Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |

 

This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?




The Deconstruction of a Bad Joke

The Premise:
Is Kerry the victim of a poorly delivered joke, or a Freudian slip?


The Joke:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."


The Givens:
1. President George W. Bush is an intellectual light-weight
2. Senator John F. Kerry is George W. Bush's intellectual superior



As to the Premise:
1. Despite Kerry's military service, and his statements to the contrary, it is generally understood that Kerry has little like or respect for the military and it's men and women in uniform.
a) Winter Soldier: Kerry's official statement that American troops, including himself, engaged in acts of torture reminiscent of Ghengis Khan.
b) Kerry's voting record which reveals a pattern of undermining the military in regard to weapons projects.
c) Kerry's vote FOR the war in Iraq, before his vote against it.

It is therefore safe to conclude that John Kerry has little love for the military.


2. It is undeniable that Kerry has little love for George W. Bush. Innumberable statements made by Kerry bear this truth out.

It is therefore safe to assume that Kerry could very well have attempted a joke in poor taste at the expense of the President of the United States of America. He's done it before.


As to the Givens:
Within the text of the Joke is no mention of George W. Bush; not a hint. Not even a smidge of nuance. If this was a poorly delivered joke, it had all the hallmarks of a comedic moron. Couple that with the fact that this is a US Senator; A member of the brightest and best... A member of the political elite. According to statements made by Kerry and others, George W. Bush's intellect is no match for Kerry's. And while Bush makes jokes about his own stumbled speech, it would seem Kerry's GPA at Yale was less than that of GW's.

"In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year...

"Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D's in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years...

"The transcript shows that Kerry's freshman-year average was 71. He scored a 61 in geology, a 63 and 68 in two history classes, and a 69 in political science. His top score was a 79, in another political science course. Another of his strongest efforts, a 77, came in French class.

"Under Yale's grading system in effect at the time, grades between 90 and 100 equaled an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 60 to 69 a D, and anything below that was a failing grade. In addition to Kerry's four D's in his freshman year, he received one D in his sophomore year. He did not fail any courses.

" "I always told my Dad that D stood for distinction," Kerry said yesterday in a written response to questions, noting that he has previously acknowledged that he spent a lot of time learning to fly instead of focusing on his studies."


'D stands for Distinction'... THAT wasn't a poorly delivered joke.

So Bush did better at Yale than Kerry-- granted, by one point --But that's hardly the mark of an mental deficient. It follows then that the premise that this was a joke directed at Bush doesn't wash in light of the fact that Bush is actually smarter-- judging strictly by GPA's --than Kerry.

The first attempt at covering Kerry's gaffe: "Everyone knew I was talking about Bush" But the people on the stage with him looked uncomfortable with his remark. Next came the current excuse: It was a joke that came out slightly mangled.

What's worse is Kerry's steadfast refusal to apologize, and his attempts at shifting blame to the 'failed Bush policy' in Iraq. If it was nothing more than a mangled joke, why bother shifting the blame? And why refuse to offer an apology to those he 'may have offended' by his poorly delivered joke? Because he's not sorry.

"Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how. I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy. If anyone owes our troops in the fields an apology, it is the president and his failed team and a Republican majority in the Congress that has been willing to stamp -- rubberstamp policies that have done injury to our troops and to their families.

"My statement yesterday -- and the White House knows this full well -- was a botched joke about the president and the president's people, not about the troops. The White House's attempt to distort my true statement is a remarkable testament to their abject failure in making America safe..."

'[F]ailure in making America safe'??? America not being struck by another terrorist attack since 9.11 means we haven't been kept safe?


Mangled Joke or Freudian Slip?:
"I apologize to no one..."

Which is why there's no reason to believe this was anything more than a Freudian slip of the tongue. This is what he really feels about American troops. Only the poor stupid uneducated... un-nuanced... enter the military.

From the Heritage Foundation (h/t MichelleMalkin.com):

"According to a comprehensive study of all enlistees for the years 1998-99 and 2003 that The Heritage Foundation just released, the typical recruit in the all-volunteer force is wealthier, more educated and more rural than the average 18- to 24-year-old citizen is. Indeed, for every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods.

"If, for example, we consider the education of every recruit, 98% joined with high-school diplomas or better. By comparison, 75% of the general population meets that standard. Among all three-digit ZIP code areas in the USA in 2003 (one can study larger areas by isolating just the first three digits of ZIP codes), not one had a higher graduation rate among civilians than among its recruits."


A couple of clueless pundits on the CBS Evening News this evening seemed to think Kerry's Gaffe would be forgotten by tomorrow. And yet many people are calling for an apology, while Kerry steadfastly refuses. Michael Savage this evening said this is what steals the House from Democrats. I'm not so sure about that, but then it all depends on how long this stays in the news, and how obstinate Kerry remains throughout it all.

This could very well have been a reverse-October Surprise. But then somewhere out in Moonbatland there will be the usual conspiracy theories, like this one....

This was another Rovian plot!!!! Karl Rove somehow managed to spike Kerry's evian causing him to loose his otherwise firm verbal grasp of nuance!!! This is all the chimp's fault!!!


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 11:09 PM, , links to this post





"It's the most wonderful tiiiiime... of the year..."

Tonight is Halloween, and BenT has been working hard on his "Haunt" as they say in his circle. He has spent almost a thousand dollars this year for corpses, fog machines, iron finials, tombstones, and various other supplies, all to turn his house into his neighborhood's premiere Halloween-night event. The Haunted Cemetery. Last year BenT staged a Haunted Forest. He actually planted dead trees in his front yard! THAT, people, is dedication, and the sign of a true believer.

This year a number of people at the station helped him on various projects. I was offered a project too, but-- I am ashamed to say --despite my word given, I was unable to even begin on it for all the other obligations I have. One month was just not enough time. So I'll work on it over the next twelve months and he'll have it for next year. And it'll be much better, design-wise, for the extended deadline.

I'm going out to his place before work to take pictures in the daylight-- I haven't seen it yet. Then I'll go out again after the Six to take some night-time photos. I'll post a few here as well.

Last Saturday, BenT arrived at the station on his night off dressed in his costume, which consisted of a professional-grade mask-- prosthetic pieces glued to his face; and it was genuinely creepy. It's one thing to see that kind of stuff on the TV screen but it's quite another to see it staring you right in the face.

It has been noted at the station that BenT likes Halloween far more than he does Christmas. To each their own. But I do remember last year's haunt, and for all I sometimes think his obsession just a wee bit strange, he takes it all seriously and it shows in the quality of his Halloween "Haunt-extravaganza".

I will be disappointed if this year's haunt does not surpass last year's.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:44 AM, , links to this post





Polling via the Internet, and Sound Investments

Sunday evening I checked my email and found an invitation to take part in a national poll-- I was a bit surprised because I was under the impression that polls were taken via telephone. Forty-five minutes later. This is what I came away with...

I was questioned not only about my feelings AND beliefs on issues, but also what I knew of my congressmen's feelings on issues; specifically, how my Senators and Representative voted on certain key issues like Stem Cell Research, Abortion, Gay Marriage, Immigration and Amnesty, the War in Iraq, and the broader War on Terror.

The poll went so far as to ask that I identify who my Senators and Representative are. Which put into my mind the thought that many people probably have no idea who represents them in our government.

On some issues I knew exactly how my guys voted, but in others I wasn't sure enough to check anything but "Unsure" which in turn pointed out to me that I don't know everything I should know about how my Senators and Representative reresent me. Rep. Terry Everett I know to be a good man. A supporter of Israel (an important factor for me), and a defender of life. I also know that since his district includes Fort Rucker he's a big supporter of the military and the mission in Iraq. He fought hard for us during the recent BRAC hearings, and our community fared quite well-- we gained a lot more than we lost.

Rep Everett is also my boss-lady's uncle-- morning job [floral delivery]. She used to work at the television station with me, and I somehow ended up with a second job driving for her. Anyway, Rep Everett is a frequent visitor at the station, and I've had the opportunity to speak with him a few times. I like the guy.

Senators Shelby and Sessions however, are less frequent visitors. I've never had the opportunity to meet Sen Shelby. But I know enough about these two men to know they represent me and Alabama quite well. I don't see them losing elections anytime in the near future.

But back to the poll. Another thing that struck me about the poll was it's indepth look into my spiritual life and how that parlayed to my choice of candidates, and how I intended to vote. There were plenty of catch-phrases like "born-again" and "evangelical". I am what I am by the grace of God, and if I'm to be a child of God I have to see and view my life as a purposed life. My life has purpose, and that is to bring Glory and Honor to my God and my King, which means my decisions have to be based on advancing His agenda, not my own.

I could get caught back up in the rat race, spending just to spend, rushing about to fit as many places and things into each day, but that would leave me with no time for the more important things. It's easy to loose sight of what is most important in life. It's easy to let this world distract you-- I know because I'm daily distracted! But if I'm to view myself as a child of God, I must also view myself as a child of the King, which means this place is not my home. All of the crap I buy to fill my house with will belong to someone else when I'm gone.

I have to work in the world if I'm to have the barest of necessities... even a few fleeting pleasures, but that job should be viewed as I view my job at the flower shop... my second job... my part-time job, because doing God's work is my primary responsibility. His will should be my full-time job, for it is the paycheck I get from Him that will stead me lavishly when I retire from this earth.

The poll also reinforced the ideal of good stewardship. We must know our candidates: who they are, what they support, and how they vote. And we must not be afraid of voting poorly performing representatives out of office. Forget about the overall impact of such a vote; it's all in God's hands anyway.

Just like a stock that is performing poorly, we must be willing to pull our investment out of such a stock and place it somewhere else. And how can you do that if you don't follow the performance of your individual investments? An unwatched portfolio earns the exact return it deserves: whatever happenstance allows. But a personally managed portfolio, assuming it's managed by sound principles, earns far far more. And right now, my political portfolio is doing just fine.

Anyway... I know I strayed, but there it is. My first experience with a national election poll.


On a side note: I am surprised that I've little concern for the outcome of next weeks election; far less than I did just three months ago. I don't chalk this up to confidence that Republicans will retain the House-- they won't lose the Senate --but rather, the sure knowledge that whatever happens, God's plan is still advanced. As long as I do my part, I'll do well. And God will supply the rest.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:42 AM, , links to this post


I'm having trouble coping with the knowledge of just how deeply this world has sunk into depravity. I am, quite frankly, overwhelmed. And it's not just the Michael J. Fox / Rush Limbaugh imbroglio... It's everything


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posted by ELAshley @ 9:07 AM, , links to this post





After the War

Let's move to the shore
Where the salt laden air
And surf-song thunder
Ease the pains of war
Where the scars we share
That near drew us under
Might find peace once more

Let's move to the sea
And lay rest to the woes
That echo our loss
Each new sun we see
Friends, brothers, heroes,
No more counted as dross
upon slag ~ Set free

Let's move to a place
Where the gulls cry forlorn
In endless refrain
Our sad fall from grace
Where memories borne
Through war's cold sodden rain
Steels peace 'pon our face


ELAshley
102706.104811.6

---

No. 8 in EL's on-going series of war poetry. You can find the previous 7, in the order they were penned, below...

Trilogy of War -- Part I

Line of Fire
Trilogy of War -- Part II
I am Atef
Trilogy of War -- Part III

in Memorium
Resurrection


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:48 PM, , links to this post





The Demise Of Cathy's Glasses:

"The pretentious memories of one Corky Cruthers"


Hmmm. Where shall I begin? Well, if one must start somewhere, the beginning is as good a place to start as any, but one must know a few things first.

One question you might find yourself asking is, 'What kind of title is that for a story?' Or more importantly, 'Who is Cathy?' Therefore, in order to make things as clear as possible at the outset, I will simply say that Cathy was, well, Cathy...and quite cool.

The night? Saturday, August 18, 1984.....


Once upon a time, long ago, in a mystical land called the Florida Panhandle, there lived two stoners. Corky Cruthers and Jean LeBron, who were as fast friends as friends could be. At that time of year downers were in season-- 714's, Gorilla Biscuits, 'Ludes --as were combustible herbs, and between the two there were plenty of both.

On this particular night one of our heroes' friends was preparing to make a perilous journey to the northlands where a vast city of learning was believed to exist. The city of Purdue. In preparation for the leave-taking the two stoners and many others converged upon the brave explorer's keep where a farewell celebration was to mark Explorer Bill's final days in the sunny south.

Now, one of the myriad of guests at this celebration was Cathy-- blonde and beautiful --wearing a pair of white sunglasses, and of these glasses Corky would later remember no detail. That ogre aptly named MAJ Concussion stripped their memory from Corky's mind, who is now, to this day, ignorant as to their demise.

With a fresh line of plastic credit, Corky and Simon stopped at a wine and spirits store to aquire that elixir known as Tanqueray. The previous night had revealed itself in 714's and there were one and a half left between the stoners. Armed with these and their newly purchased bottle they set out upon a destructive course toward oblivion. They should have stopped there, but no, into the pipes went hootch and hash-- different piles, same shite.

When the two arrived, the celebration was already in progress. Jean turned to Corky with a lazy smile and said, 'It's kickin,' C.' But Corky manage little more than a smile in return. For before the two stoners were the great doors to the Keep of Bill.

Before they could reach the gates, they were suddenly thrust open spilling sodden celebrants in the night. Corky and Jean hastily maneuvered to avoid an imminent collision, then quickly took the three steps up and into the party within.

The tableau that greeted them was one of excess and over-indulgence.

'Yes,' thought Corky. 'This is the where it all begins... And ends.'

The thought of consequences did not enter the minds of our two stoners, for this was a celebration in the truest sense, and besides, they had already passed the point of no return.

It was at this time that our heroes met Cathy and Lanta-- who were also fast friends. The girls marveled at the bottle of spirits the two had brought; both wondering what taste the elixer possessed. Corky and Jean, being the gentlemen they were, mixed drinks of Tanqueray and Ginger for the ladies.

By this time poor Corky's vision and motor skills were obliterated, and beyond any semblance of normal inebriation. Yet while the revelers wandered amongst themselves, out of one conversation and into another, Corky sat and talked to Cathy and Lanta. Of what, who can say? But enjoy himself he did, for how could he not in the presence of such sublime lovliness?

At some point in the evening Jean mysteriously disappeared, and it was not days later that Corky learned of his friend's great adventure. Though it appears Corky failed to notice the commotion, Jean had managed to trip over and fall into Mr. Bill's garbage. Rather than see Jean continue to embarrass himself, a mutual friend of the two was
kind enough to retrieve Jean's carcass from the pile of rubbish. Jean awoke the next morning safe and sound at a friend's house. Corky, however, was not so fortunate.

That evening Cathy managed to teach Corky a few dance steps that he needed
to be reminded of later, but it was generally agreed that Corky was a good dancer. The evening steadily progressed and at somepoint in time that evening Cathy's sunglasses were given into Corky's care. now, we can only speculate as to why, but he wore them proudly nonetheless.

As the evening wore on the guests began to take their leave and return from whence they had come in ones, twos, threes and fours. A suggestion was made at some point by Fraternal Bro. Todd LeFrenz, that the party continue at his place. Corky
and a few of the others agreed and made their prearations to go at once.

Corky went inside to gather his belongings and party materials, but once inside
he was accosted by the great Mr. Bill himself and was put safely to bed. As he had no
keys in his possesion, his shoes were taken to prevent him from leaving, which was in Corky's best interests since the yard was filled with wickedly big stickers. But Corky knew something Bill did not....

Corky had a bad habit of leaving his keys beneath the seat of his borrowed civic, but no one thought to search corky's car to insure that once put to bed, he would stay put. When Bill and his remaining guest were asleep, Corky rose quietly and meandered out to his car, shoes be-damned, and from their hidden place took his keys.

With sunglasses on (or so we assume) he eased the car onto the road and began the long, torturous journey home. He made it but one mile down the road before losing all control... As well as Cathy's glasses. The next thing he know's he's lying in a hospital bed.

The Doctors were quite impressed with Corky's ability to survive. Not only had he poured out of the drivers seat-- as well as the car --but he also slid across the highway on his face and shoulder, fracturing his skull. One can only imagine the number of other vehicles on the road trying to dodge Corky's body as it slid across three lanes of traffic, or the totalled civic shuddering to a stop just inches from the front wall of a gift shop.

Corky should have died, or at least suffered maiming for life, but such was not his fate. By some miracle of heaven, Corky survived to to remember all but nothing of his adventure.


So what happened to Cathy's glasses? I couldn't say; I am not a psychic, and your guess would be as good as mine. They were most probably swept up in the wreakage and hauled off to an obscure place called 'Junk Yard,' doomed to an uncertain future upon reeking mountains of Anonymity.



----

What you've just read was a poor attempt by me, mere days after the incident, to laugh off the event that should have ended my life. To this day I have little recollection of the events of that evening, and nothing that occurred after mixing drinks for Cathy and Lanta. James and I were as stone-washed as any hundred pairs of faded levis. We each ate 3/4's of a lude, and together smoked a couple grams of hash, and a quarter ounce of dope. We also partook of the fraternity keg, killed a fifth of Tanqueray, and drank from the communal hunch-punch bowl. Common sense would tell anyone who wasn't invincible, like James and I were in those days, that mixing pills and booze is a very, very, bad idea.

I remember Cathy came to visit me at the hospital. And I remember her asking if I still had her glasses. But no, I couldn't remember a thing, let alone recall the demise of a pair of cheap, white-framed, girly sunglasses.

Someone else came to visit me... Mary Angel, the girl to whom I write letters to this very day. The letters that comprise my personal journal-- in the form of letters to a girl who has moved on... the first girl for whom I felt genuine love.

I remember Mary Angel's father was a preacher. And I knew I had been out of church for far too long, and out of the will of God for even longer. I asked her to bring me a bible, which she did, not thinking it the least bit strange that a stoner like me would ask for such a thing.

In a very big way I've been recovering from that incident ever since. Only in recent years have I truely felt free of that singular defining event. Only... I've come to realize that events don't define people, actions do. I could have been free of that event years ago had I known then what I know now... Twenty-two years ago.

I do not know where I'd be today if it weren't for Mary Angel...

...And David and Peaches Skinner. But that's a story for another time.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:34 AM, , links to this post





Seachange


"Is it just me, or is the blogosphere holding its collective breath over the election? The handful of blogs I read daily are talking about anything but the seachange that appears to be under way."

The Erudite Redneck


I know where ER is on the elections. Anyone who knows ER knows where he is on the upcoming mid-term elections. And I know a lot of people out there who lean similarly to ER are giddy and more than a bit light-headed over their all-but-assured take over of one, possibly both, houses of Congress in just under two weeks. And I can empathize. Honest. Didn't I feel that same giddiness when Republican's took the House in '94?

But I'm not avoiding the issue. If anything, I'm bored with the issue, or rather the Liberal interpretation of the issue. You see, I remember the polls running up to the 2000 election; Albert Gore was the shoe-in... No one could beat him, certainly not that pip-squeak from Texas.

I also remember the polls leading up to the 2004 election; John Kerry was the heir-apparent to the Constitutional throne. There was no way that liar from Texas was going to win.

So here I am now, two weeks out from the mid-terms, and I'm seeing all these polls predicting yet another Democratic blow-out.

...

One thing I've noticed over the last twelve years, specifically (I say specifically because that's when I actually began to pay serious attention to politics), is that polls are pre-designed and predisposed to achieve a specific, and might I add 'Desired', result. The only polls that matter are the ones 1 week to 3 days out.

And here's why. CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, and countless others all put out polls months and weeks in advance of any election. For the most part these polls are all either skewed, or mis-reported to advance the truth these purveyors of truth wish to convey, which is indistinguishable from their own ideological bent. Truth, months out from an election is mutable; it's whatever truth the polsters want to make true. After all, repeat a lie often enough, and the public will believe it for truth. This 'truism' has been borne out time and time again throughout the history of politics.

That the Media are willing water carriers for the Democratic/Liberal agenda is also incontrovertible, despite objections to the contrary, but I'm straying from my point.

The only polls that mean an ounce of diddly are the ones that begin to appear two weeks out from the election. Why, you ask? Months out, polsters can produce whatever truths they want without it affecting their credibility, but two weeks out? One week? Days? Their reputation is at stake. The results of months prior can be attributed to changes in the gestalt mind of the electorate. But just prior to election day, they have to be accurate to insure the polsters standing as a credible polling outfit.

The simple truth is, every race tightens just before the election, and fortunes change as easily as wind direction. All it takes is a well-timed scandal or two and the fate and fortunes of any number of candidates are either sealed or secured.

Another simple truth? The only poll that really counts is the one every voter participates in on election day.

So. Am I personally hushed by breathless anticipation? For glad fortunes or the fall of the guillotine's blade? Not really. I only have one vote, one voice. I do feel anticipation, but I'm certainly not breathless-- That would be retarded.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:36 PM, , links to this post





New Links

In the course of rewriting the HTML portion of my template I've added a few new links in the Founded on Rock listings. The Living Waters ministry of Ray Comfort, Rapture Ready and The Rapture Index. I've been checking these places out for a couple of years now, yet curiously, I've only now managed to add them to my list of links. Hmmm.

Anyone looking for evangelism tips, tools and education will find a plethora of such materials, and more, at 'Living Waters Ministries'. Also in the links list are 'Way of the Master', and 'Way of the Master Radio', which are both intimately connected to Ray Comfort and Christian/Actor/Ministry Partner Kirk Cameron.

Want to learn how to effectively, and biblically witness? The way Jesus did? 'Way of the Master' is the place. Their daily radio broadcast (not available in my area, but thank the Lord for FREE Podcasting), features two hours of commentary and discussion of world events in light of evangelism, and live one-on-one witnessing with on-the-street reporters (they call it 'Street Fishing')... 2 hours of programing Monday through Friday, and great for the gym or daily runs/walks.

'Rapture Ready' is another great site full of articles, and topical insight on world events. There's even several articles for those who find themselves Left Behind, and looking for answers.

'The Rapture Index' is pretty cool too. Granted, the interpretations presented are subjective, and keeping in mind no one knows the 'day or hour', it nonetheless nicely puts world events into proper perspective. The kind that asks, "Are you ready?"


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:43 PM, , links to this post





Happy Birthday!!!

For those of you who own stock in the story of creation, did you know that yesterday was this present world's birthday? According to seventeenth century Anglican bishop James Ussher this present earth was created October 23rd, 4004 BC. The earth is now 6,010 years old. Happy birthday... Could you please tell Jesus we're quite ready for Him? Today would be good.


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posted by ELAshley @ 7:52 PM, , links to this post





Template Problems

I somehow managed to delete the HTML portion of my template this morning. I can't imagine how, but I must not have been paying attention to what I was doing. I did have a copy on Beta Drive, but it was a year old, which means all of the changes I made since then were lost, and I spent all of today rewriting the HTML.

It didn't make sense to rewrite the whole thing and not clean it up a bit, so that is what I spent much of the day doing. I've also uploaded all of my background and sidebar images to the "Pocket Full of Mumbles: Source Library" which is a bare-bones backup for articles and pictures-- should any link die, I can then link to the source library and loose nothing.

I've lost quite a few links as well. If you happen to read this, and see your link is no longer where it should be, drop me a line at ELAshley@Gmail.com. Kindly forward your Blog's Title, and URL; this will make the fix relatively painless.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:46 PM, , links to this post





RIP: Pink Flamingo, 1957-2006

The pink plastic flamingo, a Florida-inspired icon that has been reviled as kitschy bad taste and revered as retro cool, is dead at age 49.

The pop culture symbol met its demise after its manufacturer, Union Products, of Leominster, Mass., was socked with a triple economic threat -- increases in costs of electricity and plastic resin combined with loss of financing. Production ended in June, and the plant is scheduled to close Nov. 1, according to president and CEO Dennis Plante. Union Products made 250,000 of its patented plastic pink flamingos a year in addition to other garden products.

"Let's face it, as iconic emblems of kitsch, there are two pillars of cheesy, campiness in the American pantheon. One is the velvet Elvis. The other is the pink flamingo."

--Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University


I reckon I need to scare me up a few Pink Flamingoes 'fore they go the way of Icarus.

To read the entire Obit by Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub of Home & Garden... Follow the link above.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:44 AM, , links to this post





Chuck Norris Facts

This is new to me, but not the concept; I've seen similar lists about Jack Bauer, and these are just as funny, if not more far-fetched. Jack Bauer at least is genuinely ficticious. Chuck Norris? Well....


An one of my own...

It would also seem Chuck Norris is now writing commentary for WorldNetDaily. Check out his first piece here.



----
Click here for Jack Bauer facts. One of my favorites...


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:07 AM, , links to this post





LEAK, LEAK, ELECT, ELECT?

New York Post Opinion
October 22, 2006


How far will Democrats go for partisan gain?

Far enough to compromise national security?

Looks that way.

Late last week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) suspended a Democratic staff member on suspicion of leaking a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to The New York Times. The staffer's security clearance was also blocked.

Initial reports on the NIE cited it as saying principally that the Iraq war had energized Islamist radicals and, in the process, increased the danger to America from jihadist terrorism. In fact, taken in its entirety, the document concluded just the opposite: that the military defeat of jihadists in Iraq would mean "fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the [war]."

That's a big difference.

And the selective leaking of the NIE - and the spin put on it by the Times and The Washington Post, among others - put the White House on the defensive and contributed to lagging poll numbers for both the president and the Republican Congress.

Which is likely just what the leaker intended.

In that light, intel committee member Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) wrote to Hoekstra last month to note that the unnamed, now-suspended staffer had requested the NIE from National Intelligence Director John Negroponte just three days before cherry-picked portions of it showed up on the front page of the Times and WashPost.

As LaHood wrote in his letter: "This may, in fact, be only coincidence and simply 'look bad.' But coincidence, in this town, is rare."

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, said she was outraged that the staffer was suspended and insisted that his access to classified material be reinstated.

Sorry, Ms. Harman, the suspension doesn't go far enough.

If there were enough cause to warrant the suspension, there should be enough cause to warrant a full and complete federal investigation.

And, we mean "full and complete."

Let the investigation go where it may - even if it is to the Washington, D.C., bureau of The New York Times.

Leaking classified material in a time of war is bad enough. Selective and misleading leaks - for the blatantly partisan goal of discrediting the president and his agenda in an election year - are utterly reprehensible.

Time to get to the bottom of this - once and for all.



PERSONAL NOTE: And I couldn't agree more. It's far past time to flush out the idiots and traitors within Media and Politics... Irrespective of party. But currently, the only party with a serious jones for hurting Bush specifically, and Republicans in general are the Democrats, and the Democratic-dominated Media.

To think that Adam Gadahn is the only name this nation has chosen to nail firmly to the traitor's tree since World War II is astounding. Especially in light of the shenanegans that have been pulled by Liberals and Democrats in recent years. There are a number of names that deserve to be nailed on that hoary tree as well.

Clinton
Gore
Carter
Pelosi
Reid
Leahy
Kennedy
Kerry
Durbin
Wilson
Sheehan
O'Donnell
...

In truth, some of those names deserve no more than a serious public flogging. Should we execute ALL traitors? Three names on that list shouldn't even be holding office, but such is the level to which we have sunk as a nation-- Even traitors and reprobates can find favor among the great unwashed masses of Liberal America. But then sin is relative... to the HUMAN eye, at least.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:44 PM, , links to this post





Headline Commentaries....

ELAshley read none of these articles prior to commenting on their headlines... What would be the fun in that?


Candidate seeks thick used textbooks as shields
School-superintendent hopeful proposes plan to deflect bullets until police arrive

Teachers and students aren't bright enough to figure this out on their own? Is some guy really using this as a campaign slogan? "Free government education and a bullet proof book under every desk!" Uhhh. No thanks... Homeschooling is beginning to sound better and better each day.


Abortion ads spur complaints in South Dakota campaign
'I'm not surprised that they would just plain lie to try to win the election'

Im not either. The thought of abortion being illegal anywhere in the U.S., to a democrat, is like a fat guy allowing that last 'Chips Ahoy!' to sit unmolested in the package. It would eat at them-- pun intended --and eat at them until... 'that cookie must be soooo lonely, I'll just finish it off and put it out of its misery...'

Democrats would never be content to allow one state the right to choose for itself whether or not the life of an unborn child should be protected at all costs. THAT would be anathema! Like leaving one cookie in the package.


Controversial campaign ad links MLK, GOP
Assertion about civil rights leader angers liberals – and conservatives

I can certainly understand why democrats would be upset about this ad. But the truth is, Democrats were the party of slavery, the KKK, the democratic party instituted Jim Crow, and the Democratic party actively and openly opposed civil rights for blacks in America. I enthusiastically recommend the Lone Ranger's page, Stop the Rupublican's!. The truth hurts. As to whether or not MLK was indeed Republican, consider this: Why would MLK vote for the party that actively sought to suppress his vote, his mind, his voice, his message, and ultimately, his life?


Washington man arrested under new bestiality law
Wife took photos with cell phone, called police

Imagine you're a happily married woman coming home from work only to discover your husband doing God-knows-what to the cat (a very brave husband) and having enough presence of thought to snap a photo before calling the police....

It's a sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, world out there.


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posted by ELAshley @ 4:56 PM, , links to this post





Dearest Mary Angel,


Hello again! And how have you been? Me? I am well and thanks for asking.

Tomorrow I pick up the first photographic member of my portfolio. The name of the painting is A Face For Everything And Everything In It's Face. It is oil on canvas roughly thirty-six by twenty-eight inches, and took exactly nine days of paid vacation, from start to finish, during the summer of 1990. It is the logical outgrowth of a pencil drawing that I did for my father the previous Christmas. So what do you think? I'd call it unusual, to say the least.

Now look closely, and assume the photo cuts off one eye and brow on the left... I've been able to count sixteen faces. Obviously, not all are readily noticeable-- it takes some study to see them all, and each face has a different expression. If you promise not to tell anyone I'll let you in on the painting's meaning... Each face represents a different facet of an individual's personality.

The original drawing had a name other than the one I quoted above. I called the drawing, The Closet-- which I'll make clear to you in a moment.

I wrote a short bio for the painting, in lieu of an explanation, that I had intended to frame and hang next to the painting so that folks would understand what was behind the images, and in my head. And until a few days ago I thought this bio was lost, but there it was, tucked safely in the back of an old notebook. I offer it here in it's brief entirety.

"When we were young and impressionable, the world presented itself in all it's myriad shapes and forms and as children we did what came natural-- we chose those things, like garments, that would shape, form and add direction to our lives; either out of free will, or force of circumstance. In either case we were choosing unwittingly for the adult we would one day become. And for good or ill the choices are now made.

What a terrible responsibility for children! Trying on garments, not realizing that a time must come when a garment worn cannot be removed save through tremendous pain and loss.

Which Garments did you chose? You have only to look in your closet to know the answer..."
Immediately after this entry in my notebook was a revamped version..

When we were young and impressionable and the shape of our lives not set, we, like the children we were, tried on the many garments that life presented to us. The many faces we put on delighted and sometimes frightened us. We wore these faces for all the years of our childhood never realizing that one day these faces; unlike our parents large and strangely funny clothes on those long gone days of playing dress-up, would not come off so easily.

Knowing this, what kind of faces did we try on, not realizing that if the face were
worn too long it might never come off...

So what kind of face have you and I put on? Can they be removed? Do we even want
to remove them?

Well...I know I think way too much, and about things I am all but incapable of changing-- for the things I would change have their origins in human nature. And who can change that? I would change the world if I could. But who knows? Perhaps in some way I can affect changes; through poetry, stories, or even paintings, perhaps I can change a few things. Maybe a few will listen.

Anyway, seeing as how you haven't complained once about all the poems I give you-- and how could you? --I'll leave you with a very short story that I have never bothered to give a name, until recently.

I love you Mary Angel. May you sleep the recklessness of dreams; and dream fondly of me.



Eric


"Koan of Life"

     It was many years ago that I last saw the whale. I remember it as though it were only yesterday; fresh in my mind like the scent of a new house-- like fresh cut lilies or lemon pie. I also remember it was a cold day; overcast and dark. It was the gray sky, heavy and brooding, that compelled me to leave the house to wander and brood a bit myself.
     It was easy for me to do this on days when the unseen sun gave in to the whims of weather; the dampness in the air and the quality of light that seemed to drain the very color from the world awakened dark places within me. I couldn't help but dwell on Life and it's complexities, and on this one particular day I felt a weight of solemnity as though it sat heavy upon my shoulders.
     I walked long, not caring about time, or even where I was going, only to find myself on the beach. I always ended up there... it was my fascination with the sea; the voice that whispers to me... Calls me by name. But I remember the sky was almost black. Gulls cried overhead, dipping their black-tipped wings, floating in circles above a whale, beached and dying-- sad eerie notes rumbling deep from it's escaping soul.
     "Why does it have to die?"
     I turned to the voice and saw a young girl. I guessed her to be no more than nine or ten, and she was looking up at me... into my eyes and my heart. Her face was streaked with tears.
     I looked at her for a moment; not answering the question I realized was mine to answer. I just kept thinking over and over the one thought that kept racing through my mind, 'you're supposed to be extinct...'
     I don't believe the girl really expected an answer, though, perhaps just thinking aloud without realizing it.
     I began to do the same.
     "Maybe... Maybe after a billion years of existence it's finally solved Life's riddle. Perhaps there's nothing more for it to learn and it has nothing left to life for.
     'Boy,' I thought, 'how lame...'
     But she looked up at me pulling strands of golden hair from her face where her tears had held them fast. "What is Life's riddle if it allows something so beautiful to give up and die?"
     I remember looking at her again, wondering how old she really was.
     "Will we give up and die when we solve the riddle?" She asked.
     "I don't know," I said "I'm not even sure we know what the riddle is, much less able to solve it."
     She turned back to the whale and I saw her lips move. "Oh, yes," I barely heard her say, "What is life without riddles?"
     The whale died rather ominously at that moment. Its last breath and hissing exhale a prelude to the final silence of a song the scientific community insisted had ended some forty years before. What must the world have been like when whales ruled the great oceans? The only sounds I didn't hear at that moment were the pounding of the surf and the crying of the gulls; the sound of that great creatures final breath dwarfing all else.
     I turned a glance toward the girl at my side, but she was gone. Perhaps she had never been there.

     Years later, when I'd watch Man's inhumanity toward himself displayed nightly in living color, I'd wonder where we were heading. What path had we chosen, directly or indirectly? It seemed to me then that we would never tire of war and I wondered, 'How long before someone or something finds us beached and dying upon the shore of our own world?'
     I had no answer then and I expect I'll find none now, but I've often wondered how it was that one whale had managed to hide itself for so long, waiting for the day it would beach itself in exhaustion; tired of living and fearing the cold depths of the sea.
     And it's taken me all these years to come to the only conclusion that makes any sense... It was afraid of drowning, afraid of dying alone... Of slipping into darkness. And not just that; it knew it was the last of its kind. Leaving a marker was the only thing it could do to show us just how much we had truely lost.
     That was when it really hit home for us. Not that our world was dying, but that we we're killing our world, and with it, ourselves. Without realizing, it managed to associated indelibly in our minds the plight of Man with the sight of the last whale...
     Dead.


ELAshley
"Very old and poorly written..."
Sometime between:
070582 and 071082 and revised more than once.
Most recent revisions: 042399
and again on: 122299.120000.1
Last 4 paragraphs: 030200.204426.6
Desperately needs revision!



P.S. Hope you liked the bedtime story, Mary Angel. Again, goodnight and sweet dreams.


----
Journal Entry-- June 30, 1998 | 12:55am


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:39 AM, , links to this post





I Am Not Wrong. 100% Wrong.

What monkey, what whale, what penguin, what mouse, has-- under observation --ever built a temple, performed a recognizably ritual dance, or prayed, worshipped, or abased themselves before an idol crafted by their own hands, flippers, wings, or paws? None. Animals are creatures of nature, creatures of their own innate nature, and they have little control over the internal forces that drive them.

Man is not the same. Man can choose to be and act other than his nature dictates as natural. Animals are slaves to mating patterns; females go into heat, males vie for the right to impregnate, and the female consents and in time bears fruit. Men can resist their sexual urges, as can women. Men and women are similarly affected by the dictates of their specific natures and drives, but men and women can choose to disregard, even suppress, that nature. Animals, by and large, do not have that luxury.

Likewise, only humans have the capacity for religion; to look at the universe in the abstract, and recognize the undeniable fingerprint of God on everything in existence, even the far-flung unnumbered galaxies and nebulae.

God gave his laws to men, because it is man that sinned against God, not animals. God commanded men to be fruitful and multiply. Anything that goes against that command is therefore sin. After all, homosexuals cannot be fruitful without contact with the opposite sex, to include artificial insemination in the case of lesbians. God views waste as sin. Which is why slothfulness is sinful, why murder is sinful, why lying is sinful, why covetousness is sinful.

God also placed within each of us a conscience. No evidence of this exists in the animal kingdom. Conscience; Con (with) + Science (knowledge), quite simply is the mechanism by which we recognize those things that are right and wrong. For those who have no knowledge of The Law, God has written 'The Law' on their hearts, or conscience. No child needs to be taught that lying is wrong. No child needs to be taught that stealing is wrong-- they know these things instinctively.

There is a PSA that airs during the CBS Evening News that features Nelson Mandela who says,

"No one is born hating another for their religion of the color of their skin. Hatred and intolerance have to be learned..."
He is right that no one is born hating another, but he is quite wrong that hatred and intolerance have to be learned. Hatred comes naturally to each and every child born of woman. It is part of who we are, but God expects us reject that nature and choose His instead.

But the conscience can become distorted, or warped, and that is how the idea that homosexuality can be blessed of God is possible. It cannot-- it is both destructive behavior, and a perversion of nature that rejects the natural use of both the male and female genitalia; to lust after what is ultimately unprofitable.

To claim homosexuality is 100% natural, does not take into account the fact that homosexual couples do not propagate; they do not advance the species, and their lifestyle is therefore wasteful: A waste of semen/ova, a waste of effort, a waste of life itself. It is not at all natural, since the natural use of genitalia is to connect male to female, and reproduce.

Man is far far more than simply 'animals in pants.' And God expects far far more of us than He does of the animal kingdom. Homosexuality is against nature, and against God's design for the sexes. But even leaving God out of it, it still goes against nature, and any society which promotes and encourages the belief that homosexuality is natural, normal, or desirable, is a society that, sooner rather than later, fades into the annals of history. No pun intended.

Show me a tribe of monkeys who ritually dance about a bonfire in the midst of a monkey-constructed temple every full moon and who scream and hoot their adoration's to God, and I'll accept the fact that homosexuality is natural in humans.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:34 AM, , links to this post





Will the Real Sodomy Party Please Stand Up?

--by David A. Noebel


One has to shake the head violently to see if the neurons are still connected to believe that all of a sudden the Republican Party is the party of Sodom and Gomorrah. Can the pro-homosexual mass media make this stick? We'll see in a few weeks!

Everyone with an ounce of grey matter knows that the Democratic Party is the Sodomy Party in America. There hasn't been a homosexual issue that the Democrats haven't either backed or initiated since the ACLU determined that homosexuality would make a great stick to poke in the eyes of conservatives, traditionalists, and all natural law advocates. There hasn't been a gay pride parade which hasn't been led by a Democratic politician! There hasn't been a gay pride book for first graders not endorsed by Democrats.

Why not openly admit that only the morally-challenged can seriously come to the conclusion that homosexual practices (sodomy, et. al.) are normal, healthy and moral! And while we are at it why not also openly admit that homosexual practices also strike at the heart of God's creative order of male and female. Using the male arse as female practice is a direct insult to the Creator!

The Democrats gave away their innocence on this matter when their Massachusetts congressman (Gerry Studds) was found with child (a 16 year old Congressional page) and censored by the House for his pedophilia acts. However, once he was re-elected by the morally-challenged of Massachusetts the Democrats looked upon this as the up and coming issue to win elections. And so for at least 25 years the Democratic Party has paved the way for the homosexual agenda-- an agenda to place homosexuality on a par with heterosexuality and hence gay marriage, gay adoption, gay rights, gay everything! As Don Feder says, "Gay rights has become as much a part of Democratic orthodoxy as abortion-on-demand." Both are part and parcel of the culture of death. Gay marriage, even on Kant's categorical imperative standard of ethical behavior, is a dead end.



There is much more. Follow the link above for the rest. I'll offer my personal thoughts in comments.


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posted by ELAshley @ 9:14 AM, , links to this post





Through the Prism of the Godless

It is 12:15am and I have only 45 minutes to ramble....


Remorse - 1) compunction: a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed) 2) An emotion experienced by one who feels they have committed an action contrary to their moral code. It is characterized by feelings of regret, self-hatred and a desire to make the wrong thing right.

If I have one weakness-- and in truth I have many --it is science fiction; or more specifically, Science fiction television; or more specifically, Battlestar Galactica. There used to be others, but they all now pale in comparison. For five months I waited for season three, and in the midst of that wait I read an interview with one of the actors, James Callas, who described the third season as "Remorseless", the antithesis of Remorse.

Remorse is a word with, at the very least, a passing acquaintance with God. And it would seem that with all the ills in the world today, surely God mst feel some measure of remorse for allowing events to get to where they are today. God did after all repent that he had made man at all, and washed the world clean for forty days. But the simple truth is; things are as they are not because God allowed them to get where they are, but rather, this was the inevitable result of man's rebellion against God. And sometimes the best lessons are those learned with the innocent hand touching the hot eye on the stove. Does God feel remorse? Only, I think, in the sense that He knows the lesson needed to be learned, and wished there had been another way.

But what about those who believe in no god? Let alone the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The only possiblitity then, since remorse is an emotion and the sole pervue of sentient beings, is a remorseless universe that cares nothing for the world and the shape it has gotten itself into. It is through the prism of the godless that such people look at the world with all its war, poverty, hunger, and avariciousness with no hope for anything better-- The universe is what it is, and no amount of prayer can change it!

The universe doesn't care that 45+ million children have been ripped from the womb... murdered. The universe doesn't care that men commit murder, steal, lie, cheat, and wage war, because through the prism of the godless no rhyme or reason for the ills of the world is possible-- all things occur by chance, and the inexplicable laws of randomness sows only chaos. The world is what it is without apology from the Universe that spun it out of the cradle. We are, therefore, what we are by mere happenstance, and doomed as a result.

Remorselessness... who would want to live in a world where such an attribute ruled the day? Personally, I thank God that the world is not so cursed. That there is rhyme and reaon for all that transpires before my tired and jaded eyes. I thank God that there is purpose to every pain, and every joy... That random chance is a lie.

...and my time is up.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:23 AM, , links to this post





Evangelical backlash or Democratic wishful thinking?

David Jeffers speaks volumes to the so-called 'evangelical backlash'. Democrats see Foley as a made-to-order golden ticket to power. Democrats, according to Jeffers, do not understand evangelicals, which is not all that surprising. So what could have caused the desired backlash? Jeffers offers three points:

1) Mr. Foley could have came out and said, "But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not share instant messages with that boy, the congressional page. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time – never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the people of Sixteenth Congressional District of Florida."
Jeffers doesn't say it anywhere in his article, yet it's certainly implied. But for the unnuanced out there, I'll say it: Democrats and Big Media making a big deal over Foley, while conveniently forgetting William Jefferson Clinton, well... That's just plain old Hypocrisy. And it destroys what little credibility Old Media and Democrats have.

2) While sticking around in office and refusing to do the right thing and resign, Mr. Foley, when asked if his relationship with the congressional page was inappropriate, he could have answered: "Well, let me say, the relationship was not improper, and I think that's important enough to say. But because the investigation is going on and because I don't know what is out – what's going to be asked of me, I think I need to cooperate, answer the questions, but I think it's important for me to make it clear what is not. And then, at the appropriate time, I'll try to answer what is. But let me answer – it is not an improper relationship and I know what the word means."
That's right, William Jefferson Clinton knew what 'improper' meant, yet struggled with 'is'...

3) And finally, after months of Congressional and Justice Department investigations, Mr. Foley could give this speech of [sic] the House Floor: "As you know, in a deposition in October, I was asked questions about my relationship with a congressional page. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information. Indeed, I did have a relationship with the congressional page that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible."
Foley resigned having committed no real crime, accept being homosexual, yet William Jefferson Clinton lied under oath to a federal grand jury, committed adultery, and told a bold-faced lie to the American people. Anyone with even a shred of intellectual honesty knows that had it been George W. Bush who lied under oath, committed adultery, and then lied about it to the American people, his presidency would have been over. Democrats and their willing accomplices in Big Media would have beat that horse dead, never letting up even after the impeachment and resignation in disgrace. They would have demanded said resignation. Not so with Bill Clinton who committed genuine crimes. Thus far Foley has only demonstrated an abyssmal lack of judgment. But abyssmal judgment isn't enough to disqualify one for public office... Just ask William Jefferson Clinton.

The only way Republicans lose next month is if Republicans stay home. The real losers could turn out to be the American People if Democrats take power. America would see two years of vendetta, coupled with an escalation of partisan bickering and all-around bad behavior.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:47 AM, , links to this post





What we can expect........ If

I received the following in email wednesday--


October 11, 2006

Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your entire email list of family and friends.

What if the Liberals Win in November?

Dear Eric,

How important are the upcoming elections? Extremely important! Below is a list of what we can expect if the liberals win. These elections are crucial. It is vitally important that you vote. Please vote and encourage others to do the same. As bad as things are, they will be infinitely worse if the liberals win.

The strategy of the liberals is to get Values Voters so disgusted and discouraged that they will not vote. If that happens, the liberals will have achieved their goal and they will be running our country.

Here is what we can expect if the liberals win:

* Amnesty for 12,000,000 illegal immigrants.
* A push to make homosexual marriage and polygamy legal in all 50 states.
* Only liberal judges will be appointed. They will create laws to implement the social agenda liberals cannot get passed through the legislative process.
* Liberals will make the killing of the unborn more difficult to stop.
* Liberals will continue to try to rid our society of Christian influence, including any reference to God in our Pledge and on our currency.
* A return to the "Fairness Doctrine" in broadcasting where opposing views must be given equal time. Every conservative talk show host will be forced to give a liberal equal time on every issue. The purpose of this rule will be to shut down conservative talk shows.
* An increase in taxes to push new social programs.
* Passing a new "hate crimes" law making it illegal to refer to homosexuality in a negative manner.
* Liberals will give terrorists from other countries who try to kill Americans the same rights American citizens enjoy under our constitution.
* We will withdraw from Iraq, sending the message to the terrorists that if they will just be patient they can win and bring their terrorist acts to the U.S.

Go Vote! Encourage Others To Do The Same.
Sign up to stayed informed! Visit the American Family Association at www.AFA.net today!

Sincerely,

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends!


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:52 PM, , links to this post





Is Jesus a Socialist?

Not according to Tom Snyder whose article, No, Jesus is not a Socialist, offers some compelling evidence in support of that claim. The very first paragraph was enough to realize posting on it would provoke near apoplectic response from certain commentors, and while that image amused me, let me state quite clearly that that is not why I'm posting on it now. His premise is intriguing, and yes, it is provocative, but I can't find anything wrong with his argument. I would say that his vision of social welfare is the ideal, but in the present social climate here in America, and indeed around the world, it is and will continue to be an elusive dream.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Mr. Snyder writes...

A group of self-described "progressive" Christian evangelicals calling themselves "Red Letter Christians," and led by the left-oriented Sojourners magazine and left-oriented religious pundits like Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, has recently emerged in the body politic. These self-proclaimed "progressives" have been making a lot of noise recently complaining about the ties that other Christian evangelicals have long held with the conservative movement in the United States, including the conservative movement in the Republican Party.

One policy under attack by these "progressives" is the conservative effort to "cut programs to the poor." They say that such a policy goes against Jesus Christ's commands in chapter 24 of the book of Matthew to feed those who are hungry.

These "Red Letter Christians" are making a lot of noise, but they are just a bunch of clanging cymbals – and the love that they claim to spout has no truth in it whatsoever.

What these misguided religious zealots conveniently fail to note is that nowhere in the New Testament or the other books of the Bible do Jesus Christ, His apostles, God the Father, the Holy Spirit, Moses or the Hebrew prophets command the government to take money from its citizens and transfer it to poor people. In fact, the Bible says just the opposite.


Matthew 24 speaks of the Great Tribulation at the end of this age, or this present dispensation of Grace. No mention whatsoever is made of 'the poor', and only one mention of 'feeding'...

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
--Matthew 24:25

But this admonishment is not so much a command to feed but rather a qualifying despription of what a 'faithful and wise servant' is, and the nature of his commission... 'to give them meat in due season'.

It is obvious that Snyder is disdainful of progressive "Christians" who, to his mind, distort the truth of God's word. If his article were nothing more than a list of objections it too would be no more than 'clanging cymbals', but Snyder offers corroboration...

God presents us with three general ways in the Bible to take care of the poor and needy: 1) through the family; 2) through the church; and 3) through individual charity. The applicable passages for these three ways are Deuteronomy 14:28-29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16.

So what do these verses say?

"At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest."
--Deuteronomy 14:28-29

It is the Church, therefore, in this Church age, the dispensation of Grace, that is responsible for feeding not just the poor, but the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and then only, what? Every three years? Personally, I believe the Church can do much better than that, but Snyder explains further on that this is all that's required by God.

"But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance."
--Numbers 18:24

Numbers 18:24 appears to be clarification of the Deuteronomy verse which describes the Levites as 'hav[ing] no inheritance', which seems to afford them a measure of neutrality. Any thoughts on this? Anyone?

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly."
--Matthew 6:1-4

Where Deuteronomy spoke to organizational responsibility, these verse speak to personal responsibility, coupled with a warning against pride and self-righteousness.

"Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."
--1 Timothy 5:3-16

These verses get into specifics, who to and who not to 'relieve' of their affliction. But another aspect here is starkly present: Members of the house of God come first and foremost.

I can support that claim with Galatians 6:10... "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Use of the word 'especially' indicates preference.

To add to Mr. Snyder's list of who should receive aid, allow me to point out who should NOT receive aid... "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." --2 Thessalonians 3:10

Back to Snyders article...

Now, the first two ways are pretty clear. People's first obligation is to the needy, poor, widowed and orphaned in their own families. Only after they do this do they have any obligation to help the needy, poor, widowed and orphaned through their local church organization. God established the pattern for this kind of church giving in Numbers 18:24 and Deuteronomy 14:28, 29. As David Chilton points out in his great book "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators," the bulk of Christian giving to the local church should be geared toward financing professional theologians, experts in biblical law and church discipline, teachers of God's word and leaders skilled in worship. It was only every third year that all the giving was set aside to help the needy, poor, widowed and orphaned. Even then, the money was not given just to anyone who showed up. Those able to work but don't do not qualify for help. Also, those who have families to take care of them don't qualify, nor do widows under age 60 qualify, according to the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 5:3-16.

Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, talks about the third way in Matthew 6. He tells His listeners that they should give individual charity. He also says they should give such charity secretly: "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."

In other words, Jesus is not a socialist. Nor is he a liberal. In fact, in none of the Bible passages just cited, nor in any others I know of, does Jesus, God or even Moses cite the government as the means by which the poor, needy, widowed and orphaned are housed, clothed and fed.

Thus, a simple, straightforward reading of the Bible, God's Word, including the "Red Letter" words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, clearly shows that the American welfare state is anti-Christian and unbiblical. Any Christian who advocates such a government welfare system (including clergymen or women) should be harshly rebuked. Furthermore, any members of any political party, including Republicans, Democrats, Reform Party members, Libertarians or whatever, who advocate such a socialist system yet claim to be Christian should be reprimanded by their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and by all church leaders.


It sounds harsh, but again, I can't find anything wrong with it. The American welfare system is an abomination, and a travesty. It encourages sexual impurity; fornication, un-wed motherhood. It encourages slothfulness. It destroys families. And it fosters generational dependency, a sense of entitlement, and outright slavery with little or no hope for freedom... unless they rise up themselves and flee the Welfare state of mind.

There are of course plenty of stories of men, women, and children rising above poverty and the welfare state to make something of themselves, and the lives of their children, but these results are rarely the result of anything the 'system' has done for the welfare recipient, but rather, are overwhelmingly the product of the hard work and determination of those welfare recipients. Personal disgust of one's situation coupled with hard work and determination bring more people out of poverty than Welfare, or EBT.

There is much more to the article, but I'll leave that for you to read.


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 10:44 AM, , links to this post





Shameless Self-Promotion

A few years back Eric and two others decided to create an online role-playing game. As "all things art" is my area of expertise it fell to me for the look; ie, maps, images, yada, yada... The project went no where, but I did come out of it with a lot of new maps, one of which I'm sharing here.

Goma is a city in the southern plains of a continent I call Tamarast, which is a rip-off of another on-going-- spanning two plus decades in fact --project of mine to create a plausible, natural, new language that is also usable... 'Tama' in fact, means War, and 'Ras' means speak, or speech. What you get is 'War Speak' or 'Battle Language'. Adding a 't' to 'Ras', in fact, changes the form from the physical act of speaking to the construct of speech itself; namely, 'Language'. I've been working on this since '82. It'll never be finished.

Please don't bother telling me I'm weird or strange... I already know this.

As to the map-- Blue represents ground level. White is any structure higher than 2 feet. Many of the buildings have open centers, as Goma is very hot in summer and only marginally less so in winter. Crops are sown, tended, and harvested during winter. Nothing grows well in summer.


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:37 PM, , links to this post





What Happens If the Democrats Lose?

For those of you who missed it, Rush Limbaugh gave a brilliant monologue Tuesday that used up the entire first hour. Some won't spend the time required to read through it all and that's fine with me. For the most part this post is for me.

Though the link above is to Rush's website, I have also saved a copy of the transcript for the entire first hour over at the Pocket Mumbles Library.

For myself, this man never ceases to amaze me. He is almost always right [98.5% of the time], and try as they might, liberals don't stand a chance in an honest debate with him-- even with half his brain tied behind his back, just to make it fair!


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 11:56 PM, , links to this post





Note to Self...

1) Re-write Our Fallen Friend, in Part I - 'Ambriasa's Tales'. Style does not match that of the previous four stories.

2) Take current version of Our Fallen Friend and move it to Part III - 'Ombrial's Tale & What the Icarii Hath Seen', as the story will repeat, and change perspective. Will require extensive re-write in terms of expansion.
        a) Pay close attention to specific events mentioned in the
             original.
        b) Avoid the names 'Jute,' 'Wood and Line,' and 'Soap and Iron'
             used extensively in original - Revert to actual names.

Again, concentrate on specific events mentioned in the original as well as expansions noted below.
        a) Meeting in the wilderness
        b) Joining Ohmican's pogrom against Sun Priests, & beyond
        c) Refugees, and the Battle on the Quays
        d) Sea crossing & orsels
        e) At the isthmus of Giba
        f) Crossing inland sea
        g) Ital & the Anistariis
        h) Temple mount in the rain & 'a measure of honor'
        i) The Cormorie of Bana & the Anistarii horde
        j) Flight back to the sea
        k) Battle of the slew
        l) Our fallen friend
        m) ReCrossing & the stink of death
        n) Burial
        o) Remembrance Day
        p) Ostophestrue & Resurrection
        q) Beneath the light of a dying sun

Judging from outline, each segment should average 2800 words.

3) Take up once more the work of Part II - The Watcher's Tales'.
     Specifically...
             a) The Iyla's Flute, and
             b) The Onion Flower


----
For those not familiar with this work, here're links to the first three stories of Part I...

The Cradle of Giants

The Wind and the Rain

Agates and Gold


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:55 PM, , links to this post





Someone Besides Bill Cosby Get's It....

Juan Williams and I don't see eye to eye on more than a few things, but he's not a raving leftist. What follows is the text of his commentary during the Free Speech segment on the CBS Evening News last week. It's here because I didn't want to forget what he said...

Here is some news that should be at the top of the front page everyday: 70 percent of black children are born to unmarried women.

Here's some more real news for the front page: As many as half of black children drop out of high school.

This is the scandal of modern American life.

It is bad enough that a quarter of white children and half of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock. But when 70 percent of any group of children don't have a mom and dad it is a sure fire prescription for family breakdown, educational failure, poverty and criminal behavior.

And the problem is compounded by Hip-Hop culture. All the videos feature poisonous images of black people as threatening, violent, over-sexed and dressed like pimps, strippers, gangsters and prisoners - you know, no belt and pants hanging down low. It is bad enough that these images are imprinted on white minds. But it is cruel to send young black people seeking direction the message that this is the most they can hope for in America.

Yet when I wrote this in my new book – "Enough" - I was charged with airing dirty laundry and taking attention away from the power of on-going racism. Well, it is going to be a long wait for the end of racism. That should not stop work on the big issues that threaten all Americans, but especially poor minorities: family breakdown and failing schools.

This is our civil rights struggle. We will be judged if we fail to act now. This is front page news for this generation.

Juan Williams
October 6, 2006
CBS' Free Speech Segment


Juan Williams is a senior correspondent for NPR and a frequent, if not regular, panel member on Special Report with Brit Hume at FOX news. And after THIS bit of commentary, not that bad a guy after all.

Now if only he and others would accept the fact that the responsibility for much of the ills in the black community-- to say nothing of the entire American poverty class --lies at the feet of 40 years beneath the yoke of the American welfare system.


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 9:14 PM, , links to this post





Unfit For Command


"I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone."

--Sen John F. Kerry


This type of irresponsible commentary is to be expected from the likes of Cindy Sheehan, who once said she'd like to go back in time to kill George W. Bush as a child, but this is a man who would have been president himself, if only he had won. This is a man who still has hopes for the Presidency. Okay, okay, he was on Bill Maher's HBO hack-show, and he was trying to be funny. Somehow, I can't see that as a legitimate excuse for treasonous statements.

Does anyone know if John Kerry had anything negative to say about the release of the film "Death of a President"? If so, How could he then, even jokingly, speak of killing the president?

Even if this 'man' hadn't denounced the film, to speak of killing the president, even jokingly, is irresponsible. Thirty years ago it would have been called treason. Statements like this disqualify, in my opinion, Kerry-- or anyone else for that matter --for the office of President of the United States. Sheehan we can brush off as a lunatic. Kerry statement is just criminal.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:41 PM, , links to this post





Because it Needs to be Said...

Bomb Pyongyang Now
by Henry Lamb
October 10, 2006

Within minutes of the announcement of North Korea's nuclear test, CNN paraded talking heads who were quick to denounce President Bush because he failed to prevent it. This despicable display of Democratic distortion ignores the fact that Democrat Bill Clinton sent Democrat Jimmy Carter to North Korea to strike the deal that made the recent test possible.

In 1994, Jimmy Carter met with Kim Jong-Il to convince him to abandon his nuclear ambitions. Carter came home a hero, with a piece of paper that said North Korea would stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons if the U.S. supplied two nuclear reactors for electricity generation, fuel oil and a ton of money. Bill Clinton praised the agreement, sent the goodies and pretty much forgot about it. Republican opponents warned that Kim could not be trusted and that the agreement had no adequate means of verification.

In 1998, Clinton's military chief of staff testified that North Korea did not have an active ballistic missile program. One week later, the North Koreans launched a missile over Japan that landed off the Alaska coast...

It is now abundantly clear that Clinton and Carter were wrong and that their opponents were right. Democrats who now call for one-on-one talks with North Korea, seeking another appeasement, are still wrong. It is equally wrong to expect the United Nations to solve the problem.

President Bush was right when he identified North Korea, Iran and Iraq as the "Axis of Evil." Democrats claim that this proclamation is the reason North Korea and Iran are pursuing their nuclear arsenals. Hogwash! They were evil states before the announcement; they were pursuing their nuclear ambitions before the announcement, and neither words nor paper agreements can change that pursuit.

Words and meaningless paper agreements are what to expect from the U.N. For two years or more, the U.N. has collected a mountain of words and meaningless agreements about Iran's pursuit of its nuclear ambitions. All the while, Iran has been developing its enrichment capability. Those who insist on believing that Iran seeks only "peaceful" uses of its nuclear capability are as naive as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

It would be a wonderful world, indeed, if disputes among nations could be resolved through dialogue and discussions. For this to happen, the participants have to be in agreement about foundational principles. Some of the developed nations have found that these fundamental principles can serve as a foundation for resolving disputes. These principles include the supreme value of human life and freedom. Sadly, many nations of the world reject these principles.

Kim Jong-Il, for example, used the hundreds of millions of dollars the Clinton administration gave him, not for food for his people, but to advance his nuclear pursuits. Millions of North Koreans starved. Iran continues to supply technology and materials to terrorists in Iraq to slaughter thousands of innocent Muslims, in hopes of killing a few Americans and extinguishing the hope of freedom their new democratic government promises. Africa is awash with warlords and governments that destroy human life with gleeful enthusiasm in order to retain their power to enslave their people.

Words and paper agreements with these people are worthless. Sheer force is the only language they understand or respect. The absence of force is seen as weakness and emboldens even more aggressive action by them.

What, then, should the United States do about this North Korean nuclear test? One option is tighter economic sanctions. North Korea has been under sanctions for some time; it didn't stop them, nor will new sanctions. Another option would be for the president to sit down with Kim, one-on-one, and try to come to an agreement that would stuff the nuclear genie back into the bottle. This is the option that many Democrats and socialists around the world would prefer.

Another option: bomb the hell out of Pyongyang, with special attention to every building Kim is known to frequent and every known missile base in the country.

Of course, this would unleash seismic ripples around the world. Iran would almost certainly crank up its military and enter the fray in Iraq – unless Tehran were known to be on the target list. Russia and China – and France, of course – would scream bloody murder. And the George Soros-funded anti-war groups in the U.S. would go ballistic.

The aftermath would be ugly, no doubt. It will be no more attractive a year from now or five years from now – it will be even worse. But if it does not occur before these "evil" nations get fully operational, the explosions will be in the United States, and the screams will come from Americans.


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 8:22 PM, , links to this post





3 Quotes From...

Yet another poorly-sourced work of speculative fiction from WorldNetDaily...
--For those of you unable to discern sarcasm in its written form, allow me to official state that yes, the preceding sentence was in fact sarcasm.


North Korea Threatens U.S. With Nuke Missile
Official says Pyongyang will fire weapon unless Washington acts to resolve standoff

The unnamed North Korean official who issued the threat said the intent is to bring Washington to the negotiating table.

"We hope the situation will be resolved before an unfortunate incident of us firing a nuclear missile comes," the official said yesterday. "That depends on how the U.S. will act."

Okay, let me get this straight... If NKorea launches a nuclear tipped missle at the U.S., it will be the U.S.'s fault for not buying Kim Jong Il a new rattle? How does one negotiate with children-- Insane children at that? Perhaps we should spike the drinking water with Ritalin. Or better yet, Prozac. Then march in with a quarter million troops and spank their naughty behinds! Better yet, no T.V., and no playstation for a month! Oh, and no dinner for you tonight, bub!


"The nuclear test is an expression of our intention to face the United States across the negotiating table," official said. "What we want is security of the (North), including guaranteeing our system."
Ahhhh.
So there it is. They're afraid of regime change, and obviously have been for quite some time. They're insecure bullies with a bat big enough that they now feel they can come to the negotiating table with the proper respect due them.


...the North Korean official said that Pyongyang was willing to return to the negotiating table and quit its nuclear program if the U.S. takes "corresponding measures."

They'll abandon nukes if we will? Well, they may be several brinks shy of a load, but they have balls the size of Montana.

This is what we're up against gentlemen. Negotiate with that all you like. Me? I'm stockpiling water, MRE's, and buying a hand gun. I've never owned a gun before, but there're plenty of shooting ranges here... I can learn.


----


Said one mouse to another...

"Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky: try to take over the world!"


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 7:37 PM, , links to this post





So, It's Official.

North Korea DOES have nukes, having successfully tested one such device. The estimated yield was 20 Kilotons, which translates to as many as 200,000 dead, including everyone within a five mile radius of the blast.

I imagine this makes Japan more than a little nervous. And all the civilized world can do is demand more 'multi-lateral' talks. And where has that gotten us? The same place it'll get us when Iran successfully emulates North Korea... Nowhere.

Why are men so afraid to consider options other than talk? Especially when talk has alreadly shown itself to have been a complete waste of time; men have always done as they pleased, why should we expect differently from North Korea and Iran?


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 1:41 AM, , links to this post





Battlestar Galactica: Fiction Mirroring Reality






Every BSG fan knew at the end of last season, with those shocking last ten minutes of the finale, that this new season would be decidedly different, but I'm not sure anyone was prepared for just how different-- or just how similar to today's headlines --the scripts would be.

It is an inescapable truth that the shows we watch on television are all products of the times in which they are filmed; television scripts tend, with near invariability, to reflect, or mirror, the sum total of fears existant in the societal gestalt-mind. It's present in the attitudes held by characters, the situations the characters find themselves in, and the solutions they employ. It's in the idiosyncratic as well as the moral attitudes of that society, overall. Rarely has this not been true.

The modern re-imagined Battlestar Galactica is no exception to the rule. Only one thing makes it different-- it's thematic ferocious brutality that so mirrors today's situations and conflicts-- Torture, death squads, insurgencies, suicide bombings, puppet governments, soul-less oppressors... and no pity whatsoever for the characters.

What? You thought this was a science-fiction space opera? Space just happens to be the backdrop... window dressing. What's really on screen is a running commentary of everything gone wrong in today's world-- Violence, depravity, and every man doing that which is right in his own eyes. Guns fire bullets, not laser beams. Cutlery does double-duty as weapons of mass hemorrhage. And cowards learn to make hard choices.

I was shocked by some of the imagery in last night's season opener. Almost as shocked as I was by the scene in Gattaca wherein Jude Law, paralyzed from the waist down, struggles to climb a spiral staircase; the perfect image of a double helix, encapsulating the film's theme-- 'The Borrowed Ladder' --in one beautifully stunning scene.

Last night's season opener perfectly illustrated the 'what if'... What if the tables were turned and Americans had to implement an insurgency? What if Americans felt desperate enough to strap explosives about their torsos? What if...

Appropriately, the show began with a disclaimer: "Warning! Graphically Disquieting Scenes Ahead! Viewer Discretion Advised!" I was both repelled and drawn in simultaneously. A big part of me wants to denounce it. An equally big part of me wants to shout 'Bravo!'

If one point was hammered home more than any other, it was this: Desperate times force desperate people to lengths they would otherwise find personally and morally abhorrent. Last night's episode could never have aired during the original BSG's television run twenty-five years ago-- The writers could never have envisioned it, and the viewer would never have understood it.

So, while one part of me stands up with a hearty 'Bravo!' and demanding an encore, another part asks... no, begs, 'Why does it have to be so remorseless!?'


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 10:17 PM, , links to this post