Friday, April 30, 2004
Sporadic Posts For Friday:
I’ve been out for the past two days on a trip to New York City. Hence the lack of substantive posts over the past forty-eight hours. Here are some thoughts to cover that time period:
1. NYC cabbies are still clinically, verifiably, and completely insane.
2. There is still a whole in the heart of downtown Manhattan.
3. I’m still angry at the people who created it.
4. “Baghdad” Jim McDermott (nickname coming from his pre-war visit to Baghdad where he declared that he believed Saddam more than he believed W) is a moron on top of being a total idiot. The Democrat from the State of Washington dropped the words “Under God” (required by law by the way) from the Pledge of Allegiance as he led it before Congress on Tuesday. When asked to comment on the noticeable absence of said phrase, he stated that while leading the Pledge, he could not remember where the Courts currently stood on the issue. For the record, the Supremes are reviewing it. McDermott still wants his 15 minutes of fame, even if it comes at the cost of appearing like a loony bin escapee.
5. Rene Gonzalez is a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts. He wrote a column criticizing the lavish praise coming forth for the late Pat Tillman, Army Ranger and former NFL hard hitting safety. He stated that Tillman was a "G.I. Joe guy who got what was coming to him. That was not heroism, it was prophetic idiocy.” Yesterday, Gonzalez apologized to Tillman’s family, stating that his article wasn’t worth publishing.
Mr. Gonzalez, you are truly the undisputed king of understatements. Pat Tillman is in death more of a man than you will ever live to be. If I were you, I’d be very careful not to stray too close to any bars or other establishments frequented by men and women with a Ranger patch on their shoulder. You might not like how they respond to your use of free speech.
And finally, Lurch:
Drip, drip, drip.
Well, almost. Its gone from a steady drip to a slow deluge of Lurch mis-steps and blunders all along the campaign trail. First it was the mythical meetings with alleged foreign heads of state. Since this claim, Lurch has been reduced to raising the possibility he may have possibly caught the glance of a deputy assistant minister of cow dung extraction from Nepal while bagging his groceries at the local Food Lion. Oh, I forgot, Lurch as a butler who does that for him, like most common men do. Then he moved on to the SUV incident where he solemnly declared:
I did not have vehicular relations with that SUV, the suburban.
Then he moved on to the medal flap.
I threw my medals over the White House fence.
I threw somebody else’s medals over the White House fence.
I threw my ribbons over the White House fence.
Medals and ribbons are the same thing.
And now, we learn of the butler. Jodi Wilgoren had a piece in the New York Times Wednesday about the man behind the corpse, I mean Lurch. Rush commented on it extensively, so I will only add this thought:
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich maker on the campaign payroll?!
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
With friends like these, W doesn't even need to campaign.
The Village Voice, not known for its embrace of conservative candidates, has taken a shot across the bow of the USS Lurch. They want someone, anyone to take the place of Lurch before he is all the dems have to run at W.
Now while I may agree with them on the flailing candidacy of the corpse who would be president, I cannot pass up the opportunity to laugh at their final sentance. Know who they want instead of Lurch? Howie.
Oh well, can't have it all.
Monday, April 26, 2004
On the weekend’s protest marches in DC:
Long haired, dope smoking, maggot infested, FM types. 500, 000 of them showed up for the March for Women’s (but not unborn children’s) Lives over the weekend. OK, half a million people is quite a crowd. That being said, Calypso Louis Farrakan managed to get around 700,000 for his “Not Quite a” Million Man March.
Much hoopla, wailing, and nashing of teeth went on. Now its over, most of them have gone home.
If you listen closely you can hear the sound of me (and most of America) yawning.
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, April 23, 2004
On the last full measure of devotion:
Sports Illustrated/CNN is reporting today that Pat Tillman, a Special Operations soldier in the United States Army was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Tillman was a good soldier
He was also one hell of a defensive safety for the Arizona Cardinals. In his last four seasons with the Cardinals he recorded a franchise record 155 tackles. He could have continued playing football. I'm sure it was one of his dreams to do so.
September 11, 2001 changed him. He gave up a three year $3.6 million contract to join the US Army. I remember this story because he was hoping to become a Special Operations soldier, or perhaps an Army Ranger. I forget which, but the annual salary he was looking at was somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 a year. Tillman probably made that in on any given Sunday afternoon in the NFL. Peggy Noonan wrote this when she learned of his decision.
His country was attacked. He felt an inner call to duty. He answered it, and today he gave his nation what Lincoln referred to as the last full measure of devotion.
Yesterday I quoted McArthur's final address to the Corps of Cadets at West Point. If you are wondering just what kind of soldier he was talking about, Pat Tillman was that kind of soldier.
Duty. Honor. Country. That was the call Tillman heard. May we hear and answer that call, each in our own way.
Rest in peace, Pat. Welcome home.
Sporadic posts for Friday:
Lurch declared yesterday that he doesn’t own an SUV. Pay no attention to the Chevy Suburban parked outside the multimillion dollar Idaho ‘cabin’. That gas guzzler is owned by the ‘family’.
First question – why is it I only find this article in a UK paper?
Next – Lurch doesn’t actually own this vehicle. Yeah, right. Bill and Monica were never really alone in the Oval Office either. C’mon, Lurch, you’re making this too easy. Gimme something I actually have to think about to figure out.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
On Leadership and Victory:
Why is it some people fear victory? I am a student of history and in this capacity I see an attitude, albeit non pervasive at present, that seems to portray a sometimes wildly misplaced fear of American victory in the Global War on Terror.
I don’t get it.
Those of you who regularly read this blog know I am a staunch supporter of W as it relates to his leadership style and his overall attitude toward terror and the nations and organizations that support terrorists. I want us to win this war, and win it overwhelmingly if for no other reason than to put the word out that an attack on America will result in the absolute and total destruction of those responsible. I also support the Bush Doctrine of Pre-emption. If we find out you’re planning to attack us, or even gathering the means to do so, we will take you out in a way you will never recover from.
I’m OK with all of the above. Why? Because I read history. I study real, manly men (and women) who had a strong grip on reality and their place in the world. Let me quote a few of them and comment:
“Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be duty, honor, country.” – General Douglas McArthur at West Point 12 May 1962
“Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.” – General George S. Patton
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
“The only difference between the terrorist and the freedom fighter is – the freedom fighter won.” - Cordeiro
It is sad that we have come to a point in American history where winning a war is a question of political correctness rather than an outcome guaranteed by courage, faith, and a will to go above and beyond the call of duty to accomplish the mission. Lurch and his willing accomplices in the mainstream press would have you believe the situation in Iraq will only deteriorate until the US, led by Lurch, walks up the steps of the UN building in New York and begs for forgiveness.
The only answer to the war in which we find ourselves now involved is complete, total, and absolute victory. The can be and never will be a substitute for victory. In war there are only two alternatives – Victory or Defeat. There is no middle ground – just ask South Korea.
So, in this war you have a clear choice for Leadership. You can stick with W, the same guy who has bravely stood up to terrorism on many fronts – both those we see on the nightly news, and the dark and covert fronts of which we may never know.
Or, you can jump ship and stand with Lurch. Remember, this guy still thinks terrorism is a law enforcement issue and should be dealt with as such. He wants to grovel to the UN and French ninnies before he takes decisive action against those who would do us harm.
So, my friends, in your heart and in your gut you know there is only one choice come this November.
Groveling is not one of them.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
On Wartime, Medals, and Honor:
I am not a veteran, nor have I served in the armed forces of the United States in any capacity. Therefore, it does not behoove me to criticize those who have donned the uniform and been sent into harm’s way to fight our nation’s battles. I don’t believe any civilian has the right to question the exploits of any veteran – much less the events or reasons behind medals awarded for combat service or wounds resulting from it.
Thankfully, I don’t have to indulge in any of the above listed conduct. Two Vietnam Veterans have done the asking for me. Check out their commentary here. Then, contrast it to an interview published by a British paper on the recent exploits of truly brave Marines in Fallujah. Hat tip to Hugh for the linkage.
There, dear reader, is a lesson in courage under fire.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
On the Definition of “All the Records”:
Lurch, you’re making this too easy.
I’ve been off for a few days and thus altogether missed Lurch’s performance on Meet the Press. Hugh Hewitt does a pretty good job of linking to the sites reporting the somewhat lack luster performance. What do you expect from a botox ridden walking corpse?
There is but one item I’d like to comment on. Lurch publicly proclaimed that he would release all records pertaining to his military service. He did this on national television, although you can’t exactly expect America to be paying attention to much of anything that early on a Sunday morning. Maybe Lurch expected his statement to go unnoticed by the media.
Well, it seems that one Boston Globe reporter showed up at Kerry Campaign HQ desiring to review the records previously promised by Lurch. Said reporter was rebuffed and told there would be no new information released to the public.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
I guess that depends on your definition of "All the Records".
I do not know what is locked inside Lurch’s military records. I do not fault the man for serving his country in time of war. That being said, there are serious rumblings out there about his service, his command, and even the validity of the acts behind his medals and decorations. You know, the ribbons he tossed over the White House fence after he came home from ‘combat’.
If I had to guess, I’d bet there is something in those records that reflects badly upon Lurch as a Naval Officer. This would be a ‘bad thing’ as it would tarnish the one aspect of his life Lurch can hang his future on. Didn’t you know he served in Vietnam?
Lurch, the wind is coming.
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Quick Friday thoughts:
1.New York City cab drivers are completely and totally insane. You can not put a Ford Crown Victoria into a parking spot formerly occupied by a Geo Metro.
2.If Lurch and company want to continue to criticize the War on Terror, I hereby request they do so with the Pit that was the WTC complex as a backdrop.
3.I take a day off and Binny Laden decides to come out of his cave and offer a truce to any European country willing to withdraw from Iraq and stop attacking Muslims. Spain, can you hear me now? Kudos to the EU (and believe me, from me that means a lot) for telling him where to stick his truce.
4.My fellow Americans and like minded freedom loving people, remember one thing on what looks to be a beautiful weekend. We are at war. We will be for the foreseeable future. Never forget there are men and women of our armed forces who find themselves far from home, in harm’s way, and fighting for which we hold to be right, just, and true. Pray for them. Remember that they do what they do where they do it so you won’t wake up one morning to find a smoldering hole in the heart of your city.
As for myself, I pray on their behalf for the following: Good luck, Godspeed, and Good Hunting.
Here endeth the lesson.
Ps. A solid welcome to Bonjo. Anyone who places my blog in the same space as Fox News and Sean Hannity is ok in my book.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
On Apologies, Mistakes, and Responsibilities:
Like many Americans, I watched W’s press conference last night. I watched to see my president tell his story, field questions from an obviously hostile media, and well, I’ll be honest here, I’d seen the Law & Order episode on TNT at least three times.
Jack McCoy would be my kind of Attorney General.
But I digress.
I wanted to comment on the press conference for one reason. I saw in W last night something I have been seeking for quite some time. I saw a glimpse of the man who took to the pile of rubble that was the WTC complex in New York City with a bull horn in his hand and his arm around a fireman. I saw a glimpse of the man who unequivocally declared that the people “who knocked these buildings down are going to hear from all of us real soon.” I saw a man defiant, strong, and most of all one who would not cave to the changing winds emanating from the left leaning press blowholes.
Three questions permeating the barrage – I quote directly from the transcript:
Do you feel a sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?
And do you believe there were any errors in judgment that you made related to any of those topics I brought up? (WMD, Post war Iraq planning, pre-9-11 actions – added by the editor)
Do you believe the American people deserve a similar (to “Tiny” Dick Clarke) apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?
Stupid questions, coming from a very hostile, left bent press corps who didn’t even bother to try to hide its left leaning slide.
Years ago, I had a co-worker who had a quote posted in his cubicle. It said the following:
Never apologize. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies will use it against you.
W had some good answers for the above listed questions. The person responsible for the attacks, he stated, was Osama bin Laden. Period. End of question. As much as the press, and the democratic party would like to pin the blame on W and his underlings, the fact remains the planes were flown by AQ people.
No man (or woman for that matter) is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. To err is human. To crucify with 20/20 hindsight is an old, oft used, and seldom effective tool of inside the beltway gotcha politics. To admit to any mistake on national television would only serve to arm the adversary. W was wise to deflect the question.
As for an apology, I have these questions: To what end would it serve? What good would it do? Would it serve to soothe the pain of the victim’s families? I doubt it. Would an apology make us safer? Hardly. Would it weaken the image of the presidency? Yes. W has nothing to apologize for – except possibly irritating liberals to the point of insanity. Doubt this? Take a listen to Ted “Dude, where’s my scotch” Kennedy. The guy has truly flipped out.
Back to my original point. This campaign is going to be rough. There are many issues that will be brought up. Some are relevant, most are not. But if the man who took to the WTC rubble with a bull horn comes out swinging at Lurch, its going to be ugly – mostly because Lurch has a glass jaw.
Lurch, the wind is coming.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
On Lurch (again):
If you don’t know who Lurch is by now, I can’t help you. In today’s Washington Post, he has written and op-ed piece with his strategy for solving all the problems in Iraq. I’m not even going to bother to link you to it, because the whole piece is a sad waste of the printed page, or bandwidth – whichever you use.
I will however, boil Lurch’s strategy down into a few coherent sentences – basically taking out all of the political gobbley gook that makes up the lion’s share of any and all statements made by Lurch.
Part 1 of Lurch’s strategy: Turn control and power regarding Iraq’s transition to democracy over to the UN.
Part 2: Leave security responsibility to NATO. Loosely translated, this means the US Military would be responsible for Iraqi security, however command and control of the bulk of the US Armed forces would fall under the UN.
Back in 1971, Lurch testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he envisioned a day in which the military forces of the United States would be deployed only with the order and permission of the UN. Many people have said his testimony at that time is not relevant to his quest for the presidency. I beg to differ.
Lurch fails to recognize a fundamental fact of the situation in Iraq. The UN did not support nor condone the actions that liberated Iraq. It did not send its forces into harms way, and it has not paid the price in blood and treasure necessary to get a seat at the table where power and responsibility are divvied up.
Lurch is also unaware, purposefully so, of the criminal debacle that was Iraq’s “Oil for Food” program. This program, overseen by the UN, put untold amounts of money in Saddam’s coffers – funds that were allegedly earmarked for food.
Why would a reasonable person ever think to put such an organization in charge of the corner grocery store, let alone Iraq?
Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, April 12, 2004
On the PDB Memo:
First off, let me explain that I am not an Intelligence Official. I am in no way, shape, manner or form associated with any intelligence agency of the United States or any other country for that matter. The information and commentary provided here is of my own production.
I have published for your perusal a redacted copy of a Presidential Daily Brief dated 6 August 2001. Critics of the W Administration have proclaimed this memo to be the smoking gun pointing to the allegation that W was forewarned about the impending attacks carried out on September 11, 2001.
I have read the memo. Several times, actually. In it I see vague intelligence information describing what anyone watching 60 minutes already knew. Usama “Binny” Ladin wanted to attack the United States, possibly with explosives. Other threats included possible attacks on embassies.
What I do not see is anything worth acting on. Perhaps that part was redacted. I do not think it was. Can any of you honestly look me in the eye and tell me there was anything there that would’ve justified sending troops to Afghanistan, or any other country, in a pre 9/11 world? Be honest with yourself. I know its hard.
“Tiny” Dick Clarke has himself stated for the record that even if W did every single thing he suggested, the attacks of September 11th most likely would have still happened. Condi agrees with him.
The fact is Clinton’s sorry excuse for and Administration had the opportunity to grab Binny Ladin – on three separate occasions. Action to capture or kill Binny was not taken. I believe the reasoning was no legal authority existed to hold him. Funny how we can arrest people for jaywalking in New York City, but when it comes to putting cuffs on a known terrorist we got cold feet.
But, I digress.
So, peruse the memo below. I’d expect polite debate from the loony lefties out there, but that would require them to have the ability to read. Then critical thinking would have to take over, and that's just asking too much.
Here endeth the lesson.
The following is a redacted text of the presidential daily briefing from August 6, 2001:
Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US
Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997' has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."
After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted text] service. An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [deleted text] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.
The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.
Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.
Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.
Al-Qa'ida members — including some who are US citizens — have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.
A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.
We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other US-held extremists.
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.
The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
On the Condi Show:
As you peruse the transcripts of Dr. Rice’s testimony today, you will find a section of her exchange with Richard “Waste of Skin and Breathable Air” Ben Viniste. I took good notes during her testimony and have dutifully transcribed them here for your benefit.
Ben Viniste: Answer my question!!
Condi: I'll answer the question. You want answers?
Ben Vineste: I think I'm entitled to them.
Condi: You want answers?!
Ben Vineste: I want the truth!
Condi: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Mr. Ben Vineste? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the victims of 9/11, and you curse the Administration. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know and while my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall -- you need me on that wall.
We use words like "honor," "code," "loyalty." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!
End of Excerpt.
Good show Condi. Well done.
Here endeth the lesson.
He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. – Proverbs 11:29
A house divided against itself cannot stand. – A. Lincoln
My friends, I wish to depart slightly today from the irreverent humor to which most readers are accustomed. With the events in Iraq and elsewhere this week which have resulted in the loss of too many of our men and women in uniform, I feel duty bound to take some people to task for their behavior.
In Iraq this week, roughly two dozen soldiers and marines have fallen in battles against radical insurgents seeking to undermine the coalition’s efforts to bring peace and freedom to the Iraqi people. I mourn their loss and pray for the safety of their comrades in arms. Their cause is just, despite the constant whining coming from those on the left side of the political spectrum.
Yesterday, these brave men and women once again came under enemy fire. They performed their assigned duties bravely, and in many cases heroically. Their battle is one of the most dangerous known to modern warriors – Urban Combat. No battle lines, no uniforms, no defined enemy. Anyone and everyone can be and often is a target. Never the less, courage and bravery will defeat evil in the end. It is only a matter of time.
Meanwhile back across the Potomac River in the well of the Senate in Washington DC, the business of the people was being taken care of. Oh, wait, I forgot. This is an election year and there are political points to be scored.
Yesterday in the Senate, West (By God) Virginia’s sorry excuse for a Senator, Robert Byrd, picked up the microphone and proceeded to delve in to and oft times unintelligible diatribe against the presence of US forces in Iraq. I quote from the Senate record:
"Surely I am not the only one who hears echoes of Vietnam in this development. Surely, the administration recognizes that increasing the U.S. troop presence in Iraq will only suck us deeper, deeper into the maelstrom, into the quicksand of violence that has become the hallmark of that unfortunate, miserable country.
Starkly put, at this juncture, more U.S. forces in Iraq equates more U.S. targets in Iraq. The harsh reality is this: one year after the fall of Baghdad, the United States should not be casting about for a formula to bring additional U.S. troops to Iraq. We should instead be working toward an exit strategy."
I am not a big fan of Arizona Senator John McCain, however, to his credit he took to the well of the Senate and chastised Byrd in a way only a true Vietnam Veteran could. Kudos to McCain.
Byrd is not the only senator in the chorus of whining eminating from the left. Ted “Dude, where’s my scotch?” Kennedy let loose with such a meandering, nonsensical attack against W and the war that I will not here waste bandwidth quoting him. John “Lurch” Kerry is not to be left out. He never passes up the opportunity to criticize the war, and those responsible for waging it. All this while our boys are taking fire in the streets of Tikrit, Fallujah, and Bagdad.
In another era, the House and Senate would pass a joint resolution calling on the American people to pray for our peacemakers who find themselves far from home and in harms way. At this point, I believe the aforementioned senators with the exception of McCain would oppose it.
In short, “Lurch” Kerry and company seek to trouble their own house and divide America. They seek to divide us along ethnic, religious, economic, social, racial, and any other background they can use to get votes.
I have news for Lurch and those who surrogate for him. First, you are fools. Next, and most importantly -
The wind is coming.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
On John 'Lurch' Kerry's first rich widow:
I hate to make things personal. I really do. But Lurch has really stripped away all boundaries for this campaign. If he hasn't, his surrogates surely have. Thus I will link you here to a piece by the Washington Times' Joseph Curl. It details of Lurch's first conquest of a rich widow. Not exactly a glowing account - actually comes across as quite a mess. No doubt somebody will cry foul at the publication of this information, but I guarantee you if there was former Mrs. Bush out there, she and her relationship with W would be front page fodder all over the country.
But, I digress. There is no inherent bias in the mainstream media.
On Marjorie Hinckley:
Rest in peace, Marjorie. Welcome home.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
On the death and life of a Jewish Carpenter:
Yes, this is my Easter post. It will no doubt get buried in the week’s musings, so I may repost it later.
Many years ago, my father sent me a copy of a book entitled The Man Nobody Knows by Bruce Barton. It really changed the way I think about Christ and made me see him more as a human being than as a larger than life figure. Some of my comments below are inspired by Barton’s work. Most of it is my own commentary. It’s my blog, so you get to decide which is better.
He was born to poor parents in the poorest part of a small Judean town called Bethlehem. Though his birth was heralded by a host of heavenly angels, their carols fell upon the ears of humble shepherds. There was no royal reception for the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Scripture tells us little of his childhood, only that he increased in knowledge and stature by degrees. His earthly father was a carpenter, and the young Jesus no doubt followed in the Joseph’s footsteps.
In those days, the life of a carpenter was grueling. The title of ‘Carpenter’ was the equivalent of ‘General Contractor’ in today’s vernacular. When someone accepted the contract to build a house, it was expected that a house would be built from foundation to roof – all by the Carpenter. So, when Jesus taught that one should build one’s house upon the rock, there can be little doubt he was not using only metaphors.
His chosen vocation required him to be strong. He was a tall man judging by the fact that extra room had to be hewn out of the tomb of Joseph of Arimethia. Years of hewing boards out of recently felled trees no doubt gave him great strength. I submit to you that when he cleansed the temple with the cat of nine tails, the merchants he drove from the courtyard had more than just the Fear of God put in them. I would venture to guess they were also fearful of what his muscled arms would do to them – with the cat of nine tails.
For the first 30 years of his life, he was a very unordinary man. This was evidenced by people’s reaction to his early ministry. They said things like “Is this not Joseph’s son?” Jesus had lived among them for a long time.
I will not go into his ministry here. There are other places you can go for that information. I will but mention a few things. Jesus called very ordinary people to work with him. He took a few fishermen, a tax collector, a physician, and other such people and created from them an organization whose effects are still felt in the world today. He was a phenomenal leader. He was a handsome man – so much so that women went to great lengths to be near him. He was the most popular dinner guest in all of Jerusalem. He ruined every funeral he ever went to, including his own. Though he rightly proclaimed himself to be the Son of God, he most often referred to himself as the Son of Man. This being said, his favorite audience was not made up of adults. Even when exhausted, Jesus preferred to surround himself with children. “Blessed are the children,” he declared, “for such is the kingdom of heaven.”
His ministry lasted but three short years. The end of his life was a truly terrible event, well documented by Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ. He was deemed such a threat by both the Roman and Jewish establishments that he was sentenced to death.
Crucifixion is the most barbaric form of capital punishment ever designed by man. The pain and suffering experienced by the victims of this act is truly unspeakable. Never the less, Jesus did not shrink from it. He was, as always, more concerned with the welfare of others, principally his mother, than he was with himself. He said but two words concerning his physical discomfort on the cross. I thirst.
It is simple to see how easy it would be to despair at such a moment. His followers were in disarray. His closest apostle had denied him three times earlier that day. He had been beaten, and he knew he was going to die.
That being said, it is important to remember one of the last moments of his life. According to the gospels, he was hung between two thieves. One of them looked upon Jesus and said the following:
“Jesus,” the man cried, “remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom!”
Think about that for a second. At the lowest point in his life, when it seemed the adversary had one and all was truly lost, the Son of Man held and conducted himself in such a way that a dying man looked into his eyes –
And saluted him as a King.
There is but one thing I can add to this record. The most important thing one can remember about the death and life of Jesus is the following:
The tomb is empty.
Here endeth the lesson.