Daily Wisdom

February 28, 2006


Testimonium is the name of my new blog over at http://testimonium.blogsource.com/ The name comes from the Latin word for "Testimony". Thanks to those of you have already been there to check it out. I will be using that blog as a place to write longer, more in-depth pieces that will concentrate on more of a religious theme.

It's another free blog, so it comes with all of it's own problems... For example, you can't do HTML tags in the comments section. In fact, there's no ability to even create separate paragraphs in the comments section. (Sigh!) Oh well, you get what you pay for... and it's FREE. As much as I despise Google and their left-wing, anti-Christian politics... I still have found nothing better for free. Maybe someday I'll spring for a hosting service, but not today. I'm not independently wealthy yet.

Thanks for "Viewing".

Dems Delight in Daily Dose of Disaster

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With mid-term elections just months away, the Democrats are nearly giddy with delight at the prospect that bad news abounds. Continuing to pursue their negativistic stategy, they can barely contain themselves as they report on, or comment about, the daily doses of disaster. While trying to maintain straight faces, they secretly relish in the problems which confront the U.S., the War on Terror, the situation in Iraq, and our standing in the world. You can almost hear them thinking...

Hurricane Katrina... Yipee! Many dead, thousands dislocated, response less than perfect! Millions in property damage sure to raise the deficit... Just dandy!

Classified NSA Anti-Terrorism Program Revealed... Yaaay! Terrorists alerted to our methods will now find new ways to communicate. Safety and security threatened! Whoo-Hoo!

Shrine Blown-up in Iraq... Cool! Iraq on brink of civil war, car-bombs exploding, people dying, Mid-East democracy threatened... Great!

VP Cheney accidentally shoots friend... Terrific! Didn't report it to jounalists immediately... Better yet!

U.S. alliance with U.A.E. at risk over delayed port deal... Fantastic! Americans now look like Arab-hating racsists. Awesome! Could it get any better than this?

Economy slowed in 4Q of 2005... Really? Wow! I love it... (Oh, but it's "rebounding smartly" in the 1Q of 2006? Well, we'll downplay that and move it deeper into the article. Maybe no one will read the article anyway and just grab the headline.)

Oil Prices Up... Wahooo! That will tick-off Americans!

Nothing getting done in Washington because of obstructionist Dems and worried GOPs... All Right! Good use of tax money!

And just think... we can blame it all on Bush!! Homerun! That one's outta here baby!

February 25, 2006

London Observations

LONDON, U.K. -- Here are a few brief observations I made during our recent trip...

The Tube
The subway system in London, known as the 'Underground' or 'Tube', is a fantastic way to get around. It seems like there is a station in almost every neighborhood, and there is definitely one near all the major attractions. They are well-lit, well-marked, safe, and generally pretty clean.

A single cash fare per trip costs £3.00 (or about $5.25), so if you plan to be on and off the tube all day or several days in a row, it pays to buy a travelcard. A daily travelcard for Zones 1 & 2 (the bulk of the city) costs £6.20 and a 3-day travelcard costs £15.40 for the same Zones. If you plan on staying in London for any length of time, you might want to consider an Oyster Card. It's sort of like E-Z Pass here in the NY and NJ metro areas. It's a pay-as-you-go type card that requires an initial deposit which must be replenished as funds are depleted.

Be prepared for some stair-climbing (not too much), steep escalators (may cause vertigo), and occasional windy hallways. Since the tube diameters are not much larger than the trains themselves, the moving trains act like pistons to push the air in front of them and suck the air behind them.

When entering a station, there are typically 2 options... you can swipe your Oyster card over the scanner, or you must insert your ticket or travelcard into a small slot. The ticket pops up a moment later from a different slot, you grab the ticket, the gates open, and you go through. (It's good to be quick about it).

When leaving a station, you have the same 2 options. However, if you purchased a single trip ticket, you won't get your ticket back after you put it into the slot. One-day and three-day travel cards will be returned.

When a tube station is located on a slight bend in the tracks, you will notice that at some point (either towards the end or the middle of each car) there is a gap between the platform and the train. Whenever a train pulls into such stations, the recurring announcement of "Mind The Gap!" will be heard. You can now buy souveneirs with this memorable slogan emblazoned on it.

The Tube is a good place to notice things like current fashion trends. On our first trip to London in the mid-90s, the trend was black pants, black socks and black shoes. All the locals, both men and women, seemed to follow the trend. You could easily spot the tourists (like us) in their blujeans and/or light-colored sneakers.

When we went back to London in 2002, the 'black' trend was still pretty much in vogue, so we felt like less of a stand-out in our black attire.

On this trip in 2006, things were quite different. Bluejeans were common. Typically they were bell-bottoms (not too wide), worn very long (in some cases ragged at the heel). A few khakis were spotted, also long bell-bottoms, occasionally with a cuff to keep them off the ground. The most common type of bluejean had a thin vertical fade at regular intervals (1/2" to 1") which somewhat gave them the appearance of pin-striping. This was combined with the more typical heavy fade on the front of the jeans from knees up to the pockets.

Although plenty of black shoes still abound, lighter multi-colored sneakers were quite common on men. Sometimes even radically-colored sneakers were evident. Amongst younger women however (and some who were merely young at heart), the trend seemed to be pointy shoes and mostly... boots. I mean long, very-tight points... 2" out in front of the toe and no more than 1/4" in diameter at the point. I even saw a few women in cowboy boots.

The London Public Houses or 'Pubs' are always a great place to relax, enjoy a meal and of course a 'pint' or two. The traditional pub has a rustic feel about it, with its dark wood paneling, creeky floor boards, and a ceilings with exposed timbers or perhaps stamped tin. Upon entering, one immediately senses that hospitality has been served in this warm, cozy environment for a hundred years. Like neighborhood taverns here in the U.S., a pub gives one a good feel for the locals. The menu will consist of basic "meat and potato" type meals like... Shepherd's Pie, Lamb shank, stews, even burgers, and the like.

Unfortunately, not every pub is a "traditional" pub. On this trip, we experienced at least two pubs that had recently been renovated into modern up-scale restaurants that completely eliminated the warm rustic feel, and the basic menu of the traditional pub. Instead, we found brightly colored sheetrock walls that were all straight, square and dismally uninteresting. A trendy menu and cloth-covered tables with miniature roses at one pub completely eliminated any pretense that this was a "traditional" pub. On that particular occasion, a bottle of wine seemed more appropriate than a "pint".

Don't get me wrong. We had fun everywhere we went... even at the "faux" pubs. But in hindsight, it is somewhat disappointing to see that which is old, familiar, warm and charming being replaced by that which is modern, different, cold and uninteresting.

In London pubs, the basic question is always the same... "Lager or Bitter?" Lagers of course, are more like your standard pilsners, and Bitters are your ales. Due to the abbreviated week, I didn't get to try out as many ales as I would have liked. I was hoping to report back to Beerme with a slew of great finds. Anyway, here were my limited taste treats...

At the 'Hereford Arms' pub in Kensington, I enjoyed a local Bitter called 'London Pride'. A reddish ale, it maintained a good head and was smooth and satisfying. You can learn more about it Here.

At the 'Red Lion' pub near the Parliament, 'London Pride' was also featured, so I went for a Guinness (on tap of course). Deep and dark with a head that just won't quit... well, it was SO good and went down SO fast, I just had to have a second... (:D)

At the 'Anchor Tap' pub near the Tower Bridge, 'Old Brewery Bitter' was the local favorite. A more golden ale with a good head, I found it to be more filling, and it took me longer to drink. Some comments from others who have tried it can be found Here. Unfortunately, the 'Old Brewery' down the street where the ale once originated, is no longer there. Apparently it is now being brewed by Samuel Smith Brewery in Tadcaster, Yorkshire.

At the 'Marquess of Anglesey' pub near the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the featured Bitter was 'Young's Bitter'. From a local brewery, Young's Bitter is far better described Here than I could ever do. However, I would add that it didn't maintain much of a head... but it went down very smooth and quick.

Thus ends my observations for today. Cheers!

February 19, 2006

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jog

DOWNTOWN, NJ -- Hey everybody. Back from London Town and a terrific trip with my wonderful wife, Jean. There's too much to tell all in one post, so I'll summarize here best I can, and follow-up with more details later. As you already know, the Northeast Snowstorm resulted in our being grounded on Saturday night. The same flight on Sunday night was totally booked, which meant we didn't get off until Monday night. Oh well...
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his
-- Proverbs 16:9, New International Version

Tuesday, Feb 14th
Landed at Heathrow on Tuesday morning about 9 AM. Went to our 4-star hotel in the Kensington area. Spoke with our travel club rep about vouchers and arrangements. Went to the bank and exchanged some dollars for pounds... we used our ATM card at an ATM machine and it was a snap. Then we spent the afternoon at the Science Museum only a few blocks away in the Knightsbridge area... if you love gadgets & gizmos & mechanisms & vehicles, then this is the place for you. Then we used our first voucher for a free meal at the Hereford Arms Pub. Went back to the room, watched some BBC News and then crashed having been up for almost 30 hours straight. (I don't sleep well on airplanes, so I watched a 3-hour movie during the 5.5 hour flight. The rest of the flight was occupied with take-off, eating, a bit of dozing, more eating, and preparation for landing.)

Wednesday, Feb 15th
First, a full English breakfast at the hotel. Then, took the "Tube" or "Underground" to Leicester Square where we used vouchers to get some tickets for a show on Thursday evening. We also got tickets for a show that evening at the discount booth. Back on the Tube to Westminster and on to the House of Commons. Unfortunately, we got there too late for Tony Blair's question and answer period. In fact, we had to wait almost an hour 'til Blair left before we could go in... Drats! But while waiting, we had a good chat with an elderly couple on holiday from the country. Finally got in and listened to a debate about Amendment 5 to the Terrorism Bill concerning "glorification" of terrorism, which was rejected by the House of Lords as "too vague". To read a transcript of what we heard "live", you can go Here and keep clicking on "Next Section" at the lower left of the page until you get to "Column 1457" or thereabouts.

Then we went to the Cabinet War Rooms where Churchill spent much of his time conducting World War II. After the war, the lights were switched off, and the area remained virtually unchanged until today. The tour highlights those areas which are exactly as they were left in 1945. (Very cool)

Then on to a dinner of fish and chips at The Red Lion Pub near Parliment Square before heading off to see our first show, "Once In A Lifetime" at the Olivier-Royal National Theatre. It was an exceptional comedy about (of all things) American vaudevillians off to Hollywood in the 1920's. Good fun! Got there early and enjoyed a Courvoisier overlooking the Thames from a balcony before showtime.

Thursday, Feb 16th
Again, breakfast at the hotel (it was included in the price of our trip). Then off to the Tower Bridge. There's an exhibit right in the bridge itself. You can go up to the top and walk across the two spans, which are now enclosed in glass. A lot of history about the bridge itself as well as World War II. Great vistas. Took some pictures which I hope will come out OK. A fast-moving shower moved through the area and St. Paul's Cathedral was momentarily lit up by the sun with these black clouds behind it. What an awesome sight... followed shortly by a shower and hail storm. Then down to the engine room to see the steam engines that were originally used to raise and lower the bridge.

After a stop for liquid refreshment at the Anchor Tap Pub, it was a leisurely walk along the south side of the Thames past the HMS Belfast (which we inspected up close in 2002), and then on to the Tube at London Bridge. From there we went to Harrod's to look for a simple pair of men's gloves... can anyone say "price gouging"! Yikes! A selection of maybe 12 different pairs of gloves (most which were too small anyway) ranging in price from £79 and upwards. At $1.75 U.S. per £-Pound Sterling, that's like $138.25 for the cheapest thing on the rack! We left Harrod's about 30 seconds later and went back to the Tube for our hotel in Kensington. On the way, we stopped and bought a bottle of wine.

For dinner, we went back to Leicester Square and started exploring. We veered off the main streets a bit and somehow ended up in the Chinatown area. So naturally, we did Chinese for dinner... my Chopstick skills are excellent.

Then off to the Cambridge Theatre for "Dancing In The Streets", a musical review of Motown hits from the 60s and 70s. My sense of direction wasn't too good and we were soon way off course. Had to run about 8-10 blocks to make the show with about 3 minutes to spare. Whew! I'm gettin' too old for that sprinting stuff. There's nothing like the originals, but the Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye impersonators in this show were pretty darned good.

Friday, Feb 17th
After breakfast, it was on to the Tube once more, this time headed for Embankment and the Royal Courts of Justice. On our last trip we visited the Old Bailey (the criminal court), and this time we wanted to see the civil court. The public is free to observe, so we watched a couple of appeals cases. Love the powdered wigs... even on the court stenographer!

The Theatre Museum was next, as it was very close to the Royal Courts of Justice. Our daughter has been involved in the theater for most of her life (until recently) and we thought it would be interesting.

After another quick stop for liquid refreshments at The Marquess of Anglesey Pub, it was off to the Handel House Museum, the home of George Friedrich Handel at 25 Brook Street where in 1741 he wrote "The Messiah" in just 3 weeks. A classical quartet was playing violin, recorder, cello and harpsichord in the first floor front room of the house, which according to tradition is where many of Handel's new works were first rehearsed. The museum also acquired the house next door (23 Brook Street) where Jimi Hendrix lived round about 1967. Quite a mixture of old and new music. In fact, the house where Hendrix lived was more original in many respects than the house of Handel, and was used as a guide for refurbishing Handel's house (both were built at the same time by a "spec-developer".

We ended with dinner at The Prince Regent Pub on Gloucester Road. We shared an interesting bottle of wine from Spain - a Rosé - of which, unfortunately, I do not remember any further information. It was a delightful last evening in London. The next day we were on our way home.

February 13, 2006

Prepare For Take-Off

OK... second try on the London thingie. Let's see if we can get it right this time. Wishing everyone a good week while we're away. God willing, I'll have a posting up next Sunday or Monday with the highlights of our trip. Peace be upon you my brothers and sisters...

February 12, 2006

The Issue Now Is Solidarity

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an excellent column Here at Townhall.com, Charles Krauthammer chides those newspapers that have chosen not to publish the Mohammed cartoons. While the newspapers conveniently suggest that to publish the cartoons would be in bad taste and lacking in "sensitivity", Krauthammer handily dismisses that argument.
There is a "sensitivity" argument for not having published the cartoons in the first place, back in September when they first appeared in that Danish newspaper. But it is not September. It is February. The cartoons have been published, and the newspaper, the publishers and Denmark itself have come under savage attack. After multiple arsons, devastating boycotts and threats to cut off hands and heads, the issue is no longer news value, i.e., whether a newspaper needs to publish them to inform the audience about what is going on. The issue now is solidarity. (emphasis added)

The mob is trying to dictate to Western newspapers, indeed Western governments, what is a legitimate subject for discussion and caricature. The cartoons do not begin to approach the artistic level of Salman Rushdie's prose, but that's not the point. The point is who decides what can be said and what can be drawn within the precincts of what we quaintly think of as the free world.

I agree with Charles Krauthammer. The radical, Islamo-fascist Muslims are trying to dictate to the Free World -- the democratic, non-Muslim nations -- what it can and can't do. This is simply and utterly intolerable. Those organizations that published the Mohammed cartoons following the beginning of the riots did so for only one reason... to show solidarity with the Danes... to show the Islamo-fascists that we will not be bullied into silence under threat of God knows what violence.

Therefore, I now join in solidarity with the Danes and others who have chosen to reprint the cartoons...

February 11, 2006

The Hawk Has Been Grounded

DOWNTOWN, NJ -- With the weather forecast in Downtown, NJ predicting 8"-12" of snow before it all ends, the tower has denied clearance for the Hawk to take off. Although the ground is barely wet here at 3:30 PM, bird watchers are predicting that by flight time there will be so much snow on my wings that I won't get enough lift to become airborne. With any luck I'll be cleared for take off by Monday.

And so the adventure begins! Sorta.

February 10, 2006

Going To London

Hawkeye, Hawkeye, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Hawkeye, Hawkeye, what did you there?
I frightened a little lib under her chair.

Well, I was so excited by my invitation from the BBC, that I decided I'll just jump on a plane and go to London for a visit!! ...Nah!! ...Just kidding. In reality, I've had the trip planned for months. But, I must admit, I thought it was quite a coincidence that I got that invite from the BBC just two days before I was scheduled to board a plane for London. Oh well, life is full of such interesting little tidbits, eh?

Anyway, I'll be gone for a week. Off to see great shows, museums, places of interest, the Underground, terrific pubs, some fun and adventure. Last time we were in London (2002) we bumped into David Gregory at the Churchill Hotel. David is MSNBC's White House correspondent who was covering Dick Cheney's trip to meet with Tony Blair.

Don't know what might happen this time, but who knows? I will report back in a week or so on the findings of my "junket". Your prayers for a safe trip would be truly appreciated. Pray that my wings don't give out as I flap over the Atlantic... heh, heh. And thanks for "Viewing".

February 09, 2006

Hawkeye Invited To BBC Radio Debate

I was very surprised and somewhat flattered to receive an E-mail today from the BBC which read as follows...


The BBC World Service has a daily interactive radio programme called World Have Your Say, and today we are discussing Syrian reaction to Condoleeza Rice's accusation that Syria and Iran are responsible for stirring up anti-West violence. Having seen your blog, we would like to invite you to take part in our radio debate, which will also involve a Syrian ambassador.

The programme broadcasts today at 1800 GMT (1300 New York time), but I would like to talk this through with you as soon as possible. Is there a number I can call you on?


Priya Shah
Radio Producer
World Have Your Say
BBC World Service

Unfortunately, by the time I had read the E-mail it was well past show time. My first reaction... "Aw, bloody 'ell". (Just kidding.) Actually, I can write somewhat better than I can speak (so, you can imagine just how bad I must be in person). Anyway, I don't think I'm quite up to a radio debate yet.

I looked up today's programme at the BBC website and found the following Here...

WORLD have your say
Thursday, 9 February 2006, 20:04 GMT

Listen live on the BBC World
Service and online at 1800
GMT Monday to Friday

Your comments on the Thursday programme - Fiona - 2000 GMT

Dr Hosan Hafez from the Syrian Embassey and Farid Pouya an Iranian Blogger for Global Voices took your calls.

We heard your opinion of Syria and Iran following Condoleeza Rice's suggestion that the cartoon protests are being stoked by some governments for their own ends.

You sent us your comments:

America must stop the blame game which she is waging against states which do follow her way of thinking. --Mokon

If we truly understand the meaning of Islam, we need to stop our protest and focus on preaching peace and harmony. --Mohammed, Monrovia, Liberia

Enough already with the cartoon caper. What's left to say other than stop reporting it, as the story has run it's course. What's the catch phrase used so fondly by the politically correct gang? Move on- so yes indeed, let's go. --Maura Collins, Limerick Ireland

So fellow "Viewers", I just wanted you to know that as far as my 15 minutes of fame... Well, (in my best "Get Smart" impersonation) "I missed it by that much". Thanks for "Viewing".

UPDATE: It appears that the link I included in the article above changes every day to reflect the current day's programming, and I don't think they archive old pages. I did find a cached page from January 31, 2006 which gives you a feel for the page layout and is actually discussing the same topic. Sorry... best I could do.

February 08, 2006

Iran & Syria Behind Cartoon Riots

There is growing evidence supporting the suspicions of some that the recent riots over the Mohammed cartoons were planned and incited by Iran and Syria. Danish imams have clearly used at least three cartoons that were never published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. At least one of these three cartoons have been proven to be a complete forgery. The distinctive style of the forged cartoon (textured black & white rendition of a former color photo) strongly implies that a second cartoon is likewise forged since it exhibits the same distinctive style. The third cartoon is so childish and unsophisticated that it could have been drawn by any seven-year old jihadist.

It has become apparent that the most violent of the riots have taken place in Syria and Lebanon, which in itself seems suspicious to Bassem Mroue at CNEWS...
The fact that the biggest riots occurred in the Syrian capital and in Beirut also raised questions: Syria has an extensive security network to make sure that little happens inside its borders without the approval of the national leadership.

Mosque preachers in Syria have been rallying the faithful over the caricatures for days. Mahmoud Hussam, a Syrian lawyer who closely follows Islamic affairs, said he does not support violence but "it is a justified violence when our religion is under attack."

In the Lebanese attacks on the Danish consulate in Beirut, The Irish Times reported Here that the largest group of protesters appeared to be Syrian...
Security forces arrested 174 protesters - 76 Syrians, 38 Lebanese, 35 Palestinians and 25 stateless Bedouins.

It should be noted that there was a recent meeting of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. According to a story by AFP, the two met in Damascus with the leaders of 10 radical Palestinian movements including Islamic Jihad and Hamas. It is quite possible that this current wave of riots was among the topics of discussion.

Motives? Ahmadinejad wants to divert the world's attention from his nuclear ambitions. Assad wants to divert the world's attention from his involvement in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

But it doesn't appear that diversions will succeed. According to Gulf In the Media, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has voted to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council...
Iran: the crisis worsens
Dawn - 09 February, 2006
Author: Najmuddin A. Shaikh

By a vote of 27 to three with five abstentions the International Atomic Energy Agency board has approved a resolution to report Iran’s nuclear programme to the UN Security Council.

February 04, 2006

The Good, The Bad & The Beautiful

Judaism... The Good
There is no doubt that Judaism is a good religion. Israel was founded as a theocracy, that is... a state which is governed by immediate divine guidance or by leaders who are regarded as being divinely guided. When Moses brought the Hebrews out of Egypt to "the promised land" of Israel, God sought to speak to the them directly, but it was too much for them to handle.

17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.
-- Exodus 19:17-19

18 Now when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.”
-- Exodus 20:18-19

As a result, Moses became the intermediary between God and Man. Through Moses, God gave the Hebrews the Ten Commandments, which formed the basis of 'the Law'. Moses established a Hebrew nation which was founded on 'the Rule of Law'. The Law was generally fair... "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth". There were laws for health and sickness. There were laws for worship. There were laws for crime and punishment, some of which may seem harsh by today's standards. As originally established, Israel was a nation whose religion and laws were as one. There was no such thing as a 'secular state' those thousands of years ago.

Today, Israel is a much different place. It can be considered a secular state inasmuch as the laws regarding crime and punishment are completely separated from the laws of worship, which are considered the sole province of religion. There is a clear separation of religion and state. But Israel today is still governed by 'the Rule of Law'. It is no longer a theocracy, but rather a democracy. In fact, it is the only established and flourishing democracy in the Middle East.

Israel has been blessed by God in abundance. In truth, the Jews have made the desert bloom...

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.
-- Isaiah 35:1-2

Christianity... The Beautiful
And from the root of noble Judaism, another flower blossomed... Christianity. Jesus of Nazareth takes Judaism to a new, higher plateau. His followers are admonished to no longer merely obey the 'letter of the law', but the 'spirit of the law' as well.

Moses told us, "Thou shalt not kill". Jesus tells us, "But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire." -- Matthew 5:22

Moses told us, "Thou shall not commit adultery." Jesus tells us, "But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." -- Matthew 5:28

Moses told us, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Jesus tells us, "But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." -- Matthew 5:39

Moses told us, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." Jesus tells us, "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." -- Matthew 5:44

Jesus teaches us that it is not the outward appearance of holiness that is important, but the deepest inner intents of the heart. It is not the physical which is important, but the spiritual.

Obviously, it is not easy to be a Christian. Those who seek to follow Jesus must become his 'disciples'. The word disciple comes from the same root as 'discipline'. In other words, those who seek to follow Jesus must become disciplined... not an easy task by any means. And it is clear that many so-called Christians have fallen short of the mark. Indeed crimes of the worst sort have been committed by so-called Christians, or in the name of Christianity.

But the same could be said for most any religion. Therefore, let us look not at man's failings. Rather, let us look at the ideal of Christianity as proposed by Jesus himself, in its raw and unblemished state. As such, what Jesus proposes is of incomprehensible beauty.

Jesus proposes a world in which people do not allow even wicked thoughts to take root. Rather, the Christian is told to recognize evil thoughts at their outset and try to banish them before they lead to something worse. The Apostle Paul says...

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
-- Phillipians 4:8

Jesus proposes a world in which people transcend their baser animal instincts. When attacked, our animal instincts tell us to fight back. Instead, Christians are to turn the other cheek and to pray for their enemies.

God has blessed Christians in general and Christian nations like America. In an ideal world, all people would be "true" Christians and fighting would come to an end.

Of course, this is not an ideal world. Not all people are Christians, and not all who call themselves Christians are "disciplined". But things could be worse...

Islam... The Bad
From Judaism and Christianity sprang forth another religion... Islam. But rather than a flower, Islam is a weed in God's earthly garden. Islam has shown again and again that not much good comes from it. Most who encounter it suffer in one way or another.

Islam is a religion of violence. Although some call Islam a religion of peace, it is no such thing. Islam was conceived by a warrior whose visions were often to come during the midst of battle. The grand strategy of Islam is world dominance. Those who follow Islam envision the ultimate subjugation of the entire world in an Islamic Caliphate to the exclusion of all other religions. If necessary, Muslims believe this vision must be realized through acts of violence or war. If they cannot convince non-Muslims to convert peaceably, they have no qualms about forcing their beliefs on others through use of the sword.

And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter,... but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
-- Koran, 'The Cow' 2.191

So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
-- Koran, 'The Accessions' 8.17

So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
-- Koran, 'The Immunity' 9.5

And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause...
-- Koran, 'The Children of Israel' 17.33

And apostles before you were certainly mocked at, but I gave respite to those who disbelieved, then I destroyed them...
-- Koran, 'The Thunder' 13.32

And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.
-- Koran, 'The Children of Israel' 17.16

And there is not a town but We will destroy it before the day of resurrection or chastise it with a severe chastisement; this is written in the Divine ordinance.
-- Koran, 'The Children of Israel' 17.58

It should be noted that in the Koran, there are more than 70 passages where the word 'destroy' or 'destroyed' are used in the context of "We destroy" or "We have destroyed". Islam glories in destruction. Islam is a religion of "destroyers".

Islam is intolerant. Sharia law teaches that there are only three choices for Muslims when dealing with non-Muslims. 1) The non-Muslims can be converted to Islam, 2) the non-Muslims can be killed, or 3) the non-Muslims may be allowed to live in subjugation to Islam if they pay tribute or taxes to Islam. That's it. Those are the alternatives. In Islam, there is no such thing as 'freedom of religion' or 'diversity'. In fundamentalist Islam, there is no separation of church and state. Mullahs or Talibanic imams rule with ultimate authority.

Fundamentalist Islam represses women. Muslim women are forced to wear burkhas or, in more moderate Muslim societies, head scarves at a minimum. The education of women is frowned upon, or in exteme cases, forbidden. Women are generally not allowed to attain positions of responsibility (i.e., in government). Women may be beaten at the discretion of their husbands or fathers. Women are punished or put to death even in cases of self-defense.

What Next...?
So what must be done in the face of attempted world domination by Muslims? What do we do when confronted by a violent, intolerant, repressive religion that seeks to eliminate all opposition, by force of arms if necessary? Well, that's another story for... next time.

February 02, 2006

AT&T Sued For Lack of Terrorism

SAN JOSE, CA -- AT&T, Inc. was sued on Tuesday for its alleged role in helping to eliminate terrorist attacks on the United States. The deadly frivolous lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, et al, by a little known group called Leaders In Bovine Stools (sometimes referred to as Leaders In BS). The group, which represents manufacturers of small 3-legged chairs used for milking cows, claims in the suit that AT&T assisted in the NSA terrorist surveillance program which spied on hundreds of cows since the attacks of 9/11. They claim that the methods of surveillance employed by the NSA have not only reduced the number of terrorist attacks on the U.S., but may lead to an outbreak of Mad Cow Disease.

An unnamed spokesman for L.I.B.S. said, "The NSA surveillance program is denying Americans their right to be attacked by terrorists. Although we don't know the full details of the program yet, we are quite confident that a lawsuit like this will expose plenty of classified information during the discovery period."

"People in America want the 'right to choose' whether or not to be attacked", he went on. "Not only that, but people are getting scared about this Mad Cow thing." Rumors around the beltway suggest that Hillary Clinton may already be feeling the effects of this malady.

Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC has filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of the plaintiffs.