Wednesday, July 27

Language for the masses

The government's use of language is a "marvelous" thing.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the country's top military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism".

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."

He said the threat instead should be defined as violent extremism, with the recognition that "terror is the method they use."
I've noticed the clever use of language in calling this a war on terror. How does one fight method? In the administration's political mind, by sending the military in to overrun a couple of countries and police the peace there long enough. How long? As long as the administration thinks it's necessary to keep people thinking that it's working. What's the standard line? We're fighting them "over there" so we won't have to fight them "over here". Over and over again the significance of the absence of terror attacks here is pushed across as being an indicator of "winning" the war on terror. A supposed lack of attacks, however, doesn't mean anything anymore than it did before 9/11. Yet, the administration continues to try to promote the idea that we're following the right plan of action.

When our troops were sent into Afghanistan, I was hopeful. When they were sent to Iraq, I was dubious. In both cases we've done, apparently, what it was we originally intended. Yet the troops remain. We say we're looking for Osama. If we couldn't find Eric Robert Rudolph hiding in our own country for five years what makes us think we'll find a well-heeled, well organized terrorist hiding in ... the world?

The troops have done their job and done it admirably. It's time to bring them home. Not because, as some liberal Democrats would chant, of the failed policies of this administration, but because they've done what's expected of a military force, i.e. defeat an enemy and conquer territory. The military is trained to blow up things and kill people. Fighting terrorism or violent extremism, no matter what the terms, with guns and tanks is foolish. Imagining that victory can be attained with the means we are using is an elusive dream.

Wednesday, July 20

Blogging as therapy

Aggitated depression is how it was related to me. This is one of the ways I express it. Through blogging, that is. The connection never occurred to me before but now that I've had a chance to think about it, it does make sense. Before blogging came along there were other forms of expression for this condition. Keeping busy with work around the house or fixing a car or whatever seemed to pass the time and keep me distracted from whatever it was which was the real object of my frustration. As if I really know what it is that is my underlying frustration other than Christians who think I wasted my vote on Peroutka.

Initially, blogging was an outlet for my opinions on political, cultural, religious and scientific events. I don't have hobbies as I don't have that kind of money or time. I know someone who hunts. The time and expense they go through with that avocational activity is beyond me. No, I started this a year ago, as an exercise, to give outlet to some creativity, or so I thought. My writing skills might not rival Vox Day but I put my thoughts out there such as they are.

A counselor pointed out that my expression of frustrations on societal events was an outlet for my more immediate frustrations. I can see how that is possible. Personally, there always seems to be something draining my money or my energies when they could be devoted to improving things. I find myself expending time and energy on the inconsequentials, maintaining the status quo, instead of moving forward. On some occasions frustrations arise with members of the family on a variety of personal issues. Perhaps it's the futility of complaining about things that don't seem to change that brings on complaining about a Republican party that doesn't either. Pardon me while I think out loud.

As I understand it, this casts a different light upon blogs in general. Some of those who have it as a leisure activity, such as myself, as well as those more seriously involved, have their own aggitated depression to varying degrees, I'm sure. It doesn't change any of the truth of the commentary but perhaps it does put what is written within a psychologic framework from which a discerning reader can discriminate underlying motivations. (Excuse me while I get really heady.) Knowing this puts Ann Coulter, Ilana Mercer, et al. in a whole new light. You just never know. That angry editorialist with a bone to pick on Bush may just be struggling with a son or daughter who doesn't give them respect.

If you notice I'm getting a little vehement with my commentary on cultural decline, excuse it. I may have just had an argument with a family member about money.

Tuesday, July 19

Nominating is one thing...confirming is another

I'll believe it when he takes the oath of office. John Roberts will be nominated to the Supreme Court but getting him confirmed is an entirely different matter.

I took the time to dig back into the Vox archives of last year to see what was said during the presidential campaign and found this...

Why Bush is a poor pro-life vote

A short exerpt should suffice...

Many conservatives have tried to overlook President Bush's liberal tendencies in hopes that at the least G. W. Bush will appoint a pro-lifer to the Supreme Court, and in so doing, help overturn Roe v. Wade. Their hope is not only without evidence, it is plainly contrary to evidence. In his prime-time television debates with Gore, George Bush flatly denied that he had a pro-life litmus test for Court appointees. If a judicial candidate deemed it just and constitutional to execute innocent people, that did not exclude him from a possible appointment to the Supreme Court according to President Bush. President Bush has insisted that he will only appoint "strict constructionists" to the Court, or people who will interpret and apply the Constitution as the founders intended and not as an evolving, "living document", but according to President Bush they need not be pro-life. Strict constructionists.� His record as Governor of Texas shows that he does indeed appoint pro-abortion judges, so we should not be surprised if President Bush were to appoint pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court.

Actually, this pick falls in line with a prediction I've made. Not that I'm hoping I'm right, as I really would like to see a true conservative, constitutionalist jurist on the bench, but now that I've considered Bush's modus operandi, it seems to fit so well. Although the religious right will probably be patting themselves on the back for choosing Bush because of this, there isn't any cause for celebration. Bush's track record is clear and Sen. Specter will help him play both ends against the middle. Isn't politics grand?

Monday, July 18

Miss a week and you miss alot

It seems you people have been keeping busy while I've been in the ministry trenches.

1) Chinese general threatens the U.S.

Speaking to a group of visiting journalists from Hong Kong, Zhu warned: “If the Americans are determined to interfere…we will be determined to respond.” The head of China’s National Defense University casually offered a vision of nuclear annihilation: “We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all cities east of Xian (central China). Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds … of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”
Here is a classic illustration of totalitarian disdain for human life. The People’s Republic is willing to sacrifice tens of millions of its own people – and to inflict similar casualties on an adversary – to achieve its geo-political goals.
The sabre rattling has intensified over Taiwan for the last dozen or so years. Now the Chinese, like the Koreans, talk their military trash. It seems to me that the Chinese are gently but strategically positioning themselves for an attack upon Taiwan. In my opinion it's only a question of when. If a military answer is required from us, will we have the resources available? Time and Iraq will tell. Meanwhile, back in Iraq...

2) The Jack Army blog posted a must see video of a soldier getting hit by a sniper and quickly getting back on his feet, preparing to return fire and take cover. I came about this vid through a circuitous route, first at Blackfive, then Jack Army, and finally Mudville. Just trying to give proper credit where credit is due.

These guys in our military are simply amazing. I say we empty Tom Cruses' bank account, divide it between the purple heart recipients from this stinkin' war and send Cruse to Baghdad. These prissy actors makin' millions while soldiers like Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer are really gettin' shot at for practically nothin' makes me sick.

3) The Democrats are turning red over any prospective Supreme Court nominee. It won't matter who it is, Chuck Schumer will transform into the Fantastic Four all by himself if he doesn't get someone liberal enough. It seems he insists on a religious test, along with a laundry list of other tests, to satisfy his requirements of a potential candidate. I think Sen. Schumer hasn't read the Constitution. I quote...
Article VI, Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Friday, July 8

Out of commission...

Elsa and I will be off tending to a youth camp in eastern Tennessee so there'll be a lapse in postings here for about a week. Every year, for the last 5 years, we've gone to camp at this place near the North Carolina/Tennessee border and it's been good; rafting, caving, camp games and the imitable Mess Fest. There's no air conditioning, only outdoor showers and camp food, yech. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. All this after I just came off a dispatch to Whitesburg, GA which was simply the worst I've ever been on. Two dozen dogs and cats all roaming the in and out of the trailer, a half dozen vehicles in various stages of disassembly strewn throughout the property and a 500 yard long dirt driveway with a culvert at which I got the van stuck while trying to leave. I'm looking forward to going back to transport with clean DS-3's and OC-3's.

I'm sure the world will continue to revolve around its axis. Vox will continue his insightful commentary. I will be sweating bricks in a sacrifice of self. When this is over I'll probably take a garden hose to myself and stand in the middle of the yard screaming that it's over. I need a vacation.

Thursday, July 7

Tough times call for spiritual measures

A LONDON morning that began tinged with joy and incredulity at victory in securing the Olympic Games was plunged into horrified disbelief as explosives tore through the underground arteries of the city, bringing death and dismay where, a few hours earlier, there had been celebration.

The contrast between the jubilation and the carnage, the stateliness of the G8 summit and the chaos in London, served only to heighten the brutality, as the terrorist traffickers in symbolism had planned.
Their symbolism isn't lost on me. These aren't people chauvinistic of any country. Their focus is in the ethereal. I don't think there's enough emphasis on that component of these terrorists and their mentality.

Insofar as this "war on terrorism", of which I've been dubious from the beginning, the proponents for the fight come to the forefront at times like these and make the blunder of suggesting that this "war" can be won through our own efforts. They make the case to stay the course of fighting this "war" in natural, physical, terms. I'm afraid this isn't a battle against flesh and blood. Kill as many of these people as we like and there'll be more to take their place. In times past combatants fought over authority or power. These enemies are interested in authority but not the kind which some seem to think. They aren't identified by uniforms, their alliances have no clear political lines. We're waging a war, alright, but it's a war of the principalities and powers in operation in our world. Guns and the highest technology available are wholly inadequate to enjoin the battle. Spiritual authority which comes from the God Who made us is what is needed.

The compartmentalization of the spiritual and marginalization of God's authority in times like these is typically characteristic. Trusting upon our own abilities and technology, we've forgotten that the weapons of warfare for the spiritually alive are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. God will help, if we ask.

There is a principle at work here and it's a principle of seeming contradiction. We must trust the efficaciousness of the weapons we cannot see more than the ones we can. Spiritual wars are fought with spiritual weaponry. The more we rely upon and enjoin the battle with what we have at hand, the more we will succumb to the enemy. Those who believe that our political leaders and civil authorities are capable of fighting this war with the devices of mankind are mistaken. The more we trust and rely upon God, the more will victory be ours.

Wednesday, July 6

Do as I say don't do as I do.

It didn't take long for the current to pull a man under at the falls on the San Marcos River so 48-year-old David Newman says he acted quickly to save him. "I made a decision to go with my gut feeling and pull him out of the water rather than get out of the water myself," Newman said. But what happened after that decision landed him in the Hays County Jail.

"I tried to catch my breath over here, then I swam across as soon as I exited the water. They extended their hand to help me out and put the cuffs on me," Newman said.
Maybe the guy should've let the EMS "assess" the condition of the drowning man until he was dead? This is more ridiculous than I can stomach. And they say that truth is stranger than fiction. I desperately hope that Mr. Newman asks for a jury trial and gets a group of jurors who are keenly aware of jury nullification to show these people as the jackbooted thugs they are. For instance...

“The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge." and again “The jury has an unreviewable and unreversible power . . . to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by trial judge" - U.S. vs. Dougherty. 473 F 2nd 1113. 1139. (1972).

“The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes. - U.S. supreme Court Justice. 1902.

“The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” - Harlan F. Stone. 12th Chief Justice U.S. supreme Court. 1941.

Tuesday, July 5

Why the fuss?

A Birmingham Civil Rights activist and radio talk show host says he plans to file a lawsuit to force the Sons of Confederate Veterans to remove a giant Confederate flag from the side of Interstate 65 near Verbena.

The flag is flying above the tree line from a pole on land owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on the side of the highway.
It's to the point that private property isn't private anymore. I'm all for the battle flag, especially in this age. The federal oligarchy has put an end to the republic and getting rid of the battle flag, in this politically correct climate, attempts to remove the last vestige of a time when constitutionally responsible and responsive government meant something.

On the other hand, there are some who aren't ashamed of the flag.
The Maryville School Board this month banned flying the Confederate flag amid racial tensions but that hasn't stopped H. K. Edgerton, a former NAACP leader, from marching into Maryville with his and he questions what racial tensions.

"Just because you can go get one or two poverty pimps to strut around and try to change people in another direction and try to make you believe all black folks hate the flag, that's not true." says H. K. Edgerton, North Carolina Heritage Preservation President. The public display grabbed local attention.

"I noticed a black man walking down Alcoa Highway carrying a carrying a Rebel flag...never seen anything like that in my life, says Bob Culbertson, who supports the rebel flag at MHS. And local support in the form of honking horns, hoots and hollers.
God bless you, H.K.

Sunday, July 3

Let's do it right.

My daddy used to say to use the right tools to do the job.The M249 SAW looks good to me, as recommended by Stoneman.

Saturday, July 2

A Wonderful Life...ugh

Yesterday, as I am wont to do, I was on my rounds servicing residential phone wiring. Why is it my company gets all the real "winners" as customers? One particular customer in Peachtree City is a case in point. I'd been to this one a week ago. They reported a no dial tone and when I arrived at the residence, it was so. Checking their NID, (Network Interface Device; it's usually in a grey box outside the house where the service cabling from the street gets connected to the inside telephone wiring at the house. When you're in telecommunications, you learn to deal with the acronyms.) I found that something was supressing the dialtone from inside the home. I went to a few rooms before ending up in an upstairs bedroom.

I've been to so many service calls like this over the years and been through so many different conditions, some of which might make you amazed how other people can live like animals. This was the kids upstairs bedroom and it looked generally like a typical American kids bedroom, mattresses on the floor, last night's snack food box, etc., etc. I examined the jack, fixed what I thought was the problem, checked to make sure the lady of the house was getting dialtone on her phones again and left.

Earlier this week I get another trouble report from the same residence. I call them and set the appointment up for yesterday, Friday. After I get there the lady begins to explain to me that 10 minutes after I left the last time she lost dialtone again. Now, I'm not understanding how this could be as I know, and I know I proved to the customer then as well, that there was dialtone and she could make and receive phone calls. Anyway, I begin to inspect the house wiring again and it leads me back to the upstairs kid's bedroom.

Dread. Yeah, the rest of the house was fine, or seemed that way but I really didn't want to have to wade through a pile of dirty clothes, bedsheets and last night's Cheetos. Nevertheless, there are some things a man has to do, and if you're a phone man, you'll learn soon enough that there is little glory in replacing a phone jack with a kid peeing on your leg, but that's a story for another time.

The kid's bedroom was about like it was the last time I was there a week ago. Of course, it is summer, so I wouldn't expect any epiphany to have taken place in the minds of those 12 year old boys while I was gone, but it would've shown exceptional understanding for them to have at least cleared a path for me. If a boy scout can do that in the woods then why not the wilderness of their own room. After making it to the jack, with a sense of relief, I checked it again and found good dialtone, nothing wrong. Then my curiosity took over as my troubleshooting skills, which are just a few of the many facets of my personality along with eating skills, walking skills, etc., drew me to investigate further. Tossing some clothes around, I found that these future little networking geniuses had plugged their X-Box into the phone jack. Pity I hadn't noticed that before but I'm a phone guy not the butler.

Needless to say, I promptly showed the lady of the house the problem and demonstrated to her that as long as they didn't try to use their X-Box like a phone things would be OK. Funny, it doesn't look like a phone either, unless, of course, they were trying to phone ET. Sorry, I just had to get that in. As I'm leaving, I'm hearing her ask one of her sons "Who plugged the X-Box into the phone jack?" He gave the typical, "I didn't", which means that he did because the question was "Who?" not "Did you?" I love domestic life.

Friday, July 1

Sandra's Day O'Commin

Finally, a supreme court justice is retiring, bringing about a long speculated possible replacement to the black robed nine. Does it really matter? No, because this isn't a government of laws but men, and women, who know nothing of court precedent let alone how to properly interpret the constitution. I wonder when they've actually read the document. If the court can decide what the law is then is there really any point to drafting new legislation as the intent can be twisted by a court bent on their own whims or inclinations.
Does it really matter who Bush appoints to the court? No, but it will be interesting to see who he taps for the position. My guess is that he'll nominate a hard line conservative in order to have the Democrats mercilessly vilify him/her. Then, at a particularly strategic point in the senate approval process, the candidate will either withdraw on their own, as the interviews become too grueling, or the administration will pull the candidate out and begin to launch a counter attack upon the Dems. The subsequent nominee will then be someone more moderate, read abortion-soft. This way the president curries the favor of hard line conservatives for having attempted the "impossible".
In the end, the president will have gotten what he really wanted, a long desired legacy of a supreme court appointee.