Friday, September 28, 2007

Common Cause Partnership Statement

The bishops of the Common Cause Partnership have concluded their conference in Pittsburgh and have issued a wonderful statement outlining the direction ahead for Biblical, orthodox Anglicanism in North America.

Discussion thread at Stand Firm.

Thanks be to God for the faithful leadership of the assembled bishops! Please continue, as I am, to pray for all of Christ's Church and for all of our faithful bishops, priests, and deacons. The way forward will be frought with difficulties and strife. The forces of revisionism will assuredly stop at nothing in attempt to keep the faithful under their secular non-Gospel of so-called "social justice".

In the words of Martin Luther, "A Mighty Fortress is our God":

Did we in our strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabbaoth, His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

Amen, and AMEN!

TFH 9/27-28: Captain Robert E. Roeder, U.S. Army

From Medal of Honor Citations:


Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Company G, 350th Infantry, 88th Infantry Division. Place and date: Mt. Battaglia, Italy, 27-28 September 1944. Entered service at: Summit Station, Pa. Birth: Summit Station, Pa. G.O. No.: 31, 17 April 1945. Citation: for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Roeder commanded his company in defense of the strategic Mount Battaglia. Shortly after the company had occupied the hill, the Germans launched the first of a series of determined counterattacks to regain this dominating height. Completely exposed to ceaseless enemy artillery and small-arms fire, Capt. Roeder constantly circulated among his men, encouraging them and directing their defense against the persistent enemy. During the sixth counterattack, the enemy, by using flamethrowers and taking advantage of the fog, succeeded in overrunning the position Capt. Roeder led his men in a fierce battle at close quarters, to repulse the attack with heavy losses to the Germans. The following morning, while the company was engaged in repulsing an enemy counterattack in force, Capt. Roeder was seriously wounded and rendered unconscious by shell fragments. He was carried to the company command post, where he regained consciousness. Refusing medical treatment, he insisted on rejoining his men although in a weakened condition, Capt. Roeder dragged himself to the door of the command post and, picking up a rifle, braced himself in a sitting position. He began firing his weapon, shouted words of encouragement, and issued orders to his men. He personally killed 2 Germans before he himself was killed instantly by an exploding shell. Through Capt. Roeder's able and intrepid leadership his men held Mount Battaglia against the aggressive and fanatical enemy attempts to retake this important and strategic height. His valorous performance is exemplary of the fighting spirit of the U.S. Army.

Captain Roeder, I honor your supreme sacrifice in the defense of freedom. Thank you for your service and your courage in the face of our enemies. September 27-28, 1944 was your finest hour!

If you are stranded, stay with your car!

I'm a big CSI fan, and the season premiere was last night. The story line picked up with Sara Sidle pinned where we saw her at the end of the last season, underneath a wrecked car by the hands of the "Miniature Killer".

Well, the character managed to free herself, and then proceeded to trek off into the desert, injured, with no supplies or knowledge of her whereabouts. Yes, it was raining heavilly. Yes, she almost drowned before freeing herself. Yes, she was in dire straits. However, she should have stayed close to the vehicle. As the storyline had it, Sara's colleagues with the LVPD found the car in fairly short order. Meanwhile, Sara is off miles away dying from hyperthermia and dehydration in a 110-degree Nevada desert. Fortunately, they found her before death, so perhaps Jorja Fox's contract was renewed. Fictional story, yes. Bad example of basic survival skills, yes.

I blogged last December about the tragic story of the Kim family. Had they all stayed with their car, they would most likely all be alive today. Your chances of survival increase dramatically if you can stay with or close to your vehicle.

If you are stranded in a vehicle, stay with it if you are in no immediate danger. If you are in immediate danger, move to safety as close by as possible, then return to your vehicle as soon as conditions improve. Cars and trucks in the wild are easier to find; people aren't. Never go seeking help unless you can see it nearby (within 100 meters distance is a good rule of thumb).

Headline should be "Criminal gets what he deserves"

This article on CNN's website entitled "Mistake costs dishwasher $59,000" caught my attention because I figured, "What, did the guy break a real expensive dish or a whole lot of dishes?" Turns out that the "victim" here is an illegal immigrant who tried to get out of the country with $59,000 in violation of U.S. laws!

CNN's reporting here disgusts me on several levels. Quotes from the article in italics:

For 11 years, Pedro Zapeta, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lived his version of the American dream in Stuart, Florida: washing dishes and living frugally to bring money back to his home country.

Note "lived his version of the American dream". What is that "version"? Well:

Zapeta, who speaks no English...

Zapeta admits he never paid taxes.

Zapeta said his goal in coming to the United States was to make enough money to buy land in his mountain village and build a home for his mother and sisters.

Let's get this straight: the American Dream is NOT:
  1. Entering the country in violation of United States Law.
  2. Isolating one's self by not learning English and assimilating into American society and culture.
  3. Violating the laws of this country by working illegally and not paying taxes on wages earned.
  4. Sucking what you think you can out of the United States and running back to the third world.
What should have happened here IS:
  1. Mr. Zapeta should have applied for an immigrant visa and entered the country legally
  2. Mr. Zapeta should have enrolled in ESL classes
  3. Mr. Zapeta should have been working legally and paying his taxes
  4. Mr. Zapeta should have been using his savings in order to bring his family to the United States so they can share in the American Dream and build a better life here
Now, Mr. Zapeta is going to be sent back to Guatemala without his illegally obtained savings of $59,000.

"They are treating me like a criminal when all I am is a working man," he said.

No, Mr. Zapeta, you are being treated like a criminal because you are one! You entered the country illegally. You worked illegally. You ignored U.S. laws with regards to taxation (yes, even illegally obtained wages are subject to taxation). You ignored or were ignorant of U.S. laws with regards to transporting cash. Since you were getting on an airplane, you obviously have also illegally obtained some form of photo ID.

On a side note, I'd love to know if the restaurant proprietors who employed Mr. Zapeta have been charged yet. They are just as culpable; more so, even.

I am frankly sick and tired of bleeding hearts for criminals who have both entered this country illegally and refused to truly be "immigrants" - e.g. individuals determined to become Americans.

My solution:
  1. Close the borders with fences, walls, and even land mines if necessary.
  2. Deport all illegal immigrants; deported illegals may never return to the United States, even with a tourist visa. Violations of U.S. Law must NEVER be rewarded.
  3. Promote legal immigration; increase the amount of available immigrant visas.
  4. Any immigrant visa holder who has not completed basic ESL by the end of their first 18 months in the United States should have their visa cancelled and be deported.
  5. Prosecute vigorously all employers who break employment laws.
  6. Use economic sanctions - possibly even complete trade embargos - against countries that do not do their part to control outbound illegal immigrants.
Enough, as they say, is enough! This is the country that put 12 men on the moon; we should be able to get rid of illegal immigrants and the illegal immigration problem.

This country was built on immigrants who came legally, worked hard, obeyed our laws, and became Americans. Period.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The HOB Statement

Text of the statement available at Stand Firm.

My reaction:

1) By and large the liberals like it, which can't be good.

2) It does nothing to shelter or remove faithful dioceses, parishes, clergy, and laity from under the authority of revisionists. Their extended DEPO isn't good enough.

3) There is no repentance involved.

I'm going to write more extensively on the topic shortly, but in the end, the revisionists fail to admit (although I am sure they know the facts full well) publicly that the divide is not over homosexuality, but over Biblical truth. They deny it, and we will never surrender the one, true faith in Christ Jesus.

Let's see what comes out of the Common Cause meeting. Keep checking Stand Firm, TitusOneNine, and Anglican TV. And of course, continue to pray for the Church!

Father, please pour out your Holy Spirit upon the Bishops meeting in Pittsburgh. Strengthen their resolve. Show them the path You intend for us. I pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

HOB: Reactions to the Weekend, Monday, Looking Ahead

Well, the Episcopal HOB certainly looks like it is going to discard any possibility of complying with the Primates' requests. The eventual statement looks like it will fall somewhere in between "we've already complied" and "there's nothing we can do, because only General Convention can speak for the church."

Read up on the details at Stand Firm or TitusOneNine (Site links only, too many individual articles to read!)

The only real interesting item that came out of yesterday's HOB presser is that Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles, seems to have claimed that rites for same-sex blessings don't happen in his diocese, at least not without his permission. Funny, since Stand Firm has documented here, here, here, and here the public acknowledgement of such services. Furthermore, Baby Blue has documented that not only did one of these happen in his diocese, Bishop Bruno presided at it!

Bishop Bruno probably was taken aback by the source of the question, since it came from The New York Times. Memo to liberals: the liberal press is only your friend so long as you are as liberal as they are.

From the left (view at your own risk):

Elizabeth Kaeton on why it's ok for liberals not to follow any rules in advance of their agenda since we know it's right and the rest of the world hasn't caught up yet.

Looking forward though, today begins the Common Cause Partnership meeting of Bishops here in Pittsburgh! The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, will be addresing the conference as part of the opening Eucharistic celebration tonight. Wish I could attend in person, but Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV says he'll be streaming the event live.

Addition: Make sure and watch the Anglican TV interview with +Duncan.

Friday, September 21, 2007

TFH 9/21: Pvt. Reginald Roy Inwood, 10th Battalion/Royal South Australian Regiment

Today's installment of "Their Finest Hour" comes from the ranks of Victoria Cross holders, the British Empire's and now British Commonwealth's equivalent of our Medal of Honor. Reginald Roy Inwood received his VC for gallantry in battle on September 21, 1917 during the First World War. The text of Private Inwood's Victoria Cross citation follows:

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the advance to the third objective. He moved forward through our barrage alone to an enemy strong post and captured it, together with nine prisoners, killing several of the enemy. During the evening he volunteered for a special all-night patrol, which went out 600 yards in front of our line, and there, by his coolness and sound judgment obtained and sent back very valuable information as to the enemy movements. In the morning of the 21st September, Private Inwood located a machine-gun which was causing several casualties. He went out alone and bombed the gun and team, killing all but one whom he brought in as a prisoner with the gun.

Thank you for your bravery, sacrifices, and service! September 21, 1917 was your finest hour!

An Amazing Address!

The Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East and member of the Anglican Primates' Standing Committee, has delivered an incredible, faithful, Godly address to TEC's House of Bishops.

Read it all at Stand Firm in Faith.

Some excerpts:

My friends, like you, we want to be relevant to the culture in which we live. More importantly, we want to be salt and light to our societies. That is not an easy calling but it means we must remain distinct and humble at the same time. Without being distinct we cannot be salt and light; without humility we will not represent the one who said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” We are also continuously challenged whether we should allow the culture to transform the Apostolic Faith we once received, or if we should allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform our culture as it has in the past. As we struggle to answer this question we must never divorce ourselves from the faith that countless men, women and children died to protect. I believer that if we faithfully serve the Church of Christ, He will continue to fulfill his promise that the gates of Hades will not prevail against her...


Anglicans are aware with humility that we are not “the” church but we are one member of the body of Christ, the one Holy Catholic Church. We proclaim this every week in our churches. This places upon us the responsibility to listen to and respect our ecumenical partners.

My friends, you may believe you have discovered a very different truth from that of the majority in the Anglican Communion. It is not just about sexuality, but about your views of Christ, the Gospel, and the authority of the Bible. Please forgive me when I relay that some say you are a different church, others even think that you are a different religion...


With respect, I have to say that those who would prefer to speak of laws and procedures, constitutions and canons, committees and process: you are missing the point! It is our mutual loyalty and fellowship, submitting to one another in the common cause of Jesus Christ that makes us of one Church one faith and one Lord.


I know that you value personal freedom and independence. The whole world learns this from you. You need to demonstrate this by securing freedom for the American orthodox Anglicans who do not share your theological direction. Show your spirit of inclusiveness when you deal with them...

Amen, Amen, AMEN!

Thanks be to God for witnesses such as ++Anis! Thanks and prayers also for Matt Kennedy+ and the others at Stand Firm and TitusOneNine who are our eyes and ears in New Orleans.

HOB Meeting Updates

Stand Firm reports today about resolution proposals from +Jenkins (Bp. Louisiana) and a group of other "Camp Allen/Windsor" Bishops using language that is more in line with the Windsor Report and both the Dromatine and Dar es Saalam Primates' communiques.

I have mixed reactions to these proposals:

1) I am hopeful - and prayerful - that there is enough of an orthodox belief within the HOB that these proposals will see the light of day.

2) The association of two ACN Bishops - +Stanton (Dallas) and +Schofield (San Joaquin) - with +Jenkins' proposal is somewhat encouraging. On the part of +Schofield, I am somewhat surprised he's associated with it given San Joaquin's in-progress actions to disassociate with TEC.

3) I do not think that these proposals go far enough; I am still very uneasy to have any presence under the structure of TEC, barring true repentance on the part of the HOB.

4) The fact that there has been no statements yet from +Duncan (Pittsburgh, and ACN Moderator), +Iker (Ft. Worth), or +Ackerman (Quincy) gives me pause.

While I believe that the HOB and TEC are inexorably fixed on their revisionist course and that neither of the conciliatory (to the AC Primates) proposals have any hope of passing a vote in the HOB, I do know that with God all things are possible. I'm concerned that if such a resolution would pass it pulls the rug out from those of us standing firm for traditional Christianity and against the theological innovations of TEC.

Please continue to pray for Christ's Church, often and loud!

Jesus, please continue to pour out your Holy Spirit onto the House of Bishops. Show them the path. Strengthen them all with your grace, that their words and actions may not be just theirs, but yours. Amen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Outwit, Outplay, Outlast!

Survivor: China

The new season of Survivor starts tonight! Not going to be live blogging, but will give my takes as the season goes on...

UPDATE: (so much for the not live blog) I'm surprised that CBS didn't have it shot in HD this year...bummer!

The Rt. Rev. Bill Love writes his diocese

+Love is the Bishop of Albany, an Anglican Communion Network diocese. His words from a pre-HOB meeting letter to his flock:

I invite you to join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will come mightily upon this House, touching and transforming the hearts and souls and minds of every Bishop here, helping us to discern and carry out the will of God. May His will and only His will be done. Just as Paul encountered the risen Lord on the road to Damascus, may we too have a Damascus road experience in which we, the House of Bishops, are convicted of that which is not of God, repenting and asking His forgiveness of our sins, and then be given the grace to be faithful and obedient in exercising our ministry as bishops in God’s holy Church, keeping Jesus Christ at the center of all that we do.

Amen, amen! His will be done. Lord, come have Your way with us!

Hat Tip: TitusOneNine

TFH 9/19-20: Captain Everett Parker Pope, USMC

From Medal of Honor Citations:


Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Peleliu Island, Palau group, 19-20 September 1944. Entered service at: Massachusetts. Born: 16 July 1919, Milton, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau group, on 19-20 September 1944. Subjected to pointblank cannon fire which caused heavy casualties and badly disorganized his company while assaulting a steep coral hill, Capt. Pope rallied his men and gallantly led them to the summit in the face of machinegun, mortar, and sniper fire. Forced by widespread hostile attack to deploy the remnants of his company thinly in order to hold the ground won, and with his machineguns out of order and insufficient water and ammunition, he remained on the exposed hill with 12 men and 1 wounded officer determined to hold through the night. Attacked continuously with grenades, machineguns, and rifles from 3 sides, he and his valiant men fiercely beat back or destroyed the enemy, resorting to hand-to-hand combat as the supply of ammunition dwindled, and still maintaining his lines with his 8 remaining riflemen when daylight brought more deadly fire and he was ordered to withdraw. His valiant leadership against devastating odds while protecting the units below from heavy Japanese attack reflects the highest credit upon Capt. Pope and the U.S. Naval Service.

Captain Pope, thank you for your gallantry, service, and sacrifices for the cause of Freedom. September 19 & 20, 1944 was your finest hour!

Congratulations Andy Pettite; Yanks still on the move!

Andy Pettite racked up his 200th career win last night against Baltimore. Toronto obliged by beating Boston again. The Yankees are now just 1.5 games back of the Red Sox with a game at hand.

If I was the Red Sox, I'd be hoping that Detroit doesn't turn it around. Here's to hoping the Red Sox collapse is complete - they go 2-7 over their last nine, the Tigers post a 7-2 or better, and either they have to have a playoff or the Tigers chuck them out of the post-season outright!

House of Bishops Meeting - Pray for the Church!

The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops meeting begins today in New Orleans. Let us all pray, that even at this late hour, repentance will be chosen over innovation.

Let us all pray today for the whole of Christ's Church!

Father, we pray today for the bishops assembled in New Orleans. May they all be filled with your Holy Spirit and truly "defend the faith" as they are called to do. We pray especially for Rowan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as he struggles with the leadership and unity of the Anglican Communion. I also want to lift up to you Robert and Henry, my diocesan bishops; may you continue to strengthen and encourage them in their stand for traditional and orthodox Christian faith. I pray these things in Jesus' name, amen.

Finally, the best sources of news and commentary coming out of New Orleans will likely be:

Stand Firm in Faith
Anglican TV

Check them out regularly!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here Come the Yankees!

After drubbing the Orioles last night 12-0 - and Boston losing to Toronto - the Yankees are just 2.5 games back!

BOS: 90-62, 10 games remaining
NYY: 87-64, 11 games remaining

2.5 back with a game at hand? Forget the wild card baby, Yanks will take the division! Echoes of 1978 all around...

Avast, ye scurvy knaves!

Shiver me timbers, it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrr!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TFH 9/18: PFC Dewayne T. Williams, USMC

From Medal of Honor Citations:


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company H, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 September 1968. Entered service at: Saint Clair, Mich. Born: 18 September 1949, Brown City, Mich. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with the 1st Platoon, Company H, in action against communist insurgent forces. Pfc. Williams was a member of a combat patrol sent out from the platoon with the mission of establishing positions in the company's area of operations, from which it could intercept and destroy enemy sniper teams operating in the area. In the night as the patrol was preparing to move from its daylight position to a preselected night position, it was attacked from ambush by a squad of enemy using small arms and hand grenades. Although severely wounded in the back by the close intense fire, Pfc. Williams, recognizing the danger to the patrol, immediately began to crawl forward toward a good firing position. While he was moving under the continuing intense fire, he heard one of the members of the patrol sound the alert that an enemy grenade had landed in their position. Reacting instantly to the alert, he saw that the grenade had landed close to where he was Lying and without hesitation, in a valiant act of heroism, rolled on top of the grenade as it exploded, absorbing the full and tremendous impact of the explosion with his body. Through his extraordinary initiative and inspiring valor in the face of certain death, he saved the other members of his patrol from serious injury and possible loss of life, and enabled them to successfully defeat the attackers and hold their position until assistance arrived. His personal heroism and devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Dewayne, I honor your sacrifice for the cause of Freedom. September 18, 1968 was your finest hour!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Every day is a gift

One week ago today, I was driving on the Ohio Turnpike south of Cleveland when I was clipped in the left rear by an 18-wheeler, proceeded to spin across three traffic lanes without being hit by anything, and crashed into the center concrete barrier. As providence would have it, the only damage was to my car - I walked away completely unhurt, but with very frazzled nerves.

Today, I made the same trip along the same stretch of road feeling very nervous. The skid marks I left on the pavement are gone, but I did see the black marks on the concrete where my car hit. On passing, I said a brief prayer of thanksgiving for the protection that He assuredly extended to me last week.

Every morning when I wake, I thank Jesus Christ for being given another day. All the more so now, I also ask Him every morning what his plan for me on this day is.

Everything comes from Him above; no life is possible without our Lord and Savior. If you don't give Him thanks daily, I encourage you to do so! As I now pray daily to ask the Lord what is His mind for me, I know not where he will lead me, but I know that I will trust in Him.

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 - Six Years On

Today is September 11. We are still at war. God bless the United States of America.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation,
Blest with vic'try and peace may the Heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust."
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
-- Francis Scott Key, "The Defense of Fort McHenry"

The following text is from a speech by Winston Churchill, obtained via The Churchill Centre.

You do your worst - and we will do our best.

I must, however, admit that when the storm broke in September, I was for several weeks very anxious about the result. Sometimes the gas failed; sometimes the electricity. There were grievous complaints about the shelters and about conditions in them. Water was cut off, railways were cut or broken, large districts were destroyed, thousands were killed, and many more thousands were wounded. But there was one thing about which there was never any doubt. The courage, the unconquerable grit and stamina of our people, showed itself from the very outset. Without that all would have failed. Upon that rock, all stood unshakable. All the public services were carried on, and all the intricate arrangements, far-reaching details, involving the daily lives of so many millions, were carried out, improvised, elaborated, and perfected in the very teeth of the cruel and devastating storm.
We have to ask ourselves this question: Will the bombing attacks come back again? We have proceeded on the assumption that they will. Many new arrangements are being contrived as a result of the hard experience through which we have passed and the many mistakes which no doubt we have made - for success is the result of making many mistakes and learning from experience. If the lull is to end, if the storm is to renew itself, we will be ready, will will not flinch, we can take it again.

We ask no favours of the enemy. We seek from them no compunction. On the contrary, if tonight our people were asked to cast their vote whether a convention should be entered into to stop the bombing of cities, the overwhelming majority would cry, "No, we will mete out to them the measure, and more than the measure, that they have meted out to us." The people with one voice would say: "You have committed every crime under the sun. Where you have been the least resisted there you have been the most brutal. It was you who began the indiscriminate bombing. We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst - and we will do our best." Perhaps it may be our turn soon; perhaps it may be our turn now.

We live in a terrible epoch of the human story, but we believe there is a broad and sure justice running through its theme. It is time that the enemy should be made to suffer in their own homelands something of the torment they have let loose upon their neighbours and upon the world. We believe it to be in our power to keep this process going, on a steadily rising tide, month after month, year after year, until they are either extirpated by us or, better still, torn to pieces by their own people.

It is for this reason that I must ask you to be prepared for vehement counter-action by the enemy. Our methods of dealing with them have steadily improved. They no longer relish their trips to our shores. I do not know why they do not come, but it is certainly not because they have begun to love us more. It may be because they are saving up, but even if that be so, the very fact that they have to save up should give us confidence by revealing the truth of our steady advance from an almost unarmed position to superiority. But all engaged in our defence forces must prepare themselves for further heavy assaults. Your organization, your vigilance, your devotion to duty, your zeal for the cause must be raised to the highest intensity.

We do not expect to hit without being hit back, and we intend with every week that passes to hit harder. Prepare yourselves, then, my friends and comrades, for this renewal of your exertions. We shall never turn from our purpose, however sombre the road, however grievous the cost, because we know that out of this time of trial and tribulation will be born a new freedom and glory for all mankind.

Sir Winston's words are just as true today, as they were six years ago this day, as they were in 1941.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Pray for these children

Just saw this article on CNN's website about horribly deformed and handicapped children whose condition is a legacy of Soviet-era nuclear testing and contamination.

Please keep them and their caregivers (sadly, the story is mainly about an orphanage), as well as the other untold victims of Communist "peverted science" [ed. note: see masthead quote!] in your prayers.

Gee, and here I was thinking the United States was the center of environmental evil; well, at least that's the impression you'd get from the MSM...

Blogged via e-mail

Say it ain't so, Joe!

ESPN is reporting that Joe Gibbs Racing is going to announce a switch to Toyota for next year's season.  If it's true, then I think they're traitors to the sport and I'm done liking Tony Stewart, even though I've been following him since his sprint car days and we also share the exact same birth date.

In my mind, there's Chevrolets and everything else, but Toyota in NASCAR is an abomination.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Charles Krauthammer: Brilliant as Usual!

Charles Krauthammer has written a great column entitled "In Defense of Certainty" that is posted on Time Magazine's website. He hits several nails on the head.
What nonsense. The campaign against certainty is merely the philosophical veneer for an attempt to politically marginalize and intellectually disenfranchise believers. Instead of arguing the merits of any issue, secularists are trying to win the argument by default on the grounds that the other side displays unhealthy certainty or, even worse, unseemly religiosity.


Nothing has more aroused and infuriated the sophisticates than the foreign policy of a religiously inclined President, based on the notion of a universal aspiration to freedom and of America's need and duty to advance it around the world. Such liberationism, confident and unapologetic, is portrayed as arrogant crusading, a deep violation of the tradition of American pluralism, ecumenism, modesty and skeptical restraint.

That widespread portrayal is invention masquerading as history. You want certainty? You want religiosity? How about a people who overthrow the political order of the ages, go to war and occasion thousands of deaths in the name of self-evident truths and unalienable rights endowed by the Creator? That was 1776. The universality, the sacredness and the divine origin of freedom are enshrined in our founding document. The Founders, believers all, signed it. Thomas Jefferson wrote it. And not even Jefferson, the most skeptical of the lot, had the slightest doubt about it.

Rock on, brother! (Hat Tip: Matt Kennedy+ @ Stand Firm, original post with comment thread)

"Duh!" of the Day

Stayed in a hotel last night, so of course hanging on my door this morning was my complimentary copy of USA Today. Right on the front page is an article with the following headline:

"PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE - Two years after Katrina"

There are two pictures: one of a firefighter standing in front of scaffolding, and one of a woman standing in a beautifully decorated and equipped kitchen. Before I even opened the fold of the paper to read the article, I knew exactly what it was going to say - that folks who have been waiting on the government to fix or foot the bill for rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina are still living and working in FEMA trailers while those who prepared, had insurance, reserves, or just good old plain American know-how and resolve are back in their homes and businesses.

And you know what, I was right! Read it all here. Here's a clue dear readers, if you're going to wait on the government to bail you out, get used to waiting.

The headline on the web version is "2 years after Katrina, pace of rebuilding depends on who pays". Wait a second, for those who are waiting on Uncle Sam, aren't we all paying?

Two new categories launched by this post: "Duh Moment" and "Public vs. Private"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Only 9 of 10? Shame on us!

According to this article from Reuters, the United States is the most armed country with enough guns for 90% of the population to have one. That isn't good enough! The Constitution says "keep and bear" folks - let's get on with it!

For my part, I'll arm myself further to pick up some of the slack when I'm able. My Glock 23 is lonely...

Hat Tip: Drudge

Here's the Presidential Endorsement I'd Want!

According to CNN, Fidel Castro has called a Clinton/Obama '08 Presidential Ticket "invincible".

Communists...takes one to know two?

Friday, August 24, 2007

TFH 8/24: Robert Piché and Dirk DeJager

On August 24th, 2001 Air Transat Flight 236 from Toronto to Lisbon developed a fuel leak that turned the Airbus A330 into a 200-ton glider with 306 passengers and crew aboard.

The flight crew, Captain Robert Piché and First Officer Dirk DeJager, kept their cool and landed the aircraft unpowered at Lajes Air Base in the Azores. All 306 souls aboard survived, with just some minor injuries suffered during the evacuation of the aircraft.

Read all about it at Wikipedia.

Robert Piché and Dirk DeJager, August 24th, 2001 was your finest hour!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

TFH 8/23: Staff Sergeant Alvin P. Carey, U.S. Army

From Medal of Honor citations:


Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 38th Infantry, 2nd
Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Plougastel, Brittany, France, 23
August 1944. Entered service at: Laughlinstown, Pa. Born: 16 August
1916, Lycippus, Pa. G.O. No.: 37, 11 May 1945. Citation: For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the
call of duty, on 23 August 1944. S/Sgt. Carey, leader of a machinegun
section, was advancing with his company in the attack on the strongly
held enemy hill 154, near Plougastel, Brittany, France. The advance was
held up when the attacking units were pinned down by intense enemy
machinegun fire from a pillbox 200 yards up the hill. From his position
covering the right flank, S/Sgt. Carey displaced his guns to an advanced
position and then, upon his own initiative, armed himself with as many
hand grenades as he could carry and without regard for his personal
safety started alone up the hill toward the pillbox. Crawling forward
under its withering fire, he proceeded 150 yards when he met a German
rifleman whom he killed with his carbine. Continuing his steady forward
movement until he reached grenade-throwing distance, he hurled his
grenades at the pillbox opening in the face of intense enemy fire which
wounded him mortally. Undaunted, he gathered his strength and continued
his grenade attack until one entered and exploded within the pillbox,
killing the occupants and putting their guns out of action. Inspired by
S/Sgt. Carey's heroic act, the riflemen quickly occupied the position
and overpowered the remaining enemy resistance in the vicinity.

Staff Sergeant Carey, all freedom loving people are forever in your and your comrades' debt. Your gallantry in the face of death and the enemy on August 23, 1944 was your finest hour!

Time Magazine: Amazing, Incredible News

Everybody, and I mean everybody is going to be lining up for gastric
bypass surgery whether they're obese or not! Why, you ask? Look at the

Headline on the article: "Gastric Bypass Lowers Risk of Death"

Something lowers the risk of death? Incredible, absolutely incredible!
I'm looking forward to never dying, after I have my gastric bypass
operation for such purpose.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

TFH 8/22: An Addendum

The Baltimore Orioles, playing a home game against the Texas Rangers scored the first three runs...and then proceeded to lose the game, 30-3! That is not a typo. The Texas Rangers scored thirty runs! WOW!

TFH: Well, Sort Of...

No Medal of Honor citations for August 22. This is the 232nd anniversary of HM King George III declaring the American Colonies in rebellion, but that hardly qualifies for recognition as a "finest hour". The New York Times' "On This Day" page does list something that may or may not be a "finest hour", but is certainly one of the few good things I can cite about the subject individual:

1996 President Bill Clinton signed legislation
ending guaranteed cash payments to the poor and demanding work from

Unfortunately, the mid-90s welfare reform was hardly enough to stem the tide of, in my opinion, unconstitutional social (make that socialist) programs and their bloat on the federal budget and our tax burden.

Let the record show though that Slick Willie has made it on this blog in a complimentary fashion! It may be the only time...

Oh my, it's been six months!

Far, far too long since I've blogged...really need to get back into this!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Heard on NPR's "On the Media"

"Air America Radio has been reincarnated so often that they should have reached enlightenment."

Except, they're liberals! Duh!

Blogged from my Palm Treo 700w
Powered by Windows Mobile 5.0

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TFH 2/21: PFC Donald Jack Ruhl, USMCR

From Medal of Honor citations:


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born 2 July 1923, Columbus, Mont. Accredited to: Montana. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman in an assault platoon of Company E, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 19 to 21 February 1945. Quick to press the advantage after 8 Japanese had been driven from a blockhouse on D-day, Pfc. Ruhl single-handedly attacked the group, killing 1 of the enemy with his bayonet and another by rifle fire in his determined attempt to annihilate the escaping troops. Cool and undaunted as the fury of hostile resistance steadily increased throughout the night, he voluntarily left the shelter of his tank trap early in the morning of D-day plus 1 and moved out under a tremendous volume of mortar and machinegun fire to rescue a wounded marine Iying in an exposed position approximately 40 yards forward of the line. Half pulling and half carrying the wounded man, he removed him to a defiladed position, called for an assistant and a stretcher and, again running the gauntlet of hostile fire, carried the casualty to an aid station some 300 yards distant on the beach. Returning to his platoon, he continued his valiant efforts, volunteering to investigate and apparently abandoned Japanese gun emplacement 75 yards forward of the right flank during consolidation of the front lines, and subsequently occupying the position through the night to prevent the enemy from repossessing the valuable weapon. Pushing forward in the assault against the vast network of fortifications surrounding Mt. Suribachi the following morning, he crawled with his platoon guide to the top of a Japanese bunker to bring fire to bear on enemy troops located on the far side of the bunker. Suddenly a hostile grenade landed between the 2 marines. Instantly Pfc. Ruhl called a warning to his fellow marine and dived on the deadly missile, at-sorbing the full impact of the shattering explosion in his own body and protecting all within range from the danger of flying fragments although he might easily have dropped from his position on the edge of the bunker to the ground below. An indomitable fighter, Pfc. Ruhl rendered heroic service toward the defeat of a ruthless enemy, and his valor, initiative and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

PFC Ruhl, we honor your service and sacrfice for the cause of freedom; this was your finest hour!

Good news for the Pittsburgh region

According to this breaking news story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the long and not so slow contraction of US Airways' operations in Pittsburgh will stop, because the airline's flight operations center will reportedly be located here instead of two other potential cities! The Charlotte Observer is reporting that their city lost out; Phoenix was the other candidate city.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

TFH 2/20: John H. Glenn, Jr.

Before February 20, 1962 the United States was lagging in the space race and attaining President Kennedy's goal of reaching the Moon. Our Cold War, Communist enemies in the Soviet Union had racked up success after success (well, they didn't publicize their failures) and NASA had yet to put a human in orbit. On that morning, the hopes of the free exploration of space rested with an Atlas booster perched on the pad at Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 14 with Mercury Spacecraft #13 mounted at the top. Into this titanium, cone-shaped spacecraft - not quite seven feet tall and just over six feet in diameter - climbed John H. Glenn, Jr. Glenn had named his spacecraft "Friendship 7"

His path to orbit was far from certain. To that point (by my count looking at Encyclopedia Astronautica) in a minimum of 79 times that either NASA or the USAF attempted to launch an Atlas missile, 33 times the launch ended in failure. That's a 58.2% success rate; hardly the confidence one would want to ride into space with!

At 9:47:35 EST, the Atlas roared to life and four seconds later Glenn, and the hopes of a nation, were airborne. Just five thrilling minutes later, and the first free man was safely in orbit!

Three times around our Earth later, Glenn prepared his spacecraft for reentry. Mission controllers had detected a problem that could lead to a disaster. Instrumentation reported that the spacecraft's heat shield may have come loose; without its protection, Glenn and his spacecraft would be incinerated.

The heat shield held (the instrumentation was later found to be in error), and Glenn splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean at 14:43:02. The official NASA history of his flight is found here. Throughout the rest of the Mercury program, in many ways the United States still trailed the Soviets. Glenn's successful flight put us solidly on the road to the moon, and there was no looking back.

John H. Glenn, Jr.: February 20, 1962 - forty-five years ago today - was your finest hour!

Matt Kennedy+: Preliminary View on the Primates' Communique

Father Matt Kennedy of Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, NY and the excellent Stand Firm in Faith site has posted his first, albeit brief, analysis of the Primates' communique.

Primates' Meeting Results

The report from the Primates' meeting is out - the real "meat" is down near the bottom under "The Key Recommendations of the Primates".

I have not had the chance to read over the communique carefully, but have given it a quick skim. My early take is that it is positive for the orthodox, evangelical Anglican Christians in the United States. Early takes from our side (see the usual go-tos of Stand Firm and TitusOneNine) are also encouraging.

Early takes from the reappraiser side of the equation (see here, here, or here) are up in arms over this, so that is also encouraging.

Please continue to pray for the Church!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Congratulations, Kevin Harvick!

Kevin Harvick wins the 49th Daytona 500, the "Great American Race" to cap-off a weekend sweep in which he also won the Orbitz 300 Busch Series race on Saturday! What a great way to kick off the 2007 season! Congratulations to Kevin, and to the entire Richard Childress Racing team!

Does the Anglican Communion have a future?

Early reports from the close of the Anglican Primates' meeting out of Tanzania today indicate that it could be a deciding moment for the future of the Anglican Communion. I'm going to wait until more information is available to comment on substance, but I have added two links under "Sites on My Mind" to Anglican churches in whom orthodox, Anglican Christianity is flourishing:

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Church of Uganda

Please pray for the Church - not just for Anglicanism, but for the whole of Christianity. We are under siege.

TFH 2/19: Fred William Zabitosky

From Medal of Honor citations:


Rank and organization: Sergeant First Class (then S/Sgt.), U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 19 February 1968. Entered service at: Trenton, N.J. Born: 27 October 1942, Trenton, N.J. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sfc. Zabitosky, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a 9-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. Sfc. Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within enemy-controlled territory when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit. Sfc. Zabitosky rallied his team members, deployed them into defensive positions, and, exposing himself to concentrated enemy automatic weapons fire, directed their return fire. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sfc. Zabitosky ordered his patrol to move to a landing zone for helicopter extraction while he covered their withdrawal with rifle fire and grenades. Rejoining the patrol under increasing enemy pressure, he positioned each man in a tight perimeter defense and continually moved from man to man, encouraging them and controlling their defensive fire. Mainly due to his example, the outnumbered patrol maintained its precarious position until the arrival of tactical air support and a helicopter extraction team. As the rescue helicopters arrived, the determined North Vietnamese pressed their attack. Sfc. Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to their fire to adjust suppressive helicopter gunship fire around the landing zone. After boarding 1 of the rescue helicopters, he positioned himself in the door delivering fire on the enemy as the ship took off. The helicopter was engulfed in a hail of bullets and Sfc. Zabitosky was thrown from the craft as it spun out of control and crashed. Recovering consciousness, he ignored his extremely painful injuries and moved to the flaming wreckage. Heedless of the danger of exploding ordnance and fuel, he pulled the severely wounded pilot from the searing blaze and made repeated attempts to rescue his patrol members but was driven back by the intense heat. Despite his serious burns and crushed ribs, he carried and dragged the unconscious pilot through a curtain of enemy fire to within 10 feet of a hovering rescue helicopter before collapsing. Sfc. Zabitosky's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Thank you, Sergeant First Class Zabitosky for your service; this was your finest hour!

First time Fasching

Saturday evening, my wife and I attended a Fasching celebration (a.k.a German Mardi Gras, or "Karneval") hosted by the Teutonia Mannerchor, a Pittsburgh-area German social club/heritage society/choir on the invite of a friend of ours. We had a wonderful time, and hopefully will make this a yearly event.

Of course, the free flowing (and for the US, cheap) Hacker-Pschorr and Spaten didn't make things worse. ;-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Anglican Primates Meeting

The meeting of the Anglican Primates has started in Tanzania. Follow along with the action from what I believe to be the most trusted sources:

Stand Firm in Faith

As reports come out of Tanzania, I'll be commenting.

It's been a while...

Boy, I knew I hadn't blogged in a while, but hadn't realized it has been two weeks!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

In memoriam: 2/1/2007

Michael P. Anderson - David M. Brown - Kalpana Chawla - Laurel B. Clark
Rick D. Husband - William C. McCool - Ilan Ramon
STS-107 (Columbia) - Lost on Reentry

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Seen on the road...

Just saw a bumper sticker that roiled me: "War is the failure of imagination." I'd love to have a bumper sticker that says, "Defeat and surrender are failures of imagination."

Blogged from my Palm Treo 700w
Powered by Windows Mobile 5.0

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pastoral Letter from +Duncan

The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, has issued the linked pastoral letter to our diocese. May God continue to be with our Bishop, and please pray for him and the Church.

TFH 1/29: First Sergeant Leonard A. Funk Jr., USA

Today's installment of TFH is from the record of Medal of Honor citations, and is a Pittsburgh-area individual to boot:
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 508th
Parachute Infantry, 82d Airborne Division. Place and date: Holzheim, Belgium, 29
January 1945. Entered service at: Wilkinsburg, Pa. Birth: Braddock Township, Pa.
G.O. No.: 75, 5 September 1945. Citation: He distinguished himself by gallant,
intrepid actions against the enemy. After advancing 15 miles in a driving
snowstorm, the American force prepared to attack through waist-deep drifts. The
company executive officer became a casualty, and 1st Sgt. Funk immediately
assumed his duties, forming headquarters soldiers into a combat unit for an
assault in the face of direct artillery shelling and harassing fire from the
right flank. Under his skillful and courageous leadership, this miscellaneous
group and the 3d Platoon attacked 15 houses, cleared them, and took 30 prisoners
without suffering a casualty. The fierce drive of Company C quickly overran
Holzheim, netting some 80 prisoners, who were placed under a 4-man guard, all
that could be spared, while the rest of the understrength unit went about
mopping up isolated points of resistance. An enemy patrol, by means of a ruse,
succeeded in capturing the guards and freeing the prisoners, and had begun
preparations to attack Company C from the rear when 1st Sgt. Funk walked around
the building and into their midst. He was ordered to surrender by a German
officer who pushed a machine pistol into his stomach. Although overwhelmingly
outnumbered and facing almost certain death, 1st Sgt. Funk, pretending to comply
with the order, began slowly to unsling his submachine gun from his shoulder and
then, with lightning motion, brought the muzzle into line and riddled the German
officer. He turned upon the other Germans, firing and shouting to the other
Americans to seize the enemy's weapons. In the ensuing fight 21 Germans were
killed, many wounded, and the remainder captured. 1st Sgt. Funk's bold action
and heroic disregard for his own safety were directly responsible for the
recapture of a vastly superior enemy force, which, if allowed to remain free,
could have taken the widespread units of Company C by surprise and endangered
the entire attack plan.

First Sergeant Leonard A. Funk: January 29, 1945 in the face of the enemies of freedom, was your finest hour!

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church - Christian or Not?

Kevin Kallsen & Dr. Bill Witt dissect Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori's interview with Religion Editor Frank Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Draw your own conclusions on her theology. I've drawn mine.

Check out the rest of the stuff on Anglican TV too!

Sad Sports News

From the AP via 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has been euthanized after the latest setbacks in recovering from the traumatic injuries suffered in the Preakness Stakes. I don't regularly follow horse racing, and certainly don't want to see it banned in animal-rights whacko fashion, but it's hard not to be sad at witnessing (I did watch the Preakness live) a fine animal meet a tragic end.

Carnegie Mellon - no mascot?

This article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is talking about Carnegie Mellon University's lack of an official mascot. This reminds me of a very entertaining dialogue exchange between a friend of mine and a USMC Lieutenant Colonel during our Battalion Commander's inspection at OCS, July 1990:

LTCOL: "What school do you go to?"
Friend: "Sir, Carnegie Mellon University, Sir!"
LTCOL: "What's your mascot?"
Friend: "Sir, the candidate does not understand the question."
LTCOL: "What's the name of your football team?"
Friend: "The Tartans, Sir!"
LTCOL: "What the hell is a Tartan?"
Friend: "It's a PLAID, Sir!"

The Lieutenant Colonel (sorry, don't remember his name) walked away shaking his head. What a great military moment...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

In Memoriam: 1/28/2007

Gregory B. Jarvis - Sharon Christa McAuliffe - Ronald E. McNair - Ellison S. Onizuka
Judith A. Resnik - Francis R. Scobee - Michael J. Smith
STS-51L - January 28, 1986

Saturday, January 27, 2007

In Memoriam: 1/27/2007

Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom - Edward H. White II - Roger B. Chaffee
January 27, 1967
We Remember and Honor Their Sacrifice

Friday, January 26, 2007

+Duncan to Attend Primates Meeting

Very, very, very good news - The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network will be attending at least some parts of the Anglican Primates' meeting next month in Tanzania!

Stand Firm blog thread
TitusOneNine blog thread

The Rt. Rev. Bruce McPherson (W. Louisiana) will be going too. While +McPherson is not a "Network" bishop, he is firmly behind the Windsor Report and maintaining orthodox Anglicanism in North America.

Mark Harris+ at Preludium obviously doesn't like what's going on (surprise, surprise): Post1 Post2. His blog is one of the very few from the revisionist/reappraiser/progressive side that I can read and appreciate since, while I believe his theology to be mostly off-base and wrong, is at least civil in his discussions of the orthodox. His main complaints are that with +Duncan and +McPherson being there, the left-wing perspective will only be carried forward by Presiding Bishop Schori so she'll be outnumbered and that the "Primates will hear only what they want to hear."

What absolute hogwash! For the last twenty years the Anglican Communion has heard from the Episcopal Church about the rejection of Scripture, the growing Unitarianism of the province's theology, and the absolute disregard for the rest of the provinces by unilateral action. Time and time again since General Convention 2003 the Anglican Communion has called upon the Episcopal Church to repent and return to "the faith once delivered to the saints." They have not, and the Episcopal Church's future in the Anglican Communion is, thankfully, very much in doubt.

Please pray for the Primates' meeting, and for the future of orthodox, Biblical Anglicanism in this Nation and continent!

TFH 1/26: Audie L. Murphy

My first source of honorees for "Their Finest Hour" is Medal of Honor citations. Today's installment of TFH deals with an individual who needs no introduction: Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated U.S. Soldier in World War II. He enlisted in the Army when he was underage, fought with incredible courage, and later became a movie star. Audie L. Murphy was tragically taken from us before his time on May 28, 1971 in a plane crash at age 46.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star Medal (2), the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (2), three Purple Heart Medals for wounds received in action. Words I could write about his valor wouldn't do him justice, so I'll just post in its entirety his Medal of Honor citation:
Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, 01692509, 15th Infantry, Army of the United
States, on 26 January 1945, near Holtzwihr, France, commanded Company B, which
was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. Lieutenant Murphy ordered his
men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods while he remained forward at
his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by
telephone. Behind him to his right one of our tank destroyers received a direct
hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. Lieutenant Murphy
continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing
enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant Murphy
climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of blowing up any
instant and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone
and exposed to the German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed
dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks,
losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every
available weapon to eliminate Lieutenant Murphy, but he continued to hold his
position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his
right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards only to be mowed down by his
fire. He received a leg wound but ignored it and continued the single-handed
fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company,
refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which
forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many
of the enemy; he personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant Murphy's
indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company
from possible encirclement and destruction and enabled it to hold the woods
which had been the enemy's objective.

Image from Wikipedia

Audie L. Murphy: January 26, 1944 near Holtzwihr, France - conduct above and beyond the call of duty in the face of enemies of freedom - was your finest hour!

I feel so much safer... that Nancy Pelosi and John "Surrender" Murtha have visited Iraq, really. I'm sure our troops were lining up to shake hands with them for subverting their mission and morale.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

TFH 1/25: MER-B "Opportunity"

Ok, I know, I'm off by a day (darn Wikipedia using GMT to time/date everything!), but in any case the story of the successful landing, and subsequent much-better-than-anybody's-dreams performance, of NASA's two Mars Exploration Rovers is the subject of today's installment of TFH. MER-A, Spirit, successfully landed on Mars on January 3, 2004. Its sibling MER-B, Opportunity, landed on the red planet on January 24, 2004. Successfully landing on Mars is a big deal; many spacecraft - Mariner 3, Mariner 8, Mars Observer, Mars Climate Orbiter, and Mars Polar Lander just to name a few - have all been lost at some point on their journey. Building on the successful landing of Mars Pathfinder on July 4, 1997, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory enhanced the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) systems for use by the MERs. This amazing system of heatshield, parachute, retrorockets, and airbags safely delivered both Spirit and Opportunity to the Martian surface, where they are both still exploring three Earth years later! If you'd like to learn more about what it took to get Spirit and Opportunity to Mars, and how they're still roaming the surface today, check out the main website, but also look at the video clips on this page, particularly the ones for navigating to Mars, and "6 Minutes of Terror" - the story of Entry, Descent, and Landing. This story is even better because both MERs were only designed for a 90 sol (e.g. Martian Day) life span. Spirit will enter its 1,090th sol in the next day; Opportunity is at 978 sols. Getting to Mars safely is a huge achievement. The Mars Exploration Rovers are a national triumph. My congratulations go to all those who have worked on these amazing exploits! However, for navigation engineers Lou D'Amario and Darren Baird (seen in the "navigating" video) - and for EDL engineers Jaime Dyk, Wayne Lee, Rob Manning, Tom Rivellini, and Adam Steltzner (all appear in the "EDL" video) - along with all your other colleagues who were involved with getting the rovers down to the surface, the safe arrivals of Spirit on January 3, 2004 and Opportunity on January 24, 2004 were your finest hour!

AC Judge Manning: Troubling Story

This article, "Judge Manning facing federal inquiry", troubles me. One of my dilemmas as a voter are those "judge retention" elections, where basically you get to say yea or nay on whether or not a jurist should remain on the bench. I usually don't cast a vote for those, since I don't know enough about the judges in question.

Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning, however, is one that I always pull the lever for his retention. I've read about and followed some of the cases he's presided over, and by all accounts he is fair yet strict in applying the law to the letter as it is written.

I sincerely hope that the referenced investigation turns up nothing and that Judge Manning is vindicated of these allegations of preferential treatment to a defense attorney that he is reportedly friends with.

Carl Bernstein: off the deep end

Reporter Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame spouts off in this article about how George W. Bush's administration is worse than Richard Nixon's. Puh-lease! Another example of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (BDS) as Michelle Malkin would call it.

(Hat tip: Drudge)

Interesting: Clinton vs. Giuliani

From Fox News: A hypothetical Presidential election held today would have Rudy Giuliani beating Hillary Clinton by 7 points; Giuliani would even draw 19 percent of democrat voters.

Giuliani is "America's Mayor" for sure, but could hardly be called a conservative.

The Final Frontier

Just added a bunch of links under "Sites on My Mind" to various NASA web sites. I've always been a "space nut", and strongly believe that space exploration is one of things that our government spends our tax dollars on that can't be funded enough. Check them out.

Later today, I'll be posting about a particular current space project as today's installment of "Their Finest Hour".

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

TFH 1/24: Robert Baden-Powell

In keeping with the title and spirit of my blog, I am going to endeavor to post daily about one individual or group for whom the date was "Their Finest Hour".

To kick this off, I have found a great one: Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, who on January 24, 1908 founded the Boy Scout Movement!

I had many great experiences myself in Scouts, including two trips (1987, 1988 Rayado) to Philmont Scout Ranch. If there is one regret of my adolescense, it's that I didn't quite make it to Eagle Scout.

The contributions of Scouting to our world, in the development of leaders, and the building of individual character in young men is without question.

The Scout's Oath: On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country; to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

The Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

And yes, I can still do the oath and law from memory! Both the Boy Scouts of America and the World Organization of the Scout Movement are being placed under "Sites on My Mind".

Lord Robert Baden-Powell, establishing the Scouting movement was your finest hour!

Image from Wikipedia

Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

As previously mentioned, I didn't watch the speech last night. I've read the transcript, and have the following thoughts. Quotes from the speech are italicized.

Congratulations, Madam Speaker.
Barf. I know one must play nice, and I certainly am not opposed to a woman in the Speaker's chair, but Nancy Pelosi? I will say one thing about her - she's about as left as they come, and probably still too conservative for the district she represents!

On budget "earmarks":
These special interest items are often slipped into bills at the last hour...over 90 percent of earmarks never make it to the floor of the House and Senate - they are droed into committee reports that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk. You did not vote them into law. I did not sign them into law. Yet they are treated as if they have the force of law. The time has come to end this practice.
AMEN, brother! The President says that $18 billion of extra expenditures were added to the budget this way in 2005. Ridiculous, and probably un-Constitutional to boot!

Finally, to keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements. Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience - and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound. Yet we are failing in that duty - and this failure will one day leave our children with three bad options: huge tax increases, huge deficits, or huge and immediate cuts in benefits.
How about we start with Constitutionally authorizing those programs? I agree with you Mr. President, but forget it. The Dems won't play on any common sense solution, privatization in particular, that would actually help the situation. Furthermore, "huge tax increases" isn't a bad option to them, it's the primary point of attack.

I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance...Families with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income.
I never saw a tax cut I didn't like. ROCK ON! Dems won't go for it though.

States that make basic private health insurance available to all their citizens should receive federal funds to help them provide this coverage to the poor and sick.
Emphasizing the private sector option, good. However, I still want somebody to show me where the Congress is Constitutionally authorized to spend money this way.

[P]rotect good doctors from junk lawsuits by passing medical liability reform.
Too late W. The only chance for much-needed tort reform would have been with a Republican Congress.

No quotes, but the President's comments on illegal immigration read as soft and limp. Complete enforcement first. Round up and deport all illegal immigrants second. Come up with "guest woker" or whatever you want to call it programs third. That's the way it should be.

Energy issues. Good that he mentioned increasing use of nuclear power. Stepping up domestic production, even better. Increasing fuel efficency standards, probably won't do a whole lot since consumption increases will likely outstrip efficency gains.

Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: on this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.
Too weak! Will somebody please come forth and state that there are only two outcomes possible in war? Outcome 1: complete unconditonal surrender of our enemies. Outcome 2: if they won't surrender, then they will be completely and totally annihilated. That is how war should be waged! Churchill said it best: "Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory no matter how long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival!"

Overall, not too much to be upset about. It matters not though, because the lefties will forever stand in the way of anything productive.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Prayers for the Faithful

Bishop Lee of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (ed. comment: ""? Isn't that a bit pompous?) has announced the inhibition of the orthodox, Bible-centered priests who have rightfully led their parishes - after, I might add, a 40-day discernment process - out of the Episcopal Church and into the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). Please pray for the below listed men and women of deep faith and principle:

The Rev. Robin T. Adams
The Rev. Marshall Brown
The Rev. E. Kathleen Christopher
The Rev. Jack W. Grubbs
The Rev. David N. Jones
The Rev. Herbert J. McMullan
The Rev. Valarie A. Whitcomb
The Rev. George R. Beaven
The Rev. Neal H. Brown
The Rev. Richard C. Crocker
The Rev. John A.M. Guernsey
The Rev. Nicholas P.N. Lebelfeld
The Rev. Elijah B. White
The Rev. John W. Yates II
The Rev. Mark W. Brown
The Rev. Jeffrey O. Cerar
The Rev. Ramsey D. Gilchrist
The Rev. David R. Harper
The Rev. Marion D. Lucas, III
The Rev. Robin Rauh
The Rev. Frederick M. Wright

Lord, please protect and strengthen your servants and leaders in the Anglican District of Virginia, CANA. Let your Holy Spirit continue to pour out upon them, their congregations, and may it spread to others who are struggling with the crisis in our denomination. I ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

He who would valiant be 'gainst all disaster
Let him in constancy follow the Master!

Their decision to stand with the Faith once delivered to the Saints instead of with the unitarian theology of the Episcopal Church may well be their finest hour.

Hat tips: Stand Firm and TitusOneNine

State of the Union

I am not going to be watching President Bush's address to the Congress and the Nation tonight because, based on what I've already heard and read in the various press previews, it will most likely disgust me.

6 1/2 years ago, in the summer of 2000, I had absolutely no enthusiasm for George W. Bush until the stirring address he made to the Republican National Convention. Today, I believe the President has destroyed the promise of his Administration by not prosecuting the War on Terror with the ferocity, violence, and unrelenting destruction that warfare demands, by sacrificing pure Conservative principles and embracing big government solutions, by endless kowtowing to liberals, etc., etc., etc.

I will read the transcript, and rip it to shreds on this blog tomorrow.

Hate to say it, but W has turned into his father, and this post is going to go in the RINO category.

Local politicians with their heads in the sand, I mean, ice

This article and also this one are the latest from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the saga of the wrangling with the Pittsburgh Penguins to try and get a deal done for a new arena before they become the Kansas City Penguins.

Let me get this straight: the state and local folks trying to keep the Penguins here are asking the team to help pay for construction of a new arena, then pay rent on the arena, then still share revenues produced by the arena, and also wait at least two or three years before they can play in the arena, right?

Meanwhile, there is a 95% complete, brand-new, state-of-the-art facility in Kansas City nearly ready and waiting, with 100% of the luxury suites already sold, that the team doesn't have to pay for, gets rent free, and gets the majority of revenues?

The locals then call their proposals either competitive or superior to KC's? Earth to Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Pennsylvania powers-that-be: DUH!

Mike Lange is going to be quipping "Elvis has just left the building" for real at the end of this season. The Penguins, in the Steel City, are soon-to-be history.

UPDATE @ 13:42: just saw that the P-G has added to one of the stories that PA Gov. Ed Rendell (a.k.a "Less Red Ed" or "Pinky") is now saying that if the Penguins don't accept their offer, TPTB are going to go whine to the NHL and its Board of Governors to prevent the team from moving and make them accept the Pittsburgh deal. Hmmmm, let's see... Kansas City = bigger market than Pittsburgh. Houston = bigger market than Pittsburgh. Just about anywhere else that's been mentioned as a possible relocation city for the team = bigger market than Pittsburgh. Just about anywhere else = better facilities, better deal. Once more, Earth to them: DUH!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bad Photoshop Job of the Day

Glad he's our new coach, but did they have to cut and paste Mike Tomlin's head onto a Steelers' shirt? Let's show the guy some respect! Picture direct from the Steelers' website:

Doesn't anybody at the Steelers have a digital camera and a spare polo shirt, so that they could have done a real job?

Coach Mike Tomlin: Steelers' News Conference

Live blogged comments:

From the horse's mouth, Coach Tomlin will retain Dick LeBeau as Steelers' defensive coordinator. Great news - probably won't mean a wholesale change of the Steelers' 3-4 base defense. Reading between the lines, it means that they'll have to build the personnel to switch to a "Tampa 2" 4-3. Best guess, Steelers take a quick DE with their 1st draft pick, looking to a 4-3 future.

Bravo! He's stressing that Coaches Dungy & Smith making it to the Super Bowl is significant because of the quality of the individuals, NOT because they just happen to be African-Americans.

UPDATE: other coaching positions will be settled "in the next few days".

UPDATE: he's talking about how he'll be involved in personnel decisions and basically saying what a great organization it will be to work in. Translation: "So long as I don't make a complete pig's breakfast of this job, it's my job until I don't want it any more!" ;-)

UPDATE: "as coaches, we have to be flexible schematically" - skirting around the 3-4 vs.4-3 issue. Can't argue with him though. Basic methodology is get good players, and game-plan for their strengths.

UPDATE: says he hasn't spoken to Russ Grimm, says he probably will. I really doubt that Coach Grimm will be back. Getting passed over is asking too much to have him stay on, even if hypothetically, he became the offensive coordinator.

Press conference ends at 15:57. Impressive. Said all the right things, must have used the term "blue collar" about a dozen times. As a Steelers' fan, I'm looking forward to seeing him prowl the sidelines for hopefully the next 15-20 years, and bring a couple more of those Lombardi Trophies back to Steel City.

Super Bowl XLI: Colts vs. Bears

Yesterday's NFC Championship Game was anti-climactic. Reggie Bush's 82-yard touchdown scamper made it look like it would be a game, but then the Saints went all pass-whacky and didn't ram the ball down the Bears' throat with the duo of Deuce McAllister and Bush.

However, the AFC Championship Game was a classic. Especially after Peyton Manning and the Colts had that late 2nd quarter interception run in for a touchdown to make the game Patriots 21, Colts 3 - it sure looked like that monkey was not just clinging to Manning's back, it was welded on.

Manning was superb in the 2nd half, and they're off to the Super Bowl. I'll be pulling for the Colts in the game. Early prediction: Colts 28, Bears 10.

Steelers: it's Tomlin!

After this weekend's mix of "It's Tomlin" and "It's Grimm" stories, the Pittsburgh Steelers will reportedly introduce Mike Tomlin as their new head coach today, according to this story by Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

I like the pick. It will be interesting to see what happens on the Steelers' defense, having spent the last 10+ years running the 3-4 zone blitz as Coach Tomlin is a proponent of the 4-3 Cover 2/"Tampa 2". Could be a lot of personnel changes on defense if the base package changes, since we don't have a 4-3 style D-Linemen, or linebackers for that matter. Switching to a form of Cover 2 could also affect the Steelers best defensive player, SS Troy Polamalu, since with two deep safeties, unless they're going to play nickle on every down, Polamalu's usual "all over the place" play won't work.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another example of "enemies domestic"?

Just read an article in the Pittsburgh City Paper entitled "Targeting 'Modern Bullet Factory,' POG to block CMU Building". "POG" is the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, our local ultra-left wing band of peaceniks, and "CMU" is Carnegie Mellon University. The building they're planning to blockade on 3/2/2007 is the National Robotics Engineering Center.

CMU's robotics arm is at the cutting edge of developing autonomous combat systems that will help keep our brave Warfighters safe under fire.

Let's get this straight: the left cares not for our troops. They care only for furthering their whacko agenda and destroying this Nation's ability to defend ourselves, thereby coddling our enemies.


Blogged from my Palm Treo 700w
Powered by Windows Mobile 5.0

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oh, Jimmy

Former President Carter, that is. Assuming this is true, and I have no reason to doubt it is, it's a disgrace. Of course, why be surprised that someone who is content to give Palestininan terrorists everything they want at the expense of Israel would also try to intervene on behalf of a Nazi war criminal? (Hat tip: Drudge)

Katie Couric at the White House

Katie Couric on CBS' web site has made this post about a "deep background" press briefing at 1600 Pensylvania Avenue that she participated in. The post's theme is Ms. Couric looking around the room and finding she's the only woman there. To that point, I say, "so what?"

The quote I took away from the post is: "And even though I’ve been in this business for more years than I’d like to admit, and interviewed countless Presidents and world leaders, it’s still thrilling—and even a little awe-inspiring—to get “briefed” at the White House, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office." [emphasis mine].

Let a liberal - politician, reporter, whomever - rattle on long enough, and their true colors will always show! Does anybody think she'd have written the "no matter who..." part if there was a Democrat in the White House?

To address her main beef though - Ms. Couric, especially since we just celebrated MLK (you know, the guy who said "I have a dream that one day men will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.") day, shouldn't the people "at the table" be the ones who got their on their merits, not their sex or some other naturally occuring physical attribute?

Ooooo, I'm scared now

The Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have moved their "Doomsday Clock" two minutes closer to "midnight" - i.e. the end of the world - it sits now at 23:55.

I'm agreed that we all should be worried about the possibility (likelihood?) of nations such as Iran and North Korea having nuclear weapons, but I really turn them off when I see:
Global warming presents a dire threat to human civilization that is second only
to nuclear weapons.
Yeah, right. Their clock will now include ridiculous fears of climate change in calculating the time to the supposed end of the world. Whatever.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"The Closer" Wins!

Congratulations to Kyra Sedgwick for winning the Golden Globe award (Best Actress in a TV Drama) for her role as Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson on TNT's "The Closer"! She earlier won a Screen Actors' Guild award too.

If you haven't seen this show yet, I highly encourage you to check it out. It's in my top three on TV right now, along with "CSI" and "Shark", both on CBS. The first season of the show is available on DVD too.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Neck stretched a little too far...

By now, everybody has probably heard that two of Saddam Hussein's associates have followed him to the gallows, and one of them was inadvertently decapitated by the hanging.

So what????? The world is a better place that these men are gone from it. Would the world have shown as much concern and compassion for the human rights and existence of their countless victims as the powers that be are for these evil men.

By my account, Hussein et al. have gotten off lightly. The traditional end for dictators is more like how Mussolini (warning: graphic image) or Ceausescu met their demise. I'm sure a large portion of the Iraqi populace would have loved to see them swinging from a lamp post, or trampled in the street. What do you think the victims of Halabja deserve?

Will Grimm replace the Chin?

ESPN is reporting that the Steelers have narrowed their coach search to three: current Assistant Head Coach Russ Grimm, Vikings' Defensive Coordinator Mike Tomlin, and Bears' Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera. The P-G's Ed Bouchette sounds off here on the story.

At this time, it would appear that the interview over the weekend with Georgia Tech's Chan Gailey (former Steelers' Offensive Coordinator) and the "permission asking" by the Steelers to consider Mike Sherman (current Texans' Assistant Head Coach/Offense, former GB Packers' head coach) will go nowhere. Sherman didn't even interview; when I heard his name mentioned, have to admit I was intrigued by the possibility.

Conventional wisdom is that if the Steelers don't announce their selection in the next several days, that puts Ron Rivera in the front runner position since the Steelers can't engage him any more until after the Bears' season is done. According to Bouchette, Tomlin has his 2nd interview tomorrow, Grimm on Wednesday.

I'd go with Grimm at this point - let's maintain some continuity on the staff. If there is no announcement on Thursday or Friday, then it will probably be Rivera.

BTW, congratulations to former Steelers' Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who is going to be the new Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers play at Arizona next year, so mark that one down on the calendar! Unfortunately for Coach Whisenhunt, the Cardinals just seem to be one of those franchises mired in perpetual mediocrity.

How much you want to bet that Whis' first official act as Head Coach will be to tell Matt Leinart to sell his motorcycle, if he owns one. ;-)