The Doodoo Report

The Doodoo Report
Vol: 80 Issue: 20 Tuesday, May 20, 2008

One of the UN’s most reliable complaints (some might call them ‘excuses’) for why it regularly fails to meet its mandates is that it is broke.

The UN Relief Works Agency (UNWRA) stopped providing emergency food aid to more than 13 percent of the 750,000 Palestinian refugees it feeds in Gaza.

UNWRA says it has gradually reduced the number of Palestinian refugees to whom it distributes packages of basic foods to about 650,000 people, spokesman Matthias Burchard told The Associated Press. It has also had to further reduce rations, he said.

“Soaring food prices, transport and fuel costs are forcing us to reduce what we can give,” Burchard said.

Burchard said general underfunding and the increase in food prices have torn a hole of $117 million in the agency’s regular budget this year.

The UN makes the same excuses for the failures of its Human Rights Council, which itself is populated by some of the most egregious human rights violators on the planet.

Among its membership are; Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and, incredibly, Sudan.

Human Rights Watch recently excoriated the UNHRC for its mishandling of the human catastrophe in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Three years ago, in order to justify its inaction, the UN concluded that, while the government of Sudan and militias have acted together in committing widespread atrocities in Darfur that should be prosecuted by an international war crimes tribunal, those crimes ‘did not amount to genocide’.

According to Human Rights Watch three years later, as many as 300,000 people have since been murdered, but the UN still refuses to call it ‘genocide’.

John Holmes, under secretary general for humanitarian affairs at the UN, said in a recent report to the UN Security Council; “of Darfur’s estimated six million people, some 4.27 million have now been seriously affected by the conflict.”

Holmes said that many of them have had to flee their homes, with 2.45 million people sheltering elsewhere in Sudan and 260,000 more in neighboring countries.

Approximately 100,000 civilians have been forced to flee this year, he said. Sixty thousand of them were displaced in West Darfur, which has recently seen an increase in violence.

The Islamist Sudanese government has decimated Sudan’s Christian population, but the UN has more important fish to fry.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of victims of the Burmese cyclone dying as a consequence of the military junta’s indifference to its people; in Zimbabwe, millions are fleeing the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe.

China is brutally repressing Tibetan religious groups, even as the world prepares to honor Beijing as host of the 2008 Olympics.

There are 192 member states within the United Nations — fully half of them are in violation of some part of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights at any given time.

The Council includes some of the world s worst human-rights violators, such as China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, notes Niles Gardiner, the director of the Heritage Foundation.

It has just appointed as investigators Richard Falk (special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories), a Princeton emeritus professor who compares Israel to Nazi Germany and defends Ward Churchill, and Jean Ziegler (special rapporteur on the Right to Food), co-founder of the intriguingly named Muammar Gaddafi Human Rights Prize.

When pressed for an explanation, the United Nations responds by complaining of limited resources, lack of political will or of having inadequate peacekeeping assets to meet all the world’s trouble spots.

The UN has to carefully husband its limited resources for truly egregious violators, like Israel, for example.

The UNHRC is so concerned about Israeli violations of human rights that Israel is the only country on earth to be officially declared a permanent part of UNHRC’s agenda. About three quarters of the condemnations issued by the UNHRC are against Israel.

So the UNHRC is forced to expend its precious resources to ensure that Israel doesn’t commit genocide against the Arabs and use what little remains to address the world’s other serial human rights violators.

Which is why the UN has assigned a special “rapporteur” to investigate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in that cesspool of human rights violations — known to the world as the United States of America.

Assessment:

In the past two decades, the U.S. has intervened militarily on behalf of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo, none of which is exactly American by race or religion.

When the tsunami hit Thailand in 2004, U.S. aid flooded the country though some of the beneficiaries included those who applauded Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 attack on America. A U.S. Navy ship was anchored off the coast to dispense badly needed emergency goods. U.S. aid workers are still there today.

In Burma, a country that bears virtually no cultural, racial or ethnic similarities to the U.S., we have aggressively sought to save lives following Cyclone Nargis.

American planes and ships filled with emergency aid and workers have been forced to wait while the murderous Burmese regime lets its people die.

But they will have to wait. The UN Human Rights Commission has to prioritize according to need, keeping in mind it has limited resources to work with.

With that in mind, UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene of that bastion of human rights in West Africa, Senegal, arrived in the United States to investigate its record of xenophobic racism.

There are no special rapporteurs charged with investigating South Africa, whose Durban Conference on Racism exposed some of the most disturbing examples of institutional anti-Semitism seen since the 1930’s.

Where is the special rapporteur for Zimbabwe, where white farmers are routinely killed and their land confiscated?

Where is the special rapporteur for the Islamic world?

It is a capital offense to convert to Christianity in Saudi Arabia. There is not a single Jew in the country — being a Jew in Saudi Arabia is a crime. Why no investigation of the Palestinian Authority, which defines its territory based on whether or not any Jews live there?

Or Burma? Or China? Hey, what about a Special Rapporteur to investigate human rights abuses in Russia?

No soap. The UN has limited resources to spend investigating human rights abuses, particularly those related to race. So it chose to investigate the United States for instances of institutional xenophobic racist tendencies.

Right now, the most probable Democratic nominee for the President of the United States is black. So is the current Secretary of State, whose predecessor, Colin Powell, was both former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (And black.)

The US Ambassador the the United Nations, Zalmay Khaliizad, is an ethnic Afghan and a Muslim.

The governor of Louisiana, bastion of the “Old South” is of ethnic Indian origin. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is an ethnic Hispanic. The governor of Massachusetts is black — the governor of New York is both black and disabled; he’s blind.

Eight US states have women governors — and Hillary Clinton’s campaign doesn’t seem to be suffering from the fact she is a woman, despite claims by her campaign to the contrary.

The UN’s chosen special rapporteur, Doudou Diene (Let’s call him Doo-doo), has an established track record of uncovering institutionalized racism in such rogue states as Canada, Japan, Denmark and Switzerland.

So Doo-doo plans to visit Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico and uncover institutionalized racism there.

Among the hate crimes the UN feels more worthy of investigation than the rape of Darfur or the repression of Tibetan monks are the display of hangman’s nooses and police brutality against minorities.

I am not one to say such things don’t go on in America — they do. They end up making headlines, people get arrested, charged and convicted, and often end up with ‘enhanced’ sentences much longer than those specified by sentencing guidelines.

They DON’T end up swept under the rug by a brutal and repressive regime — despite the claims of the insanely racist race-baiter Jeremiah Wright.

If they did, then Reverend Wright wouldn’t know about them — and if he did, he certainly wouldn’t be allowed to ‘denounce’ them — from the podium of the National Press Club!

The assignment of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Racism in the United States is a transparent effort by the United Nations to influence the US presidential elections in favor of the Democrats.

Decades ago, House Speaker Tip O’Neill was credited with making the observation that “all politics is local” — and in a sovereign USA, he was right. Since 2000, all that has changed.

Presidential elections are a global affair — indeed, a number of countries, including Canada and some in Europe, have complained that they should have a say in who the next ‘leader of the free world’ should be.

The 2004 election was a global affair, with the Left, (particularly in Europe and Canada) going all-out in their support for John Kerry. When Kerry lost, the London Daily Mirror’s headline asked: “How Can 5,9054,087 People Be So Dumb?”

Now, the world is enamored of Barack Hussein Obama, an ultra-left liberal of whom little else is known except he doesn’t wear a flag pin, whose pastor hates both whites and America, whose wife has been ashamed of America for all her adult life, and whose own background includes flirtations with Marxism, the Nation of Islam and Black Liberation Theology.

And suddenly, the UN can’t find any better place to expend its limited resources than to investigate institutional racism in America. And so, we breathlessly await the Doodoo Report.

I have every confidence it will live up to its name.

bin-Laden bin Lyin’?

bin-Laden bin Lyin’?
Vol: 80 Issue: 19 Monday, May 19, 2008

Osama bin Laden has graced the West with not one, but two fireside chats in the space of three days. I don’t know where he is (too bad, I could use $50 million) but wherever he is, he’s apparently bored.

He doesn’t seem to have much to do except try and scare the pants of little children and liberal Democrats.

But is anybody listening? Not really. After three years of silence, Osama began releasing new messages in September of last year. He released one on September 7th, another on September 11, and a third on September 20th.

With each new release came a flood of media reports suggesting that Osama’s latest communique was really a coded strike message and that we should hunker down and get ready.

But all Osama bombed us with was more messages; October 22nd, October 24th, November 29, December 29, March 19th and March 20th. (Guess who got a new videocam for Ramadan?)

Something else we can learn from his recent missives; wherever he is, he’s got a TV set. And he’s been watching the election coverage. He’s been taking a cue from the candidate’s playbook; he trots out something he thinks everybody ought to hate and tries it out on his audience.

(Somewhere, there is undoubtedly an Islamic Frank Luntz-type testing audience reaction to Osama’s various antagonists to help him focus his message against the most popular enemy)

In his 1998 declaration of war against the West, Osama’s main complaint wasn’t about Israel or America — it was about the presence of infidels on ‘sacred Islamic soil’.

Osama specifically singled out the ‘Crusaders’ (Christian America) and the ‘Zionists (Jewish Israel), but his war was aimed at driving American forces out of Saudi Arabia.

But as time went on, we discovered that Osama was not as bigoted as we had first believed — turns out that he hates pretty much everybody.

So far, he has expressed his anger at George Bush; specific members of the Bush administration (Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld); the media, Pervez Musharraf, the Europeans, conspiracies (except jihadi conspiracies): but it seems that Osama’s ‘Frank Luntz’ has identified Israel and the Palestinians as the winning issue.

“We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis and their allies … and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as long as there is one true Muslim on earth,” he said.

Osama said Israel’s anniversary celebrations were a reminder that the Jewish state did not exist 60 years ago and was established on land ‘violently seized from the Palestinians’; (who, for the record, did not EXIST sixty years ago. In 1948, the “West Bank” was part of Jordan and Gaza part of Egypt.)

Osama mocked peace efforts he said had been going on for 60 years but had failed to establish a Palestinian state. (Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 Partition Plan, the ‘Palestinian State’ would be celebrating its own sixty-first birthday instead of the sixtieth anniversary of The Catastrophe’.)

The speech was addressed to “western peoples” and entitled “The Causes of Conflict on the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israeli Occupation”d. It is worth noting that Osama cites a different “cause of the conflict” in every speech.

In the last one, the causes not only include the establishment of Israel but now include the shortcomings of the Islamic world. According to bin-Laden, the Arab world has let down the Palestinians, and it is therefore no sin for Muslims to kill other Muslims.

Those leaders came to power “either by a military coup or with backing from foreign forces”, he said.

“Those (Arab) kings and leaders sacrificed Palestine and Al-Aqsa to keep their crowns,” bin Laden said, referring to Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites. “But we will not be relieved of this responsibility.”

Assessment:

When one sits back and takes a broad look at Osama bin Laden’s Big Picture, one gets the sense of a rabid dog — striking out blindly at anything that moves. It is almost as pathetic as it is revealing.

In 1998, it was because the ‘Crusaders’ were in Saudi Arabia. In 2001, Osama denied he had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, but that it was a ‘great deed’ nevertheless.

Then, in 2004, he admitted he was a liar, but that this time, he would tell the truth:

“I will explain to you the reasons behind these events, and I will tell you the truth about the moments when this decision was taken, so that you can reflect on it. God knows that the plan of striking the towers had not occurred to us, but the idea came to me when things went just too far with the American-Israeli alliance’s oppression and atrocities against our people in Palestine and Lebanon.”

In his September 11, 2007 message, Osama explained that the war wasn’t about US forces in Saudi Arabia, the Israeli-Arab conflict, or the “Crusaders” — now it was about Iraq.

A week later, it was about Pervez Musharraf. By October’s message, it was back to the Crusader’s occupation of Iraq. Osama ended 2007 with a message directed “to the peoples of Europe” telling them that the war was about Afghanistan.

In March of this year, not having anything new to hate the West for, he threatened the EU over the reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons in the European press. Now, he’s back to Israel as the ‘reason for the struggle’.

The fact is that Osama doesn’t have a reason for the struggle — he’s just fumbling for a good excuse to keep it going. Each of his messages were immediately interpreted as a harbinger for the next attack, but the next attack hasn’t come.

This is why I said Osama is probably watching the US election coverage. He’s using the same tactics. Blame the other side for everything under the sun and wait to see what sticks.

“Chase the Crusaders from our land!” (Shucks! The #@$%^ Crusaders started building hospitals and schools!)

“Israel’s existence justifies a new attack!” (No, that didn’t work,either) “Ummm, let’s wipe out the Crusaders and end the ‘occupation’!” (Darn. That didn’t work, either. Now what?)

“I had nothing to do with 9/11! They’re picking on me!” (Not even the Arabs were buying that one.)

“Ok, I did 9/11!” (Hey, that’s better!)

“The Crusaders have taken over Afghanistan!” (Oh no! The Afghanis like the #@#%$# Crusaders!)

“Wait! I know what will rock ’em! George Bush . . George Bush . . . George Bush . . . ”

(Wow! That works great! I don’t even have to give a reason!)

Like I said, Osama has probably been watching the US election coverage. Repeating “George Bush” as if one was invoking Satan has been working well for Obama.

Why not for Osama?

The Christian Caricature

The Christian Caricature
Vol: 80 Issue: 17 Saturday, May 17, 2008

Most of us understand the nature of the Christian character — the New Testament is abundantly clear on the subject.

When one becomes a Christian, one becomes a ‘new creature’ in Christ — the old things pass away, and are replaced by a new heart and a new mind.

The transformation is as unique as one’s relationship with Christ; it takes place in different ways at different speeds — as I noted last week, “each of us is unique — just like everybody else.”

But it is real, and every person who has ever surrendered their lives to Christ has experienced that transformation to some degree. I have been saved for more that thirty years and that transformation is still taking place. It will continue to take place, the Bible assures me, until the day I stand before the Lord:

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

It is that transformed, Christian character that leads us to the understanding that we are each in the process of being transformed — an understanding summed up well by the bumper-sticker slogan; “Christians Aren’t Perfect — Just Forgiven.”

Mature, born-again Christians who understand the individuality of a believer’s relationship with Christ know the difference between a believer who is struggling with the flesh and a hypocrite.

There is no hypocrisy in recognizing something as sin, even if it is a sin that one is still personally struggling with. The hypocrisy comes from pretending it is only sin when somebody else does it.

Hypocrisy comes easily to a Christian — even when on conscious guard against it — even when alone. Especially when alone:

I recall driving down the highway one day and passing a car literally slathered with Christian bumper stickers. As I pulled abreast of it, the lady driving rolled down her window and tossed out a cigarette.

Even though there is nothing in Scripture that makes smoking more a sin than being obese, the first thought that came to my mind was, “hypocrite” — and I know better!

The Lord instructed us to pray that our Father “forgive us our trespasses” as (or, ‘in the same manner’) “we forgive others.”

It is therefore our spiritual character to want to forgive others, almost to the point of being a fault. That is the Christian character. Actually doing it is another story — because Christianity is not of this world.

Jesus said that Christianity is an enemy to the world, and the world is an enemy to it. He went out of His way to remind believers that while they might be in this world, they are not of it.

Which is the reason for the constant internal battle between the character of the world we live in and the character of the Word that lives in us.

Assessment:

The opposite side of the coin is the Christian “caricature”. A ‘caricature’ is “a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.”

The world’s view of Christianity does not reflect its character, but instead is more of a caricature. Non-Christians have no frame of reference against which to judge Christianity except by observing its adherents.

Since, by definition, few non-Christians go to church, what they know of Christianity apart from personal observation is fed to them by the media.

Outrageous, prejudiced, and insensitive statements make for great press, so they are often reported, with the implication that these kinds of things are typical of Christians.

Here is what most non-believers know of Christianity, based on what they learn from the press about it:

Pat Robertson called for Hugo Chavez’ assassination. Jerry Falwell blamed the Christmas tsunami on an angry and vengeful God. Then Pat Robertson blamed Him for Katrina. The Catholic priesthood is shot through with pedophiles that were protected by the Vatican for decades.

Among this morning’s headlines is this one: “Minister Arrested in Internet Sex Sting.” The lead paragraph informs readers that,

“a minister from a mega-church in Plano, Texas is facing charges of online solicitation of sex with a minor after being arrested in Bryan, Texas.”

(I’ll spare you the sordid details. Let me just summarize by saying it didn’t do much to dispel the Christian caricature.)

I Googled “Pastor arrested” and got 1,141 hits from the Google news aggregator just now. Here are a few from the first page:

“Sex Cult Pastor Arrested in Texas” (ABC); “Uganda: Pastor Arrested Over Stolen Car” (AllAfrica.com); “Local Pastor Arrested For Armed Robbery” (Rocktown Weekly, VA); “Pastor of Hindsdale Church Arrested” (Chicago Tribune); “Youth Pastor’s Teen Sex Charges” (Newsday) ; “Ex-Pastor Finds Little Forgiveness From Rape Victims in Court” (Philadelphia Daily News)

(These are all different cases, in different parts of the country, different pastors, different crimes — the stories had just one thing in common. They were all published within the last twenty-four hours.)

I am trying to recall the last positive portrayal of a Christian pastor or of Christianity itself by Hollywood and I am drawing a blank.

If there are any, they are crowded out by mental images of Robert DeNiro’s Scripture-quoting rapist in “Cape Fear” or Homer Simpson’s annoying Christian neighbor Ned Flanders on “the Simpsons.”

The tendency to portray Christianity as the ultimate evil disguised as good infuriates Christians — who know better — but this stuff is produced by unbelievers who don’t.

I’ve often noted that America is the world’s representative standard of Christianity. It is seen as the world’s most Christian country, whether it deserves that honorific or not.

In terms of culture, that is undeniable. Nobody (except the Palestinians) would dispute characterizing Israel as a “Jewish State.”

But according to the CIA World Fact Book, only 76.4% of the citizens of the State of Israel self-identify as Jews, 16% Muslims, 2% Christians and the remainder “other.”

The section on America breaks down as follows: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

Using the CIA definition of ‘Christian’, America is currently estimated to be 78.5% Christian, making America, demographically, more ‘Christian’ than Israel is ‘Jewish’.

It is small wonder that the popular caricature of Christianity is that of rank hypocrisy. Even less wonder that the jihadists have such success in their recruiting efforts.

During the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation, Jesus dictates seven letters to the Apostle John, addressed to each of the seven churches of Asia Minor at the time.

Hindsight being 20/20, theologians have looked back through history and discovered that the character of each of those churches corresponded to the main characteristics of the Christian church during various definable periods of its history.

1. Ephesus 33-100 (the Apostolic Age)

2. Smyrna 100-312 (the Persecuted Church)

3. Pergamos 312-590 (the Faithful Church)

4. Thyatira 590-1517 (the Worldly Church)

5. Sardis 1517-1750 (the Dead Church)

6. Philadelphia 1750-1925 (the Missionary Church)

7. Laodicea 1925-Tribulation (the Apostate Church)

Jesus addressed the following letter to the Christian church of the last days:

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)

The Apostle Paul was writing to the Laodicean Church when he warned, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

Since God is referencing Israel (76.4% Jews) when He addresses the Jews of the last days, it seems equally reasonable that He is primarily referencing America (78.5% Christian) when He is addressing the caricature of Christianity that is the overall Laodicean Church.

And for the first time in America’s short history, it is perilous to be a Christian in America.

Particularly when one compares Paul’s description of Laodicean society to, oh . . . I dunno . . . . the headlines??

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

The point is this. For many unbelievers, you may be the only example of the character of Christianity they ever encounter. What they are expecting of you is the caricature of Christianity that they have come to know and consciously reject.

It is up to you to disappoint them.

Democrats Complain: “Appeasement Is a Synonym For Democrat!”

Democrats Complain: “Appeasement Is a Synonym For Democrat!”
Vol: 80 Issue: 16 Friday, May 16, 2008

President Bush used a speech to the Israeli parliament on Thursday to liken those who would negotiate with “terrorists and radicals” to those who appeased the Nazis in the months before the outbreak of World War II.

History identifies the two most egregious appeasers as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French president Edouard Daladier following their famous Munich Agreement.

The two leaders met in Munich with Adolf Hitler on September 29, 1938 to hammer out an ‘agreement’ that would prevent war from breaking out.

When talks with Hitler over the Sudetenland broke down Hitler gave Britain and France an ultimatum of 2pm on 28 September, after which he said he would invade Czechoslovakia. It looked like war was inevitable. Then Mussolini stepped in and proposed a 4-power conference.

The four leaders were Chamberlain, Deladier, Hitler and Mussolini, representing England, France, Germany and Italy. Czechoslovakia, whose fate was being determined at that meeting, and Russia, who guaranteed Czech security, were not invited to participate.

When Chamberlain returned to England, he held up the paper signed by Hitler and declared its existence guaranteed that “we shall have peace in our time.”

The paper, bearing Hitler’s signature, read: “We regard the agreement signed last night as symbolic of the desire of our two people never to go to war with each other again.”

The British public went wild; one lady proclaimed that Chamberlain had ‘given her back her son’ – meaning her son would not have to go off and fight a war with the Germans.

History says that Hitler broke the agreement with his invasion of Poland in 1939, but in point of fact, he did not.

Only Winston Churchill and few British parliamentarians recognized that all the paper really said was that the parties did not want to go to war. It contained no promise that they would not.

So, that is the backstory behind Bush’s speech to the Knesset. The Chamberlain/Deladier Munich Agreement that appeased Hitler by giving away Czechoslovakia.

It didn’t prevent war. It didn’t even forestall it. Hitler wasn’t ready in 1938 — he needed more time to prepare his forces.

The Munich Agreement gave it to him. Less than a year later, on September 2, 1939, when he believed his forces were ready, he ordered them into Poland, firing the opening shots of the Second World War.

Assessment:

According to transcripts of the Bush speech to the Israeli Knesset, what the president actually said was this:

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided. We have an obligation to call this what it is the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

We’ve already looked into the historical backstory — now let’s take a look at the venue. George Bush was addressing the Israeli parliament to mark the occasion of Israel’s sixtieth birthday.

One can draw a straight line directly from Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement to the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Israel was founded by the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, in direct response to Hitler’s effort at genocide, and under the banner slogan of, “Never Again!”

Bush was addressing the threat posed by a nuclear Iran, whose leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, marked Israel’s birth by repeating his claim the Holocaust was ‘a myth.” Ahmadinejad noted Israel’s celebration of its sixtieth birthday in a speech in which he said;

“The Zionist regime is dying. The criminals assume that by holding celebrations they can save the sinister Zionist regime from death and annihilation.”

The Democrats went ballistic. But not over Ahmadinejad’s threats against Israel. Instead, they targeted Bush’s historical observations about appeasement.

“What I see emerging in this campaign is an ugly pattern I quite frankly find disturbing and I think is threatening our national security,” said Sen. Joseph Biden.

“We should not be engaging in the parliaments of other nations, making political points against your opponents that are outrageous.” (Is Bush running again? If so, is Bush running against Neville Chamberlain?)

Leaving aside the fact that virtually every major Bush political opponent, from Bill Clinton to Jimmy Carter to half the Democratic Congressional Caucus, has gone abroad to criticize the Bush administration, let’s take Biden at his word (at least for the moment), and break the Bush statement down into its component elements.

Bush mentioned Nazis. He mentioned Poland. He mentioned an unnamed senator of unknown party affiliation who was evidently in office seventy years ago. Bush mentioned Hitler. And he said that history proves appeasement does not work.

Hillary Clinton called Bush’s original comments “offensive and outrageous, especially in light of his failures in foreign policy.”

Barack Obama called the Bush speech — to Israel about the events of seventy years ago that led to Israel’s re-establishment in 1948, remember — a “false political attack” aimed against him.

Obama issued a statement in which he said it was “sad” that Bush used the speech to take ‘a partisan shot’.

“George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”

(I could do a whole ‘nuther column listing the number of times Obama has promised to meet with terrorist leaders ‘without precondition’ but that’s grist for another mill.)

This one is about the Democrats seeing themselves reflected in Bush’s recollection of Chamberlain, the Munich Agreement and the historical price of appeasement and the fact that THEY were the first ones to make the connection.

The most amazing statement — the one that floored me — was the one made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “We have a protocol, sort of a custom, informally around here that we don’t criticize the president when he is on foreign soil.”

We DO? Does that mean that the visits to Baghdad by Democrats in the months before the 2003 Iraq invasion where they accused the White House of trumping up a case for war so that America could steal Iraqi oil was a violation of that protocol?

Or when Bill Clinton went to England to criticize the Bush administration during the 2004 election? And what about Jimmy Carter? He not only made a post-presidential career out of criticizing the US government, he won a Nobel Peace Prize for it.

But leaving that aside, the president is still George Bush, not Barack Obama. And Bush was the president when Nancy Pelosi defied the White House and traveled to Syria to criticize the White House from Syrian soil.

Evidently, that ‘informal protocol’ must be something new.

Here’s the irony. Bush didn’t accuse any living human being of appeasement. Not Obama. Not Clinton. Not Pelosi. Nor Democratic lawmakers Bonior, McDermott, Durbin, Kennedy, Biden, or any other Democrat who immediately self-identified with Bush’s description of appeasers.

You have the quote. He didn’t refer to any living American, and made no reference to any American political party or contest. He was addressing Israel, on the occasion of its sixtieth anniversary, about the European policy of appeasement that was ultimately responsible for bringing about its rebirth.

Yet the mainstream liberal media; NYTimes, Washington Post, LATimes, USAToday, Newsday, Newsweek, TIME, CNN, etc., etc. immediately assumed that Bush was talking about the Democrats (and them).

Frankly, I admit that I immediately saw the connection between Bush’s denunciation of appeasement and the Democrat’s proposed foreign policy — but that is because I believe that they are appeasers.

And that is the point. If the Democrats truly don’t believe that they are advocating appeasement as future Democratic foreign policy, then why would they think that appeasement is a synonym for Democrat?

And if they do, then what’s all the hubbub about?

The Scriptures say; “The wicked flee where no man pursueth: but the righteous are as a bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1) I will leave it to you to sort out which is which.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.

Take Me To Your Leader. . .

Take Me To Your Leader. . .
Vol: 80 Issue: 15 Thursday, May 15, 2008

The British government released what the media is calling its “X-Files” — the investigatory files looking into reports of UFO sightings between the years 1978 and 1987.

A similar release of UFO files by France’s national space agency last year attracted more than 220,000 users on its first day, causing it to crash — there is a lot of interest in UFO’s out there.

Some of the files were about what one might expect. One observer reported seeing something with a flashing light making a deep throbbing noise “reminiscent of a propeller-driven aircraft”.

(Evidently, the possibility he had seen a propeller-driven aircraft had not occurred to him.)

Another UFO that, presumably having traveled at the speed of light to get here, found it necessary to follow the British highway system to navigate its way through the Kingdom.

The ecologically-friendly alien spacecraft had slowed down to 30 mph, presumably to conserve fuel for the trip back to Alpha Centauri.

A 1985 a typewritten letter to the ministry tells of an alien spaceship being shot down in the river Mersey in northern England by another spacecraft and of the author developing a warm friendship with an alien called Algar.

Just as ‘Algar’ was about to reveal himself to the government he was killed by other aliens, the author of the letter writes. He was still in telepathic contact with an alien called Malcben from the planet Platone in the Milky Way, the author added.

Some witnesses were more credible than others. In April 1984, the police at Edgware, North London, were summoned to investigate a bright light in the sky that was flashing blue, white, green and pink .

There then appeared a blinding white ball with a tail which sent women screaming into their homes, according to the London Times. The file, which was written up by a police officer, recorded the following:

A pair of binoculars was obtained and I studied the object through them. I saw that the object was circular in the middle with a dome on top and underneath. The middle section of the object had bright blue lights around it with a red or pink light on the extreme right. The dome on the top had blue and white flashing . . . We observed the object for one hour.

According to the British Ministry of Defence, which is charged with UFO investigations, about 90% of UFO reports can be dismissed as weather balloons, or sightings like the one that had flashing lights and made noises like a propeller-driven aircraft.

Or like the 78-year old fishermen who claimed aliens came to abduct him. In that case, the space craft set down nearby and aliens wearing green overalls invited him aboard their space craft.

Once aboard, they kicked him back out, saying he was too old and decrepit for their purposes.

Ageism is evidently a universal prejudice.

Assessment:

The US Air Force conducted its own investigation into UFO sightings during it’s “Project Blue Book” investigation.

American private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine mysterious unidentified flying objects speeding along the crest of Mount Ranier, Washington in 1947. Arnold’s sighting is credited with coining the phrase, “flying saucer.”

Two weeks later, the famous “Roswell Incident” in which an alien spacecraft supposedly crashed in New Mexico and its remains were recovered by the US government.

By 1948, so many sightings had been reported that the Air Force set up a task force exclusively dedicated to investigating UFO sightings and Project Blue Book was born. After conducting thousands of investigations, the Air Force retired the task force in 1969 as a waste of time and money.

But UFO sightings continued beyond 1969 — and reported incidents of UFO sightings have increased considerably since the turn of the century.

There are literally thousands of photographs and films of what appear to be aircraft of unknown design doing maneuvers and feats of aerobatics no man-made aircraft is known to be capable of performing.

In recent years, there have been UFO sightings over major cities, witnessed by thousands of people, many of whom photographed them. Over 100 people witnessed five UFO’s hovering over Warwickshire in the UK in July, 2007.

A UFO hovering over O’Hare International Airport in Chicago in January, 2007 was witnessed by as many as a dozen United Airlines workers. The FAA said that air traffic control failed to pick up the object on radar, but several claim to have snapped photos.

Two experienced airline pilots flying two different aircraft both reported seeing a disk-shaped UFO in April, 2007. Both claimed the object was massive with one pilot suggesting it could have been ‘a mile wide’.

Six white discs were reported to be flying in a ‘triangle formation’ over Illinois in 2006. Several dozen witnesses reported seeing a large, silent objects surrounded by bright lights flying “low and fast” over Stephenville, Texas, including several police officers.

And the list goes on and on and on . . . is everybody experiencing the same mass hallucination?

The majority of UFO witnesses report seeing the same things; silent flying objects, shaped either like saucers or cigars, usually ringed by lights, conducting aerial maneuvers that defy the laws of physics and kinetic energy.

Skeptics note dryly that all the UFO’s tend to look like the ones we see in the movies.

Then, there is the issue of alien spacecraft capable of navigating all the way from the other side of outer space to Earth, only to keep crashing into the same spot in New Mexico?

If they are smart enough to build interstellar aircraft, then one would assume they are smart enough to post a warning sign somewhere along the route: “Caution: Roswell, New Mexico may be closer than it appears!”

And there is also the issue of the bright, flashing lights. Virtually every sighting includes some mention of the UFO’s being ringed by lights.

If they don’t want to be seen (and, since they flee when approached by terrestrial aircraft, it seems that they don’t) then surely they have a light switch onboard they could use to turn them off.

Why leave on their running lights? Don’t they have radar?

And the big question for Christians remains unanswered. Are we God’s only sentient creation? Are we all alone out here? Or did God create other intelligent life-forms?

The Vatican recently said there was no contradiction between the Christian faith and belief in UFO’s.

In an interview for the Vatican newspaper entitled “The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother,” the Jesuit Director of the Vatican Observatory Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes said that ruling out the existence of aliens would be like “putting limits on God’s creative freedom.”

Certainly, I wouldn’t want to be one ‘putting limits on God’s creative freedom’. What if He got mad at me for it?

But then again, there IS this whole business about God so loving the world that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind and make a way for reconciliation between a loving God and His sin-sick creation.

If God created other sentient life-forms, are they without sin? Or do they need redemption?

Or, did Jesus take on an alien life-form, teach the aliens about salvation, and then pay the penalty for their sins, also? Does He only love mankind? Or was man the only creature in creation to fall?

Are we the worst of God’s creatures in the universe?

There is something out there, after all. Not every witness to UFO’s is a nut case. Not every photograph has been Photoshopped.

Is there an answer to the UFO mystery? When was the first recorded UFO sighting, anyway? If God is real, all-knowing, and seeking those who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth, as Jesus describes Him, then why didn’t He include an explanation for us in Scripture?

Or did He? UFO’s are invariably described as being surrounded by flashing lights, as we’ve already noted.

The Prophet Ezekiel offers a description of the ‘four living creatures’ — the archangels that serve the Living God. According to Ezekiel:

“As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.” (Ezekiel 1:13)

UFO’s, which are shaped like saucers, (or like a ‘wheel’), are capable of impossible feats such as 45-degree turns without slowing down, going from a standstill to top speed instantly, or from impossible speeds to a dead stop without decelerating.

“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.” (Ezekiel 1:16-18)

Moreover, noted the prophet: “Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.” (Ezekiel 1:20)

Let’s do some comparative analysis, shall we?

The archangels, or ‘living creatures’ are, according to the Prophet Ezekiel:

1) Shaped like a wheel, or a saucer;

2) Surrounded by lights, “like the appearance of lamps;”

3) Capable of movement at the speed of thought.

UFO’s are, according to the majority of eyewitness reports:

1) Shaped like a wheel, or a saucer;

2) Surrounded by lights, “like the appearance of lamps;”

3) Capable of movement at the speed of thought.

Ezekiel also provides us with a description of Lucifer, formerly God’s chief archangel:

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” (Ezekiel 28:13-14)

We’ve examined the passage in Luke 21:25-26 in conjunction with the fear of global warming, killer asteroids, solar flares, etc.

In context, Jesus is outlining to His disciples the signs that would herald His impending return:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. ” (Luke 21:25-26)

It is no stretch to say that the UFO scare fits into that general scenario of fearing the powers of heaven.

The Bible tells us that angels have the capability of taking on a corporeal form (visible bodies) — Abraham entertained angels by cooking them food. The angels who went to Sodom to rescue Lot were plainly visible to the inhabitants of the city.

The Apostle Paul cautions: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

According to the Bible, angels and archangels are real. According to photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts, so are UFO’s — and they fit Ezekiel’s description of archangels perfectly.

Personally, I’ve never seen a UFO. I’ve never met a Christian who has, (but I don’t know if that is relevant or not. Maybe there are some genuine Christians who have seen UFO’s that I don’t know of.)

But what IS relevant is the number of unbelievers who HAVE seen UFO’s and the interest UFO sightings have generated among atheists and agnostics who see it as proof that there cannot be a God.

It also underscores the desperation of the lost who totally reject the idea of a loving Creator that exists outside of space and time — but whole-heartedly embrace the concept of little green men capable of traveling at the speed of light who can’t seem to avoid colliding with a great, big, shiny planet like Earth.

The Bible has been with us for two millennia and has earned the reputation that it has because it has yet to be proved wrong on any substantive facts; historically, scientifically, medically or geographically.

The UFO phenomenon has been with us for about a generation; coinciding with the rebirth of Israel, the birth of the Computer Age, the birth of the global economy, the birth of globalism, the start of the Cold War, the beginning of the Arab-Israel conflict, etc., etc.

Are UFO’s real? Well, since UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object and there are thousands of reports of flying objects that cannot be identified, Occam’s Razor therefore demands that they must be real.

Whether they little green men who piloted space ships across light-years of space to get here or whether they are spiritual beings as described by the Bible is an issue of faith and logic.

Logic says there is something “out there” but that is as far as logic can carry it. The laws of the physical universe say UFO’s cannot be from other planets.

And logic dictates that if they were advanced enough to overcome the laws of physics, they would be advanced enough to avoid colliding with a bright shiny planet — one of only eight in the solar system (since Pluto has been demoted).

So when it comes to UFO’s one can choose between logic and faith. Logically, extraterrestrial visitors can’t exist — but something does.

When it comes to the Bible’s explanation of UFO’s, logic and faith find themselves in complete harmony.

“. . . nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2nd Timothy 1:12)

And He isn’t a little green man from Outer Space. Believing THAT would take much more faith than I am capable of mustering.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1st Corinthians 1:26-27)

Maranatha!

Not for the Faint of Heart . . .

Not for the Faint of Heart . . .
Vol: 80 Issue: 14 Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not for the Faint of Heart . . .

Having been out of the news loop for forty hours and still groggy from the events of the last couple of days, I am a bit behind the curve. So instead of faking it, we’ll divert from the beaten path this morning – forgive me if I babble a bit.

When I was a young man, I would look on the elderly with a mixture of sympathy and contempt. I had some measure of sympathy for their ailments, but nothing but contempt for their weakness.

I cared little for their accumulated knowledge or experience; what would somebody who grew up in the 30’s and 40’s know that would be useful to me?

Age was the great equalizer — old people were equally useless, regardless of who they had been when they were young.

I was much like the young men in Job’s lament: “But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.” (Job 30:1)

I now understand Job’s anguish: over the course of my life, I’ve known a number old guys who were just ‘old guys’ — until they went on to their rewards.

Only then would I discover that the ‘old guy’ I had treated with such disrespect had been a war hero, or a brilliant inventor, or had distinguished himself in ways I never would.

My own sojourn through the world was greatly diminished because I failed to recognize and exploit the wealth of knowledge God had placed within my reach.

I spent my last four months on active duty in the Marines as a patient in a Veteran’s Administration hospital in 1975. The majority of my fellow patients were WWII vets — who were then about the same age that I am now.

To me, they were just a bunch of old guys who complained a lot and didn’t really have much to offer. I remember there was this really annoying guy in his early 60’s a few beds down who complained about everything.

One day, as he was complaining about his breakfast, both his arms shot out straight from his sides, his eyes rolled back in his head, he let out with a little sigh — and died right there in front of me.

I’d just spent a bit over six years in the US Marines — I’d already seen lots of men die. God forgive me, I even joked about it with the two or three other young vets in our ward.

I didn’t find out until after he was gone that the annoying guy a few beds down had won every combat medal possible except the Medal of Honor.

I never knew his name — well, I knew the other old guys called him ‘Charlie’, but I never cared enough to even find out Charlie ‘what.’

As I recall it, my face still burns with shame, even thirty-three years later.

Assessment:

The Scriptures say, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.” (Proverbs 20:29)

I still don’t see old men as beautiful, but I’ve a lot more appreciation for them now that I’ve joined their ranks. Getting old is not something for the faint of heart.

Some time back, my brother stopped by the house after work with a couple of the guys that work for him on his roofing crew. One of his crew (all in their 20s) made an ‘old guy’ joke.

I told him, “If you woke up tomorrow morning feeling the way I do every morning, your first act would be to reach for the phone and dial 911.” That’s when I KNEW that I had crossed that Rubicon and there was no turning back.

I realized that, to them, I’m just another old guy, as useless and irrelevant to them as Charlie was to me back in my own youth. I thought I’d eventually get used to it.

Maybe I will. But not yet.

Yesterday, I had yet another ‘old guy’ experience at the sleep clinic.

A ‘sleep clinic’ is a place where one goes to have electrodes glued to one’s head, attached to wires that are plugged in to what looks like a little operator’s switchboard about the size of Palm Pilot.

They glued five electrodes to my head, one behind each ear, several to the chest, one to each leg at the knee, all attached to the little switchboard gizmo. Then they led me into a little tiny room with nothing in it but little tiny bed and a sash-lamp hook on the wall for hanging the wired up gizmo.

But this being the Land of Socialized Medicine, the hook on the wall was loose, and nobody had yet filled out the government forms (in triplicate) to have a janitor come and screw another one in.

So instead, the technician laid the gizmo, together with the bird’s-nest of wires, on the pillow beside me — and told me to go to sleep. (The technician was in his 20’s — no doubt he figured at my age, I was perpetually two seconds from dozing off anyway.)

I’ve no idea how long it took me to fall asleep — I’m sure they’ll tell me later — but it took awhile. The technician came in to wake me to tell me I’d pulled an electrode loose in my sleep; “Try not to do that again,” he said, replacing the switchboard gizmo BACK on the pillow — beside my head!

The next time I woke up, my head had become entangled in the bird’s nest of wiring, and I had several of the wires in my mouth. The technician came back in, rearranged the wires, shot me another disgusted “don’t-you-do-that-again,” before guaranteeing I would by putting the gizmo on the pillow beside me again.

And so it went. All night long.

In the morning, they gave me a questionnaire asking me if I slept well. If they were asking me then what the heck were all those wires for?

But at least it was over — or so I thought. Nope. The technician said that was just the first part of the test.

For the rest of the day I had to wear the electrodes but they rigged up a little handle on the switchboard gizmo so that I could ‘move about the hospital’ in between 20 minute catnaps they wanted me to take every hour and a half all day long.

I looked like a runaway stereo component, so moving about the hospital wasn’t much of an option. So I spent all that night and all the next day in bed taking naps.

By the time the test was over, I was exhausted. I got home at five pm, and was in bed by eight-thirty — then overslept this morning by an hour. Worn out by a sleep test!

Getting old isn’t for sissies.

Special Report: Israel Death Watch

Special Report: Israel Death Watch
Vol: 80 Issue: 12 Monday, May 12, 2008

Special Report: Israel Death Watch

It is already a matter of established fact that from the perspective of the world, the State of Israel is a political aberration that should not have occurred. That is the prevailing consensus as Israel celebrates sixty years of independence — and the world mourns the Catastrophe of its creation.

The only reason that the Jewish State received recognition of its independence was because of collective guilt, according to the ‘new’ history of the region.

In 1948, the world was still absorbing the horrors of the Holocaust. Only three years before, Jews were being exterminated across Europe for the crime of being Jews.

Now they had returned to their ancestral homeland, seeking collective security under the slogan, “Never Again!” What else could the world leaders of the day say, given the circumstances?

But, given the benefit of historical hindsight, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post summed up the general global consensus:

“Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims [and some Christians] has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.”

Noted Mark Steyn in a column in the Washington Times:

“Since Israel marked its half-century, the “right to exist” is now routinely denied not just in Gaza and Ramallah and the region’s presidential palaces but on every European and Canadian college campus.”

Matthew Parris wrote in the Times of London:

“The past 40 years have been a catastrophe, gradual and incremental, for world Jewry. Seldom in history have the name and reputation of a human grouping lost so vast a store of support and sympathy so fast. My opinion held not passionately but with little personal doubt is that there is no point in arguing about whether the state of Israel should have been established where and when it was.”

One needn’t read too deeply between the lines to figure out which side Parris would take if he were to take a side.

McClean’s Magazine mourned the Catastrophe with a column that purported to explain “Why Israel Can’t Survive.” Author Michael Petrou wasn’t asking rhetorically, he was explaining flatly why Israel is doomed.

His column was subtitled: “Sixty years on, the country is facing a choice of two futures: It can be Jewish or democratic, but not both.”

One could sum up Petrou’s position using an anecdote from his column:

“Shortly after Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, published The Jewish State in 1896, two Viennese rabbis decided to travel to the Middle East to explore for themselves Herzl’s idea of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

Their visit resulted in a cable home in which the two rabbis wrote: “The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man.”

Assessment:

Atlantic Monthly was a bit less definite in it’s treatment of Israel’s future. Its cover story at least framed the answer in the form of a question; “Is Israel Finished?” so that you had to read the whole column to find out the answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

The Atlantic Monthly column was written by an American Jew who had served in the IDF. (According to columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, it was Atlantic Monthly that chose the title.)

The general opinion seems to be that nobody is really fooled by all the talk about a ‘two-state’ solution — it seems to be part of an understood – but not talked about – process of undoing the historical mistake of 1948.

The 9/11 attacks have caused a global ‘re-think’ about the logic of standing with six million Jews against more than a billion Muslims.

The sympathy felt for the Holocaust survivors of 1948 has given way to sympathy for the Palestinian ‘refugees’ of 1967, as images of Hitler’s concentration camps have been supplanted by those of ‘stateless’ Palestinians languishing in Palestinian refugee camps.

A generation ago, it was understood that they were ‘stateless’ because Jordan and Egypt refused to absorb their citizens after losing the West Bank and Gaza to Israel in 1967. Today, all anybody hears is ‘stateless’.

Very few mainstream media types spend any time dwelling on the actual history of the region, as Mark Steyn did in his column:

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East (Iraq may yet prove a second) and its Arab citizens enjoy more rights than they would living under any of the kleptocrat kings and psychotic dictators who otherwise infest the region.

On a tiny strip of land narrower at its narrowest point than many American townships, Israel has built a modern economy with a per capita gross domestic product just shy of $30,000 and within striking distance of the European Union average.

Steyn anticipates the mainstream argument that Israel’s success was paid for with US tax dollars, adding,

If you object that its economic blessings exist because it’s uniquely blessed by Uncle Sam, well, for the last 30 years the second largest recipient of U.S. aid has been Egypt: Its GDP per capita is $5,000, and America has nothing to show for its investment other than one-time pilot Mohamed Atta coming at you through the office window.

According to Scripture, the restoration of Israel to her ancient ancestral homeland was the start of the countdown to the end of this age and the return of Christ as the Jewish Messiah.

Using the parable of the fig tree as an illustration, Jesus said,

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

What are “all these things?” The Rapture. The Tribulation. The Triumphant Second Coming. The Judgment of the Nations. ALL these things in a single generation.

So, how long is a generation? The Bible offers five definitions, ranging from the age of procreation to the outside extreme of 120 years, (Genesis 6:3) but the most generally accepted definition is that offered in Psalms 90:10:

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; (70 years) and if by reason of strength they be fourscore (80) years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

Comparing the global consensus opinion on Israel’s future outlook to the prophecies of the Bible one finds that the mainstream media and the Hebrew prophets of antiquity are working from the same timetable.

Israel is now sixty years old — few in the mainstream expect it to survive to see eighty. Israel’s Death Watch has begun in earnest.

The timetable is accurate — but they’ve got the subject wrong. Israel will survive as long as the sun shines in the morning and the moon shines at night.

We have God’s Word on it:

“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His Name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.”

It isn’t Israel that won’t still be here in twenty years. It’s the Church.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Luck Isn’t Always Enough

Luck Isn’t Always Enough
Vol: 80 Issue: 10 Saturday, May 10, 2008

It seems all but certain now that 2008 see the end of not just one, but two American political dynasties. The Bush political dynasty, born out of the Reagan administration, and the Clinton dynasty, born out of dumb luck.

Bill Clinton had the dumb luck to be in the right place at the right time, just as the elder Bush’s popularity took a nose-dive thanks to a post-Gulf War mini-recession and his breaking of his famous campaign promise: “Read my lips. No new taxes.”

Even so, the Clinton dynasty could not have been, had Ross Perot not entered the race. Perot’s conservative third-party candidacy split off 19% of the popular vote — votes that would otherwise gone to George Bush.

Had Perot not run, Bush would have won 59-41%. Instead, Clinton lucked out, defeating Bush 41% to 38%,

Clinton became the first president to win the White House with less than 50% of the popular vote since Teddy Roosevelt’s 1912 third party candidacy divided the Republican vote between Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, handing the election to segregationist Woodrow Wilson.

The Clinton Dynasty was easily the luckiest in US history. Clinton arrived in Washington in time to claim all the benefits of victory in the Cold War, riding on the crest of the wave of Bush’s Gulf War victory, just at the dawn of the Internet Age.

The much-vaunted Clinton era of peace and prosperity was pure luck — the peace had been secured by Ronald Reagan and George Bush — the prosperity came from the discovery of a brand-new global marketplace on the internet.

Despite his historical luck, the Clinton dynasty would never have been had Ross Perot not entered a second time in the 1996 election — this time draining votes from challenger Bob Dole.

Clinton wasn’t able to muster a majority vote for his second term, either, defeating Bob Dole 49.2% to 40.7% (with Ross Perot getting the 8.4% difference.) Clinton’s political luck held even through the Lewinsky Affair, convincing him that the Clinton dynasty was good for another eight years with Hillary standing in for Bill.

But neither Clinton counted on Barack Obama.

Assessment:

Hillary doesn’t seem to realize that Clinton’s almost demonic run of luck has run out, continuing to insist that her candidacy still has a chance, despite the recent stampede of superdelegates to the Obama side.

Following Obama’s blow-out in North Carolina and his narrow defeat in Indiana, nine more superdelegates threw their support behind Obama, whereas Clinton picked up only one.

Hillary is now behind in the delegate count, the popular vote (even including Florida and Michigan) and leads Obama in the superdelegate count by a razor-thin 272.5 to 271.

The flow of delegates to Obama led ABC News and the New York Times to declare Obama in the lead among superdelegates. The New York Post called her toast in three-inch-high letters on Wednesday. University of Chicago political scientist John Mark Hansen declared the Clinton campaign ‘over’.

Hillary’s fund-raising efforts are drying up — her campaign admitted that Hillary was forced to inject five million of her own money to keep it afloat.

Every time Bill campaigns for her, he makes headlines by losing his temper, wagging his finger at critics, bragging about the ‘good old days’ and generally making an unattractive spectacle of himself.

The polling firm, “Rasmussen Reports” announced they weren’t even going to include Hillary in future election poll surveys, declaring that “the race is over, and Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee.”

There are persistent rumors of an Obama/Clinton Democratic ‘Dream Ticket’. Obama may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s no idiot.

An Obama/Clinton ticket would put Hillary one heartbeat from the Oval Office — Obama’s heartbeat. (An Obama/Clinton White House would no doubt necessitate the creation of the position of Presidential Food Taster.)

Hillary may stay in the race to the bitter end, but the bitter end is in sight.

The Clintons’ luck appears to have run out. But even without Hillary, it doesn’t look like America’s luck has improved all that much.

It still leaves either McCain or Obama.

Always Remember You’re Unique — Just Like Everyone Else

Always Remember You’re Unique — Just Like Everyone Else
Vol: 80 Issue: 9 Friday, May 9, 2008

Depending on the circumstances and whom you ask, either men and women are ‘equal’ (meaning the same) or they are as different as if one was from Mars and the other from Venus, so to speak.

I can’t speak with authority, (since I don’t know every man and woman on the planet), but I am inclined to believe, based on my admittedly limited experience, that men and women are part of the same species, but that is where the similarities end.

It is in this crazy belief that we’re all just alike that the trouble starts. It is much more realistic to keep in mind that you are unique, and so is everybody else is.

Last week, my wife instructed me to clean out the shed in our backyard. It was half-full of junk when we rented the place last August, and over the winter, we filled it the rest of the way with our own junk.

So by the time Gayle’s spring cleaning fit had led her out to the back yard, I had a pretty good idea of what was coming.

I wish I had snapped a picture – but even a picture couldn’t have done justice to what it looked like when I started.

It is a nice shed — evidently the previous tenant had abandoned finishing the inside, but it is a good, sturdy wood-frame building perhaps 16 by 12 feet in size with a good, high ten foot ceiling.

It needed a high ceiling for all the junk piled in there. There was a path about a foot wide that led from the front door to a bench along one wall, but standing in that aisle, you couldn’t see any of the other walls.

I tried to explain to Gayle that we didn’t need the shed cleaned out, since we didn’t have any more junk to store, but I’m a man and she isn’t, so my plea to her allegedly ‘logical’ side fell on deaf ears.

It took me the better part of the day to haul all that junk out of the shed and into the back yard. As I dug through it, I found some really, really good junk.

I found a bunch of old extension cords that had their plugs cut off; a sledgehammer with half a handle, a broken stereo that probably still had good speakers, and even a battery operated drill — if I could only find the charger.

And there were a bunch of old tarps, some big plastic drop cloths, a can of used paint rollers, a box of old shoes — “Hey! Some of this stuff is still good!” I told Gayle. “One of these shoes fits me!”

Gayle was unmoved by my discoveries. “What a slave driver,” I thought.

But as I worked, I began to notice something emerging from the chaos — inside the shed, under all that junk, I discovered a man-fort.

As the walls emerged, I found all kinds of handy hooks for my tools. That’s the thing about tools. If you can’t find a tool you need, you end up buying one to finish the job.

As we were cleaning out the RV, I discovered, for example, that I had six hammers. I had three drills. I had a couple of partial tool kits, each missing the same 1/2″ and 9/16″ sockets and wrenches.

There were assorted plastic toolboxes filled with tools I thought I had lost, bought new, and then found the old ones.

So, as I yanked old junk out, I started putting new junk in.

Assessment:

I started the project on Monday morning. By Tuesday afternoon, I had gotten in deep enough to discover four bags of unopened insulation in one corner.

The shed isn’t all that big and the insulation took up a lot of floor space and, hey — I think this was supposed to go in the shed.

So, I spent Tuesday and Wednesday insulating the shed. The insulation was lots easier to store stuffed between the joists of the wall than in big bags on the floor anyway.

Once I got the shed insulated, I realized there was a lot of empty wall space. And I’d carried out several piles of scrap wood that would work great for shelves. . . .

By Wednesday night, I had a workbench in the corner, shelves up along two walls, hammers hanging on the wall, screwdrivers lined up just so . . .but the shed needed power.

So I ran a couple of extension cords from an outside plug on the house in through the shed window, plugged in a trouble light, and my shed was electrified.

It was nice there in my shed, but it was kind of quiet. I had an old, broken-down Dell laptop that is too ancient to do any work on that had already made it to one of those shelves.

I kept looking at it, and then, hit by a flash of inspiration, I added those old speakers and turned it into a pretty whiz-bang mp3 player.

Now I had a workbench, some tools hanging on the walls, and something to play tunes on while I worked.

While we were on the road, I bought a little bar fridge to augment the too-small built-in refrigerator in our RV. It was just sitting there — so I hauled it into my shed.

On Thursday morning, I made myself a cup of coffee, went out to the shed to admire my handiwork, and despite the fact it was 50 degrees out and the shed was unheated, I thought I’d pull out that old laptop and jot down some ideas for the OL.

Next thing I knew, I’d been in there most of the morning, finished the OL, had moved out my coffeepot and a wireless telephone, and caught myself sitting out there, shivering in the cold, admiring my tools.

All the junk that had been inside the shed was piled up all around the outside of it, like a defensive perimeter wall around my fort. (I left a path to the door)

Inside, I was sitting with my feet propped up on the little fridge, listening to tunes, a fresh pot of coffee on the bench, wearing two sweaters and a wool hat, as happy as a clam.

Then Gayle came out. “What about the junk in the backyard?”

“What junk?” I asked.

“I think your gene pool needs more chlorine,” Gayle said.

I bet there’s room for a bunk over in the corner underneath my hammers.

Special Report: al Nakba’s Global Party

Special Report: al Nakba’s Global Party
Vol: 80 Issue: 8 Thursday, May 8, 2008

One week from now, the tiny nation of Israel will celebrate its sixtieth year of independence.

Sixty years is a major milestone for Israel so it kicked off a week-long celebration period starting at sundown yesterday following Israel’s annual Remembrance Day.

That is the day set aside for the tiny country to remember the 22,437 Israeli soldiers, police and civilians who paid for Israel’s continued independence with their lives.

“We sanctify life, not death,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday during a Mount Herzl ceremony for victims of terror attacks before making this philosophical observation:

“I cannot help but think of how deep the moral gap is between us and our enemies,” he said.

“We make every possible effort to limit and focus our attacks on the terrorists and we never intentionally harm the innocent. We don’t have jihadists, shahidim or mothers who joyfully send their children with bomb belts to blow themselves up in packed buses or in busy malls.”

Indeed, while Israel celebrates her life, her enemies mark the anniversary by celebrating ‘al Nakba’ or, “The Catastrophe.”

But al Nakba isn’t just an Islamic party. Not anymore. Anybody who hates Israel is free to join in, and this year, there’s no shortage of party-goers.

America’s City of Fruits and Nuts is holding a street party to observe the catastrophe by which the survivors of Hitler’s Holocaust fled to their ancestral homeland, claiming in the process, 1/6th of 1 percent of the Middle East as a safe haven from persecution.

San Franscisco, which outlawed any form of persecution except that directed against Jews, Christians, heterosexuals, white males, and patriotic Americans, is pleased to host “Nakba 60”.

An ad for the event encourages San Franciscans to: “bring the family, and join us for a special day of resistance music, cultural and youth programs, Nakba tent/art, Dabka, local solidarity groups and more! Meet survivors from 1948, and learn about the tragedy, while listening to Palestinian and Native American elders recount their experiences. Childcare assistance will be provided on-site.”

Doesn’t that sound like fun? Unfortunately, San Francisco is too far to go just to wear my swastika — isn’t there somewhere closer?

Well, I’m glad you asked. In America, one can celebrate the Catastrophe without having to drive too far.

Philadelphia, America’s City of Brotherly Love, is hosting “Sixty Days of Action” to coincide with and counter Israel’s “Sixty Years of Life” celebration. According to its organizers:

“Our intention is to raise awareness of the past 60 years from the Palestinians perspective, and to mobilize people against the occupation. Billions of our tax dollars each year go to the Israeli military, funding the destruction of lives, homes, agriculture, and infrastructure.”

It seems that the Palestinian ’cause’ — the destruction of Israel — should be embraced by all Americans, because it is Israel’s fault America faces multiple crises of its own:

“At the same time, people in the U.S. — including Philadelphians — face crises around health-care, housing and education. The Al-Nakba Coalition believes that federal taxes need to come home to support our communities instead of a militarized foreign policy in Palestine, Iraq and around the world.”

See? Israel’s evil is boundless. If it weren’t for Israel, America would be crisis-free.

Boston, the seat of American Independence, the place where American patriots kicked off the Revolutionary War, had a week-long event entitled: “Nakba 1948: 60 Years of Palestinian Dispossession” that kicked off with a ‘balloon ceremony” culminating on May 2 with a ‘candlelight vigil’.

Allow yourself to participate in the scene in your mind.

There you are, together with thousands of other Americans, holding a ‘candlelight vigil’ in support of the destruction of a state of 12 million people living in the only Western-style representative democracy in the Middle East.

What does one DO at such a candle light vigil? Pray for the death of the Jews?

If you can’t attend an American Israel Death Watch, not to worry. The ‘Catastrophe’ of a Jewish homeland is not merely an Arab or American tragedy. One can go anywhere in the world, it seems, to find a Jew-hating celebration somewhere.

Rome is sponsoring a public debate on the ‘culture of Palestine’ touting the “art of resistance” without ever realizing the irony of tying Palestinian ‘culture’ exclusively to Islamic terrorism.

May 10, one can attend the “National Demonstration for Palestine in Turin, before heading back to Rome to attend another ‘debate’ this one entitled; “Palestinians: The Tragedy to be Victims of the Victims.”

And on June 15, Romans will be treated to an event that I’d love to attend: “Finding Palestine.” (I could save them a lot of time. Tell them to look under the part of the map currently marked, “Israel.”)

Other al-Nakba events are scheduled in Seattle, Columbia, Maryland, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Anaheim, California, Denver, Colorado, Brooklyn, NY, and Portland, Oregon.

Canadians can show their support for terror by attending events scheduled in Montreal, Victoria, BC and Toronto.

The Brits can attend any one of a number events in London, Edinburgh, and smaller events ongoing throughout the British Isles.

And globalists can show their hatred for Jews by attending the September UN Conference on 60 Years of the UNDHR (United Nations Declaration of Human Rights).

There is a special ‘opportunity’ being offered for “Nakba/Right of Return Presentations” where arguments can be presented against the UNDHR being extended to Jews — evidently on the grounds the ‘H’ in UNDHR stands for ‘human’.

Thanks to sixty years of non-stop propaganda, al-Nakba has replaced Israel’s Independence. ‘Apartheid’ has replaced ‘national sovereignty’. The Palestinian ‘Right of Return’ has replaced the Jewish ‘Right to Exist’.

“Palestinian” has replaced “Arab” to describe the Jordanians and Egyptians abandoned by their respective nations following their defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six Days War.

And most interesting of all, ‘atrocity’ has been replaced by the word, ‘resistance’.

Palestinian terrorists tricking young children into blowing themselves up at Israeli checkpoints has become a routine ‘resistance’ tactic.

On the other hand, Israeli use of pin-point munitions against selected terrorist targets, bomb-making factories or rocket launch-sites is an example of an Israeli ‘atrocity’.

Don’t miss the lesson here. The Palestinian al-Nakba is a Western advance-celebration of the death of the only Western-style democracy in a region dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization.

What has Israel done to America? Canada? Italy? Britain? What could justify such incredible hatred that even an Islamic terrorist state is preferable to a peace-loving nation of Jews?

Given the state of war that exists between the West and the forces of radical Islam, Israel should be viewed as our last outpost, the one shining example of freedom surrounded by a sea of repressive Islamic dictatorships. Instead, its mere existence is a global catastrophe.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

It is counter-intuitive; no matter how one looks at it, it violates common sense and both political and military strategic logic. Yet it is EXACTLY the situation predicted by the prophets thousands of years in advance.

And THAT is what makes it ‘prophecy’ — instead of a pretty good guess.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. ” (2nd Peter 1:19-21)

Maranatha!