Saturday, June 24, 2006

Throwing the B(D)S Flag

For those of you (the three or four who come by regularly) who are paying attention, I like to play over at Bareknuckle It attracts some articulate, well-reasoned people on both sides, as well as some truely unbelievable knuckleheads. A few of the BDS suffering oxygen-robbers simply refuse to say die, even when their argument is in tatters around their feet. That is why I was disappointed again yesterday when we had a newbie mouthing off again about how our civil liberties are being taken away in the war on terror, and how we will never get them back. Once again, I stepped up and asked for a real-life example of how they had somehow been affected. No generalizations. No theoreticals. A bona fide, concrete example. Once again, I was greeted with deafening silence. Suddenly, the newbie with so much to say is MIA. Honestly, it mkes me so angry I could spit. This is after a running rhetorical conflict the day before with the lefties, liberals, and loons on the discovery of the 500 chemical warheads in Iraq. (Yes, there really were WMDs in Iraq.)
Immediately, the race was on to move the goal posts. "The CIA didn't think it was a significant find." "The weapons were degraded. Honestly, you could pour the contents over your cereal in the morning and suffer no ill effects." "Mustard gas isn't a WMD." "They were old before the first Gulf war."
They have been asking for years now, "Where were the WMDs?" They get proof, and devote signifcant time and energy to finding ways to discount it, or dismiss it. If it doesn't fit in with their preconceived notions, it cannot be true for them. (But they will willingly take the word of the people we are fighting on 'attrocities' committed by US troops. C'mon, 7 Marines and a Navy Corpsman murdered an unarmed civilian? A corpsman? Get real.) Yet on something far more real to all involved, they cannot answer a simple question. This is why we cannot trust the people screaming the loudest on this subject. They simply have let their BDS get the better of them, if they had any judgment and common sense before.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I just heard that the strongest and best man I have ever known is not doing well. My aunt called to let me know that they are going to put my paternal grandfather in a nursing home.He recently had a ninety percent blockage of his carotid artery cleared, and I was told that he was acting more like himself than he had in a few years. The family moved he and my grandmother up from Florida, because they really couldn't take care of themselves any longer. I had gotten used to the idea that Grandpa "was back". It was welcome news. For the last four years, it seemed like he had just given up. I remember how angry he was when his father did the same thing in the years before his death. I felt much the same way. Dad's death last year also hit him hard. I don't think there is an appropriate word for the impact. "Grief" is laughingly inadequate. Today, I was told that since the move back to Michigan, he has been vacilating between hysterical and morose. He has been telling people that he wants to die, that the family has been beating him, etc. I have no doubt that he will walk with the Lord, perhaps soon, and I'm am grateful for that, but I will miss him just the same, especially since my Dad can't be for my boys what he was for me.

This morning, I saw something on my drive to work that would set my other grandfather spinning in his grave. Grandpa Ray was a WWII vet. He fought in the Pacific. He had friends at Bataan. He professed to be a Christian, but he NEVER forgave the Japanese. On my drive in to work this morning, I came upon a Toyota Prius with an American flag sticker on one side of the hatch, and a blue star banner sticker on the other side. I could almost hear his voice in my head, and it was far less than charitable.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ann Coulter Attacks the Left's 'Grief Shield' Strategy

Hillary Clinton is upset with Ann Coulter's new book. No surprise there. Specifically, she is outraged at Coulter's attack on the "Jersey Girls" (9/11 widows) and their political activities and statements. Saying that she'd never seen women enjoying their husband's death's so much was not tactful. However controversial the form of the message, the message itself was spot on. These widows all became very wealthy, due in no small part to the generousity of the American people. Families of other terrorist attacks did not reap such financial benefits. Then, while they had our attention, they lashed out at our president and foreign policy. They made baseless accusations, and outrageous statements. They shilled for Kerry. The left ate it up with a spoon, because their 'grief shield' made them unassailable. They got bolder with Cindy Shehan. Before I go further, I want to be very clear:

I respect the fact that these women have lost loved ones, and no amount of money will ever replace their loss.

However, that does not excuse them from braying outlandish, silly, or untrue things into the nearest open microphone. We watch because it is sad, and we share their grief, NOT because we think that their loss has made them an authority on politics, or policy. Abusing the public pulpit should curtail the 15 minutes of fame, not get you more. They got to continue, because anyone who attcked their message would be branded heartless and insensitive. No longer. If this kind of truth-telling continues, and the practice takes hold, then it soon may not matter which repulsive foreign leader Cindy Shehan chums around with, because no one will be paying attention. Thank you, Ann, for redirecting the attention to the message, not the messenger. Let's do it more often.

It Is A Start

And in today's news, al-Zarqaui managed to get himself in the crosshairs of one of our airstrikes. I'm having trouble seeing the downside in this. The part that made it even better? Iraqis sold him out to us! I take that as a sign that they are serious about running their own country and dealing appropriately with elements that would encourage sectarian violence for the sake of causing trouble. I hope the trend continues.

Friday, June 02, 2006

More Big Thoughts From C.S. Lewis

If you haven't figured it out yet, this site is a branch office of the Department of Unapologetic Christianity. I know, you're thinking "But Blackiswhite, if something sets you off, you can curse a streak that can make a sailor blush." You're right. I can. The product of a childhood in a shop town, and a part that emerges from time to time. "But Blackiswhite, you can conjure mental images that no self-respecting follower of Christ has any business thinking." I'll admit it. In the immortal words of St. Garibaldi [Think Babylon 5, for those of you who don't understand the reference. If that doesn't help, all I can say is watch the series. Yes, it's that good.] "I can dream real dark." If you don't understand what the world is capable of, then you are helpless in the face of its onslaught.

As a clerk in the abovementioned department, I keep trying to better understand Christianity and God. The Bible is a great place to start. There are even versions that explain the actions of the people in it, the customs referred to, and some of the knottier passages. I have also found the writings of C.S. Lewis helpful in expanding my understanding of Christianity. I have not yet read them all. I am on my second tome at this time, The Problem of Pain. I have to work mentally to read him and get the whole thrust of his writings. This means I read him very slowly. Maybe only a chapter a week. I would like to share some of the more pointed passages with any who stop here to read, and since it is my blog, I can.

This week, I'll start with this exerpt from the chapter "Divine Goodness".

"But creatures are not thus separate from their Creator, nor can He misunderstand them. The place for which He designs them in His scheme of things is the place they are made for. When they reach it, their nature is fullfilled and their happiness attained: a broken bone in the universe is set, the anguish is over. When we want to be something other than what God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy. Those Devine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a lover, in fact marshall us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted."
The thrust of this as I understand it is that God knows each of us as a Creator. As this is the case, He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, and our purpose in the larger scheme of things. If we follow the rules He set forth, we can come to know Him, and as we change to meet Him on the terms He intended, and find our purpose, we will then find happiness.
It seems to me that this can be applied to our society. So many reject the 'moral' component of our law, which is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief, on the opinion that God doesn't understand them, which runs contrary to the thought of a Creator. Just look at the gay rights movement. This is a group not satisfied to be let alone. No. They always want more. It isn't enough that in most parts of the country, people were satisified to leave people to their own devices about what went on behind their bedroom doors. I think most reasonable people would agree that if homosexuals wanted to keep their sexual orientation private, to the extent that such a thing is possible, the rest of us were willing to let them keep things that way. But this group, festering in its unhappiness, had to 'come out of the closet'. Remember "We're here, we're queer, get used to it."? Still not satisfied. Society now had to confer an official status on their relationships. Civil Unions burst onto the scene.
As a Christian, I find the practice abborhant. If you are a Christian, then you accept the Bible and its teachings. Leviticus is clear: Homosexuality is against the word of God. A church willing to act as if it was never written cannot keep communion with God and Christ. There is no way to explain it away. I hear you grumbling, "So you don't you put them to death, as Leviticus requires? Easy. The same reason I do not stone prostitutes and adulterers. Because Christ put an end to it.
As a lawyer, I can understand that two people who have committed to each other should have some of the same rights as men and women who have committed to each other in the sacrement of marriage. However, I am also aware that careful planning and the execution of the correct legal documents ahead of time can address all or nearly all of these purported 'needs' without requiring the sanction of a society that does not follow or approve of the practice. [And for those of you seeking proof, look no further than Defense of Marriage Laws, and Initiatives around the country.] Yet this still wasn't enough. They demanded the RIGHT to marry. Now, this is an interesting turn of events. Black Law Dictionary defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It has been understood as such for centuries. In my business, that is called "precedent", and it will win trials in normal circumstances. Not so here. For over a decade, the pink swastika brigade, driven by a need for acceptance, forced if not willingly given, has portrayed anyone believing that that their lifestyle is wrong and is a sin as intolerant and bigoted, and was willing to practice intolerance in any degree to oppose opinions contrary to their own. The powers that shaped opinion by contolling what we see and hear were only too willing to play along. In confusion, there is opportunity. By brandishing their tolerance for all to see, and bludgeoning all who believed such practices to be wrong, they succeeded in planting the germ in the collective mind of society. The result was that when a legal challenge to the traditional definition of marriage got to a court, the court was willing to find in favor of a constitutional right to marry based on a lifestyle preference rather than circumstances beyond the control of the participants, ignoring that vital component in the federal cases it cited to justify their 'tolerant' and 'enlightened' decision. The short-sightedness of this court will take us further down this road, and the behaviors that we as a society will be forced to condone are at least for the present, shocking and inconceivable. But remember, twenty years ago, the same thing would have been said for the current set of circumstances. This too was addressed by Mr. Lewis, in the subsequent chapter, "Human Wickedness."
He discussed how the original power of Christianity was the fact that it brought good news to man, at a time when there was a belief in Divine anger, and the consequences of it. There was a way to get right with God. He then noted that:
"But all this has changed. Christianity now has to preach the diagnosis-in itself very bad news-before it can win a hearing for the cure."
He pinpointed two sources for this change in perception. The first is a century's worth of focus on "kindness" as the sole virtue that a member of society should cultivate. The failing of this particular focus is that cultivating kindness for kindness' sake alone require no effort on the part of the person. Because this is so, all can believe themselves possessed of the virtue without ever understanding the practice or the reason for it.
The second he called "the effect of Psychoanlysis on the public mind, and, in particular, the doctrine of repressions and inhibitions."
The best explanation, and the one that is evident in society today?
"Whatever these doctrines really mean, the impression they have actually left on most people is that the sense of Shame is a dangerous and mischevious thing. We have laoboured to ovecome that sense of shrinking, that desire to conceal, which Nature herself or the tradition of almost all mankind has attached to cowardice, unchastity, falsehold, and envy. We are told to 'get things out into the open', not for the sake of self-humiliation, but on the grounds that these 'things' are very natural and we need not be ashamed of them."
I wonder if he knew how prophetic his words would be. Babies out of wedlock. Gay marriage. Infidelity. Teenage pregnancy. Teenage drinking. Persistant drug use. Pornagraphy on prime time television. Daytime television talk shows.
His answer?
"A recovery of the old sense of sin is essential to Christianity."
You mull it over and get back to me.

Connecticut Coaches Have To Have Sportsmanship Mandated

This story about Connecticut coaches who are no longer allowed to let their teams ride roughshod over their competitors. I don't know which is worse; the fact that there is obviously such a disparity in ability among teams that play each other, or the fact that some coaches need to be threatened with suspension to make them not be complete and utter assholes. Why is it that someone who is charged with not just teaching the fundamentals of the game, and directing how it is played, but also in the correct spirit of the competition to begin with, needs to be told that running the score past the point of any recovery is simply overkill?

More Flushing of Taxpayer Dollars

I came across this story earlier this week. I can say that it sufficiently rankled me. I am in awe at the ways people can come up with ways to flush our tax dollars down the toilet. It is prison. If he wants to be a she, I'm sure (s)he can find people who will gladly use him in that fashion. We're concerned that he might try to commit suicide if he doesn't get the sex change? Uhh, prison? I don't know of anyone who wants to be there. There are probably inmate who do consider suicide. After all, it is PRISON! If he wants to be she, I'm not going to say "More power to him." I will say that he has the opportunity to make that choice, as a free citizen. As a prisoner, he doesn't have a choice, and he shouldn't. Prison is a place to put people who couldn't make good choices on their own. It isn't a place where you can go to change your outward appearance on the taxpayer's nickel. There are two common sense ways to handle this. The first is to sit down with the guy, and explain very calmly that as long as he is in the state's custody, he will not get a sex-change, but if he chooses wisely, he might get to be another inmate's woman while he is in there. The second is to explain nothing, toss him in with the general population, and let him figure it out on his own. I do think a prisoner should have the right to be kept safe while enjoying the state's hospitality, including the right not to be raped or knifed by other inmates. I do think that this does not occur in many prisons, largely due to overcrowding and understaffing. But I also think that a prisoner has to bear some of their responsibility for their own safety. A suicide watch is a tremendous waste of time and resources.

The story is here: