In the face of tragedy, we seek answers. Like Job, we feel justified in going directly to The Source and asking why He has done what He has done. Like Job, people will bring up divine justice and providence: those who suffer are being punished by God for their sins. But, like Job, we know that this is not true. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people — the Psalms have many such laments — and so it cannot be because of divine punishment. Job did not sin; to put it bluntly, he was given to suffering for no reason. One might say that in Job’s case, as in the case of many people, one’s righteousness is the source of one’s suffering as one is persecuted by the wicked, as one is further tested by God, as one lags behind while bad people take short cuts to success.
Okay. Let’s turn to a new page. Most people know the story of Job. Read the rest of this entry »
Knowing truth or reality is difficult. Part of this difficulty is that one cannot do it alone. One does not have access to all the information one may need in order to be sufficiently aware about an issue or thing. We, thus, depend on experts to explain things to us, on information-gatherers to inform us of what is happening and, often, why. Read the rest of this entry »
De potentatis verborum (in probably incorrect Latin: “of the power of words”)
The whole issue with Imus demonstrates one thing: words (or, rather the choice thereof) are powerful things. As such, each word has three components:t its definition (what it means), its connotation (what it is taken to mean, and in what sense or tone or attitude it is used), and its weight (how heavy or potent it is). The classic example is the dread “n-word” (which is so potent that even I, who does not usually shy from offending, will not use because I don’t want anyone to take offense, not because it is in itself offensive).
Whereas a word’s definition is fixed by the language (especially through dictionaries and language pundits) and its connotation is a matter of history and public use and public perception, its weight is something determined by its recipient: the user uses its based on the estimated weight that may be assigned by its audience and based on the user’s motives. In fact, weight has two components to itself: what is assigned by the audience and what the user’s intentions are.
I am of the school of thought that no word has an intrinsic value to itself, and that a word’s value or weight is partly in its recipient’s control. Read the rest of this entry »
Some people have made the claim that, based on the evidence before us, secularists (that is, those people whose prime daily motivator is not religion, and, additionally, whose dominant paradigm has not been informed or formed primarily by religion) have caused more death and suffering than religious people. Such a claim goes against the oft-repeated claim that religion has been the cause of all or most wars. But I would like to respectfully disagree with both propositions and offer an alternative explanation. Read the rest of this entry »
A lot of people, especially as part of their profession, seem to be far more vested in anti-Americanism than pro-Americanism, even to the point that good old American jingoism seems to be as bad as, if not worse than, anti-Semitism or racism. Indeed, from their description, American jingoists seem to be nothing but a rabble of uneducated, ignorant, racist, violent, and underemployed or unemployed white men.
Why is being pro-American such a shameful thing? Why is justifying and believing in America such a bad thing? Why can we not secure our interests and security like every other country? Read the rest of this entry »
I am quite dismayed.
I see around me nothing but examples of stupidity and idiocy. And while conservatives and neo-conservatives are being lashed from every angle, liberals are able to get away with everything without a question or peep.
Just as the evil and vile Romans lashed and mutilated our Lord Jesus Christ, and then nailed Him to a cross, in like manner men of sound thinking and clear minds are being lashed, and their opponents are attempting to crucify them in the public’s mind. They shout: “Crucify them! Crucify them!” and they mislead the people with their lies and hypocrisy and networks of wealth. They raise a hue and cry of wars and rumors of wars, seeking to sheathe the sword of righteousness while the swords and arrows and chariots and steeds of evil men and corrupt kings and vile, corrupt networks strike like venomous vipers secure in their dens. And everywhere men of good will are losing hope and strength, surrendering to evil when tried rather than challenging it and making evil cower before them. Read the rest of this entry »
The United States have two main strategies with which to accomplish its most crucial objectives in Iraq. The creation of a professional and effective Iraqi security force goes without saying. This is needed so that we can leave Iraq in the hands of Iraqis. But establishing stability and security in Iraq, which is The United States’ primary objective, can be accomplished through one of two strategies, as mentioned before: one is for the Armed Services of The United States to establish security and stability, mainly by exterminating terrorist networks and militias, and the other is to train and equip Iraqi security forces to do it (and then maintain security and stability thereafter) themselves. The Administration chose the latter strategy, which is best strategy and the only one that will serve our interests in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »
Rather than engage in political rhetoric or insult-mongering, I will simply say that our objective now in Iraq is to help the Iraqi government establish and maintain a professional and capable force to establish and protect Iraqi national stability. Then our presence will diminish by degrees until it is practically negligible. But until that point — when Iraqi security forces can operate independently in a professional and capable manner — we cannot leave. Or, rather, we should not leave. (Our Armed Services are servile enough that if the government gave them orders to retreat, they will retreat even if they believe something else should be done.) Read the rest of this entry »
The visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of The House of Representatives, to Syria was a major mistake.
Syria is a state that is opposed to The United States and to their interests in a variety of ways and in a number of areas. It supports terrorism through its support of Hezbollah and of various terrorist groups in Iraq. It also assists Iran in Iran’s campaigns and programs that endanger our national security, not to mention regional security in that area of the world and setting aside for a moment Iran’s complicity with the Russia-China Axis. Having mentioned the Russia-China Axis, Syria is a part of that as well. Syria is in effect an enemy of The United States, of their interests, of their allies, and of their allies’ interests.
As evidenced in President Clinton’s diplomacy-mongering, Democrats quite naïvely place substantial trust in diplomacy and negotiations. Read the rest of this entry »
P.S. If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you have the utmost
faith that He is opposed to Bush and Cheney and their path of deceit and
destruction, then why didn’t He prevent them from gaining power in the
– Stephen Spruiell, “More Rosie”, media blog, National Review Online; thanks to “Stephen Spruiell has fun with a Truther” by HayZeus of HayZeus, Inc. (Do read all of Mr. Spruiell’s post. It’s quite good!)
Mwahaha. Mwahahahaha. Mwahahahahahahahahahaha!
The problem with attributing events to the Will of God is that such attribution can be turned around. For example, many are wont to say that the attack against The United States on September 11, 2001, was (Heaven forfend!) the Will of God. Then it would follow that the destruction of the Taliban–al-Qa’idah regime in Afghanistan, the deaths of thousands of terrorists, the incarceration and (supposed and alleged) violations against them at Camp X-Ray, the fall of Saddam Hussein, the destruction of his regime, the death of his sons, and even the slaughter of Lebanese in response to Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel — all of these were also the Will of God.
And so if it is the Will of God that so much suffering be inflicted on these Muslim peoples, what does it say about how these Muslim peoples are viewed by God? Let us take into consideration as well the decline of Muslim peoples, their poverty and backwardness, and their utter inability to do anything — this also has to be the Will of God, if He is as omnipotent as they say He is. So, what then?
The rational conclusion is inescapable.
P.S. to the Muslim peoples: We, the chosen and favored of God (just look at all the evidence in support of the claim!), are celebrating the resurrection of your new savior this Sunday, April 8. Join us!
I had a nice idea regarding how The United States could deal with the problem of the Taliban in the FATA area, but I have decided not to post it. Any rational person can figure out what needs to be done, so there is no need to articulate it. As it is, I don’t want to add any ammunition to the bogus theory that we (of The West) are plotting the wholesale destruction of the unfortunate and powerless Eastern peoples. Although this is not what I was going to say, I am sure if someone wants to read that into my words, they would be able to.
My point: we need to be far more assertive and even destructive than we are. (Hello? Militaries exist to kill and destroy, don’tcha know.) But after decades of relative peace, we have become too pansified for our own good.
Heh. Better late than never.
I believe recognizing the issues affecting various “partners” in the War against Terrorism is crucial in understanding the War itself. This will help us formulate pragmatic, practical, and reality-based expectations, plans, programs, and operations.
One of the significant challenges in the War has to do with Pakistan’s military (and government and people), the Taliban, Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s use of Pakistan as a base of operations, which base Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Allies have yet to eliminate. Because this is and will remain an important issue, some history, perspective, and context is needed. So, please bear with me. Read the rest of this entry »