Me Rocking" from ten feet away.

"Hey. Here's dat stuff I was tellin' you about."

Billy handed me a bunch of stuff from the Air War College. I looked through it.

"Yeah. This is the stuff we talked about when we were doing the bombing in Laos and Cambodia, way back a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."

"Yeah. Yeah. But you see how it applies to the stuff we was talking about, about Ezekiel?"

"Of course. That's not the issue. The issue is the smarmy self-righteous who think they have the answers, but don't have a clue."

"Yeah. Yeah."

"OK, dude. I'll post these and we'll see what happens."

Billy pedaled off.


Look here:

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-law.htm

for a better idea of what Billy was talking about.

Further down the page, you will find:

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-law.htm#justwar
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-law.htm#warcrimes
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-law.htm#useofforce
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-law.htm#low

All of that...all of it...is founded in the Judeo-Christian ethos and tradition. This is what guides the armed forces of these United States. This is what drives moral considerations in military policy, planning, and operations. Yeah, we have military people who screw up, as we see with the allegations of murder at Haditha. But you will see that those responsible have been criminally charged, as were those responsible for the so-called 'torture' at Abu Ghraib. At Haditha, they murdered as an individual criminal action, not as a matter of national or organizational policy, and they are individually responsible for it. And they knew beforehand that they would be held responsible for it.

In contrast, we have a large number of Islamic fundamentalist organizations - not just Al Qaeda - who, as a matter of policy, deliberately target non-combatants and kill them as messily as possible. This is clearly a violation of man's law as well as God's law...at least in the Christian tradition. They will convert us to Islam or kill us. There is no middle ground. That strikes me as the quintessential war of principalities and powers, and we are in it right now.

I have my doubts that jihadic killing is in violation of God's law in the tradition of the Old Testament. Ezekiel seems to make that especially clear, all the more so if we insist on literalness.

The only question seems to be: Is a jihad truly the work of God? Or the work of megalomaniacs?

If the latter, what is the moral question in engaging them on the field and killing them all. Ezekiel seems to make it clear that this is not only justifiable, but a moral imperative. Unless we don't take Zeke literally. And if we do not do that, then how do we take him?

My question remains: At what point did God stop working through men to accomplish his works, including smitery. If he continues to work through men, as I have heard said in the case of missionary work, then at what point did God stop working through men to smite those who blaspheme him and hold him in contempt and disdain?

Can we pick and choose like that? How do we tell the difference between a megalomaniac and someone who is truly moved in God's work?

Ezekiel and the War Crimes

There I was, sitting down there at Sonic, snuffling a chili dog and contemplating the whichness of what and the thisness of that. I idly dipped one of my fries into my little heart-stopper of a shake.

I heard the squeal of bike brakes behind me. I smelled a ripe odor, like a feedlot on a hot summer day.

Dinkydau Billy was back in town.

He sidled on into the seat across from me. Fortunately it was downwind.

"Yo. Howya doon?"

"Pretty good," I said, "You?"

"Real good. Real good. I been at the national PTSD center over in SoCal."

"Umhmmmm...." I said, noncomitally.

"Yeah. Yeah. Hey. We gots a good argument going about killin' them Godless commie pinko SOB's."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. Yeah. I tole 'em that I felt good when I sent them commie scum to hell in a handbasket."

"I'll bet that went over well," I observed.

"Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it went over real good but not with one a the staff what's a self-described Christian," Billy told me.

"Oh?"

"Yeah. Yeah. He said he didn't see how any Christian could be happy over sending someone to hell."

"Huh. I guess he hasn't really thought about what murderous scum those Godless commies really are, hmmmm?" I observed.

"Yeah. Yeah. And then he made some comments about we baby-killing military hotheads, too. Or ex-military hotheads."

"Hotheads? Baby-killing? This guy is working at the national PTSD center?"

"Nah. He was at the bus station. But otherwise, you gots it. I tossed out Ezekiel."

"Ezekiel?"

"Yeah. Yeah. You remember we was talking about Ezekiel 21?"

I thought about that. I particularly like Ezekiel 21. Aside from the fact there is some excellent poetry there, it contains a very good analogy to sending Godless communists to hell. Or at least smiting them mercilessly, and without regard to the Law of Armed Conflict, Geneva Conventions, or whatever else we want to blame George Bush for violating this week:

"Tell her, "This is what the Lord says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people - the righteous and the wicked alike. Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north. Everyone in the world will know that I am the Lord. My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished."

Yowzah. That's some great stuff, ain't it? No wonder Billy gets excited when he hears it. Billy's an Old Testament kinda guy.

Many people insist that we take the bible literally. They really get their knickers in a knot if we don't. So. Do we take that literally? If so, it would seem that God is perfectly willing to kill off the righteous as well as the wicked.

In war, it is an unfortunate fact that civilians wil be killed.

What the Geneva Conventions, the Law of Armed Conflict, the Law of Land Warfare, and the Theory of Just War all have in common is the requirement that civilians, non-combatants, will not be deliberately targeted.

The United States is one of the very few nations that has made a real effort to make sure that it does not target non-combatants.

Call them 'the righteous' or 'the innocent' or 'the helpless'. Whatever.

In the military, that deliberate targeting can easily be called a 'war crime' and is punishable under the UCMJ. The Uniform Code of Military Justice. The old Articles of War. In the international courts it is called 'crimes against humanity; in internal national courts, it is multiple counts of murder; and Saddam Hussein was just sentenced to hang for it.

In Ezekiel 21, we see one of many biblical examples of how God appears to be indifferent to the killing of innocents, and in fact actively targets them.

Why is that? Do we take Ezekiel literally? What is the purpose of Ezekiel and the other prophets?

Putting this into the context of sending Godless communists and fascists to hell, consider this:

They showed, and continue to show, utter disdain for God. I believe most Christians call that a 'sin', and consider it to be a fairly significant one at that. The communists destroy churches, murder and imprison those who attend churches, murder and imprison those who believe not only in God and Christ but anything else of consequence as well. The chief of state of the Soviet Union once swore, "We will bury you...". They invaded sovereign nations and subjugated entire populations and denied them the most basic of human rights. They are Godless scum, a scourge upon the earth, the most corrupt of human beings outside of the Islamofascists, and they are today the moral equivalent of the Canaanites and other 'wicked' people.

God also works through humans to accomplish his smitery. We see this with Joshua, David...any number of people. If God can use Joshua - a sad sack of a whining wimp in my book - to smite the Caananites for - among other things - showing disdain for God...then why can't God have been using the likes of Curt LeMay or Hyman Rickover to provide the ways and means for smiting communists, who demonstrably show considerable disdain for God? Consider that it is the armed forces of the United States who for over fifty years kept the communists at bay. The only reason that the churches in our fair city exist, and that people can worship freely in them, is because of the armed forces of this country. In protecting, defending, and sustaining the nation, the military were guided by God's law in the form of the legal conventions - the covenants - cited above. These did not allow the sort of smiting that we see in Ezekiel. Yet how many self-styled Christians do we see, exercising that First Amendment right to worship as they please, knowing that they are washed in the Blood of the Lamb but completely indifferent to the fact that they are also washed in the Blood of Private Ryan and a few hundred thousand like him?

And at what point does all this smiting become not God's work, but a war crime? Who is there to tell us the difference? On the one hand, the bible seems to indicate that war crimes, crimes against humanity, are acceptable so long as "God does it". But God often works through humans. There are many examples of this in the bible.

When did God stop being involved in smiting 'wicked people'?

Do we not consider the communists 'wicked people' in a biblical sense? If not, why not? Has God quit using people to do his work? If so, who decides when that occurred? Perhaps we are to use the Tridentine Council as the cutoff point? Or some other council of codification and canonization?

How does God tell us to go about doing his work? In other words, how does God communicate with us. If a guy goes around telling people that he hears God telling him to smite the Godless spawn of Satan - in other words, communists and Islamofascists and some Democrats...just some...we have two choices. We can commit him to the State Hospital, or we can make him Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Air Command and shovel all kinds of money his way.

I have yet to see God anywhere in the bible show much remorse for smiting those who have offended him, and if we take Ezekiel literally, God isn't all that averse to smiting the righteous as well as 'the wicked'. In other words, God is not all that averse to collateral damage and the deliberate destruction of non-combatants, the innocent, as a matter of policy, and he seems to revel in it.

I'd like to see how far that would go at The Hague.

"Hey. Hey! You payin' attention to me?" It was Billy, upset that I had drifted away for the moment.

"Yeah. I was thinking about Ezekiel and smiting commies and Islamofascists."

"Huh. Hey. Hey. I gotta run. Hey. I'll send you dose law links I gots from the Air War College."

"OK, dude. Hey. Don't forget to go over to the courthouse and vote."

"Yeah. Yeah."