Saturday, August 12, 2006

If a Deficit Falls in the Forest...

Amity Shlaes' article on asks the question, If a Deficit Falls in the Forest, Do You Hear It?.

My summary:

1) Bush and Reagan were right.
2) The Left-stream media doesn't want you to know about it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More Proof of Global Warming

When was the highest temperature recorded anywhere on Earth?
a) 122 degrees Fahrenheit - El Hambra, Mexico in August of 1989
b) 146 degrees Fahrenheit - Muzzyah, Morocco, in June of 2002
c) 136 degrees Fahrenheit - Aziziyah, Libya, in September of 1922

When was the highest temperature recorded in the United States?
a) 139 degrees Fahrenheit - Parched Bones, Nevada, in June of 2005
b) 144 degrees Fahrenheit - Eternal Sun, New Mex., in August of 1993
c) 134 degrees Fahrenheit - Death Valley, Calif., in July of 1913

Answers here.

And let's not forget the 1930s. Can you say, "Dust Bowl"?

[HT: Drudge]

In Vino Veritas . . . Ad Nauseam

I'm getting tired of the "alcohol as a truth serum" cliche (or as those who wish to sound intelligent put it, In vino veritas) being used in relation to the ongoing Mel Gibson anti-Semitism scandal. Jay Leno got it right when he quipped that drunken men trying to pick up women at a bar will lie about anything to get what they're looking for. ("Married? No I'm not married. Can I buy you a drink?")

Excessive alcohol consumption breaks down one's self control, which is not what the term "truth serum" implies. When sober, the man at the bar might be attracted to other women, but would never consider actually doing anything about it. That doesn't excuse him from doing so while drunk, However, neither does it make him a serial adulterer. As far as I am aware, this is the first instance where Mr. Gibson has said or done anything anti-Semitic. Does his recent personal failing make him a serial anti-Semite? Only someone with an agenda could believe that. I believe a sober Mel Gibson may privately struggle against the hateful ideas he most certainly heard from his father on a daily basis. Certainly he has many unresolved issues that he needs to deal with. As I have said before, I hope he takes advantage of this opportunity to begin his personal healing.

One thing that is significant and that has gotten little attention is the fact that, unlike so many PR apologies issued by celebrities and politicians recently, Mel Gibson acknowledged that what he said was wrong and apologized for having said it. He did not apologize on the basis of other people being offended. (i.e. "I'm sorry if what I said offended anyone.") He has actually taken responsibility for what he said and is, or at least appears to be, making a sincere attempt to deal with it in a responsible way. I challenge you to name another public person who has not tried to obfuscate their actions or avoid responsibility for them.

Saddly, so much is being made of Mr. Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic rant and comparatively little is made of the anti-Semitic shooting and murder at a Seattle Jewish center or the near daily anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rants of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Personally, I think the bigger threat is the unapologetic and eschatologically obsessed "lunatic-with-a-nuke", not a Hollywood celebrity who can, at worst, only subject us to "bombs" at the local multi-plex cinema.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, USCG

The United States Coast Guard celebrates its 216th birthday today.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Semper Paratus!

Supporting Israel

If you have been wondering how you can support Israel in some tangible way while they battle the Islamo-fascist terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas, Yoni has a couple of suggestions. Yoni Tidi is a former member of the Israeli Defense Force and regular guest on the Hugh Hewitt radio program.

I've also provided the links below, but check out Yoni's blog for regular updates with an Israeli perspective, not to mention the occasional scoop.

American Friends of Magen David Adom-ARMDI
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

That last one is not a joke. They deliver pizza, burgers and ice cream the the IDF stationed on the Lebanese border and around Gaza. Just a few of life's simple pleasures that we take for granted.


Here is one more organization you may want to consider:

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Thursday, August 03, 2006

All Fall Down

Kevin at Eckernet has a video that is one of the funnier things I've seen in a while. Prepare to be amused.

The Bigotry In Us All

I wish I had read Rabbi Marc Gellman's web article, Driving While Anti-Semitic, before I had written my previous post on Mel Gibson's very public anti-Semitic tirade and the subsequent public flogging. I could have saved myself a lot of time by just linking his article. The Rabbi is, of course, much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be:

"If it had not been for his Jesus movie, his outburst would have been filed under the large and smarmy Hollywood file of anti-Semitic entertainers like Errol Flynn and Marlon Brando, not to mention a long list of artists, poets and philosophers too numerous to mention here. Add in, if you wish, bigoted athletes or members of the restricted country club who smile at you on the street but hate you in their heart. And then why not throw onto this fetid pile of prejudice all those who tell Polish jokes or homosexual jokes or racist jokes.

What all this adds up to is that Mel is not alone in believing despicable things about good people for no reason other than the cancer of bigotry in his soul. The question of whether Mel Gibson is a bigot is not any easier to determine than whether many of us are bigots. Just because we don't get raging drunk and lose control of our dark side does not mean that we do not all have a dark side. Bigotry is in us all to varying degrees and we ought not be so ready to label people as bigots as if such labels were easy to apply and not ultimately self-referential. In pointing our index finger at Gibson as a bigot we must always be mindful of the other fingers that point back at us."

He also had several other excellent and timely comments, so I recommend you follow the above link and read the entire article.

[HT: Laura Ingraham]

Lincoln On Self-Destruction

"America will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mel Gibson: a Fortunate Man?

It has been interesting to hear and read all the opinions and, in most cases, condemnations of Mel Gibson's recent drunken anti-Semitic rant. So far, I believe he is dealing with his inexcusable, foul, hate-filled tirade as well as is possible. I also believe he will be dealing with it for, perhaps the rest of his life. I am not Jewish so I cannot, nor should I, address how those who are Jewish should respond to Mr. Gibson's apology. I will leave that to be sorted out by those directly affected.

It occurs to me, however, that Mr. Gibson may be considered a fortunate man. This may seem an odd or even outrageous thing to say, given the circumstances. Well, let me explain what I mean.

Most of us like to think that we are basically good people. After all:

We've never murdered anyone.
(But we can think of a few who deserve it).

We haven't cheated on our spouse.
(Though we may have thought about it).

We've never stolen anything.
(Except that Post-It pad or music download.).

We've only told a couple of "White Lies".
(But they were really necessary).

We may have laughed at a racist or anti-Semitic joke.
(But we didn't mean it.)

The fact of the matter is that we all have built up a facade of excuses, denials and outright lies about what is really in our hearts. We excuse our secret hatreds, lusts, duplicities, coveting, and egotism by pretending we're not as bad as that other guy. We manage to keep others oblivious to our dark secret because we've also convinced ourselves that it isn't there. But it is there and it is rotting our souls from the inside out. The last thing we want to do is to draw back the veil and confront the ugliness in our own hearts. Often times, it takes a traumatic experience to make us face that which we have long kept secret in the dark recesses of our souls. Sadly, that may never happen for far too many. That is why Mr. Gibson may be considered a fortunate man.

He is now being forced to confront a very ugly and horrible hatred he has held in his heart, probably from his childhood. How he addresses it with the Jewish community is very important. Although, what is just as important is whether he decides to recognize and remove the decay or just slap another layer of plaster on it and pretend that it's not there. It will not be a pleasant business. Excising evil can be nothing else. However, like removing cancer or a rotting tooth, it must be done before true healing can begin.

As for those of us not as "fortunate" as Mr. Gibson, we would do well to learn from what he is going through. Perhaps we should look, really look into our own hearts and not be satisfied with saying to ourselves, "I'm basically a good person," because we aren't. Not really.