Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sam Adams Would Approve

Thanks for the Memory to Michelle Malkin.

According to Stars and Stripes, a group of GI's stationed in Iraq has come up with a great way to boost morale: a way for people to buy soldiers beer online.

I can't think of anyone who deserves a frosty one more than the men and women serving our country. GO TO BEER FOR SOLDIERS AND GIVE!

Kerry: For the Red Sox Before He Was Against Them?

Thanks for the Memory to Blogs for Bush.

Apparently, for Kerry, flip-flopping is not limited to political affairs. The Junior Senator from Massachusetts, a regular attendee of Boston Red Sox games, has now declared his loyalty to the New York Yankees, hated arch foes of the Bosox:

At the fundraiser, Kerry reflected on his reborn self. He praised the triple victories of the Jets, Giants and Yankees and said: "I came here to bask in your glory, came here to grab onto that winning streak."

That's gotta sting, eh Mass.? Especially since two of the wins in that streak have come against the Sox.

Kerry: Building Consensus By Alienating ALL of Our Friends

Thanks for the Memory to Blogs for Bush.

One of the chief claims that the Kerry campaign has made regarding the war on Iraq and the reason Kerry is a better choice for president is that President Bush has alienated the world community by his actions, and that John Kerry will be able to heal these rifts.

Well, he didn't get off to a good start today.

For that matter, he hasn't done such an impressive job even before hand. The dismissive, scornful tone he takes when referring to the coalition is not bound to sit well with nations like Poland, Australia, and Great Britain who are already on our side. Furthermore, the nations most frequently discussed when people bring up these issues aren't exactly helping him any: France is the target of terrorist attacks despite their anti-US stand on the war, and has stated that they will not send troops there regardless of who wins the election. And as a result of the School Massacre, the Russians are now taking an even harder-line stance than Bush, let alone that of Kerry.

But now Kerry has decided to ice that cake and insult the Iraqis as well.

Iyad Illawi, interim Iraqi Prime Minister, addressed a joint session of Congress today, and thanked the United States, saying in part, "We know Americans have made enormous sacrifices.... We promise you your sacrifices are not in vain."

Well, apparently, that's not good enough for John Kerry:

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Thursday that Iraq's Ayad Allawi was sent before Congress to put the "best face" on Bush administration policy.

Nice, Senator. You've just told Allawi he's nothing but a mouthpiece for the administration. I know that's a popular view on the left, but how do you thing that sits with Iraq?

Bush "missed a huge opportunity" at the United Nations this week to try to persuade leaders of other nations to join the United States in Iraq and the broader anti-terror war, Kerry said.

How will you do that, senator? By belittling our allies? By kowtowing to countries who had a vested interest in seeing the US fail? By giving the terrorists a timetable so they know exactly how long they have to lay low before Iraq will be left high and dry? By returning to the ways of the administration prior to this one, and reassuring the forces of evil that the US is a blowhard full of empty threats and swagger, without the will to back up our threats with actions?

No thank you.

The Bush campaign's response echos my own:

"Today, John Kerry showed he lacks the judgment and credibility to lead the United States of America to victory in the War on Terror.

"His attacks on the veracity of the Iraqi Prime Minister's historic address to Congress reveal a stunning propensity to take political cheap shots for his own benefit by denigrating our allies in this important struggle against a global terror network. President Bush is proud to stand with Prime Minister Allawi while John Kerry attacks progress and resolve and advocates a policy of retreat and defeat in the face of terror.

"John Kerry said today, 'And when you people judge me and the American people judge me on this, I want you to judge me on the full record.' We're confident the American people will."

Oh, we will, Marc. And I for one will find Senator Kerry wanting.

Hello Minnesota!

I was just monitoring Traffic to my blog and discovered a reader accessing it from the server of the Minnesota Republican Party.

What a happy coincidence. The Feared Redhead (my wife) is a native of Minnesota, and grew up in the Twin Cities suburb of Plymouth. We were married near Lake Minnetonka, and I think you have the second prettiest state in the Union (I'm biased).

So welcome to Oregon, enjoy, I hope you like what you see. Keep fighting the good fight, it's good to be in a state that's in play again, isn't it?

Offender of the Faith

Via the Seattle Times

Evangelist Swaggart apologizes for remark about gays.

Original Post, 1:27 PM PDT, 21 September, 2004:Thanks for the Memory to the Twisted Spinster.

Apparently Eugene Volokh over at the Volokh Conspiracy is upset by a comment made by Jimmy Swaggart:

I'm trying to find the correct name for it . . . this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. . . . I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.

Oh, apparently, Andrew Sullivan weighs in on this too. There's a surprise.

First of all, let me say I'm not a regular visitor to Volokh's blog. I know it's popular, and from what I see, well-written, but it's not on my list of frequents. Nothing against it, I just thought it fair warning.

Apparently what upset Volokh most was not the comment itself, but the lack of outrage from the Christian Community:

But it seems to me that decent Christians ought to condemn this defender of murder, who publicly says that he'd violate the Ten Commandments when someone "looks at [him]" the wrong way, while purporting to preach God's word and lead Christian congregations. Tell us, at least, that this supposed Christian — who was once one of the nation's leading evangelists, until he was tripped up by another of the Commandments — doesn't speak for you.

Trust me, Eugene, he doesn't speak for me -- about a great many things. I'm not at ALL a member of Jimmy Swaggart's regular audience -- nor for that matter, a WILLING member of his audience PERIOD. Setting aside the above quote, the man espouses a doctrine (the Word Faith Movement) I find abhorrent. I believe that most Christians who follow it are merely deceived, and doctrinally in error, but I am also firm in my belief that most pastors teaching it, especially leaders like Swaggart, are espousing Heresy. About that I will not equivocate. For this reason I would discourage ANY Christian from paying heed to ANYTHING being preached by Swaggart.

And that's the reason THIS Christian has not yet denounced Swaggart's comment -- because I do my best to completely avoid or ignore him, I had no idea Swaggart had said something like this. If I had, I would have denounced it, as I do now. I wonder how many other Christians, and even pastors, are in the same boat. While Swaggart is still popular in some circles, I doubt he's as influential as he once was, or as Volokh believes him to be.

Having said that, I do denounce this statement. It is not at all in keeping with Christian Doctrine to speak of killing someone because they look at you with unwanted sexual intent -- nor, for that matter, for sinning at all. That's the Law, we live under Grace. As for the part about "telling God he died", theologically, that's just... What's the word? Oh, yeah -- stupid.

I do hope that any Christian leader who hears of this will vocally step to the plate and agree.

But there was something else about the Volokh blog entry that bothered me. In an update to the post, he linked to a response from another blogger, Sweeny A. of Ipsa Loquitur, who writes in part:

Eugene is certainly right that ethical people should condemn [Swaggart's] words, but one wonder's [sic] about Eugene's implication that this moral stain is automatically conferred to other Christians until they renounce it. One might say that for a Christian who has heard this comment to consciously refuse to renounce it is a tacit endorsement. That may be true, but the very terms in which Volokh has couched the ultimatum is unfair.

Since advocating murder because a gay man looks at you wrong is an obvious violation of the Christian ethic, why should Christians, qua Christians, feel obligated to renounce the remarks any more than people who share the last name of Swaggart?

Volokh has a lengthy response, but this is the part of it that caught my attention:

Christianity is a belief system — not just an involuntary status such as race or ethnicity, but a consciously chosen belief system that is based on certain writings and certain traditions. Historically, Christians have often stressed the importance of those writings, which supposedly provide something of an objective standard of behavior, and of a Christian community, which helps enforce this behavioral standard. In recent decades, many Christians have also tried to downplay denominational differences (say, between Protestants and Catholics), and to stress the common purpose of those who follow Jesus's [sic] teachings.

When someone who is a Christian minister, and still something of a Christian leader, makes a claim about what Christian scriptures mean, it seems to me that those Christians who condemn his views — and condemn them as deeply evil, rather than just subtly or slightly wrong — do have a responsibility to speak out.

and later,

I'm not asking for anything much — I'm simply saying that Christians should be outraged at Swaggart's essentially slandering their religion, and should denounce his views, to make clear that his views (though purportedly Christian) are not mainstream Christian views.

If I interpret Volokh's point correctly, he believes we Christians should not only condemn Swaggart's statement as morally reprehensible, but as doctrinally unorthodox. When he says "Historically, Christians have often stressed the importance of those writings, which supposedly provide something of an objective standard of behavior," that's as close as he's ever going to come to what we say when we acknowledge the inspiration and authority of scripture. In other words, we should reassure him that Swaggart doesn't speak for us because "That's not what our Scriptures teach."

Well, fine, Eugene. If you'll go back to my response to Swaggart's statement, that's exactly what I did. I stated my denouncing of the statement out of adherence to sound doctrine.

And here's the irony. That same adherence to sound doctrine requires that I take stances on many issues that I'm sure Volokh and Sullivan would both find... Distasteful, at best. That includes believing that adherence to certain tenets of the faith is requisite for being acknowledged as a Christian, believing that orthodox Christianity is the exclusive means by which an individual can know and have fellowship with God, and, yes, believing that homosexual behavior is in opposition to the commands of God.

Yet when I make such statements, rest assured that a great many people, both theologically liberal Christians and Non-Christians alike, will denounce me as being too closed-minded, too narrow, too devoted to an ancient book.

I'm sorry, you can't have it both ways. If you want Christians to speak out against Swaggart, and specifically want us to do so based on his violation of some standard of orthodoxy based on our Scriptures, then you are giving us your assent that we are correct in acknowledging the authority of those scriptures in establishing ALL standards of orthodoxy.


Thanks for the Memory to KVAL TV the Feared Redhead.

I hate to link to a CBS affiliate news station, but that's who's covering the story in this area, and being a bicycle rider, this one's important to me -- especially since I own one of said Kryptonite locks.

Bike Lock Recall

By Dana Rebik

Eugene -
Bike theft is becoming more and more of a problem in Eugene and around the country.

The company Kryptonite is now recalling its cylinder lock after finding people can break into it easily with a Bic pen.

Today we visited the owners of Riley and Paul's Bike Shop in Eugene. They demonstrated how to pick the lock and had it open within a matter of seconds.

Students are arriving back and the University of Oregon and many were surprised to hear their locks can be picked so easily.

"It's news to me," says Theron Wells. "I thought my bike was safe. I've had this Kryptonite lock for years and it served me well. I'm surprised all it takes is a Bic pen to unlock it."

Some say it's best to put two locks on your bike to deter thieves. Better locks can help, but some think bike theft could decrease if police are more aggressive in responding.

"Bike theft needs to be taken seriously and there also has to be a law enforcement effort to suppress this activity," says Paul Robertson.

Eugene police say September and October are the peak months for bike theft.

For information on how to return your Kryptonite lock, click on the link below or send an email to:

The "Blair" Which Would You "Rather" Believe Project

Thanks for the Memory to Rathergate via No Left Turns.

Now blogs are scooping the MSM with interviews.

Mark Hemingway of has obtained an exclusive interview with Jayson Blair (yes, THAT Jayson Blair) regarding his thoughts on the Dan Rather memo controversy. He has a very unique and relevant perspective, and his contrition over his own offenses is in refreshing contrast to Rather's bluster. I would highly recommend you read it.

Nicea on the Hudson

Thanks for the Memory to reader 51st State for this from the Ashbrook Center.

The Liberals’ Creed
by Robert Alt

We believe in the United Nations, and Kofi Annan, the maker of international legitimacy.

We believe that the UN inspections worked.
We believe that SCUD missiles fired at U.S. troops minutes after the war began don’t change anything;
We believe that 3 liters of sarin gas used against U.S. troops doesn’t change anything;
We believe that finding evidence of mustard gas doesn’t change anything.

We believe that the war in Iraq conducted by a Republican president was unjustified because it lacked UN approval;
We believe that the "military action" in Kosovo conducted by a Democratic president was justified without UN approval.

We believe that the Iraq war was unilateral.
We believe that the participation of Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Ukraine does not change the fact that the war was unilateral;
We believe that multilateralism can only be achieved with the participation of France and Germany;
We believe in multilateralism.

We believe that this war was motivated by greed and oil;
We believe that when France, Germany, and Russia opposed the war, they were motivated by principle, and not by sweetheart oil deals or Oil-For-Food kickbacks;
We believe that US oil prices are too high, and that the administration failed in its responsibility to do something about it.

We believe that the U.S. may only legitimately use force for humanitarian ends in one place if it does so in all places where aid might be needed;
We believe that the U.S. may not quell threats in places where the cost is relatively low unless it is willing to use force in places like North Korea, where the cost in lives would likely be very high;
We believe that a humanitarian action is only truly humanitarian if there are no strategic interests to muddle the altruism.

We believe that President Bush lied.
We believe that Prime Minister Blair lied.
We believe that when Hillary Clinton and Dick Gephardt voted for the war based on the same intelligence relied upon by Bush and Blair, they made reasonable decisions based on the intelligence available at the time.

We believe that the administration did not make the case for war;
We believe that the administration offered many different reasons but could not offer a coherent message explaining the need to go to war;
We believe that the administration made perfectly clear that the only reason we were going to war was because of the threat from WMDs.

We believe that there were no WMDs.
We believe that finding sarin gas is 14th page news;
We believe that if the sarin gas is old, then it really isn’t a WMD we were looking for;
We believe that it wasn’t really sarin gas;
We believe that sarin gas isn’t necessarily a WMD.

We believe that there was no terrorist connection to, or threat from, Iraq.
We believe that members of Abu Nidal in Iraq would not have committed terrorist acts if we had not invaded;
We believe that al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would not have committed terrorist acts if we had not invaded;
We believe that Saddam’s terrorist training camp at Salman Pak—complete with a Boeing 707 plane used for hijacking drills—did not exist or posed no real threat;
We believe that it was merely a coincidence that the pharmaceutical factory bombed by President Clinton in Sudan was using al Qaeda funds and a uniquely Iraqi formula to produce VX gas;
We believe that we are responsible for bringing terror on ourselves.

We believe that the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib is widespread and is probably the tip of the iceberg;
We believe that Abu Ghraib proves that the America’s occupation is no different than Saddam’s tyranny;
We believe that any attempt to suggest that there is a moral difference between a regime which systematically killed 300,000 people and tortured countless others and a regime which punished the acts of Abu Ghraib is illegitimate.

We believe that soldiers deliberately target women and children;
We believe that the soldiers abuse and kill Iraqis because they are racists;
We support our troops.

We believe that no one should question our statement that we "support our troops;"
We believe that the best thing that could happen for this country would be for Bush to lose in November;
We believe that the best way for Bush to lose in November is for the Iraq effort to go poorly, even if that means that more Iraqis and troops will die;
We believe that most of the troops are minorities and the poor;
We believe that when the word "heroes" is used to describe our troops, it should always be enclosed in scare quotes.

We believe in quagmire.
We believe that when fringe Iraqi groups attack hard targets and are soundly defeated with relatively low Coalition casualties, that this is inescapable evidence of crisis;
We believe that Iraq is Bush’s Vietnam.

We believe that Vietnam is the lens through which all wars should be viewed.
We believe that soldiers in Vietnam were baby killers;
We believe that John Kerry is a hero for his service in Vietnam.

We believe that because John Kerry is a hero, he necessarily has the national security expertise necessary to be commander-in-chief.
We believe that any attempt to question his national security expertise based on his voting record, including his decision to vote against a supplemental bill used to buy the soldiers body armor, is an unfair attack on the patriotism of a hero, who by virtue of this honorific has the expertise to be commander-in-chief.

We believe in the trinity: NPR, CNN, and the New York Times. We believe in Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, and all the DNC, and we look for President Clinton yet to come. Amen.