Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Marines and Army are broken ...

... now they're trying to break the Air Force, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Inspiring Benson

The Arizona Republic's own Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Benson does Charles Goyette's radio program every now and again, and sometimes they invite callers to suggest cartoon ideas for Steve.

This one was mine:

I actually described Ron Paul as the elephant (and truest Republican) in a roomful of wannabes and pretenders who are doing all they can to simply ignore him. I mean, it just seemed so obvious! (And dontcha just love the smiley-faces on the other nine?)

Thanks, Mr. Benson!

Friday, May 18, 2007

My coins, but not my sons

A couple of years ago, our pastor preached on Mark 12. While discussing vv. 13-17, he revealed to me a gem — one of those gems that was right there in front of me all along, yet one I’d never noticed before:
Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”

But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” So they brought it.

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.
In contrast to the denarius, an ancient Roman coin which bore both the image and inscription of Caesar, Pastor Niell asked us, “Whose image and inscription do you bear?”

Why, the image of Jehovah, and the inscription of the Triune God, I thought. It suddenly occurred to me that, while all men bear the image of God, it is His people alone who bear His inscription: the mark or seal of baptism.

Pretty basic stuff, yes? But something worth considering the next time Caesar claims the authority to conscript citizens to murder for him. (Which claim, I'm sorry to report, I expect to be revived in the very near future.)

And so, a quick note to you who happen to occupy the chair of former Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt:

Jesus says you can have my pennies and dimes. But neither I nor my children belong to you. God gives you no authority to snatch us up, hand us a rifle, and compel us to violate the Sixth Commandment.

For “whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge” (Acts 4:19).

— • —

And incidentally, I was amazed and edified this past Mother's Day to learn that Julia Ward Howe — whatever her other theological misprisions — understood this doctrine well, as evidenced by the following excerpt from her Mother's Day Proclamation (written in 1870 in reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War):

... As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God. ...

Monday, May 7, 2007

Paul Harvey: Since WW I, "there have been no 'civilians'"

And hear this, please. In Western Afghanistan, where NATO forces are involved in some of the deadliest fighting since January, among the 136 dead this morning, suspect Taliban. But there are others — 51 villagers, mostly women and children. Might not the news media put a stop to such "pulled-punches wars" as this, if we would just desist from categorizing "civilians"? It was "civilians," for goodness' sake, who decapitated New York City. Since the invention of the aerial bomb five wars ago, there have been no "civilians."

~ Paul Harvey, News and Comment, 2 May 2007 (listen here)

It appears to me that Mr. Harvey is engaging in a loose categorization of the parties in war in order to justify his unwillingness to discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate targets in war.

While it was, in fact, "civilians" who "decapitated New York City" on 9/11, they weren't merely civilians, but members of a criminal subset of civilians known as "murderers." And the American civilians who died in the 9/11 attacks were another subset of civilians — "victims."

But if we accept Paul Harvey's specious reasoning in order to assuage our consciences re. Afghan and Iraqi non-combatants killed in the Global War on Terror, then we have no choice but to conclude that the victims of the 9/11 attacks weren't civilians, either.

You can't have it both ways, Mr. Harvey.

Truth to power

HT: Lew Rockwell Blog

Saturday, May 5, 2007

You can't make this stuff up ...

And it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.

~ Donald Rumsfeld, then-Secretary of Defense, during a Town
Hall meeting at Aviano Air Base, Italy on 7 February 2003
"Rumsnamara" couldn't find his own toochis with two hands and a flashlight, and the Claremont Institute is awarding him a Statesmanship Award? In honor of Sir Winston Churchill?!

I presume Rummy's alleged "statesmanship" occurred some time after this sad moment:

(Hmm, I just noticed that that occurred just ten days before my honorable discharge from the US Air Force!)