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Thursday, August 31, 2006

President Bush Addresses American Legion National Convention

Thank you Mr. President. Don't stop giving this speech.

Follow the link if you wish, but I'm providing the speech in its entirety here. Please make use of the 'Here's More' link below. Warning, it's a long read, and is likely to make Liberals blow beverages out their nostrils.


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. It's great to join you here in one of America's most beautiful cities. I appreciate your hospitality. I'm proud to stand before some of our country's finest patriots, our veterans and their families. (Applause.) And I'm pleased to call you my fellow Legionnaires -- (applause) -- I suspect I may be the only one here, though, from Post 77, Houston, Texas. That's what I thought. (Laughter.) If you're from Post 77, behave yourself here in Salt Lake. (Laughter.)

Laura did remind me the other night, though, that a few of my fellow members -- at least I've joined a few of my fellow members in another illustrious organization, the "Over 60 Club." (Laughter.)

For almost 90 years, Legionnaires have stood proudly "for God and country." (Applause.) From big cities to small towns, the American Legion name brings to mind the best of our nation -- decency, generosity, and character. (Applause.) I thank you for a lifetime of service. I thank you for the positive contributions you make to our nation, and I'm proud to join you today.

First, I want to thank Tom Bock, the National Commander, for his kind introduction and his strong leadership. I always am pleased to welcome the Commander to the Oval Office to discuss common issues, and you've done a fine job leading this organization, Tom. I also want to thank your wife, Elaine, and I particularly want to pay respect to your son, Captain Bock, of the United States Army, who's joined us today. (Applause.)

I appreciate being here with Carol Van Kirk, the National President of the American Legion Auxiliary. And I want to thank all the Auxiliary members who are with us here today, as well. (Applause.)

I'm proud that the Governor of this great state, Jon Huntsman, and his wife Mary Kaye, have joined us. Governor, thank you for your time. I'm also proud to be joined by two United States Senators who are strong supporters of the United States military, Senator Orrin Hatch, and Senator Bob Bennett. (Applause.)

Members of the congressional delegation from the state of Utah have joined us: Congressman Rob Bishop, and Congressman Chris Cannon. Thank you both for coming. Proud you're here. (Applause.) I thank the state Senator, John Valentine, who is the President of the Utah State Senate. I appreciate Speaker Greg Curtis. I want to thank all the state and local officials who have joined us here today. Most particularly, I want to thank you all for giving me a chance to come and speak to you. I particularly want to thank all the Gold Star families who have joined us today. May God bless you. May God bless you. (Applause.)

As veterans, all of you stepped forward when America needed you most. From North Africa to Normandy, Iwo Jima to Inchon, from Khe Sanh to Kuwait, your courage and service have made it possible for generations to live in liberty. And we owe you more than just thanks. We owe you the support of the federal government. And so, in my first four years as President, we increased funding for veterans more than the previous administration did in eight years. (Applause.) Since then, we've increased it even more. My budget for this year provides more than $80 billion for veterans -- that's a 75-percent increase since I took office. It's the highest level of support for veterans in American history. (Applause.)

For many veterans, health care is a top priority, and it's a top priority of my administration. When Congress passes my 2007 budget, we will have increased the VA health care budget by 69 percent since 2001. We've extended treatment to a million additional veterans, including more than 300,000 men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. (Applause.) We're building new VA facilities in places where veterans are retiring, so that more veterans can get top-quality health care closer to their homes.

I appreciate the Legion's strong history of care and compassion for your fellow veterans. Earlier this week, I traveled to Mississippi and Louisiana to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Veterans were hit hard by this storm, and American Legion posts all across the United States responded with vital relief. In an hour of suffering, you showed the good heart of our nation, and you showed the world that America can always count on Legionnaires. (Applause.)

I also appreciate the Legion's long history of supporting wise legislation in the Nation's Capital. Earlier this year, the Senate voted on a constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration -- we came within a single vote of passing it. The administration looks forward to continuing working with the American Legion to make sure we get this important protection in the Constitution of the United States of America. (Applause.)

Your organization supported another good piece of legislation called the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act. This bill ensures that families of fallen service members will not have to endure protests during military funerals. (Applause.)

My administration will also continue to work to locate the men and women in uniform whose fate is still undetermined -- our prisoners of war and personnel missing in action. We will not forget these brave Americans. We must not rest until we've accounted for every soldier, sailor, airman, Coast Guardsman, and Marine. And we will always honor their courage. (Applause.)

At this hour, a new generation of Americans in uniform is showing great courage in defending our freedom in the first war of the 21st century. I know that Legionnaires are following this war closely, especially those of you with family and friends who wear our uniform. The images that come back from the front lines are striking, and sometimes unsettling. When you see innocent civilians ripped apart by suicide bombs, or families buried inside their homes, the world can seem engulfed in purposeless violence. The truth is there is violence, but those who cause it have a clear purpose. When terrorists murder at the World Trade Center, or car bombers strike in Baghdad, or hijackers plot to blow up planes over the Atlantic, or terrorist militias shoot rockets at Israeli towns, they are all pursuing the same objective -- to turn back the advance of freedom, and impose a dark vision of tyranny and terror across the world.

The enemies of liberty come from different parts of the world, and they take inspiration from different sources. Some are radicalized followers of the Sunni tradition, who swear allegiance to terrorist organizations like al Qaeda. Others are radicalized followers of the Shia tradition, who join groups like Hezbollah and take guidance from state sponsors like Syria and Iran. Still others are "homegrown" terrorists -- fanatics who live quietly in free societies they dream to destroy. Despite their differences, these groups from -- form the outlines of a single movement, a worldwide network of radicals that use terror to kill those who stand in the way of their totalitarian ideology. And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam.

The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. (Applause.) On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty. (Applause.)

We're now approaching the fifth anniversary of the day this war reached our shores. As the horror of that morning grows more distant, there is a tendency to believe that the threat is receding and this war is coming to a close. That feeling is natural and comforting -- and wrong. As we recently saw, the enemy still wants to attack us. We're in a war we didn't ask for, but it's a war we must wage, and a war we will win. (Applause.)

In the coming days, I'll deliver a series of speeches describing the nature of our enemy in the war on terror, the insights we've gained about their aims and ambitions, the successes and setbacks we've experienced, and our strategy to prevail in this long war. Today, I'll discuss a critical aspect of this war: the struggle between freedom and terror in the Middle East, including the battle in Iraq, which is the central front in our fight against terrorism.

To understand the struggle unfolding in the Middle East, we need to look at the recent history of the region. For a half- century, America's primary goal in the Middle East was stability. This was understandable at the time; we were fighting the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and it was important to support Middle Eastern governments that rejected communism. Yet, over the decades, an undercurrent of danger was rising in the Middle East. Much of the region was mired in stagnation and despair. A generation of young people grew up with little hope to improve their lives, and many fell under the sway of radical extremism. The terrorist movement multiplied in strength, and resentment that had simmered for years boiled over into violence across the world.

Extremists in Iran seized American hostages. Hezbollah terrorists murdered American troops at the Marine barracks in Beirut and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Terrorists set off a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda blew up two U.S. embassies in East Africa, and bombed the USS Cole. Then came the nightmare of September the 11, 2001, when 19 hijackers killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children.

In the space of a single morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. We realized that years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither. Instead, the lack of freedom in the Middle East made the region an incubator for terrorist movements.

The status quo in the Middle East before September the 11th was dangerous and unacceptable, so we're pursuing a new strategy. First, we're using every element of national power to confront al Qaeda, those who take inspiration from them, and other terrorists who use similar tactics. We have ended the days of treating terrorism simply as a law enforcement matter. We will stay on the offense. We will fight the terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.)

Second, we have made it clear to all nations, if you harbor terrorists, you are just as guilty as the terrorists; you're an enemy of the United States, and you will be held to account. (Applause.) And third, we've launched a bold new agenda to defeat the ideology of the enemy by supporting the forces of freedom in the Middle East and beyond.

The freedom agenda is based upon our deepest ideals and our vital interests. Americans believe that every person, of every religion, on every continent, has the right to determine his or her own destiny. We believe that freedom is a gift from an almighty God, beyond any power on Earth to take away. (Applause.) And we also know, by history and by logic, that promoting democracy is the surest way to build security. Democracies don't attack each other or threaten the peace. Governments accountable to the voters focus on building roads and schools -- not weapons of mass destruction. Young people who have a say in their future are less likely to search for meaning in extremism. Citizens who can join a peaceful political party are less likely to join a terrorist organization. Dissidents with the freedom to protest around the clock are less likely to blow themselves up during rush hour. And nations that commit to freedom for their people will not support terrorists -- they will join us in defeating them. (Applause.)

So America has committed its influence in the world to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism. We will take the side of democratic leaders and reformers across the Middle East. We will support the voices of tolerance and moderation in the Muslim world. We stand with the mothers and fathers in every culture who want to see their children grow up in a caring and peaceful world. And by supporting the cause of freedom in a vital region, we'll make our children and our grandchildren more secure. (Applause.)

Over the past five years, we've begun to see the results of our actions -- and we have seen how our enemies respond to the advance of liberty. In Afghanistan, we saw a vicious tyranny that harbored the terrorists who planned the September the 11th attacks. Within weeks, American forces were in Afghanistan. Along with Afghan allies, we captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban fighters; we closed down their training camps, and we helped the people of Afghanistan replace the Taliban with a democratic government that answers to them. (Applause.)

Our enemies saw the transformation in Afghanistan, and they've responded by trying to roll back all the progress. Al Qaeda and the Taliban lost a coveted base in Afghanistan and they know they will never reclaim it when democracy succeeds. And so they're trying to return to power by attacking Afghanistan's free institutions. And they will fail. (Applause.) Forces from 40 nations, including every member of NATO, are now serving alongside American troops to support the new Afghan government. The days of the Taliban are over. The future of Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan. And the future of Afghanistan belongs to freedom. (Applause.)

In Lebanon, we saw a sovereign nation occupied by the Syrian dictatorship. We also saw the courageous people of Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. So we worked to enforce a United Nations resolution that required Syria to end its occupation of the country. The Syrians withdrew their armed forces, and the Lebanese people elected a democratic government that began to reclaim their country.

Our enemies saw the transformation in Lebanon and set out to destabilize the young democracy. Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel that undermined the democrat government in Beirut. Yet their brazen action caused the world to unite in support for Lebanon's democracy. Secretary Rice worked with the Security Council to pass Resolution 1701, which will strengthen Lebanese forces as they take control of southern Lebanon -- and stop Hezbollah from acting as a state within a state.

I appreciate the troops pledged by France and Italy and other allies for this important international deployment. Together, we're going to make it clear to the world that foreign forces and terrorists have no place in a free and democratic Lebanon. (Applause.)

This summer's crisis in Lebanon has made it clearer than ever that the world now faces a grave threat from the radical regime in Iran. The Iranian regime arms, funds, and advises Hezbollah, which has killed more Americans than any terrorist network except al Qaeda. The Iranian regime interferes in Iraq by sponsoring terrorists and insurgents, empowering unlawful militias, and supplying components for improvised explosive devices. The Iranian regime denies basic human rights to millions of its people. And the Iranian regime is pursuing nuclear weapons in open defiance of its international obligations.

We know the death and suffering that Iran's sponsorship of terrorists has brought, and we can imagine how much worse it would be if Iran were allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Many nations are working together to solve this problem. The United Nations passed a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment activities. Today is the deadline for Iran's leaders to reply to the reasonable proposal the international community has made. If Iran's leaders accept this offer and abandon their nuclear weapons ambitions, they can set their country on a better course. Yet, so far, the Iranian regime has responded with further defiance and delay. It is time for Iran to make a choice. We've made our choice: We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution -- but there must be consequences for Iran's defiance, and we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)

In Iraq, we saw a dictator who harbored terrorists, fired at military planes, paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, invaded a neighbor, and pursued and used weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions demanding that Saddam Hussein fully and openly abandon his weapons of mass destruction. We gave him a last chance to comply -- and when he refused, we enforced the just demands of the world. And now Saddam Hussein is in prison and on trial. Soon he will have the justice he denied to so many for so long. (Applause.) And with this tyrant gone from power, the United States, Iraq, the Middle East, and the world are better off. (Applause.)

In the three years since Saddam's fall the Iraqi people have reclaimed sovereignty of their country. They cast their ballots in free elections. They drafted and approved a democratic constitution and elected a constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East. Over the same period, Iraq has seen a rise of terrorist and insurgent movements that use brutal and indiscriminate violence to frustrate the desire of the Iraqi people for freedom and peace. Al Qaeda terrorists, former elements of Saddam's regime, illegal militias and unlawful armed groups are all working to undermine Iraq's new democracy. These groups have different long-term ambitions, but the same immediate goals. They want to drive America and our coalition out of Iraq and the Middle East, so they can stop the advance of freedom and impose their dark vision on the people of the Middle East. (Applause.)

Our enemies in Iraq have employed ruthless tactics to achieve those goals. They've targeted American and coalition troops with ambushes and roadside bombs. They've taken hostage and beheaded civilians on camera. They've blown up Iraqi army posts and assassinated government leaders. We've adapted to the tactics -- and thanks to the skill and professionalism of Iraqi and American forces, many of these enemies have met their end. At every step along the way, our enemies have failed to break the courage of the Iraqi people; they have failed to stop the rise of Iraqi democracy -- and they will fail in breaking the will of the American people. (Applause.)

Now these enemies have launched a new effort. They have embarked on a bloody campaign of sectarian violence, which they hope will plunge Iraq into a civil war. The outbreak of sectarian violence was encouraged by the terrorist Zarqawi, al Qaeda's man in Iraq who called for an "all-out war" on Iraqi Shia. The Shia community resisted the impulse to seek revenge for a while. But after this February bombing of the Shia Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra, extremist groups mobilized and sectarian death squads formed on the streets of Baghdad and other areas. Our Ambassador reports that thousands of Iraqis were murdered in Baghdad last month, and large numbers of them were victims of sectarian violence.

This cruelty and carnage has led some to question whether Iraq has descended into civil war. Our commanders and our diplomats on the ground in Iraq believe that's not the case. They report that only a small number of Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, while the overwhelming majority want peace and a normal life in a unified country. Iraqi leaders from all backgrounds remember the elections that brought them to power, in which 12 million Iraqis defied the car bombers and killers to claim, "We want to be free." (Applause.)

Iraq's government is working tirelessly to hold the nation together and to heal Iraq's divisions, not to exploit them. The Iraqi people have come a long way. They are not going to let their country fall apart or relapse into tyranny. As Prime Minister Maliki told the United States Congress, "Iraqis have tasted freedom and we will defend it absolutely." (Applause.)

America has a clear strategy to help the Iraqi people protect their new freedom, and build a democracy that can govern itself, and sustain itself, and defend itself. On the political side, we're working closely with Prime Minister Maliki to strengthen Iraq's unity government and develop -- and to deliver better services to the Iraqi people. This is a crucial moment for the new Iraqi government; its leaders understand the challenge. They believe that now is the time to hammer out compromises on Iraq's most contentious issues.

I've been clear with each Iraqi leader I meet: America is a patient nation, and Iraq can count on our partnership, as long as the new government continues to make the hard decisions necessary to advance a unified, democratic and peaceful Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki has shown courage in laying out an agenda to do just that -- and he can count on an ally, the United States of America, to help him promote this agenda. (Applause.)

On the security side, we're refining our tactics to meet the threats on the ground. I've given our commanders in Iraq all the flexibility they need to make adjustments necessary to stay on the offense and defeat the enemies of freedom. We've deployed Special Operation forces to kill or capture terrorists operating in Iraq. Zarqawi found out what they can do. We continue to train Iraqi police forces to defend their own nation. We've handed over security responsibility for a southern province to Iraqi forces. Five of Iraq's 10 army divisions are now taking the lead in their areas of operation. The Iraqi security forces are determined; they're becoming more capable; and together, we will defeat the enemies of a free Iraq. (Applause.)

Recently, we also launched a major new campaign to end the security crisis in Baghdad. Side by side, Iraqi and American forces are conducting operations in the city's most violent areas to disrupt al Qaeda, to capture enemy fighters, crack down on IED makers, and break up the death squads. These forces are helping Iraq's national police force undergo retraining to better enforce law in Baghdad. And these forces are supporting the Iraqi government as it provides reconstruction assistance.

The Baghdad Security Plan is still in its early stages. We cannot expect immediate success. Yet, the initial results are encouraging. According to one military report, a Sunni man in a diverse Baghdad neighborhood said this about the Shia soldiers on patrol: "Their image has changed. Now you feel they're there to protect you." Over the coming weeks and months, the operation will expand throughout Baghdad. until Iraq's democratic government is in full control of its capital. The work is difficult and dangerous, but the Iraqi government and their forces are determined to reclaim their country. And the United States is determined to help them succeed. (Applause.)

Here at home we have a choice to make about Iraq. Some politicians look at our efforts in Iraq and see a diversion from the war on terror. That would come as news to Osama bin Laden, who proclaimed that the "third world war is raging" in Iraq. It would come as news to the number two man of al Qaeda, Zawahiri, who has called the struggle in Iraq, quote, "the place for the greatest battle." It would come as news to the terrorists from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and other countries, who have to come to Iraq to fight the rise of democracy.

It's hard to believe that these terrorists would make long journeys across dangerous borders, endure heavy fighting, or blow themselves up in the streets of Baghdad, for a so-called "diversion." Some Americans didn't support my decision to remove Saddam Hussein; many are frustrated with the level of violence. But we should all agree that the battle for Iraq is now central to the ideological struggle of the 21st century. We will not allow the terrorists to dictate the future of this century -- so we will defeat them in Iraq. (Applause.)

Still, there are some in our country who insist that the best option in Iraq is to pull out, regardless of the situation on the ground. Many of these folks are sincere and they're patriotic, but they could be -- they could not be more wrong. If America were to pull out before Iraq can defend itself, the consequences would be absolutely predictable -- and absolutely disastrous. We would be handing Iraq over to our worst enemies -- Saddam's former henchmen, armed groups with ties to Iran, and al Qaeda terrorists from all over the world who would suddenly have a base of operations far more valuable than Afghanistan under the Taliban. They would have a new sanctuary to recruit and train terrorists at the heart of the Middle East, with huge oil riches to fund their ambitions. And we know exactly where those ambitions lead. If we give up the fight in the streets of Baghdad, we will face the terrorists in the streets of our own cities.

We can decide to stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq and other parts of the world, but they will not decide to stop fighting us. General John Abizaid, our top commander in the Middle East region, recently put it this way: "If we leave, they will follow us." And he is right. The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq. So the United States of America will not leave until victory is achieved. (Applause.)

Victory in Iraq will be difficult and it will require more sacrifice. The fighting there can be as fierce as it was at Omaha Beach or Guadalcanal. And victory is as important as it was in those earlier battles. Victory in Iraq will result in a democracy that is a friend of America and an ally in the war on terror. Victory in Iraq will be a crushing defeat for our enemies, who have staked so much on the battle there. Victory in Iraq will honor the sacrifice of the brave Americans who have given their lives. And victory in Iraq would be a powerful triumph in the ideological struggle of the 21st century. From Damascus to Tehran, people will look to a democratic Iraq as inspiration that freedom can succeed in the Middle East, and as evidence that the side of freedom is the winning side. This is a pivotal moment for the Middle East. The world is watching -- and in Iraq and beyond, the forces of freedom will prevail. (Applause.)

For all the debate, American policy in the Middle East comes down to a straightforward choice. We can allow the Middle East to continue on its course -- on the course it was headed before September the 11th, and a generation from now, our children will face a region dominated by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. Or we can stop that from happening, by rallying the world to confront the ideology of hate, and give the people of the Middle East a future of hope. And that is the choice America has made. (Applause.)

We see a day when people across the Middle East have governments that honor their dignity, unleash their creativity, and count their votes. We see a day when leaders across the Middle East reject terror and protect freedom. We see a day when the nations of the Middle East are allies in the cause of peace. The path to that day will be uphill and uneven, but we can be confident of the outcome, because we know that the direction of history leads toward freedom.

In the early years of our republic, Thomas Jefferson said that we cannot expect to move "from despotism to liberty in a featherbed." That's been true in every time and place. No one understands that like you, our veterans, understand that. With the distance of history, it can be easy to look back at the wars of the 20th century and see a straight path to victory. You know better than that. You waged the hard battles, you suffered the wounds, you lost friends and brothers. You were there for dark times and the moments of uncertainty. And you know that freedom is always worth the sacrifice.

You also know what it takes to win. For all that is new about this war, one thing has not changed: Victory still depends on the courage and the patience and the resolve of the American people. Above all, it depends on patriots who are willing to fight for freedom. (Applause.) Our nation is blessed to have these men and women in abundance. Our military forces make this nation strong; they make this nation safe; and they make this nation proud. (Applause.)

We thank them and their families for their sacrifice. We will remember all those who have given their lives in this struggle -- and I vow that we will give our men and women in uniform all the resources they need to accomplish their missions. (Applause.)

One brave American we remember is Marine Corporal Adam Galvez, from here in Salt Lake City. Yesterday Adam's mom and dad laid their son to rest. We're honored by their presence with us today. (Applause.) About a month ago, Adam was wounded by a suicide bomb in Iraq's Anbar Province. When he regained consciousness, he found he was buried alive, so he dug himself out of the rubble. And then ran through gunfire to get a shovel to dig out his fellow Marines. As soon as he recovered from his injuries, Adam volunteered to go back to the front lines. and 11 days ago, he was killed when a roadside bomb hit his convoy.

Here is what Adam's mom and dad said about the cause for which their son gave his life: "Though many are debating the justification of this war, Adam believed in his country -- Adam's belief in his country did not waver, even to the point of the ultimate sacrifice. It's our hope and our prayer that people share the same conviction and dedication to our troops and fellow Americans." (Applause.)

Our nation will always remember the selflessness and sacrifice of Americans like Adam Galvez. We will honor their lives by completing the good and noble work they have started. (Applause.) And we can be confident that one day, veterans of the war on terror will gather at American Legion halls across the country, and say the same things you say: We made our nation safer; we made a region more peaceful; and we left behind a better world for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

Thanks for having me. May God bless our veterans. May God bless our troops. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)


Here's more

Whoa!!! Are You Kidding Me?!?

What follows are a few highlights from an article I found while exploring links contained within a site I linked to in one of yesterdays posts. Proof that there are Christians out there [assuming they are Christian] who just don't get it, and have SERIOUSLY strayed from the faith...


Like anal sex, oral sex is the subject of much confusion and disagreement among the faithful. There are those who say that oral sex is unnatural because God did not intend our mouths to be used in such a manner. Others associate oral-genital contact with the sexual depravities of Sodom and Gomorrah. As you will see in the Scripture, neither one of these views is supported. Not only that, but oral sex has benefits that are of particular importance to Christians: oral sex allows the natural prevention of unwanted pregnancy and is an alternative to premarital intercourse for those committed to preserving their chastity before marriage.

There is nothing in the Bible that forbids engaging in acts of oral-genital contact. Oral sex has wrongly been grouped in with "sodomy" and the sexual sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. As we have seen with anal sex, this argument does not hold water, because the sins of the Sodomites were specifically homosexual and/or nonconsensual in nature. There is no way this could be extrapolated to argue against a heterosexual act of oral sex for mutual pleasure. On the other hand, the Bible does contain some favorable references to oral sex, some in poetic language and some more explicit.


1) I agree in that oral sex is not heinous or sinful within the confines of marriage.

2) I completely DISAGREE that oral sex is an acceptable substitute for intercourse for the 'pre-married'. It's called forn-i-ca-tion.

3) And I agree that in regard to the sins of the Sodomites, though I can't speak for God. I'm sure therre's more to it htan just that. Sodom and Gomorrah weren't destroyed because of their inhospitable treatment of Lot's guests. Lot's guests were there to remove Lot and his family because of the sins Sodom and Gomorrah had already heaped upon themselves.

Okay, now for something surprisingly... chauvinistic.

In the New Testament, this passage directs partners to render "benevolence" to one another, which can be extended to performing oral sex on each other as part of their duty to the Lord and one another: Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. (Corinthians 7:33) Not only does this passage imply that oral sex between a man and woman is acceptable and desirable, but as we shall see, the Bible also provides more specific edicts concerning the completion of the oral sex act, namely swallowing the male emission.


WHAT?!? Does the bible really say that?!? Hmmm, lets go a bit further...

Most of us are familiar with the Biblical story of Onan, whose sin against God was that of spilling his seed on the ground (Genesis 38:9)... This scriptural passage has traditionally been used as an injunction against masturbation. However, upon closer reading, it becomes apparent that this scenario has nothing to do with masturbation at all. Onan was not masturbating; he was copulating with his brother’s wife (and there was a good reason for that, in God’s plan). His sin was pulling out (coitus interruptus) and ejaculating on the ground rather than into the woman. He did so in order to avoid impregnating her. However, he could have easily avoided God’s wrath (and the penalty of death), by simply having the woman fellate him and then swallow his semen. This would have kept him from impregnating her, as well as completely prevented the spilling of seed that was an offense in God’s eyes.


Uhhh. I think Onan's sin was not performing his duty as commanded by God; namely raising children unto his dead brother. Well, that's what I think anyway.

Now here's where the article trips irrevocably into the realm of blasphemy...

The Benefits of Swallowing - Drink of the Living Water
Aside from swallowing semen as a measure to prevent the waste and spillage of seed, ingesting ejaculate can have spiritual benefits, as we will see. Although the Old Testament makes reference to the bitterness of semen (And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water. [Numbers 5:24]), the New Testament casts the act of consuming ejaculate in a much more affirming light, as in the following passage, where Jesus speaks to the woman of Samaria about the gift of “living water”:

               Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of
               God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give
               me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he
               would have given you living water." The woman
               said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the
               well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
               The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water,
               so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep
               coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her,
               "Go, call your husband, and come back."
               --John 4:10-16

"Living water" in this context refers to semen, which literally is the liquid of life. As Christ indicates, drinking of the "living water" provides a spiritual replenishment for the soul. When the woman asks Jesus where she can get this "water", he tells her to fetch her husband, clearly with the intention of instructing her on how to fellate him and swallow his semen.

Oral Sex in Christ
In summary, we can say that the Scripture supports and even encourages the act of oral sex between loving heterosexual partners. Moreover, the Bible specifically encourages fellatio to completion (orgasm) with the female partner consuming or swallowing the ejaculate. This prevents spilling seed, which is an affront to the Lord, and also provides spiritual benefit to the receiving partner. Oral sex has the added benefits of preventing unwanted pregnancies and helping couples satisfy their sexual urges while preserving their chastity until marriage. For these reasons, all Christian men and women should feel confident and comfortable including oral sex as part of their sexual life in accordance with God’s will.



I take it back. The person who wrote this is completely ignorant of the truths of God. I doubt the person who wrote this is saved at all. There's some sick stuff out there so be careful everyone, not every spirit if of the Lord.

You don't want to know what this guy thinks about anal sex. The man is sick.


Here's more

A Message From Dr. D. James Kennedy

I received this in email this afternoon....


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said recently at a meeting of Muslim leaders that "the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime." At a rally in 2005, Ahmadinejad, who earlier had called the Holocaust a "myth," vowed to "wipe Israel off the face of the earth" and made the same remarks about America. Standing before a poster that proclaimed "The World Without Zionism," he stated:

Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? But you should know that this slogan and this goal are achievable, and certainly can be achieved.

The crowd responded with the popular rallying cry: "Death to America... Death to Israel."

I want to encourage you to stay current on these fast-changing world events.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).

We must pray that God will grant our authorities wisdom and insight into the true nature of this struggle, as well as the best military and political solutions. Lift up the believers who are right now in these fields of battle as missionaries and tentmakers in the Middle East. Pray especially for Christians presently in our military-that they will uphold the highest of ethical and moral standards and serve as "salt and light" wherever they may be.

Most of all, pray for God to move mightily among those who do not know Christ. There are reports coming out of the Middle East of dramatic salvations taking place among the Muslims. God can and will use this trying global storm to glorify Himself.


Any thoughts?


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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

'Gilligan's Island' SS Minnow for sale

t'would be a neat novelty buy, but who'd actually go anywhere on such a cursed ship? Besides wasn't there a big fat hole in the side of it in the first episode?


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The True Face of Islam

Others have already covered this, but as an illustration...


Christian convert faces death threats
Former Muslim challenges Islamic government


For those of you who wish to instruct me on WorldNetDaily's lack of objectivity and reliability, where else would you suggest we go for this kind of news? The New York Times? Riiiggghhht.

Check out voice of the Mrtyrs in the sidebar.


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TBN: Reaching Muslims at the Expense of Truth

Late last year TBN cancelled Hal Lindsey's 'The International Intelligence Briefing' because TBN is trying to reach Muslim nations, and Lindsey's show was critical of Islam. What's not to be critical of?

This past monday 'Zola Levitt Presents' was given the boot by TBN because-- you guessed it --Levitt's program is critical of Islam. At least they waited until Zola lost his battle with cancer. Yes, that was sarcasm.

At what point does TBN expect to teach former Muslims that their old religion is a lie? Judging by two cancelled shows... Never.


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The True Face of Islam

In light of recent debates here and elsewhere...


Christian Pakistani teen escapes death
Family planned her demise after she refused to recant her faith


Would you like more stories of Christian persecution?
Go to Voice of the Martyrs. There's a link in the sidebar...


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Is Islam really a religion of Peace?

In Islam, one of the five pillars of faith is the Shahadah. It is recited during prayer 5 times a day, and is enough to demonstrate that someone has 'come to the faith' or is 'of the faith.'

"There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet"


Jews and Christians are merely 'People of the Book,' and though Muhammad made clear that 'the Book' was pure and untainted, they certainly don't believe that now. And in spite of the Bible's untainted-ness-- in Muhammad's day, at least --it is clear that Islam places Muhammad above Jesus.


So let's compare Jesus' last words to His disciples to the average message of Muhammad to his disciples...

Jesus--

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to be a witness, not to war and kill.



Muhammad--

"Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you."
In other words, 'Allah has ordained you for war, whether you like it or not.'

A close reading of Surah 2 will tell you all you need to know about how confused Muslims are-- because of how confused Muhammad was --and we all know who the author of confusion is.


Another interesting source of information is here. Specifically points 4, 5 and 16...

4. The (Shahadah) of Allah, the Exalted, is implemented by His Word and His Action, and His Support for His Messenger by victory, miracles, and various proofs that what he brought forth is the Pure Truth.

5. La ilaha illa Allah (There is no god but Allah) is the formula of Tawhid (Oneness) which all Messengers (peace be upon them all) agreed upon, rather it is the essence of their messages, and every Messenger made it the opening of his message and its pillar, as our Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"I was ordered to fight people until they say La ilaha illa Allah, and if they say it, then they protect their blood and their property from me except for its dues, and Allah, The Almighty, The Supreme, will judge them." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


16. The Sunnah is the second source which Muslims must turn to in all their daily affairs after the Qur'an. Allah, The Exalted, confirmed that in the Qur'an as He said:

"Allah revealed unto you (Muhammad) the Scripture and Wisdom, and taught you that which you knew not." (an-Nissa' 4/113)

The Wisdom here referred to, means the Sunnah.

And He said:

"Our Lord! And raise up in their (the Arabs) midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Your Revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in Wisdom..." (al-Baqarah 2/129) [Emphasis mine]


So if the bible at the time of Muhammad was considered the true and accurate word of God, and Revelation marks the completion of God's revelation for mankind, why does Muhammad claim that God has given him a new revelation; one that he must preach to the people? God's revelation to mankind was and is complete in the book of Revelation. Period. Muhammad was duped by someone other than God, and the Qur'an therefore is actually the word of Satan. Not God.


I have no doubt that many many Muslims desire to live in peace with the world, but these Muslims all deny Allah by wishing such, and are therefore not good Muslims. Yet it is not these Muslims that worry me and every other common-sense driven westerner.


UPDATE I: Adding to the list of points from the USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts linked above...

6. And making the shahadah (testimony) for the Messenger (peace be upon him) of the Risalah (Message) and the 'Ubudiyah (Servitude to Allah and worshiping Him) connected with the Testimony of the Oneness of Allah, to indicate that both of them must be mentioned together, and no one of them takes the place of the other, for this they were connected in adhan (the call for prayers) and at-tashahhud (the testimony). Some people interpreted the verse,

"And We exalted your name." (al-Inshirah 94/4) as: "Whenever I am mentioned you will be mentioned with Me."

[...]

Also, in the sound hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"Do not praise me as the Christians praised The Son of Mary (Jesus), indeed, I am only a human being, so, say; 'The 'Abd of Allah and His Messenger'."


So, on the one hand Muhammad is to be honored by having his name always mentioned with Allah, but on the other he is not to be praised as Christians praise Jesus. One of two things is going on here...

1) Muhammad knows he is not divine as was Jesus and fears God enough to not want to be praised as Christians praise the right and true son of God, or

2) Muhammad is saying that Christians are wrong to praise Jesus the way they do because Jesus was just a man, not the son of God, and Muhammad does not wish his disciple to fall into error-- As the Christians have.


UPDATE II: To forestall any objections as to what the Qur'an has to say about the Bible, here's an interesting article. Here's another article from the Muslim perspective, but consider honestly how these two contradict each other. One is obviously true, the other obviously not.


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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Is he, or isn't he?

"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," Centanni said on Fox News. "Don't get me wrong here, I have the highest respect for Islam and learned a lot of very good things about it. It was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns and we didn't know what the hell was going on."


He learned a lot of very good things about Islam... at gunpoint. Furthermore-- assuming he was a Christian --he converted [translation: recanted a previously held belief] to a false religion. At gunpoint! This is a picture of what awaits everyone if the world continues to believe the lie that Islam is a religion of peace.

I can't imagine any good reason to recant ones faith in Christ for a false god, even at gunpoint. Is is okay for a Christian to convert to Islam, even on pain of death? ESPECIALLY of pain of death? No, it is not.

If Centanni and Wiig are genuine Christians, they'll have to answer mightily for what they've done. But it may very well be they are like most everyone else who calls themselves Christian... 'Christian' because their parents took them to church as children... 'Christian' because mother dressed them up each year for Easter... 'Christian' because they take their own children to church, and dress them up for Easter. In other words, because of some sense of family tradition, not because of a personal profession of faith.

Believe it or not, a time is coming when the excuse, 'but they had a gun to my head!' won't buy anyone a reprieve before God. I can't imagine a Christian denying his Savior and God, for ANY reason. Perhaps a genuine Christian can deny his Lord and still be a Christian. Peter did. Three times. But then Jesus gave him an opportunity to re-affirm his love for Him... Three times. At the end of his life, Peter died for his faith. Granted, his denials were not at the point of a knife, sword, or gun. But when death was assured, Peter went to the cross unrepentent of his faith in God, and the Gospel of Christ.

Steve Centanni and Wiig should have said no, for it's not at all certain their captors would have actually killed them had they refused. What they have done is set a dangerous precedent in the minds of Islamaniacs. But as long as Centanni and Wiig continue to draw breath there is opportunity for genuine repentance, and an oppotunity to turn, or RE-turn, to God.

Here's hoping the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin and they wisely choose repentance and confession, and personal faith over family tradition.


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And one more before I go...

For those of you who missed it, Dr. James Kennedy and Coral Ridge Ministries aired a documentary this weekend entitled, Darwin's Deadly Legacy. Amazingly enough, the ADL has severely criticized the documentary-- reportedly, before seeing it.

Coral Ridge is offering both the documentary-- expanded from what aired on television --and a book entitled Evolution's Fatal Fruit, by Tom DeRosa. From the books promotional text...

"Darwin gave the world an explanation of life that helped fuel the ovens at Auschwitz. Author Tom DeRosa explains how Hitler tried to use genocide to speed up evolution and reveals how the American eugenics movement—which favored forced sterilization to cleanse the gene pool—is likewise indebted to Darwin."

Anyone interested in purchasing the DVD/Book combo can follow the link up top.

Getting back to the ADL's attack of the documentary; what follows, then, is Rabbi Daniel Lapin's defense not only of the documentary, but of Dr. Kennedy and Coral Ridge as well. Please make us of the 'Here's More' link for Rabbi Lapin's full response.


Help or Harm—Which Jews Does the ADL Really Represent?
by Rabbi Daniel Lapin


Examining which issues raise its organizational blood-pressure, it is easy to see that the ADL chiefly represents two categories of Jews. One: Jews for whom the doctrines of secular fundamentalism and of the Democratic Party have replaced the authentic principles of Judaism. Two: Jews who consider Christian conservatives to be a far greater peril than Islamic extremism.

It now turns out that the ADL represents yet a third category of Jews: those passionately dedicated to defending Darwin. Once again, like a friendly and frolicsome puppy with a large, bushy tail that constantly knocks down expensive vases, the ADL, though filled with good intent, is utterly, completely clueless. Not only is it misrepresenting Judaism, but it may well be shattering the priceless vase of Jewish survival.

The ADL has just launched an intemperate and hysterical attack against Coral Ridge Ministries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This weekend, the ministry is releasing a television documentary entitled Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. It features prominent intellectuals like University of California law professor Phillip Johnson, and scientists with unimpeachable academic credentials like professors Michael Behe and Jonathan Wells.

This dazzling production shows how ideas always have consequences, often unintended, and how Darwinism has impacted American culture. It discusses how the philosophy of evolution can dehumanize people and how Adolf Hitler, on his own admission, was influenced by Darwinian thought.

This is how the ADL blasted the documentary (reportedly, before seeing it): “This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust.” ADL National Director Abe Foxman warns that, “It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of Christian Supremacists who seek to reclaim America for Christ and turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law.”

Serious people are asking these three questions:

Why is a movie that shows how Darwinian thought helped shape Hitler’s murderous mind, dangerous to Jews?

Why is it necessary to insult so harshly one of America’s most prominent Christian leaders? Or to put it more bluntly, how exactly does it help Jews when the ADL humiliates an Evangelical leader whom as many as forty million Americans revere? Especially since Christian conservatives are virtually alone in acting benevolently towards Jews and standing with Jews in support of Israel.

Finally, had some Protestant pastor said in 2000, “Vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman is a leader among a distinct group of Jewish supremacists who seek to eradicate Christianity from America and turn the U.S. into a secular society based upon their strange notions of Jewish socialism,” would Mr. Foxman not have decried it as anti-Semitic? Intellectual honesty, if not a sense of decency, surely compels us to acknowledge that if anti-Semitism is an evil, so is anti-Christianism—bigotry is, after all, bigotry.

I believe it appropriate for thoughtful Jews to support the Coral Ridge documentary and perhaps even for it to be shown in Jewish schools because there really are only two ways to account for human presence on our planet. One is that God created us in His image. The other is that by a lengthy and random process of totally unaided materialistic evolution, primitive protoplasm evolved into Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven. This approach, ruling out any role for God, is simply incompatible with Jewish values.

Why a Jewish organization uses communal resources to defend Darwin is inexplicable. That Hitler embraced Darwinian views does not mean that Jews must support them any more than it means that Jews should support smoking because the Nazi’s set up stringent anti-smoking laws.

Jews should surely support all efforts to diminish the philosophical role of materialistic evolution on our culture. That doctrine violates the principles of Judaism and it threatens to coarsen the culture creating potential peril, just as it did in Germany seventy years ago. For his efforts we Jews owe gratitude to Dr. D. James Kennedy not pejorative name-calling.

On behalf of all those American Jews who feel misrepresented by the ADL, I apologize to Dr. D. James Kennedy for Foxman’s ad hominem attack. Dr. Kennedy has always been friendly and supportive towards Jews and has courageously defended the Biblical values shared by both Judaism and Christianity.

We harbor no bizarre fantasies about sinister machinations to use government power to turn America into a “Christian nation” because we know that Dr. Kennedy respects our American constitution as much as we do. Both Dr. Kennedy and I are on record vigorously opposing hate-crime legislation because we fear giving government the power to tell people what to think or indeed to decide what they are thinking.

Some American Jews may believe that Christian conservatives pose the biggest threat to Judaism. Therefore Jews should insult and attack Christians and suppress dissent by constantly evoking the Holocaust while darkly implying anti-Semitism. God help Jews if America ever becomes a post-Christian society. Just think of Europe.

The rest of us Jews believe that today’s Islamic extremism is the real problem and that we must ally with religious Christians to defeat this mortal threat. We feel that the correct way to interact with all our fellow-Americans is by generating genuine friendship, respect, and yes, even affection. I call this the politics of Kidush HaShem—encouraging Jews to interact with our non-Jewish fellow citizens in ways that bring credit to the God of Abraham.

Just which group of Jews does the ADL look out for? I think I know.

---

Scholar, author, and Jewish community leader, Rabbi Daniel Lapin is president of the national organization, Toward Tradition.


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Because I've got something else on my plate...

...right now, and don't know when I'll be able to sit down again and let my thoughts just flow, I offer you the following...

I managed to find time enough to transcribe Ms. Roosevelt's article; the one mentioned in my birthday post-- Please note, I'm using the 'Here's more' tag on this one. As I stated in my earlier post, reading her article shows how little things have changed in forty-six years. Oh, the faces of our enemies have surely changed. Situational politics have certainly changed, but not the scope and breadth of the battle we're still obviously fighting almost half a century later.

Something else that hasn't changed in forty-six years, fundamentally speaking, is the Democratic mindset. I find much to disagree with in Ms. Roosevelt's poorly punctuated Reflection. Ah, but, different times, different writing styles...




Reflections on the Next President
By Eleanor Roosevelt
Esquire Magazine – August 1960


Statement of principle by the First Lady of the Democratic Party.

During the summer, someone will be nominated by each of the political parties as its candidate for the presidency. In November, someone will be elected President of the United States. On what are we going to base our choice?

This man will be confronted by graver issues than have ever faced a Chief Executive. Because the sands are running out, most of these basic issues must be solved within a frighteningly short time, so we must weigh carefully the capacity and the record of the man who is to shoulder that great responsibility. For the kind of solutions he decides upon may well affect our future well-being as a nation.

This man in the White House will, first, have to meet the Soviet challenge and find a more satisfactory modus vivendi by a re-evaluation of our foreign policy. At some point in our long negotiations in the cold war, we will be striving to find an answer to the problem of disarmament. We must also be alert to the fact that the Soviets believe they can gain their objective of a Communist world not by military, but by economic and cultural means.

No plans to avoid the often-predicted economic disaster can be effective without a comprehensive knowledge of the world in which we live and its needs. How can the next President acquire this knowledge? The instrument lies waiting in the United Nations with its world contact and the valuable information it has gathered through its specialized committees and other activities.

So the new President will require a broad mind, a flexible mind, an unprejudiced mind, which can take a fresh and comprehensive look at people and nations in many stages of development and be able to plan for the future so as to integrate our interests with world interests.

This is essential because, second, this man, if we are to retain – and regain – our world leadership, must meet the challenge of the uncommitted nations of the world. While establishing a policy of benefit to ourselves, he must also be sure his policy is of benefit to others; that it will provide them with an equitable share of the material advantages of our kind of civilization. At the same time, it must provide the higher values which are essential to the well-being of mankind; not merely the opportunity for material development, but the opportunity to achieve justice and freedom, and to fan the spark of human dignity. This is the great gift we have to bestow upon the world, one with which the Soviets cannot compete. To lead the world of tomorrow we must have a spiritual as well as a material purpose.

We cannot afford to choose a President who will preach democracy abroad and deny it at home. The eyes of the world are on our own actions, on our solution to our domestic problems. These are indications of how we can be expected to deal with other nations and peoples.

Obviously, the dark-skinned peoples of many of the uncommitted nations are watching the way we cope with the problem of segregation in the south. If we fail to respect the human dignity of a segment of our population, these observers will say, "This is how the Americans feel about it. Until they practice democracy at home we cannot trust them to help us achieve democracy."

A truth we have been slow in recognizing is that where there is no equality for everyone there is no assurance of equality for anyone. I would like to see the next President of the United States call together the Southern and colored leaders and say to them something like this:

"Gentlemen, we are engaged in a great struggle. This country stands for democracy, freedom, equality and justice for all our people. We must make this theory become practice for all our people or it will be meaningless to the world.

"This problem is not so great in the North where the laws have already been changed. There we have only to change our hearts to end the ugly barriers of discrimination. But in the South you have to change a whole way of life. This is not an easy thing to do. The South, however, has responded magnificently in the past to its country’s needs. Great numbers of Southern men have died gallantly in our wars. We ask a new and a more difficult kind of patriotism; not to die but to live so that our way of life may have honor in the world.

"Too rapid integration, I realize, may well cause more difficulties than it corrects. I suggest that you integrate twenty per cent of your first grade the first year, thirty per cent the second year, fifty per cent the third year. Meantime, the federal government will provide the best available teachers to work with those you now have in your colored schools, where, often for economic reasons, the children sometimes have had a lower grade of education. In this way, by the time you have complete integration, the colored children will not be a drag on the whites.

"If you prefer, you may divide your schools, putting girls in one and boys in another, to meet one of the fears which has always been prevalent in your minds."

Of course, we would be in a stronger position today if this had been done long ago, but it is not too late to provide equal justice for all our people and give an example to those abroad who watch and weigh our actions.

The next president must meet the challenge of world hunger. Two-thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry every night. At the same time we pay our farmers to keep land out of production and quarrel with our neighbor over surpluses. We need a practical man who can meet practical issues. Between us, Canada and the United States can provide a vast amount of food. Because of our greater variety of climate, we can meet the challenge of hunger - if we re-evaluate our agricultural policy and attempt to solve the problem of the distribution of food, I cannot accept the fact that we here in the United States cannot find men with the brains capable of solving this basic problem.

Here again, we have the capacity to meet a need which is beyond the power of the Soviets. So far, they have been able to do no more than meet the needs of their own people for food. It is in our power to increase our leadership in the world and at the same time bring health and comfort to great numbers of people.

This is a practical problem of distribution and of varying our crops. Through co-operation with the United Nations, an economic burden could be transformed into an enormous asset. But it cannot be done without willingness to assume responsibility, without courage and imagination, without the ability to pick first-rate men with a strong sense of public service capable of carrying out such a plan. Indeed, the ability to pick first-rate men with a strong sense of public service is essential if a President is to implement his intentions. For good intentions, without intelligence and implementation, pave only the road to hell.

The new President must re-affirm the need for intelligent conservation of our national resources. Many years ago, Gifford Pinchot gave a lecture which I have never forgotten. He illustrated his talk with pictures of China. Gradually the trees were cut down. Then the floods came. The waters washed away the top soil. Then hunger grew among the people.

It was a terrific lesson for me in how interdependent we are: soil, forest, animals, men. We all need each other for survival. And we can survive only by facing situations, analyzing them, and then planning to meet them so that not one but all factions will benefit, for we know now that, without reasonable equity for all, none may survive.

The next President must meet the challenge of power politics by establishing a clear foreign policy and then letting the people know exactly what it is. Today, many of the men who represent us abroad are hampered by the fact that they do not know what our policy really is, and how they are expected to carry it out.

We cannot meet the threats of hydrogen warfare with vacillation or plans for bandaging the wounds of the injured. The Governor of New York urges people to build shelters and to lay in supplies against the bomb. But if we cannot forestall atomic warfare, I doubt if bomb shelters would provide an adequate answer to the situation. A large part of our civilization would be destroyed. The radiation would last for a long time. And, after all, there is no one who can live underground forever.

The next president must have unchallenged integrity and the proven ability to work with others and through others. He must have the courage to stand up and be counted on his opinions on major issues. A weak man cannot carry the burden of the responsibility of the presidency.

The next President must resume one of the chief functions of the office by assuming his role as educator of the people. Because he has available to him more information than any other man, he has the duty to keep the people informed on conditions, to explain his policies and why he has formulated them.

He should also reawaken the sense of adventure and confidence, and instill a desire in our people to make some contribution to their country and to their world.

The situation that faces us today is different from any we have ever met before. A handful of men can bring about the annihilation of our civilization. Nonetheless, we cannot face this condition with fear. We cannot, as citizens, narrow our responsibility and leave it blindly to the heads of two nations, saying, "It's up to them. It doesn't concern me." It concerns us all. It is the life and the future of each of us that is at stake.

The first and most immediate way of meeting this personal responsibility is by casting a vote for the man who, more than any other individual, will have to make decisions of overwhelming importance. We cannot perform this major duty casually, without thought, without awareness of the immensity of the result of our choice. Our judgment must take into account that the ways of the past are no longer relevant. Fearful as most people are of change, we must recognize the painful fact that we live in a world of change. And unknown world. Old answers will not serve for new questions.

The only new machinery we have for working our new solutions is the United Nations. Through it we can get the co-operation of other nations. These nations, who have as strong an interest in the peaceful settlement of world difficulties as the great powers can have - for their survival, too, depends on it - can provide the balance wheel to see to it that both the Soviets and the United States live up to their commitments.

It is not by exploring outer space and solving the problems of the moon that we can lay the groundwork for future security and plenty. It is by exploring the conditions we find around us and solving the problems first of this troubled world.


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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eyes of the Possessed?

Yes, it's rhetoric, but look at the eyes...



















Is he? or Isn't he?


Also-- This from the Jerusalem Post...

A senior official in Teheran said Wednesday that in the next few days, a "surprise" was expected regarding Iran's nuclear program, Al-Jazeera reported.


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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On This Most Auspicious Day...

My sister has given me a gift. At the time of its publication, were I capable of reading-- capable of anything more than soiling my diaper and crying to be fed --this is what I could have bought at the newsstand for a mere sixty cents. So how much is a copy of Esquire today? Six, seven dollars? I don't think I've ever bought an issue myself.

What's most interesting about this issue is how little things have changed in forty-six years. On page seventy-nine is an article by Dan Wakefield entitled, Good-bye New York... There could be an X where once there was an island, a look at the western fear of Soviet Russia and the growing threat of nuclear annihilation. Another interesting note comes from the cover of this issue promoting an article on page forty-five by Eleanor Roosevelt, Reflections on the Next President.

"This man will be confronted by graver issues than have ever faced a Chief Executive. Because the sands are running out, most of these basic issues must be solved within a frighteningly short time, so we must weigh carefully the capacity and the record of the man who is to shoulder that great responsibility. For the kind of solution he decides upon may well affect our future well-being as a nation."

Do you think she had an inkling of who would win the race?

Looking at the photos and the ads it's easy to see how much has changed since the month and year I entered the world. Reading the words and sentiments between the photos and ads, especially Mrs. Roosevelt's sentiments, I see how little things have really changed.

The magazine is a nice gift, and completely unexpected. My sister is like me in this respect; her idea of giving is not like most people we know, in that gifts should have meaning, and wherever possible, a handmade gift has far more lasting value. Despite her surprising thoughtfulness-- gifts are a rarity between us siblings --I doubt my sister took much note of what was on the cover, or its contents, beside the month and year. But that's okay; the gift is deeply appreciated.

Happy Birthday to me.


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Monday, August 21, 2006

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child...

This child needs a good old-fashioned whuppin'... and repeated as often as necessary to put this kid straight. Then the parents should get theirs-- physical as well as financial --for not teaching their child how to behave in public.


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Judicial Theft: So what else is new?

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declared the seizure of $125,000 during a traffic stop will stand, despite the fact that no guns, drugs, or ties to drugs were, or have been, discovered. It has now become illegal to drive around with more than a "reasonable" amount of cash on your person. I wonder if that would fly in or around Vegas, or Reno, or LA?

My advice: If you're the kind who doesn't like banks, preferring the portability that cash provides-- you know who you are --don't drive through Nebraska or any state within the 8th Circuit's jurisdiction with more than a thousand bucks, cash.

Though I doubt they will, it would be interesting to see if the U.S. Supreme Court takes up this case.


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As if the first act wasn't bad enough....

...Get ready for round two!

Hezbollah is already moving back into southern Lebanon, full of vim and vigor, elated by their victory over the Zionist entity, and making preparations for re-armament... within full view of the ever-watchful Israeli eye.

Israel's recent attack on a Hezbollah position was to prevent just such an action. But who does Kofi Annan condemn? Hezbollah for breaking the terms of the cease-fire-- to not re-arm? No. Kofi condemns Israel. So what else is new?

Anti-Israel forces are weighing the results of the month long war...

A conference was held on Sunday in Tehran under the banner "Clarifying the results of the Lebanon war and the future of the Middle East". During the conference, Hizbullah's representative in Iran, Muhammad Abdullah Sif al-Din said: "We think this war has one significance and it is the destruction of the Zionist regime."


Hexbollah's win has emboldened them and when they do attack, Israel will have to resort to a level of force it was unprepared to use last month. A level of force sure to bring even greater condemnation from the rest of the world.

In the mean time, Jewish youths are emigrating to Israel for the sole purpose of joining the IDF.

No, it's not over by a long shot.


Here's more

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I guess this proves I'm still a kid at heart...

BenT turned me on to a website which celebrates the childhood repast playing in mud; which could be construed as worthwhile, given the results. I'm intrigued enough to give it a try.


Shiny Mud Balls

At elementary schools, kindergartens, and preschools all across Japan, kids are losing themselves making hikaru dorodango, or balls of mud that shine. Behind this boom is Professor Fumio Kayo of the Kyoto University of Education. Kayo is a psychologist who researches children's play, and he first came across these glistening dorodango at a nursery school in Kyoto two years ago. He was impressed and devised a method of making dorodango that could be followed even by children. Once Kayo teaches children how to make these mud balls, they become absorbed in forming a sphere, and they put all their energy into polishing the ball until it sparkles. The dorodango soon becomes the child's greatest treasure. Kayo sees in this phenomenon the essence of children's play, and he has written academic papers on the subject. The mud balls could also offer fresh insights into how play aids children's growth.


Professor Develops Method

Inside his office at the university, Kayo keeps a dorodango in a wooden box, wrapped in cloth. The shiny ball of dried mud is eight centimeters (about three inches) in diameter and is amber colored with a touch of dark green. Professor Kayo developed his own scale for measuring a dorodango's luster, and this one rates a "4." The shiniest dorodango rates a "5," and Kayo keeps one of these at home.

Kayo first became interested in dorodango in May 1999. As part of his research in developmental pshychology, Kayo visited a Kyoto preschool once a week. When Kayo made mud balls with the children, a teacher at the preschool told him, "I'll show you a real dorodango," and proceeded to produce a shiny one for Kayo.

Why would a lump of mud shine? Kayo became taken with this question and tried to outdo the preschool teacher. But after trying many times, Kayo found that he just could not make a shiny mud ball. Once, he thought he had succeeded, but after a few days the mud ball lost its luster. Through 200 failed experiments and an analysis using an electron microscope, Kayo was finally able to devise a method of making dorodango that could be followed by anyone, including children.


Surprising Behavior

When Kayo taught his new method to children, they were hooked. Kids would spend a long time kneading the mud and then polishing it until it shined. The children soon became attached to their mud balls and treasured them even if the shape was bad or if they did not shine.

In the process of making dorodango, the children demonstrated behavior that was surprising from the perspective of developmental psychology. A two-year-old child would walk behind Kayo, imitating his actions. At three, children would come up beside him and snatch his dirt. Four and five year olds pretended to ignore him out of pride, but afterwards they could be seen working with determined expressions on their faces. Children could also be found sharing information about where to find the best dirt and sand for making dorodango or even sometimes keeping such information secret. Dorodango were made famous all over Japan when public broadcaster NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) took up the phenomenon in a program aired nationally in June 2001.

In the field of developmental psychology up to now, play that developed children's imagination and creativity, such as role playing and drawing, was deemed important. But Professor Kayo is searching for whether developmental psychology has overlooked something very important: the experimentation children undertake in everyday activities like eating, getting dressed, and sleeping. He feels that making shiny mud balls is a good way of searching for the essence of children's play. Kayo believes that the answers lie within the hearts of children*, and he continues to visit the preschool once a week. [Emphasis mine]



Want to learn how to make your own? check out Dorodango.com

Here's some more examples of what playing in mud can achieve... The black one is especially cool.

I'm not at all sure how long the process can take; though I imagine it requires several hours initially, followed by days to finish. I'll let you know how I fare and how long it takes... Perhaps even post a few pics of my initial failures. Which will probably be many.


----

* Luke 18:17 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

I can't help but think this is the quintessential example of child-like faith. Only a child could look at a lump of mud and see this level of potential. Perhaps that is why children are closer to God than adults. What more could we learn from children? Perhaps a better question would be: Why is it that the older we become the further away from what once came natural we get?

Do you not see how completely impressed I am by Hikaru Dorodango? It's like a Rubiks Cube... Only free.


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A Reasonable Democrat... er... Independant


I took an oath when I began my service as a United States senator. I put one hand on the Bible and the other hand in the air. My oath, as I interpreted it, was to carry out my constitutional responsibility to do what was best for my state and my country. You don't do that by taking polls. I understand the unpopularity of the war. I understand the frustration of the American people as they watch the deaths on TV every night. I, of course, share that frustration. In some ways I feel it even more deeply than most because I have supported this war. That's why I would--I would like to see us out of there as soon as possible.

But I have a responsibility to take a view beyond today's polls and think about the security of my children and grandchildren, and your children and grandchildren-- everybody's children and grandchildren. And the fact is, if we just pick up and leave Iraq it will be a disaster that we will pay for for a generation, and I don't want to do that.

Senator Joseph Lieberman
Face the Nation
August 20, 2006


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Way to go Bob!

Usually, when referring to Bob Schieffer, the title will say, "Smoking Reefer with Bob Schieffer" but today's Face the Nation was one of his better days. A shining moment of clarity.

In closing Bob had this to say...

Finally today, it is getting hard to miss the irony. Some guy who thinks he's Peter Pan gets arrested in Thailand and it looks like the JonBenet Ramsey case has finally been solved. Then the Peter Pan guy confesses and people say the case falls apart. Now that is a first: A suspect confesses and seems to help rather than hurt himself. It makes you wonder if the courts should stop making cops warn suspects that anything they say may be held against them. In this case, it seems clear it didn't hurt him.

In this summer of great irony, maybe we shouldn't have been surprised. Take the war in Lebanon. The Lebanese Hezbollah group started a war that left most of its country in ruins, then declared victory and now seems to be winning the hearts and minds of the homeless by handing out money--in some cases, US greenback dollars--to rebuild the bombed-out houses.

I remember the time during Vietnam when US forces leveled a village and an American officer said, 'We had to destroy the village to save it.' In Lebanon, that strategy actually seems to have worked, at least on many of the people there.

The Middle East, of course, is a poor example because nothing there ever comes out quite the way we expect, but this summer, right or wrong, everything seems to be coming out backwards. I mean, put aside the arguments about who the best candidate is and just consider this: How do you become a real favorite to win re-election to the Senate from Connecticut? This summer, the answer seems to be 'Lose your party primary.' This is some summer.

Bob Schieffer
Face the Nation
August 20, 2006



But Bob Schieffer's alright most of the time. He's not half the hack Dan Rather was.


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Wow! Great OpEd in the New York Post



Moment Of Truth
Islamo-fascist Terror Could Trigger a Brutal Western Response

by Ralph Peters
Sunday, August 20, 2006


Mr. Peters asks, 'In the wake of Israel's strategic setback in Lebanon, where's the Middle East headed?'

...Whereupon he lays out both the bad news, AND the good. One quote I liked...

Despite intermittent left-wing lunacy, our debates and disagreements are about how best to solve the problem - not how to capitulate. Bit by bit, the Western mood is turning from disbelief regarding the "terrorist threat" to hard-knuckled realism about extremist Islam.


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Friday, August 18, 2006

Listening to Rush Limbaugh

Reading assignments for those of you who wouldn't be caught dead doing so...


Liberals Won't Cut and Run from War on Wal-Mart

America Ensures Equality of Opportunity, Not Results

Bush Hate Animates Drive-By Media & Left
on Joke NSA Terrorist Surveillance Ruling


Was NSA Leak a Big Deal, or Not, Libs?


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Enumerating the Unconstitutional


We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all "inherent powers" must derive from that Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, August 17, 2006



The Federal Income Tax
Social Security Tax
Hell! Taxation!
Abortion
Gun Control
The Exclusion of the bible in American classroom
The Exclusion of prayer in public school
The Confiscation of private property for another private citizen
...


This woman is a Carter appointee. That should tell us all we need to know, but what the hell, how about this? Judge Anna Diggs Taylor tried to take an affirmative action case away from another judge, who was assigned the case via blind draw-- standard operating procedure --because she 'suspected' the judge was skeptical of Affirmative Action.

What? She would have given the case a better listen because she's not skeptical? Because she's black? What does a judges skepticism have to do with trying a case? Judges are supposed to be impartial right? In a more perfect world, perhaps, but this is why judicial nominees are so contentious in todays political arena. Each side wants to appoint judges that will reflect and advance their political and ideological agendas... The Right's no different. The Right, however-- for the most part --wants to see strict constructionists take the bench; the Constitution isn't a threat to conservative values. But the Left wants to avoid this at all costs... Without activist judges, they know their agenda has little chance in a court of law.

But back to the opening salvo. Judge Taylor believes it's a violation of the 4th amendment to wiretap calls that original outside the U.S. from suspected terrorists to contacts within the U.S. But most recently, were it not for American cooperation and the use of wiretaps that originated OVERSEAS (the Media still clings to the lie that this is DOMESTIC wiretapping), we could this week be mourning the loss of up to 4,000 dead because Briton failed to stop the plot to detonate bombs in U.S. bound airliners. The problem is, the use of wiretaps in this particular case and many many others involving the war on terror, are not intended to violate anyone's 4th amendment right against unlawful search and seizure, but to prevent terrorists from killing Americans.

Idiocy knows no bounds, but it appears more prevalent in the Liberal Mind-set.

Thank you Jimmy Carter.


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Who Say's Christianity Isn't Under Attack in America?

This, from the biased and poorly-sourced World Net Daily:


'China-level' Christian persecution coming

The ruling from the Fifth Court of Appeals said the display of a Bible on public ground in Houston to honor the founder of a mission has to go, not because it was unconstitutional itself, but because it became unconstitutional when a Christian group rallied around it.

The pastor's group said that means any monument, building, or even feature of nature is an illegal "establishment of religion" if a church ceremony is held there.

"Connecting the dots between the eminent domain case, which says all of your churches are up for grabs if a town wants a mall, secondly you now have been told you do not have constitutional rights in the public square," Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastors Conference, told WorldNetDaily.

"Any kind of an event is okay, as long as you didn't express any religious faith. What is that telling you?

"We're not persecuted yet, we know that. But we're on our way there. Add that to the surprising acceptance of militant Islam, the fear of speaking against that from a Christian standpoint and then we're dangerously approaching the point where we have literally given away and yielded our freedoms that were earned," Welch said.

"We have history, law and the founding fathers who adopted the Constitution collectively affirming the truth expressed by revered Justice Joseph Story in 1840 that, 'We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity,'" said a statement issued by the pastor's group.

Welch told WND that the court's conclusion was "ludicrous" and if followed logically, could mean that a religious rally at any public building would therefore make the building unconstitutional so it would have to be removed.


Why? Because an Athiest was offended.


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Will America Ever Shake Off its Orgasmic Infatuation with the U.N.?

Why does anyone even bother with the U.N.? How much longer will America continue to bow to the likes of the farce that is the U.N.? To weak and spineless France? When will the world see the U.N. for what it is; an ineffectual body of liars, thieves, despots and lickspittles?

France was to have led the international force of peacekeepers, sending 3500 troops to keep the peace in Lebanon. She has decided to send only 200.

The Lebanese army was to disarm Hezbollah, but the Lebanese government has pointedly said they will do no such thing.

The United Nations itself is the biggest-- with the most potential for harm --repository of anti-semitism in the world. Kofi himself makes excuses for Peacekeepers while jumping to uninformed conclusions about Israeli actions and motives.

U.N. Peacekeepers in southern Lebanon have allowed Hezbollah to use its equipment and vehicles in their attacks against Israel. Hezbollah has repaid the favor by attacking Israel from positions close to U.N. positions, making U.N. personnel targets. But no condemnation of Hezbollah from Kofi Annan, no. That is reserved for the State of Israel.

The U.N. has even said the peacekeeping force being sent to Lebanon will not make any effort to keep Hezbollah from rearming, or attacking Israel. So what use are they? And why bother calling it a peacekeeping force?

The U.N. can't enforce its resolutions. It didn't enforce the seventy some resolutions against Iraq. It didn't enforce the previous resolution in Lebanon-- U.N. Resolution 1559 --and it won't enforce this new one.

In the meantime, this current ceasefire will fail. There will be no peace between Israel and Hezbollah. And I find it rather curious that the U.N. has been strangely silent about the continued fighting in Gaza. Why is that? Could it be because France has no interest in Gaza, as it does in Lebanon?

There has been no clear winner in this conflict. They only faction that could be said to have come out the other side in better shape is Hezbollah. They have stood up to the mighty Israeli army and survived, and Israel has shown herself to be weak by giving in to pressure from the thoroughly pointless U.N. Hezbollah will re-arm with more sophisticated weaponry graciously supplied by Iran, China and North Korea through Syria. And the U.N. will do nothing.

Israel's enemies won't be satisfied until they've made the entire nation a modern-day Golgotha*. And the U.N. doesn't care. What the U.N. has really done here is set the stage for a larger, wider war in a year or two, if not sooner-- Remember, "Cease Fire" in Arabic means, "Re-load" --But the U.N. doesn't care, and doesn't seem to care that Syria will take the brunt of Israel's-- still future --War of Survival.

The U.N. would be quite happy to replace Israel altogether with a State of Palestine. Israel, a United Nations member state, being treated like a bastard child... An embarrassment... The mistake of mis-spent youth.

Iran will continue its enrichment of Uranium and the U.N. will do nothing.

Iran will eventually achieve nuclear weapons and the U.N. -- powerless to do anything up to THAT eventuality -- will cede to Iran the trump it needs to wreak all the havoc it desires. You WILL see the use of nuclear weapons in your lifetime. The U.N. has all but guaranteed it.

The U.N. will watch the world burn around it and castigate the U.S. for trying to put the fires out.

As to Prime Minister Olmert, he's done. Stick a fork it him, he's done. Israel will have to fight this all over again. The Road Map to Peace is dead. Forget it... Not gonna happen. One shining positive in all this is with Olmert gone the hand-over of the West Bank may also be dead.

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has said it now sees that rockets CAN defeat Israel; that Israel is in fact on the brink of falling. And we allowed it happen by pressuring Israel to give up before a clear-cut victory was achieved.

There has been dancing in the streets in Iran, Lebanon, Gaza (while dodging bullets and rocket-fire), Egypt...

Israel is weak. The West is Weak. America for all her military might... Is weak. There is no will left in the world to fight evil or purge corruption. Especially at the U.N... America even seems to have lost the will to defend freedom.




If any whore deserved to be dragged to the city square and publicly stoned to death, it's the United Nation. Raze her, level her and salt the earth... Let nothing grow there ever again.



----
* by interpretation, 'The place of a skull'


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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The world is a very sick place...

Make sure you read the sub-heading


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Peacefully unaware that anyone wants to kill them"

I'm not in the habit of just copying someone else's post but the comment, 'Peacefully unaware...' hit me in the gut pretty hard.

Another surprise was the writers' surprising use of unvarnished truth...

"The doctor was not in the office at the time to legally kill the child before birth"


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