Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brown and W - Mostly the same as Blair and W

Story: "In deference to the U.S.-British relationship, Bush gave Brown the full foreign-leader treatment: a coveted overnight stay at the presidential retreat here, three meals of all-American fare and introductory talks spanning a range of weighty matters.

But building personal rapport was the main theme. The men have been together before, but this was their first official sit-down since Brown took office in Britain a month ago. There was some sign they achieved a connection, with Brown thanking Bush for his compassionate words about the death of a baby daughter four years ago and the two trading jokes about Brown's reputation as a dour Scotsman.
Bush said they met alone over dinner Sunday night for more than two hours, dismissing aides from both countries to the rustic camp's bowling alley (where the British side apparently prevailed).

"You know, he probably wasn't sure what to expect from me," the president said. "I kinda had a sense of the kind of person I was going to be dealing with. I would describe Gordon Brown as a principled man who really wants to get something done."

On the battle against terror, in particular, the men said there is no daylight between their views.

"We know we are in a common struggle and we know we have to work together, and we know we've got to use all means to deal with it," Brown said. "We are at one in fighting the battle against terrorism."

Bush congratulated the prime minister on his response when his country was hit with terror threats and catastrophic flooding immediately after he took office. "You've proved your worthiness as a leader."

"He gets it," the president said of his new partner."

This is a good sign. The traditional alliance of the United States and the United Kingdom, according to these indications, will carry on. And even with an early withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, I have nothing but graditude for the services they have rendered the world in this matter.

Monday, July 30, 2007

South of the Border

Well, I'm back from Reynosa Mexico. My church went down for a week, and I was with them. We had 4 different teams, and the 35 of us split into several the groups. The VBS team held a children's ministry, and was run entirely by the young ladies of the group.
The Sports/soccer team ministered to the young men of the area by playing soccer, and then at half time giving a testimony and invitation. This group was run entirely by young men and and a few adults.
The women's ministry was run by some ladies, and it led a bible study on Psalm 23 at the same location as the VBS.
Also, on the home front, we had 3 wonderful ladies providing food for us. A christian family we know owns a house in Reynosa, and allows us to use it for our trips.
Then there was the work team, which I was apart of. Most groups are finished by 1 in the afternoon, the work team usually isn't finished till 4.
So, on monday we spent the day trying to find work to do, and the supplies to do it. Tuesday, that problem was solved. We painted a building next to the church that the church owns, and the three youth in the group, (myself included) went through 5 gallons of this fantastic yellow pain in 2.5 hours. And then we ate lunch, and looked for more to do. Meanwhile, the other part of our group was installing some counters at a satellite church a few miles away.
On the first two days, the soccer team went back out to play in the evening, in order to get the older crowd to play after their work. I went with them both days, and had a blast. I am horrible at soccer, but I can play disruptive defence pretty well. And so I just kicked the ball away from people once they came into my area.
Wednesay morning, we did some touch up paining, and a little bit of touch up on the painting we did last year.
That afternoon, we installed lights in the church, and it was boring. Then Pastor Jesus came by and asked for some help with putting rebar in the vans, so my friend (I won't name him, but he's in a lot of the pics) and I volunteered. And so we drive over to a house, and it looks pretty barren. (Note middle picture, I'm helping mark out the foundation)
We'll be building a house there in the fall, and so it was a treat to be part of the foundation.
After a while of marking, hearing but not comprehending a discussion in spanish, they told us to start leveling the ground.
Ok, no problem, right? Except there was about a 6 inch differential inside the frame, and the ground was like shale for the first 4 inches.
So, we busted it up and leveled for about an hour and a half, that that was the far harder then any of the work I did building the house in January.
The next day, we worked on putting shelves in under the counter, and then came back to the house and we helped pour the foundation.
Note to the world: If you are pouring mezclay, (concrete), do not do it barefooted. It has this weird tendency to suck moisture from your skin.

Friday, I played soccer because we were essentially out of work.

What I get the most out these trips is from the people in Mexico. They seem destitute, but happy. A combination of a faith in Jesus, and a family seem to be all they need. Definitely something I can learn from.
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Friday, July 20, 2007

A world, Without America

I'm leaving again Sunday morning for a missions trip to Reynosa Mexico. I'll be back sometime Saturday night, probably won't resume posting until Monday or Tuesday.
In the meantime, here's a video for the road.

Muslim woman Killed for dishonoring to her Family

(Bit of a read, but it is a well executed piece of journalism)
Rueters (UK): "A Kurdish woman was brutally raped, stamped on and strangled by members of her family and their friends in an "honor killing" carried out at her London home because she had fallen in love with the wrong man.

Banaz Mahmod, 20, was subjected to the 2-1/2 hour ordeal before she was garroted with a bootlace. Her body was stuffed into a suitcase and taken about 100 miles to Birmingham where it was buried in the back garden of a house.

Her badly decomposed body was found in April 2006, three months after the killing.

Last month a jury found her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother Ari Mahmod, 51, guilty of murder after a three-month trial. Their associate Mohamad Hama, 30, had earlier admitted killing her.
Prosecutors said the three convicted men, along with two other suspects who are still at large, had carried out the killing fearing that the authorities were closing in on them.

They believed Banaz had brought shame on the family by leaving her husband, an Iraqi Kurd she had been forced to marry at 17, and falling in love with Rahmat Suleimani, an Iranian Kurd.
Her former unnamed partner had raped her as well as repeatedly beating her, the court heard."

And so you believe a young woman, who was forced to marry at the fragging ripe old age of 17, who left her coerced husband, who abused & beat her, to live with a man who she was in love with.
Ya know, in the western society, we have a thing called freedom. And the laws of the old world don't carry over to our society. Marriage should not be a forced decision, and that is final.

So she brought dishonor to her family by leaving, and so the solution? Brutally rape and then kill her.

And to top off the offenses, we have this recording from one of the men in prison, talking to a fellow convict.
""I was kicking and stamping on her neck to get the soul out. I saw her stark naked, only wearing pants or underwear," Hama is recorded as saying."

A religion of peace? This is not the first instance of an 'honor killing', nor unfortunately will it be the last in the free world. Just remember this young woman, Banaz Mahmod, next time you hear a politician refer to Islam as a Religion of Peace.

Christian Bomb threat - Ignored by all sides?

Story: "Last weekend more than a dozen envelopes bearing the image of skull and crossbones and containing letters threatening the lives of CU-Boulder evolutionary biology professors were slipped under the doors of CU-Boulder buildings.

According to a reprint of the letter posted online, the threat reads: “every true Christian should be ready and willing to take up arms to kill the enemies of Christian society.”

“EBIO (evolutionary biology) professors are terrorists against America and Š intellectual and spiritual child abusers of their young and impressionable students Š the EBIO department not only blasphemes God, who is invisible, but it blasphemes His Only Begotten Son and our Messiah, Jesus Christ, which is more unforgivable Š for all these reason all God-fearing and Truth-loving persons must say, They must go!”

CU officials won't name a suspect, but numerous sources close to the case say the letters - as well as a barrage of threatening e-mails - were signed “Michael Korn.”"

2 points.
1. Don't send bomb threats, espessially to some univerity for teaching the established scientific theory. While Evolution is wrong, there is no reason to bomb a university because it is.
2. For all of us who harp on the media for ripping Christians, let this be a reminder that there is a modicum of balenced coverage out there.

In other news, this video of a news report on a fashion runway cracked me up.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hatred of Taxes: Suprise

Story: "Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They're what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.

"It's clear that taxes are much too high in oil-rich Norway," Oslo resident Gro Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten. "It's sick!""

Suprise, people hate high taxes.
Gotta run, its another really busy week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Missle Defense Test succeds

Story: "A MODIFIED Boeing 747 designed to be part of an emerging US antimissile shield has successfully completed an important flight test, the Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency and Boeing said today. ... "We have now demonstrated most of the steps needed for the Airborne Laser to engage a threat missile and deliver precise and lethal effects against it," said Pat Shanahan, a vice president at Boeing, the prime contractor. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel John Daniels, the Pentagon's program manager, said the test on Saturday marked an historic day for "directed-energy" weapons firing at the speed of light, or 186,000 miles per second. "This will fundamentally change the way we engage and destroy fleeting targets," he said. The airborne laser is to be the first warplane relying entirely on a directed energy device as a weapon. It is designed to destroy an enemy ballistic missile shortly after it is launched, in the "boost phase" of its flight path."

I support efforts like this. I really don't understand why this makes the Ruskies so upset.

In other news, Homer Simpson is making waves with the cultic community.

Monday, July 16, 2007

US Aid into Pakistan

Story: "WASHINGTON (AFP) - The administration of President George W. Bush plans to pour 750 million dollars worth of aid into Pakistan'’s tribal areas in a bid to wrest it away from Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants...
A draft of the US Agency for International Development plan given to The Times by an official who worked on it warns that the "severe governance deficiencies" in the tribal areas will make it virtually impossible for the aid to be sustainable or to overcome the "area'’s chronic underdevelopment and consequent volatility," the paper pointed out."

Terrific. We're sending 3/4s of a Billion dollars over to a tribal area, in a bid to over power the strength of the terrorists. I wish this was a joke, because appeasement doesn't work. Still, let the record show that this is Bush, trying diplomacy, yet with little fanfare.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

How Paranoid Little Napoleons Took Over America

Times: "...There’s a tragicomic irony here, if you’ve the appetite for it. A central tenet of neoconservatism has always been that promoting democracy around the world is not only morally right, but also in the long-term interest of peace and stability. Democracies, as a rule, don’t go to war with each other. Their leaders are accountable to their people and people, as a rule, don’t like to see their sons and daughters go off to fight in a foreign country. There may be no better proof of that proposition than the increasingly desperate pleas for peace from Americans today..."

A sharply written column by Gered Baker, and he hits the Iraq war squarely on the head.
Not so accurate on the Immigration side of things, but his outsider perspective of the US political situation is interesting.

Hat Tip to the Cult of Christ.

Friday, July 13, 2007

US Economy goes rolling along

Story: "The Dow surged more than 280 points to finish at its record high on Thursday in New York, despite a lack of particularly strong factors."

And in light of that...
""This is far and away the strongest global economy I've seen in my business lifetime," U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson declared on a recent visit to Fortune's offices." -CNN

Not a whole lot to add, but this is a great economy. Maybe history will acknowledge it later, cause it seems as if most of us are not right now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rodents of Unusual Size terrorize Basra

Story: ""I was sleeping at night when this strange animal hit me on my head. I have not seen such an animal before. My husband hurried to shoot it but it was as swift as a deer," said Suad Hassan, a 30-year-old housewife.

"It is the size of a dog but his head is like a monkey. It runs so quickly."

Cell phone video of the badgers circulating in Basra shows a stocky skunk-like animal with long front claws.

The honey badger, or ratel, is known as a brave predator capable of killing a cobra. It weighs up to 14 kilos (30 pounds), not usually known as man-eater.

Sattar Jabbar, a 50-year-old local farmer from Abu Sakhar north of Basra, believes the badger can tackle even large prey.

"I saw it three days ago at night attacking animals. It even ate a cow. It tore the cow up piece by piece. I tried to shoot it with my gun but it ran away into the orchards. I missed it," he said.

In Iraq there can be only one explanation for an animal so vicious.

"I believe this animal appeared following a raid to the region by the British forces," said Ali Mohsen, a farmer in his 40s from Karmat Ali, near the air base used by the multinational force"

I really don't have any comment, but this story just caught my fancy.
Rather this is representative of the acctuall people in the region and their regard for the Allied forces, or selective reporting, I don't know. Still, its kinda weird they think the UK Forces did this.

(KD, Here's another instance of AKJ)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Best column of the week: Orsen Scott Card

Learning from History:
"American politics in the decade of the Zips (it's zip-seven right now) aren't British politics in the 1930s. American strategy in the war we're currently fighting isn't anything like the specific strategies that Hitler or Churchill needed to follow in order to win.

In fact, in one key way, we are living through the opposite of the run-up to World War II. America has a President who has taken the early action against the maniacs who seek world domination that Chamberlain refused to take. "

Card gives a great read on the history of Nevile Chamberlin and his actions leading up to WWII, and then in the 2nd half of the column, gives a fantastic analysis of the world situation.

Yes, its long. Boring? I don't think so.
Take it or leave it, but I read every word.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Popular Hypocrisy

The Daily Mail: "The Live Earth event is, in the words of one commentator: "a massive, hypocritical fraud".

For while the organisers' commitment to save the planet is genuine, the very process of putting on such a vast event, with more than 150 performers jetting around the world to appear in concerts from Tokyo to Hamburg, is surely an exercise in hypocrisy on a grand scale.

Matt Bellamy, front man of the rock band Muse, has dubbed it 'private jets for climate change'.

A Daily Mail investigation has revealed that far from saving the planet, the extravaganza will generate a huge fuel bill, acres of garbage, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions, and a mileage total equal to the movement of an army.

The most conservative assessment of the flights being taken by its superstars is that they are flying an extraordinary 222,623.63 miles between them to get to the various concerts - nearly nine times the circumference of the world. The true environmental cost, as they transport their technicians, dancers and support staff, is likely to be far higher. "

Our globe-trotting, climate-conscious, world-saving superstars are in the process of flying more miles then all of this blogs readers combined will fly in a dozen years.
For their troubles, they are praised for saving the environment.

And what they purposely ignore, is the carbon foot print they create. Now, I am certainly not a tree hugger by any stretch, and I have no problem with flying. Yet, the incredible hypocrisy, not just by the political left of this world, but by the cultural icons, who in all of their shallow glory, lecture us on the environment is beyond belief, and I shall continue calling them on it.

"My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis, it’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act, that’s a renewable resource, let’s renew it."
-Al Gore

And yet, we have the fantastic example of Mr. Gore himself, what with his paper consumption and energy usage.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

America - Still Free

Yesterday was the 4th of July, and here in America, we celebrate our Independence. Not just from the tyranny of monarchy, but for the liberty our constitution grants us, and the freedom and independence we believe is the innate right of every human being.
And as such, we usually have a bar-b-q, at least in Texas.
Not so this year. We finally had a lack of rain for the day, so we mowed the yard and fixed lawn equipment as it broke, and I changed the spark plugs on my Jeep. (Great idea, btw)

Then, we went to a Baseball game, and it was a great experience. They opened the game with the swearing in of 120 Air Force recruits. Then, a good baseball game (it's always better at the park), and a fantastic fireworks display.

America is a lot better when I'm actually out in it, rather then fuming at news stories trickling their way from the sludge pile of Washington.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Independance Day

Bush Pardons Scooter

Story: ""I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a written statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend 30 months in prison."
Because he was not pardoned, Libby remains the highest-ranking White House official convicted of a crime since the Iran-Contra affair. But he won't have to serve a day in prison, a fact that his friends cheered, even those who wished he'd received a full pardon.

"That's fantastic. It's a great relief," said former Ambassador Richard Carlson, who helped raise millions for Libby's defense fund. "Scooter Libby did not deserve to go to prison and I'm glad the president had the courage to do this.""

Finally, a modicum of justice has been executed in this case. A renegade prosecutor, a vengeful media, and a target with a bad name all adds up to a mis-trial.
Still, I think Bush should have gone with the full pardon. If he's guilty, make him serve the full punishment. If he's innocent, then he shouldn't have to serve any punishment.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Islamic Theology, not Western Policy cause of terrorism

Commentary: "I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this "Blair's bombs" line did our propaganda work for us.
And though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many others to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain and abroad was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary worldwide Islamic state that would dispense Islamic justice.

If we were interested in justice, you may ask, how did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting such a (flawed) Utopian goal? How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion?

There isn't enough room to outline everything here, but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a model of the world in which you are either a believer or an infidel.

Formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion: they are considered to be one and the same.

... since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world.

Along with many of my former peers, I was taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief.

In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.""

Like most conservatives have said for years, the muslim terrorists hate us because of their relgion, their twisted view of how a people should be governed, and a warped sense of justice. They hate because there system is far inferior, as evidenced by the vast socio-economic differences of our systems.
Our system generates wealth, fosters happiness, and equal justice.
Their system oppresses the vast majority for the splendid wealth of a few autocrats.

And so they hate because the ones with the wealth, and the religion, tell them to. And once you live with a hatred like that, it consumes you. (See man on fire above, fighting police.)

How do we win?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

On Islamic Nazis, imcompetent terrorists, and 'Poverty'

Story: "British officials raised the country’s terrorism threat alert to its highest level on Saturday after two men slammed an S.U.V. into entrance doors at Glasgow Airport and turned the vehicle into a potentially lethal fireball.

Less than 38 hours earlier the police uncovered two cars in London rigged to explode with gasoline, gas canisters and nails.

Early Sunday, after a day of fast-moving developments, the London police announced that two people had been arrested in Cheshire, in northwest England, “in connection with the events in London and Scotland.”

The arrests were in addition to those of the two occupants of the blazing car at Glasgow Airport. A witness to the attack said on BBC television that one of the car’s occupants had been ablaze from head to foot, and as he struggled with the police, “was throwing punches and shouting ‘Allah, Allah.’ ”

Britain’s threat level is now at “critical,” meaning another attack is considered imminent. The threat has not been as high since last year, after authorities discovered what they called a plot to attack trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives."

Ok, so the first two car bombs were stopped, both by Police efforts and terrorist incompetence.
Or perhaps not so incompentent, there may be the hand of God in this series of events.

So now, 2 clowns decided to run a Jeep into the Glasgow terminal, and catch themselves on fire in an attempt to kill englishmen.

But, as Sky news reports, the two men are doctors.
Meaning, one of the most often cited causes for Islamic terrorism is no longer applicable. Poverty is not a necessary factor for a Muslim Nazi to attempt to kill people. Its just an excuse Liberals use to mask evil.