Thursday, January 07, 2010

Upgrade to WINDOWS 7 --- I Will Be "Off the Air" for a Few

I am having it installed on my laptop and my home computer.

Red Eye on Eunuch Bomber -- "I Know My Sausage"

(Adult Themes -- double entendre alert)

MachoSauce Interviews the Person on the Street -- New Years Rant

Scarborough Scoop: How The Taliban’s Double-Agent Bomber Ambushed The CIA (HotAir h/t)

Democratic Co-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, Lee Hamilton, Blasts the Obama Admin on Eunuch Bomber Complacency

May I say that charging the "eunuch bomber" as a common criminal has hampered forever the amount of details we can get from this person in regards to his contacts and/or knowledge of terror cells.  This is where the Democrats have failed the U.S. citizen the most.

Lee Hamilton, the Democratic co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, blasted the Obama administration as “too complacent” on counterterrorism after the attempted EunuchBomber attack last month.  Jake Tapper asked Hamilton where the blame lies for a series of errors and failures that led to allowing Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab onto the Northwest plane from Amsterdam to Detroit.  Hamilton gives most of the responsibility to the bureaucrats, but say the President has a “major” share of the blame as well:
“I just think what’s pervasive through the country, and has been now for a number of years, is the complacency, an inertia, a business-as-usual attitude … that I think is harmful,” former 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton told ABC News. This, he says, includes the entire political leadership of the United States — President Obama, leaders of Congress and the “many, many people that have had a part in Homeland Security.”
“You can’t put all the responsibility on the president, but obviously he shares a major part of it,” said Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman. “His speech yesterday suggested he’s going to bear down on this, I hope that’s the case.” …
Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair (Ret.) holds a position created because of a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission. Blair and the National Counter Terrorism Center are chiefly responsible for connecting the dots, for analyzing the data coming in.
We asked Hamilton whether they weren’t the ones chiefly responsible for dropping the ball.

“On the basis of what I know now, I would answer that question, ‘Yes,’” Hamilton said, adding that it was possible some of the information didn’t get to the DNI or NCTC offices in a timely manner.
That, of course, was the problem that the 9/11 Commission supposedly fixed in its recommendations, which led to the creation of the DNI and the NCTC.  Others point to those solutions as part of the problem.  The Washington Post reports this morning that the intelligence community is almost screaming “We told you so” when the additional bureaucracy created by Congress in those recommendations amounted to barriers rather than doorways:
After the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal government was radically restructured to emphasize counterterrorism, with new agencies and divisions established. Twenty-two other domestic agencies were combined under a new Homeland Security Department.
The government’s intelligence components were placed under the new umbrella of the DNI after the 9/11 Commission inquiry and other investigations determined that the cultural and electronic firewalls between them had prevented information-sharing in the days before the 2001 attacks. Under the new system, agencies were restricted largely to intelligence-gathering and instructed to contribute analysts to rotating duty at the NCTC. Intelligence officials at the CIA and other agencies argued against separating collection from analysis. …
It is unclear whether the NSA, in the parlance of the community, “formally disseminated” the information in the intercepts to the NCTC or others. Although initial reform plans to combine all intelligence databases into a one-stop searchable system remain incomplete, NSA databases are available to NCTC analysts, as is the CIA database, in which agents began compiling a biography of Abdulmutallab after his father visited the embassy.
Some of the finger-pointing centers on claims and counterclaims about who should have flagged what for others to pay attention to and who should have looked where without being prompted. Travers, the TIDE chief who also serves as deputy director of the NCTC, predicted the problem even earlier than his 2007 expression of concern about the volume of terrorist information.
“If an organization posts something to its webpage, it can claim to have shared information,” he wrote in the forward to a 2005 book published by the Joint Military Intelligence College. “Whether the right people know the information/analysis is there, and actually make use of it, is entirely another matter.
“Indeed, we’ll almost certainly be dealing with precisely this problem in the post mortems of our next intelligence failure; the relevant intelligence will have been posted, but the right analysts never found it among the terabytes of available information.”
Instead of streamlining intel agencies into two or three coherent organizations, eliminating duplication, and focusing on clear missions, the 9/11 Commission instead recommending increasing bureaucracy by adding DNI for analysis disconnected from intel gathering, and using the NCTC as a data warehouse for intel. 
 ...[read more]...

Chill Map

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

All Teabaggers White?


It is with the authority of knowledge that is MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he declared of the ‘teabaggers’,
Here’s a news flash for ya, Chris… my son and I were there, as were many other black people. Maybe your crack staff at MSNBC failed to show you these pictures I (a black man) posted on September 12, 2009.

Sorry about having my back to you, Chris, but I was covering the event for my site and the New Media Alliance.

But tell you what, Mr. Matthews. I know a few of the black people who attended the 9/12 Tea Party on The Hill, including some of the ones who SPOKE AT THE PODIUM! I guess your camera people missed them as well.

If you wish, we can meet with you on Hardball at a time of your choosing and you can call us all-white teabaggers to our faces.

Sweet 4x4 -- Will the Military Take Note?

3-Dems Retire (4th Just Added) -- Awesome News!

Slovak Security Test

Drunk Bus Driver and Some Smart Kids!


She was drunk behind the wheel with more than three dozen kids aboard her school bus. Now she's going to spend a lot of weekends in jail.

One student on the video screamed, "Put on the brake!"

This is surveillance video of the dangerous school bus ride last May in the Alfred-Almond school district in Allegany County. 55-year-old Martha Thompson had a blood alcohol content of .15. At the time, she thought the children were overreacting.

In the video, you can hear Thompson say, "Will you guys stop?"

To which a student replies, "Well, you're not okay and I know it."

The bus hit high speeds, ran over a mailbox, and started rolling backwards downhill.

8x Obama Pledged to Televise Health-Care Proceedings (C-Span Has Different View)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, piqued with White House pressure to accept the Senate health reform bill, threw a rare rhetorical elbow at President Barack Obama Tuesday, questioning his commitment to his 2008 campaign promises.

A leadership aide said it was no accident.

Pelosi emerged from a meeting with her leadership team and committee chairs in the Capitol to face an aggressive throng of reporters who immediately hit her with C-SPAN’s request that she permit closed-door final talks on the bill to be televised.

A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras.

“There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail,” quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

Read more:

 (NewsBusters Import)
On Wednesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty surprisingly blasted top Democrats, especially President Obama, over the secret negotiations being conducted to reconcile the House and Senate versions of health care “reform” legislation: “President Obama hasn’t even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie.” The CNN commentator, who sang the praises of President Obama not even a year ago, devoted his first Cafferty File segment, which began 13 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, to berating the chief executive and congressional Democrats over their closed-door sessions. He even went so far to express his hope that “the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.”
CAFFERTY: How dare they- President Obama, Democratic leaders have decided to bypass a formal House and Senate conference committee, in order to reconcile those two health care bills. Instead, White House and Democratic leaders will hold informal- that’s another word for secret - negotiations, meant to shut Republicans and the public out of the process. What a far cry from the election, when then-candidate Obama pledged to- quote, ‘broadcast health care negotiations on C-SPAN, so that the American people can see what the choices are,’ unquote. President Obama hasn’t even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie that was told in order to get elected.
The head of C-SPAN wrote a letter, asked Congress to- quote, ‘open all the important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage,’ unquote. When White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked whether the administration would support televising the negotiations, he refused to answer, instead mumbling something about ‘I haven’t seen the letter.’ That wasn’t the question, Mr. Gibbs. You either support openness or you don’t.
The Democrats insist this is all on the up-and-up, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying- quote, ‘There has never been a more open process for any legislation,’ unquote. Oh, really? This is the same Nancy Pelosi who, you may recall, after becoming speaker in 2006, promised the Democrats would have- quote, ‘the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,’ unquote. Here’s hoping the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.
Here’s the question: should secret negotiations be used to reconcile the two health care bills? Go to, post a comment on my blog.
Cafferty may just have a problem with the lack of transparency itself, and not with the left-wing legislation. Just over two months earlier, during an October 20, 2009 Cafferty File segment, the commentator highlighted a poll which indicated that most Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these two left-wing proposals.

Frozen Al Gore Ice-Sculpture... Only in Alaska

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Two Fairbanks businessmen are still so annoyed by former Vice President Al Gore's stand on global warming that they have commissioned another "Frozen Gore" ice sculpture for display in front of a liquor store. This year's version features Gore blowing smoke -- but only when a truck exhaust is connected [love it]. Businessmen Craig Compeau and Rudy Gavora say they'll commission the sculpture annually until Gore comes to Fairbanks to debate climate change. "Before we start carbon taxing ... let's try and educate ourselves," Compeau said. The Frozen Gore Web site also has pictures of last year's creation.

Andrew Brietbart: Obama Took a Surfboard Accident With a Kid More Seriously Than Underwear Bomber

Glo-Bull Warming vs. the Facts -- Arctic Surge

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Will Not Seek Re-Election -- I Love It When the Left is Sad!

Near Death Experiences (Plural)

(Language Warning)

Guy Headed in for Jury Duty Captrures Vegas Shootout on Phone

Dinesh D'Souza, Fat Santa & Red Eye

Gibbs Refuses to Answer Tapper's Question with Typical Liberal Indignation

Obama Appoints a Transgender "Gal" (Amanda Simpson/Mitchell Simpson)

(NewsBusters import)

The New York Daily News reports:
Amanda Simpson, who used to be test pilot Mitchell Simpson, will make a bit of history Tuesday as she starts work as a senior technical advisor at the Commerce Department.
"As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds," Simpson said in a statement.
Simpson, 49, underwent a sex change about a decade ago while working in Tucson for Raytheon Missile Systems, where she rose to the job of deputy director.
Michael Jones at is excited at the breaking of a "transgender glass ceiling" by Obama:
According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Obama has appointed close to 100 openly LGBT folks to his administration, which is a rocket-style pace that is set to eclipse even the Clinton administration (which appointed 140 openly LGBT folks over the span of the Clinton presidency).
Simpson is clearly going to bring aggressively that "diversity process" into government. From her perch at Raytheon, Simpson was a diversity evangelist:
There truly is a great deal of education to be done on so many levels. The nuances of gender identity or expression are many and are mostly misunderstood -- even by those who seemingly 'get it': But with this change comes momentous opportunity. Raytheon continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and building an inclusive culture. All employees, current and future, will benefit by the commitment to an open expression of ideas and the basic foundation that they are valued by the company for their contribution to the success of Raytheon.
Jake Tapper has blogged this, but as of this morning, there is nothing yet in the Transcripts field in Nexis.

Stuck Cartoons

Time to Examine Those Climate-Zealots

New scientific evidence and political realities demand rethinking California's plan to impose economy-stifling rules and congressional and Obama administration plans for even more potentially devastating interventions to curb manmade greenhouse gases.

Clearly, the science is not settled, as claimed, and the politics even less so. If the global warming case is solid, scientists who advocate it should be willing to permit extensive review, something they resisted for years.

"Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it," Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the U.K.'s East Anglia University, complained in 2005 when a fellow scientist inquired.

We may now understand his resistance. Questionable global warming claims increasingly are being challenged, as is their advocates' credibility. Documents leaked in December from Mr. Jones' center suggest data was manipulated, perhaps purposely distorted and definitely withheld from critics to prevent challenges.

A Russian think tank last month said the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cherry-picked data, dramatically inflating Russian temperature readings. The think tank called for the IPCC's entire temperature database to be reevaluated.

Critics have long challenged computer models using that data to predict increased warming. They can't even replicate historic temperatures, let alone forecast a century into the future. Others insist the globe is entering a prolonged cooling period because of a particularly calm solar cycle.

Meanwhile, Qing-Biln Lu, a physics and astronomy professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, reported in a peer-reviewed paper that satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements show chlorofluorocarbons and cosmic rays – rather than greenhouse gases – cause global climate changes. Moreover, CFCs decreased around the year 2000, corresponding almost perfectly to a decline in temperatures since. Lu also noted that CO2 emissions, which global warming zealots claim cause rising temperatures, have increased dramatically during that period.

A University of Bristol, England, study last week concluded that, contrary to IPCC assumptions, the proportion of manmade CO2 retained in the atmosphere hasn't risen the past 150 years or even most recent five decades, directly contradicting the basic assumption of global warming zealots.

Last month's touted 193-nation Copenhagen climate summit failed to reach binding agreements to curb greenhouse gases, and on how much money developed nations should pay developing nations to battle the presumed threat. The rush to impose regulations and wealth-redistribution schemes has more to do with money and control than climate.

In the Senate, economy-damaging cap-and-trade regulations are unlikely to pass in an election year with the nation still reeling from recession. A ballot measure is proposed to suspend California's Global Warming Solution Act, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce demands the U.S. EPA hold hearings on the scientific basis behind for its proposed regulations. The Competitive Enterprise Institute plans to sue to pry loose information from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies after two years of refusals. It's time to reassess the science of global warming and its implications.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Epic Failure of 2009 Democrats

(HotAir h/t)

That's Nuts!

(Tiger Woods, Britt Hume, and the Atlanic Journal Constitution) Portion of my Reincarnation Chapter from My Proposed Book

I want to leave the reader with this thought by Robert Hume. In his book, The World’s Living Religions, he comments that there are three features of Christian faith that cannot be paralleled anywhere among the religions of the world [I can add here, the cults either].  These include the character of God as a loving Heavenly Father, the character of the founder of Christianity as the Son of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Further, he says:

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances. Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion (p.285-286).

Britt Hume mentioned that in order for Tiger Woods to turn away and truly repent (thus truly being redeemed from the lifestyle he has chosen), he should choose Christianity over his Buddhist ideals.

An Atlantic Journal Constitution writer picked this up and shot across the PC bow of what he thinks most should grasp when he said:

To which I responded:

I find it amazing that an AJC writer would apply the term "God" to a Buddhists' faith? Buddhism is not even monist, but is primarily atheistic, quoting Torcaso v. Watkins (1961):

"Among the religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others."

Again, there is no "personal" in Buddhistic faith... in fact, "personal" needs to be shed in order to reach Nirvana. Not to mention the laws of Karma. Tigers wife demanded that this happen to her because of something she did in a previous lifetime... and this karmic action needs to be understood in a way that the "person" is removed all together and "realizes" that there is no evil or good, no right or wrong.  (In the Diamond Sutra, ultimately, the Bodhisattva loves no one, since no one exists and the Bodhisattva knows this: “All beings must I lead to Nirvana, into the Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind; and yet, after beings have been led to Nirvana, no being at all has been led to Nirvana. And why? If in a Bodhisattva the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “Bodhi-being.” And likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in him.)

So where as Easdtern religions will posit that is a child is sodomized by a sick family member, that child has done something to build up karmic rape in this lifetime, this action is not really right or wrong as the Judeo-Christian universe views it... and hence, there can be no true redemption for a man in Tiger's position (pun intended) and no real moral accountability -- which is why often those in the West choose Buddhism, as, it deifies themselves.

Here is my response via just a small portion from my chapter of Eastern religions:

I wish to illustrate with a conversation (unfinished by the way) between myself and a Zen Buddhist.  This conversation can almost happen with any religious Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, or the like.  The conversation takes place after an interesting post by the person on his blog about self-defense, the Dalai Lama, WWII, and the Buddha. I will post my reply to his original thought, and then he responds, followed again by me.  (Keep in mind I am using our “blog” names, they are almost like “handles” like in the movie Top Gun):[1]

·         My initial engagement:
Does the idea of "violence" as a moral good or a moral evil truly exist in the Buddhist mindset? What I mean is that according to a major school of Buddhism, isn't there a denial that distinctions exist in reality... that separate "selves" is really a false perception? Language is considered something the Buddhist must get beyond because it serves as a tool that creates and makes these apparently illusory distinctions more grounded, or rooted in "our" psyche. For instance, the statement that "all statements are empty of meaning," would almost be self refuting, because, that statement -- then -- would be meaningless. So how can one go from that teaching inherent to Buddhistic thought and say that self-defense (and using WWII as an example) is really meaningful. Isn't the [Dalai] Lama drawing distinction by assuming the reality of Aristotelian logic in his responses to questions? (He used at least three Laws of Logic [thus, drawing distinctions using Western principles]: The Law of Contradiction; the Law of Excluded Middle; and the Law of Identity.)  Curious.

·         They Call Him James Ure, responds:

You're right that language is just a tool and in the end a useless one at that but It's important to be able run a blog. That or teach people the particulars of the religion. It’s like a lamp needed to make your way through the dark until you reach the lighthouse (Enlightenment, Nirvana, etc.) Then of course the lamp is no longer useful unless you have taken the vow to teach others.  Which in my analogy is returning into the dark to bring your brothers and sisters along (via the lamp-i.e. language) to the lighthouse (enlightenment, Nirvana, etc.)

·         I respond:

Then... if reality is ultimately characterless and distinctionless, then the distinction between being enlightened and unenlightened is ultimately an illusion and reality is ultimately unreal. Whom is doing the leading? Leading to what? These still are distinctions being made, that is: “between knowing you are enlightened and not knowing you are enlightened.” In the Diamond Sutra, ultimately, the Bodhisattva loves no one, since no one exists and the Bodhisattva knows this:

Ø  “All beings must I lead to Nirvana, into the Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind; and yet, after beings have been led to Nirvana, no being at all has been led to Nirvana. And why? If in a Bodhisattva[2] the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “Bodhi-being.” And likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in him.

So even the act of loving others, therefore, is inconsistent with what is taught in the Buddhistic worldview, because there is “no one to love." This is shown quite well (this self-refuting aspect of Buddhism) in the book, The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha. A book I recommend with love, from a worldview that can use the word love well.  One writer puts it thusly: "When human existence is blown out, nothing real disappears because life itself is an illusion. Nirvana is neither a re-absorption into an eternal Ultimate Reality, nor the annihilation of a self, because there is no self to annihilate. It is rather an annihilation of the illusion of an existing self. Nirvana is a state of supreme bliss and freedom without any subject left to experience it.”


·         My Final Response

I haven't seen a response yet. Which is fitting... because whom would be responding to whom? Put another way, would there be one mind trying to actively convince the other mind that no minds exist at all?

Here’s another way to see the same thing, Dan Story weighs in again:

It may be possible that nothing exists. However, it is impossible to demonstrate that nothing exists because to do so would be to deny our own existence. We must exist in order to affirm that reality doesn't exist. To claim that reality is an illusion is logically impossible because it also requires claiming that the claim itself is unreal—a self-defeating statement. If reality is an illusion, how do we know that pantheism isn't an illusion too?[3]

Another author put it thusly, “if pantheism is true (and my individuality an illusion), it is false, since there is no basis by which to explain the illusion.”[4]  The challenge then becomes this: “if reality is an illusion, how do we know then that pantheism isn’t an illusion as well?”[5]  You see...

… most people assume that something exists.  There may be someone, perhaps, who believes that nothing exists, but who would that person be?  .... no one ever consciously tries to defend the position that nothing exists.  It would be a useless endeavor since there would be no one to convince.  Even more significantly, it would be impossible to defend that position since, if it were true, there would be no one to make the defense.  So to defend the position that nothing exists seems immediately to be absurd and self-contradictory.[6]

Another problem in pantheism is God’s inability to deal with or solve the problem of evil.[7]  Dan Story points out what should be becoming obvious, “He is the cause of it (remember, all is God).”  Mr. Story continues:

Pantheism and the New Age may try to ignore this problem by claiming that sin and suffering is merely illusion.  But let’s bring this philosophy down to the real world.  Try to convince a man dying of cancer or a parent who has just lost a child that evil and suffering are illusion.  Even if evil is an illusion, the illusion itself is real.  In either case, evil exists.  As Geisler noted, “If evil is not real, what is the origin of the illusion?  Why has it been so persistent and why does it seem so real?…  How can evil arise from a ‘God’ who is absolutely and necessarily good?”[8]  The answer must be that if pantheism is true, God cannot be good, and He must be the source of evil.[9]

Between karmic destiny and the god[s] of pantheism and its dealing with pain and suffering (and consequently the promotion of it) by claiming everything is an illusion is not an answer at all.  Must we not live as if this illusion is reality?   In other words, “look both ways:”

As the professor waxed eloquent and expounded on the law of non-contradiction, he eventually drew his conclusion:  “This [either/or logic] is a Western way of looking at reality.  The real problem is that you are seeing contradictions as a Westerner when you should be approaching it as an Easterner.  The both/and is the Eastern way of viewing reality.”

After he belabored these two ideas on either/or and both/and for some time, I finally asked if I could interrupt his unpunctuated train of thought and raise one question.

I said, “Sir, are you telling me that when I am studying Hinduism I either use the both/and system of logic or nothing else?”

There was pin-drop silence for what seemed an eternity.  I repeated my question:  “Are you telling me that when I am studying Hinduism I either use the both/and logic or nothing else?  Have I got that right?”

He threw his head back and said, “The either/or does seem to emerge, doesn’t it?”

“Indeed, it does emerge,” I said.  “And as a matter of fact, even in India we look both ways before we cross the street - it is either the bus or me, not both of us.[10]

Pantheists may pawn this inane philosophy on people, but no one can live it out consistently as Ravi pointed out.  Moreover, when a large population tries to live it – like in India – one can see the fruits it produces, the destruction of the family a case in point.[11]  The promulgation of suffering and the inability of the religious Hindu to stop and help a suffering child or the rampant infestation of disease ridden -- crop eating -- pests, is all a loud refutation of trying to live an unlivable religious proposition.  A lie.

[1] I use quite liberally in this exchange two resources, they are follows: Michael J. Murray, ed., Reason for the Hope Within, 212-214; Ernest Valea, “Possible difficulties in Buddhism,” Many Paths To One Goal? Found at: (last accessed 8-11-09), the main site is:
[2] “One who has taken a vow to become a Buddha.” David Burnett, The Spirit of Buddhism: A Christian Perspective on Buddhist Thought (Grand Rapids, MI: Monarch Books, 2003), 329.  “Celestial” Buddha’s and bodhisattvas are said to be able to assist in guiding believers towards salvation as supernatural beings.  These bodhisattvas vary in their rolls and offices as the many gods of Hinduism, from which Buddhism comes.  See: Michael D. Coogan, Eastern Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Toaism, Confucianism, Shinto (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005), 133-139.
[3] Dan Story, Christianity on the Offense, 112-113.
[4] Francis J. Beckwith and Stephen E. Parrish, See the Gods Fall: Four Rivals to Christianity (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), 210.
[5] Dan Story, Christianity on the Offense, 112-113.
[6] L. Russ Bush, A Handbook for Christian Philosophy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991), 70.
[7] Michael J. Murray critiques quickly the Ramanuja and Madhya philosophies:
Stated in terms of Christian terminology, Ramanuja's view implies that every soul that has ever existed endured an eternity in “hell” (i.e., the cycle of rebirths) before it could enter “heaven” (i.e., union with God). Now unlike Madhya, Ramanuja claims that God freely, and beginninglessly, created the world, and all existing souls, out of his own being. This latter claim, however, presents Ramanuja with a very severe problem of evil: that of reconciling his belief that God is perfectly good and all-loving with God's ultimate responsibility for the beginningless existence of souls in a state of sin and suffering. The problem of evil faced by Ramanuja here is much more severe than that faced by Western theists. First, unlike Western theists, Ramanuja cannot say that this evil is a necessary consequence of God's creating creatures with free will. Although the suffering of a soul in any individual life could be blamed on the bad karma resulting from its free choices in previous lives, the fact that the suffering is beginningless -- and hence infinite -- cannot be blamed on free choice. The reason for this is that, no matter what free choices souls make in this life, or have made in any previous life, they cannot change the fact that they have beginninglessly endured an infinite amount of suffering; but one cannot be responsible for what one was powerless to change. Followers of Ramanuja, therefore, do not seem to have recourse to the traditional free will theodicy invoked in the West to explain evil. Second, the amount of evil that needs to be explained is infinitely larger than that faced by West­ern versions of theism, since, according to Ramanuja each soul has committed an infinite number of evil acts and endured an infinite period of suffering. Unfortunately, as Julius Lipner points out, neither Ramanuja, nor any other orthodox Hindu theologian, ever attempted to address this particular problem of evil since they took the eternality of the world and souls as an “unquestioned datum for life and thought.” Unlike Ramanuja (and Western theism), however, Madhva's theol­ogy largely avoids the problem of evil. The reason for this is that in his theology God is neither responsible for the beginningless existence of souls in a state of bondage, nor for the fact that they continue to remain in bondage, this being ultimately the result of their inherent, uncreated na­ture. Nonetheless, his system suffers from two drawbacks when com­pared to Ramanuja's view. First, Madhva's system leaves one with a plurality of ultimates -- souls, matter, and God -- without accounting for their existence. Although this is not a devastating criticism of Madhya, everything else being equal, views that hypothesize a single, unified source of everything (such as God), are in virtue of their simplicity, philosophically more satisfactory. Second, even though Madhya claimed to base his view on scripture, from the perspective of many orthodox Hindus his theology seems to contradict both those passages of Hindu scripture that appear to imply a deep sort of identity between God and souls and those that appear to imply that the world emerges out of God.
Reason for the Hope Within, 200-202.
[8] Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics, 189 (emphasis added).
[9] Dan Story, Christianity on the Offense, 113.
[10] Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God? (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1994), 128-129 (emphasis added).
[11] Rabi R. Maharaj, Death of a Guru, 13 and 14:
No matter how fulfilling life becomes, there are always cer­tain regrets when one looks back. My deepest sense of loss involves my father, Chandrabhan Ragbir Sharma Mahabir Maharaj. How I wish he were still alive! Nor does the fact that this extraordinary man died so young and under such mysterious circumstances entirely explain my regret. So much that is even more remarkable has happened since then. I often wonder what it would be like to share it all with him, and what his reaction would be. To share it with him! We never shared anything in our lives. Because of the vows he had taken before I was born, not once did he ever speak to me or pay me the slightest heed. Just two words from him would have made me un­speakably happy. More than anything else in the whole world I wanted to hear him say, "Rabi! Son!" Just once. But he never did.  For eight long years he uttered not a word, not even a whispered confidence to my mother.... "Why is Father that way?" I would ask my mother when I was still too young to understand. "He is someone very special—the greatest man you could have for a father," she would reply, always patient with my persistent questions and puzzled expression. "He is seeking the true Self that lies within us all, the One Being, of which there is no other. And that's what you are too, Rabi."

Obama Approves $636bn Defense-Spending Bill (Better Than Expected)

President Barack Obama has signed into law a USD636 billion Fiscal Year 2010 defense spending bill. The bill funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at USD128 billion.

In terms of specific funding for ground forces, the legislation provides USD6.3 billion - about USD825 million above the request - for the mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle fund "in order to complete procurement" of over 6,600 new MRAP all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs) to be used in Afghanistan.

The spending measure also includes USD5 billion for the 'Overseas Contingency Operations Transfer Fund' that is intended to help "rebalance US forces between Iraq and Afghanistan".

The US Army and US Marine Corps (USMC) are to receive an overall USD3.34 billion "to increase and improve the military's fleet of helicopters".

US Air Force (USAF) programs that avoided the fate of total cancellation, such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, also fared relatively well in congressional debates over the spending legislation.

Lawmakers matched the president's request for 30 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft budgeted at USD6.8 billion.

Aircraft procurement was the top-line item for the navy, amounting to a total of USD18 billion. That total included USD1.5 billion for 18 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters. An additional USD1.6 billion was set aside for 22 Boeing EA-18G Growlers.

The navy and the marines also secured funds for 20 F-35 Lightning IIs as part of the total USD6.8 billion DoD F-35 buy of 30 aircraft.

Lawmakers provided USD15 billion for shipbuilding programs - USD120 million over the service's request - for seven ships.

Ayn Rand -- Republitarian (Libertarian Republican Import)

Rand was libertarian Republican, before libertarian Republican was cool

Carlos Lazada of the Washington Post recently reviewed two new biographies of Ayn Rand's life. In the review he brings attention to Rand's brief stint as a libertarian Republican activist. She was even a volunteer campaign worker on the streets of New York for GOP candidates.

From the Austin American-Statesman, "Two new biographies of Ayn Rand shine light on libertarian lioness" Jan. 2:

[Jennifer] Burns, a historian at the University of Virginia, emphasizes Rand's impact on American conservatism. Though her Russian roots forever informed her politics, Rand's U.S. political awakening flowed from her revulsion against President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. She became a volunteer for Republican presidential candidate Wendell Wilkie in 1940, even conducting opposition research on FDR and blasting the president on New York City streets. "What she wanted, more than anything else," writes Burns, "was someone who would stand up and argue for the traditional American way of life as she understood it: individualism."
Rand was also supportive of Goldwater and Reagan. However, as Lazada points out, she didn't believe either one of them were as purely capitalist as she would have liked.

Kristol Goes Off On Obama's "non-War on Terror"

Talking About Climate-Gate Emails

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Brit Humes Says Tiger Should Become a Christian

Predicted a Long Time Ago -- Sun Drives Climatre... Not Man!

Full circle. The first Earth Day there were scientists up on the podium screaming about “global coolong” and that we had to change our habits to avert disaster. Then came “Global Warming”! And now? Again global cooling.

Climate Change: Not every scientist is part of Al Gore's mythical "consensus." Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV — the sun.

And they're worried about global cooling, not warming….

....Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada's National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity.

Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.

Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.

This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.

Tapping reports no change in the sun's magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.