Monday, December 31, 2007

It's 2008! The Year Begins!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It’s now 2008, and we have a lot of things ahead of us. We have fights to win, principles to defend, a Nation to cherish and protect.

The elections will come near the end of the year - in November, if you’ve forgotten - and the stakes are high. Yes, we usually think that the stakes are high, but we will need to elect serious people to handle serious problems. If we elect silly people, insincere people, phony people, we are tempting the Fates and may live to regret it. Visitors to this blog know that I support Fred Thompson for the Republican nomination for President, and will support his candidacy for President in the General Election in November. Of all the men and women seeking the highest elective off ice in the country, only Fred Thompson has the principles and gravitas (remember that word, Democrats? Hehehee!), the grounding in Constitutional Principles and Common Sense, to be a fit President in this era.

Expect the Loons of the Left to come out spitting, Folks. You know they will do whatever it takes to destroy whomever is the Republican choice for President. They will lie, distort, fear-monger, cheat to defeat a Conservative candidate. Nothing will be byond the Pale for them. Count on it and be ready. Don’t accept what you read in the Main Stream Media, or hear on Radio and see on Television, as Gospel. Check it out. Do the research. It’s important! More important than this week’s episode of Crappy TV. More important than one more evening at the local Club. More important than anything you can think of.

Because we are not electing a President and a Congress to lead us through a Fantasy Land but a Battlefield. We are beset with Terrorists, Traitors, the dim-witted and the easily-led. The weak-kneed among us will simply go wherever the wind blows, paying no heed to what may be coming. But you, my friends, must be prepared to speak out, with power, on the issues and the personages of the day.

Be prepared to be shouted down, threatened, villified. Be prepared to lose friends, be shunned by family members, be treated as a Neo-Nazi. This is what the Left has wrought in our Nation. Speech is threatened. Our very Liberty is at stake. Nearly every program or issue that the MSM pushes and supports is part of the agenda that seeks to destroy this Nation as it is constituted, and replace it with a Socialist Nanny State. And that Nanny State will not stand up against the Islamofascists, Communists, and all the others who have their hands out for a piece of everybody’s pie.

So enjoy the celebrations of the New Year, the possibilities of greatness and success ahead. And then get to work! We have a whole year ahead of us!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Death Of A Browser

NetscapeSort of sad Internet News from InfoWeek:
AOL on Friday stopped development of the Netscape browser, saying the respected brand that launched the commercial Internet in 1994 had little chance of ever regaining market share against its archrival Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

The Web portal, which took over Netscape Navigator in the $4.2 billion acquisition of Netscape Communications in 1999, said development on the browser had recently devolved into a "handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions." Firefox is the open source browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation.


FirefoxWhile once commanding 90% of the browser market, Netscape Navigator now accounts for less than 1%, and AOL had no interest in spending what it would take to revive the brand. Instead, the company, which was once a subscriber-supported portal, preferred to spend its resources on its transition into an ad-supported Web business. The change left "little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be," Drapeau said.

Instead, AOL said it would leave it to the Mozilla Foundation to do battle against IE. When AOL acquired Netscape, the latter company was working on converting its browser into open source software that was later called Mozilla and became the foundation of Firefox.

I never cared for the Netscape Browser. Once I began making web pages - not long after first going online! - I found it a tad unwieldy. I learned how to "do" HTML by studying the source codes for web pages. Internet Explorer's View/Source opened a text file that I could use to copy parts of the code and see what they did. I never got that kind of usefulness from the Netscape. It was just too much: too much buttons, too much tools, too much ... everything!

OperaOnce I found IE too slow for some of the things I wanted to do, I tried out a few other browsers (Netscape got another look, too) and finally settled on Opera. I bought a User license for it, so highly did I think of it, and used it steadily for quite awhile. A few years back I discovered the Avant Browser and now that's my steady browser. And I sent money to its developer, as I had with Opera, to show my appreciation and to keep the free updates coming (Avant remains free, and the creator constantly updates it.) all the while.

So Netscape dying is not going to affect me at all, except to show that you have to keep current, and keep up with the competition. Internet Explorer was small potatoes when it first appeared. But it kept getting better until it overwhelmed Netscape. Yes, MS had a huge power advantage, too, but Netscape developers never quite grasped that the IE browser was more user-friendly, more acceptable to the "Newbies" who were finding the Internet every day. Firefox, Avant, Opera, and others are niche browsers. Nothing more. But they understand where they are in the Big Web Scheme of Things.

Goodbye, Netscape. You were one of the earliest and best. But you outlived your usefulness. Sleep well!

Avant BrowserNote: Avant Browser runs on top of the computer's Internet Explorer engine. It is not independent as Firefox and Opera are. Still, I prefer it to IE for blogging, surfing, etc. I recommend it to you!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Science Fiction Character? Hmmm ...

From The Educated Shoprat comes this Quiz:


Putting your appointed path ahead of any inner conflicts, you make your own rules for the benefit of all.

If my life or death I can protect you, I will.

Aragorn is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. There is a description of him at

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

And who are you?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated?

I just read about this at Black Five. I don't know what to make of it. Guess we'll have to wait until matters shake out a little more. Islamofascists on the move once more.

Try Google News for lots of links to this event.

Will Smith: Learning PC The Hard Way

Will SmithWill Smith, actor and rapper, has been raked over the coals for comments he made recently in the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record. Among the hysterical cries of indignation the original context and actual words of Mr. Smith were lost and he was lambasted for saying that Adolf Hitler was basically a “good person". He’s been forced to come out and deny any such thought and defend himself against all manner of silly, reckless charges.

Hey, Will! Welcome to the Real World! The world where Political Correctness takes precedence over all else. Now, perhaps you have some idea of just what political candidates, and any Conservative, goes through every time they open their mouths. I hope you paid close attention.

So what did Will Smith have the temerity to say to a reporter for the Daily Record?
[...]Smart, friendly and funny, you have to wonder if anything ever upsets Will Smith's good nature.

"Well, if I understand the problem then I don't get annoyed," he explained. "People driving past in the car and giving me the finger annoys my wife but it's because they think you did something to them.

"They think you're driving too slow and keeping them from getting to their daughter's birthday party, or you cut them off and didn't see."

Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.

"Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'let me do the most evil thing I can do today'," said Will. "I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.

"I wake up every day full of hope, positive that every day is going to be better than yesterday. And I'm looking to infect people with my positivity. I think I can start an epidemic."[...]

In proper context the words are innocuous if anything. They’re certainly not grounds to condemn him or demand his films be pulled from the theaters.

Since the end of World War II we have demonized Hitler to the point where we cannot see him as anything more than a beast, or less than Evil Incarnate. Which begs the question, “How did he get so far, so fast, without human attributes?”

In fact Hitler must be looked at with a bit of intelligence - and a certain amount of loathing for the results of his life - to see who he was. Not who we wish he was.

Adolf Hitler as a schoolboyWas Hitler anti-Semitic? Oh, yes! Very much so! And in the German States of his era - the time including his birth and upbringing, as well as his adult life - and this includes Austria, the Jews were a favored target for use as scapegoats. And hatred of Jews was most certainly endemic in the Germanic States, as well as most of Europe. All Hitler did was absorb that loathing of the Jews as easily as he breathed or ate. Following his failures in the world of Art in Austria, ever the Leftist, Hitler could not blame himself for his lack of more than pedestrian artistic talent. No, he could blame the Jews for refusing to buy his artworks. He blamed them for his utter failure to become the renowned Painter he hoped to become. Normal behavior if you are raised and surrounded by anti-Semitism, I should think.

Hitler in WWIDecorated for his actions during World War I, like probably most of the German people, Hitler found the Treaty of Versailles to be a traitorous act, giving away German territory and money to the French, British, and others. A sell-out, as they saw it, to - you guessed it - the Jewish Cabal. Of course we know no such Cabal exists or existed. But then few of us are raised in such suffocating ignorant anti-Semitism. But Hitler, and most German people were. So the Treaty ending World War I was not honorable, or an acceptance of the obvious impossibility of continuing the War. No, it had to be something more insidious. And the Jews were the obvious culprits.

Do we see a pattern here? Are we finally recognizing that Hitler was a product of his place and times? Granted, had his home life been a loving one he might have turned out to be pleasant person.

Like a good Leftist Adolf Hitler did whatever he could and had to do to attain power. That is Red Gospel, and Hitler believed in it. He also carried along with him the utter conviction that Jews were at the very root of all things dark and evil. He was already twisted by the anti-Semitic culture of Germany and Austria; now he was also inoculated with the venom and insanity of Leftism - the Socialist virus.

The Adoring crowdsYes, Hitler committed unspeakable, horrible, acts upon the world and specifically upon the Jews of Europe. He would have been hung had he been captured by the Allies and brought to trial. Yet much of what he actually did was protected by the “color of law”, not wantonly as a thief. And when he wanted to do something forbidden by Law he eventually had the total power needed to change the law. So we can add total power to his twisted psyche and mind. Since the Jews were an evil race, and not really human, then genocide did not really apply, did it? Eradication of the Jews of Europe, and eventually the world, was simple disease control for Adolf Hitler. It made perfect sense. And a people raised under the same ugly culture of anti-Semitism supported him.

What I’m saying is simple. In his own mind, Adolf Hitler was “good” and “just” and “reasonable”. As Will Smith said,
"Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'let me do the most evil thing I can do today'," said Will. "I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'.

Does Will Smith understand what the Nazis stood for, or did? Probably, on a minimalist level. Not being a Jew I rather doubt that Smith has the visceral emotions about Hitler that Jews have. He was just speaking off the cuff about being ‘positive’ and not paying attention to the weight his words might have. He sure gave no thought to their being twisted out of proportion. Smith may think that good intentions will bring forth good results. For Europe and the world, Hitler’s ‘good intentions’ had less than salutary results.

The results, as we well know, were anything but good; they were in fact horrific! Millions of deaths on the battlefields and in the Concentration Camps. The utter destruction of Cities and enslavement of lesser Nations. All to bring forth an Aryan Paradise. All because Adolf Hitler believed in his heart and mind that it was a good thing.

Can you say, "Ahmadinejad?"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007!

Have a Merry Christmas! May GOD bless you with a happy, healthy, and very successful New Year!

Thanks you to All of you who have visited the Writing Pad. Stay safe!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Silent Night

Here is a little video I put together with some images I searched for and a Christmas Hymn as performed by Libera - Libera is the Boys Choir from Great Britain which I blogged about not long ago. It’s also known as Angel Voices. And I think you’ll agree with that title when you hear them sing “Silent Night”.

Here are the lyrics if you’ve forgotten them:
Silent Night

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in Heavenly peace
Sleep in Heavenly peace

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy Holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

If you have trouble with the video try clicking this link to get to the My Space page with my 3 videos on it. I hope you enjoy 'em!

Getting In Shape For Christmas Eve

As we all know, or should by now, Santa’s Reindeer have a very tough job to perform on Christmas Eve. They must traverse the entire Earth, landing at each home and taking off again, pulling a laden sleigh full of gifts and a rather chubby elf. You might wonder how they can possibly pull that task off when they seem to do nothing for the rest of the year. Well it seems that they have a very solid training regimen, and I learned about it at Scribal Terror during my search for other things. (Ain’t that always the case?) He discovered this information from Static, and I bring it to you.

I like to think my readers, all 5 of them, are up-to-date on the latest information about just about everything. And that’s why I bring this information to you. And now you know!

How Santa’s Reindeer Stay In Shape

Don't blame me! I just report this stuff. Heheheee!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All That Holiday Hoopla?

Alright, so it's getting overwhelming, all the Christmas music, the Carols, the red and green colors on everything. Even the Salvation Army jingling their bells is getting a bit on your nerves. So what? It's once a year, and you don't have to pay that much attention to it.

Too commercialized? Well of course! This is America, Land of the Shopper! What do you expect? We celebrate the Founding Fathers with sales. We mark Independence Day with more sales. We commercialize everything we can, whenever we can. It's our way. So relax. It's not important.

What is important is to remember that this season is about Hope. Not how many nifty gifts you get, not the cards you send and receive. Hope. That's what the Christmas celebration is all about. We mark December 25th as the day that Jesus was born, He whom we call the Christ, the Son of GOD. His coming gives Hope to all who have sinned - that's you! and me! - that they will be forgiven those sins. That's what Christmas is about.

Now I know, as do most of you, that some folks like to grumble that Jesus was not born in December - Winter - at all, and that the Christmas celebration is simply melded onto the ancient Pagan Saturnalia. Well, so what? It's true. And how does that change the meaning in the slightest? If you take a Butcher's Shop and clean it out, change the decor, and open a Tea Shoppe, is it still a Butcher's Shop? Of course not. That's gone and something new is in its place.

So what do we know about the birth of Jesus? Well, not so terribly much actually. We have to rely on the Gospels for much of the information, and some of it is wrong. Now that's merely the writers' errors as they attempted to match misunderstood prophecies.

For instance, there's no archaeological evidence that Bethlehem in Judea even existed in the 1st Century. It's a small city now, but at the time of Jesus' birth it didn't exist. There was, and is, another Bethlehem, though, and it was close to Nazareth, rather than far away as is Bethlehem in Judea (75 miles from Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea). So why did the writers describe the town as Bethlehem in Judea? Because they misread the prophecy. Here, read it with me. First the New Testament account:
"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea…" (Matthew 2:1)

And what is the prophecy about His birthplace?
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (Micah 5:2)

Pretty straightforward, isn't it? But is it? You see the word 'clans' in the prophecy? Not towns or places, or villages. Clans. All that prophecy means is that the smallest of the clans among the descendants of Judah would produce the Messiah. As James Tabor said: "Everyone thinks 'Bethlehem' is a place, and indeed there were towns named "House of Bread" in Judea and in Galilee, but...the term Bethlehem-Ephrath/Ephratah is the name of a clan of Judah--children of Caleb through Hur, who was the firstborn of an extraordinary woman named Ephrathah..." (This is found in 1 Chronicles in the Old Testament)

Would Joseph have taken his heavily-pregnant betrothed 75 miles, through a barren wasteland - home to thieves and other criminals - to a town that did not exist, for a Roman Census? No. And only males would have been required anyway. No, if Joseph really did take Mary to any Bethlehem it would have been in Galilee, where a town did exist and still exists today. Don't feel badly about the writers - we all misread things, and so did they.

Okay, so what about that whole December 25th deal? Isn't that bogus? Yep! It really is. The accounts of His birth, you might recall, included shepherds tending their flocks in the fields at night.
"In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over the flock by night." (Luke 2:8)

Not in the Winter. those sheep and their shepherds would not have been in the fields in a Judean Winter night. But they would have if it was in the Spring, as some believe, or in the Autumn, as I and some others believe. Jesus was not born in the early Winter. The date the early Church chose was in fact the date of the Roman Saturnalia. They did it for precisely the reasons you would expect: to draw pagans into the fold with a festival at the same time of year as one of their old festivals. The actual date is unknown, just as it is completely unimportant. It is the birth of the Messiah that is important. Keep that in mind.

From Jesus Police:
There are various theories about Jesus' birth. Many believed that Jesus was born on January 6 (the birthday of the God Osiris). The rationale for this date was the belief that Jesus was exactly 30 years old when he died and that he died on April 6. Counting backwards from April 6 exactly 29 years and 3 months gave a birth date of January 6 (Craveri, 1967). This date was adopted by the Eastern Church and called "Epiphany" or "The Appearance."

The African Tertullian (c 160 –220 A.D.) and the Roman Hippolytus (c 170-235 A.D.) believed the date to be March 25th, the spring equinox under the ancient Roman calendar. Clement of Alexandria (c 150-215 A.D.) believed that Jesus was born on May 20, the 25 day of the Egyptian month of Pachon. None of these theories had any real facts associated with them, but they were popular nonetheless.

A 3rd Century Christian named Sextus Julius Africanus believed that March 25 was Jesus' conception and the day of Earth's creation as well. Using March 25 as the day of conception, he skipped ahead 9 months to December 25 as the birth date.

What date was it? We don’t know. Nobody knows, and, again, it doesn’t matter. What matters at this time of year is that most Christians are celebrating His birth, which brought into the world Hope of Salvation.

That Hope of Salvation is what all the hoopla is all about, Folks. The Carols and the decorations. Even the Santa Claus images harkens back to a Christian Saint in most of our traditions. So rather than get huffy about all of the lights and packages, why not remember that it means Hope. Hope for all of us.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Boston Tea Party Day

Brandy Karl - Boston Tea Party Day
From Brandy Karl:
On the night of December 16, 1773, a large group of Boston colonists, self-styled as the "Sons of Liberty" staged the first openly rebellious act of the colonies against Britain. Docked in the Boston Harbor were three ships, the Beaver, the Eleanor, and the Dartmouth, laden with a cargo of tea. John Hancock, a Boston colonist and tradesman who smuggled tea in protest of British tea taxes, had organized a boycott of the British East India Company's tea.

That's right! This is Boston Tea Party Day! Did you celebrate? Have a cuppa? Not for me the thin tea of the damnable British! No! I had coffee! Granted, I don't like tea anyway, so it was no sacrifice. But the principle! Dagnabbit!

In 1773, the British passed the Tea Act, which granted the Company the right to sell the tea to British colonies without the burden of the colonial tax, allowing the Company to undercut both smugglers and lawful merchants. By bottoming out prices on the "legitimate" East India Company tea and adding only a small levy, the British government assumed that the colonists would submit to the taxation in order to obtain their coveted tea.

Americans have never been understood, and continue to be misunderstood by Europeans. And the rest of the world, too, for that matter. And most denizens of the political Left have no understanding of Americans or America. And the British had not a single clue, when it came to trying to squeeze taxes from their colonies in North America.
Most colonies refused the tea, but Massachusetts Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson infuriated Bostonians by his order to allow the ships to dock with the Darjeeling and that the duty be paid by the deadline, December 16. Sam Adams organized roaming mobs and threatened violence. Adams held a public meeting on the day of the deadline at Old South Meeting House where colonists resolved that the tea would be sent back to England. Surprisingly, the owner of the Dartmouth agreed, but the British refused to let him turn back, and prepared to seize the ship.

Always with the Elites it is a matter of Faith that the rabble - meaning most of us! - will come around to their way of thinking. Always they are badly surprised when we decide we don't accept their version of events and go our own way. After all, it wasn't the cowed masses of Europe that created America, but the unsatisfied, the adventurous, the questioning who traded their established way of life, chanced their very lives on the wild waters of the Atlantic, and made their new homes and lives in the vast wilderness of North America.

The Sons of Liberty, dressed as Mohawk Indians and led by Sam Adams, boarded the three British ships, hacked open 342 chests of tea, and dumped forty-five tons of British tea into the Boston Harbor. This act of rebellion paved the way for further acts agitating against oppressive British rule and the Intolerable Acts passed in response to the Tea Party, and led eventually to the American Revolution.

We Americans were created in rebellion - rebellion that predated the Revolution. It predated the French and Indian War that the British were so eager to have us pay for. Used to the meek, uneducated of their Mother country, the perfumed prisses of Parliament neither understood, nor tried to understand, the people they were trying to extort money from. The Tea Act was one of their last gasps at such nonsense before outright war commenced. And the Boston Tea Party was our first shot at the tyranny of the British Lion.

Happy Tea Party Day!

Quoted material is © Copyright Brandy Karl, 2005-2007. With thanks from benning!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Help For Florida Homeowners!

In the State of Florida Homeowner’s Insurance has become extremely expensive. So expensive that some homeowners - those who no longer have to pay a mortgage, and thus must have certain insurance - have opted to go without Homeowner’s Insurance. This is a chancy thing to do in a state that has suffered some hellacious hurricanes in the past few years.

The State of Florida, to fight this rotten state of affairs, and rather than just throw taxpayers’ money into the Insurance pot, has come up with a program to help. It is a way to mitigate the danger of hurricane damage to your house and, by taking the recommended steps, lower your homewoner’s insurance rates by quite a chunk! There’s also a program to get help paying for the repairs/upgrades you need to qualify. The kicker:
By law, all companies offering homeowners insurance must provide discounts to policyholders who invest in products and improvements proven to defend a home against hurricane damage. Contact your insurance company or your agent to find out what discounts are available to you after strengthening your home.

The program is called My Safe Florida Home. You can reach the information through My Safe and following the links. Click right here to get right where you want to be. This information isn’t a secret, but it is not something your insurance company is likely to volunteer.

Why would you bother? What’s the upside of this? Here’re 3 good reasons. From My Safe
Reason 1: A free wind inspection. Before you can improve your home’s ability to withstand a hurricane, you need to know how hurricane resistant it is today. The inspection will be conducted by a qualified wind inspector trained in wind-resistant building techniques. Following the inspection, a detailed report will be provided to you that will:
1. explain and prioritize what improvements can be made to strengthen your home against hurricanes,
2. provide cost estimates for making each of the recommended improvements,
3. rate how hurricane resistant your home is today, and how resistant it will be after improvements are made,
4. explain what insurance discounts are available to you if improvements are made and how to get them, if you provided your insurance information.
Reason 2: A financial incentive. For qualified homeowners, the state will offer a matching grant of up to $5,000 to help pay for the cost of the hurricane-resistance improvements recommended in your inspection report.
Reason 3: A discount on insurance premiums. Homes that are strengthened with hurricane-resistant improvements are less likely to suffer serious damage in a hurricane. Homeowners who invest in strengthening their homes will be entitled to a range of discounts on their homeowners insurance premium, depending on what and how many of the recommended improvements are made. The discounts you may be eligible to receive will be outlined in your free wind inspection report.


Where do I sign up for a free wind inspection?
Step 1: To help you get started on making your home more hurricane resistant, you will need to apply for the free inspection. You can apply through the My Safe Florida Home Web site... ...or by calling the My Safe Florida Home helpline at 1-866-513-6734.
Step 2: Once your application has been approved, you will be contacted by a qualified wind inspector who is trained in residential wind inspections and wind-resistant building techniques. You and the inspector will set up a time for the inspection of your home.
Step 3: Once your home has been inspected, you will be provided an inspection report that will rate the hurricane resistance of your home before and after improvements, prioritize which improvements will give you the greatest defense against hurricanes and the cost of these improvements. It will also outline the potential insurance premium savings you could receive if improvements are made, if you provided your insurance information.
You may qualify for a free wind inspection if you have a single-family, site-built home.
NOTE: Mobile, modular and manufactured homes, apartments and condominiums are not eligible.
For some Floridians, this report may be the only My Safe Florida Home tool they need!


Where do I sign up for a matching grant to help pay for the
improvements recommended in my free wind inspection report?
Qualified Florida homeowners can apply for up to $5,000 in matching funds to invest in the hurricane resistant improvements recommended in their free inspection report.
Local governments and not-for-profit agencies are also offering grants to low-income homeowners in certain areas of the state. These programs will offer hurricane protection upgrades at reduced or no cost to the qualifying homeowner.
To obtain an application or just learn more, visit

If you are a Florida Homeowner why not take advantage of the chance to lower your amazingly high Homeowner’s Insurance by checking this out? If you take the steps you will make your home safer and better able to withstand a hurricane, and you may well qualify for grants to fix your home, and the lowering of your insurance rates. How can you lose?

Use your head! Do this as soon as you can.

Thanks, Steel Magnolia, for the heads up!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Ice Bear Cometh

The Ice Bears Cometh
Despite the clamoring nonsense that describes Polar Bears as a species in decline, it would seem that Polar Bears are doing just fine, thank you. Recent reports of Polar Bears drowning in the Arctic Ocean, due to exhaustion from a lack of ice to rest upon, turned out, on further examination, to be the victims of a massive storm. Undaunted by the facts the Envirowhackos continue the fight against Man-made Global Warming/Climate Change. And Polar Bears are exhibit One in their evidence.

But how endangered are the Marine Mammals with the Arctic growing warmer? Won't they disappear? How can they survive without the frozen Seas at the top of the World?

Prince Charles Foreland
Big image at

Very well, it would seem, if recent scientific discoveries are any measure.

In a remote place of the Arctic Ocean, in the far north, far from any major land area, sits the Svalbard Archipelago, whose most famous island is Spitsbergen. At the extreme west of this group of chilly islands is Prince Charles Foreland, (in Norwegian: Prins Karls Forland or Forlandet), where some scientists were doing some digging. They found a specimen of a Polar Bear jaw, complete with a tooth. Based on the sediments where it was found they have dated the find at approximately 130,000 years old. Older, in fact, than any previous Polar Bear find. This makes the age of Polar Bears much greater, since Science has regarded the White Bears as merely 100,000 years old. Supposedly that is when they split off from their cousins the Brown Bears.

What's the significance of this, aside from the fact that scientists were wrong about the emergence of Polar Bears in the evolutionary stream? Well, it seems that at the time the sediments were laid down the Earth was in the Eemian Period - the last Inter-Glacial period. We are now in the Holocene Period. The Eemian was much a much warmer time than now.

What's that mean? It means that Polar Bears survived a much warmer climate than we now experience. Survived and flourished.

From BBC News:
Professor Olafur Ingolfsson from the University of Iceland says tests show it was an adult, possibly a female.

discovered polar bear jawbone"We have this specimen that confirms the polar bear was a morphologically distinct species at least 100,000 years ago, and this basically means that the polar bear has already survived one interglacial period," explained Professor Ingolfsson.

"And what's interesting about that is that the Eemian - the last interglacial - was much warmer than the Holocene (the present).

"This is telling us that despite the ongoing warming in the Arctic today, maybe we don't have to be quite so worried about the polar bear. That would be very encouraging."

Yes, it would. Polar Bears are magnificent beasts, the largest of the living bear family and, as Professor Ingolfsson says (this is a PDF file), "The Polar Bear is the only obligate carnivore among living bears; a highly specialized predator of seals." [obligate: Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role.] These beautiful white-furred bears are also one of the few species on earth that will hunt and kill humans. Cuddly, they ain't!

The Polar Bear is so closely related to its cousins that it can successfully breed with them. Usually this only happens in captivity, since the different types of bears rarely overlap in the wild. However a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic in April, 2006, and thought to be a Polar Bear, was subsequently discovered to be a hybrid. The result of the mating of a Polar Bear and a Grizzly (*ouch!*). As John Roach at Nat'l Geo., put it:
DNA analysis has confirmed that a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic last month is a half-polar bear, half-grizzly hybrid. While the two bear species have interbred in zoos, this is the first evidence of a wild polar bear-grizzly offspring.
Prizzly or Grolar BearWildlife officials seized the bear after noticing its white fur was interspersed with brown patches. It also had long claws, a concave facial profile, and a humped back, which are characteristic of a grizzly.

Now the genetic tests have confirmed that the hybrid's father was a grizzly and its mother was a polar bear.
Polar bears and grizzlies require an extended mating ritual to reproduce, Stirling said. Both live by themselves in large, open habitats.

To prevent wasting their eggs, females ovulate only after spending several days with a male, Stirling explained. "Then they mate several times over several days."

In other words, the mating between the polar bear and grizzly was more than a chance encounter. "That's what makes it quite interesting," he added.

Stirling says the hybrid has no official name, though locals have taken to calling it a "pizzly" and a "grolar bear."

Obligate they may be, but it would seem they don't feel "obligated" to keep it in the clan! Polar Bears get around.

Warming of the Arctic may cause the Polar Bear some difficulty. And discomfort. But it won't extinguish them. They passed through warmer times before. And they survived. Besides, the warming in the Arctic is not primarily from the atmosphere - the Greenhouse effect so beloved of the illiterati - but in fact from the earth's crust. We have entered a period of increased Volcanism, something we have absolutely no power to alter. And where are most of the volcanic eruptions taking place? On the ocean floors. As I mentioned last Summer:
So why is the ice cover seeming to shrink in the Arctic? Even while the air remains as cold as ever?

As Phil Brennan puts it: "The answer is quite simple: Mother Earth is belching up red hot magma through the ocean floor all across the globe. It may come as a surprise to you, but two-thirds of all volcanic activity takes place under the world's seas, and currently that activity is heating the oceans to the point where they are sending huge amounts of moisture up into the atmosphere, where it comes down as heavy rain in the spring, summer and fall, and snow in the winter."

And the word around the globe is the same: glaciers are growing, inching toward the seas, getting thicker. Not the opposite, which is the disinformation the Global Warming Alarmists want you to think.

What does that mean, in terms we can all understand? It means that Global Warming is a myth. If anything, we are beginning our descent into an Ice Age. And there is not one thing we can do to stop it. We may be able to mitigate the damage somewhat, with smart actions now, but we are not going to be able to change what the Earth decides to do.

We should do everything in our power to mitigate pollution, something the United States has been doing - at tremendous cost, I might add - for decades now. There is simply no reason to dump untreated waste into our waters, or pump poisons into the air. We have the technology to avoid that. And if we used our heads instead of blindly following the Chicken Littles we would expand our use of Nuclear Power, rather than waste time playing with Wind Power or Solar Power. We have the technology to wean ourselves from the use of Oil and Coal, and still maintain our technological Society. It is our responsibility and duty as rational beings to prevent pollution when and where we can. But pulling our hair out and wearing sackcloth and ashes will do nothing. Avoiding the facts to push an agenda will do nothing.

Polar Bear from Moonbattery Blog

Polar Bears are thriving, their numbers growing. As Van Helsing remarks at Moobattery:
Even if the Goracle's most frenetic fantasies were to come true, and the North Pole were to melt in the foreseeable future, people living in northern latitudes will still get eaten by polar bears.

What more can I say? *wink*

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Longest Battle of a Spiritual War

broken ChristmasThe Assault on Christmas, or the Attack on Christmas, whichever we tend to use, comes around each year. And many of us, Christians, Jews, Atheists and people of good faith around the country, rise in anger and indignation at the stupidity and utter unreality of these continued attempts to remake the nation - and eventually the world - as a religiousless one. However, we need to bear in mind that these ridiculous attacks on the Christian Holidays are nothing more or less than diversions.

Christians know that Easter, as it is celebrated, is the far more important Holiday, the greater day to us in its meaning. But Christmas is the greater display, taking up the best part of an entire month with decorations, lights, trees, songs, and much more. Therefore it is the easier target for those small-hearted, cold human beings who cannot stand quietly by as others enjoy something they themselves cannot understand. But it is not actually Christmas that they seek to silence and banish from the public square. It is Christianity they seek to silence. And when they accomplish that they will turn their attentions to all displays of Judaism - and don't think that Jews do not show their Judaism in public ways, they do - and then any other religious systems that raise their heads. For the attackers are not simply Atheists or disgruntled Jews, Muslims, or whatever, as the MSM would like you to think. The attackers are zealots of that human-inspired religion known as Secular Humanism.

These people seek to gain the ascendancy of their human-centered religion over Christianity and Judaism - and later the adherents of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. - through any means at their disposal. If that means purposely misreading the U.S. Constitution, then they will do that. If it means demonizing believers as bigots, hate-mongers, and backwoods buffoons, then you will see believers categorized in those terms.

Think I'm overstating the case? Look at Canada, our nearest neighbor, in more than proximity, and ask yourself how close we are to an abomination like Canada's Human Rights Commission. In Canada, by Law, the simple act of speaking your mind is now subject to prosecution. Not for treason, sedition, or even incitement to riot, but for "hate" speech". Speech which includes Old Testament Scriptural admonishments against homosexual acts are against the Law. Posting them on the Internet is a crime. In Canada.

Preaching Scripture from the Bible in a Church can be used in a prosecution against a pastor for a "hate crime", and exposes him to attack. In Canada. And the Secular Humanists would love to see that happen here.

Don't think it's possible here? Think again. Every time you see or hear of a person being denounced for "hate speech" take the time to read the actual words spoken and attacked. Ignore the descriptions. Just read the actual words and then put them in the context of the body of what was said. You may wonder what the fuss is about. Remember the outrage and indignation over Ann Coulter's pronouncements about Christianity, made to a Jewish Talk Show Host? What, exactly, did Coulter say that was "hateful", "bigoted", "mean-spirited", or "anti-Semitic"? Nothing, really. Ann's not a pastor, priest, or theologian, mind you, and she's certainly no Diplomat. But she actually spoke the Gospel. Any Christian with a modicum of familiarity with the New Testament knows that Coulter was giving a rough description of the hope of Christianity, that all will come to the Truth through Christ. If any "Men of the Cloth" found her words "hateful", "bigoted", "mean-spirited", or "anti-Semitic", then their congregants or parishioners ought to wonder what, exactly, those Pastors are using as a text. Because they aren't using the Bible.

Ann Coulter is easy to demonize. She's not one to whisper when a shout will get heads to turn. The same is true when it comes to public displays of Christianity when it comes to Christian festivals or Holidays. We in the West have become used to being open and public about our celebrations. Especially with the ease of Commercialization. Which means that Christmas is the biggest, juiciest target. And the SH minions all take aim at this Holiday.

Schools ban Christmas in favor of WinterThey try to sanitize Christmas in the public schools. They ban any religious music during the “Winter Holiday” season, as if the Spirit of Christmas can be so easily suppressed, and ban the use of the word Christmas. They attempt to ban any public display of religious symbols while allowing “secular” symbols, as if they don’t have meaning to the Secular Humanists of a religious nature - replace the baby Jesus with Santa (that’s okay!). Even the envirowhackos get in on the act, seeking to convince Jews to not light menorah candles during Hanukkah - so they won’t add carbon to the already perilously poisoned air of our fragile planet. Green is simply one aspect of the Secular Humanist religion, you see.

So, what do we do? We can't simply ignore the attacks and watch for the next targets to be assaulted can we? No. No, we must remain vigilant. We must fight for our rights, under GOD, and under the Constitution. Remember that the First Amendment restrains the Federal Government from establishing a National Religion, and forbids the Federal Government from interfering with the States' or the People's rights to worship as they see fit. The Constitution does not have a "Wall of Separation". The Constitution does not allow the House or the Senate to make any laws that restrict religious worship, displays, speech, or anything else.

Remember that the next time some member of the illiterati proclaims that the Constitution does not allow you to erect a Christmas Tree on the Town Square. Poppycock! The Constitution stands mute on the subject. Any laws passed must be from the State Houses down. And that means you have the voice and the power to over-rule them. As Christians you have the responsibility to do what is right, according to the Word of GOD. You are not subject to the un-Constitutional acts of the federal government. They may forbid you, but they have no authority to do so.

Want to say a prayer at Graduation? Go ahead. The so-called authorities can rush on-stage and stop you, but you have done what is right, and lawful. Want to sing a hymn at the Town Square at the lighting of the Christmas/Holiday/Winter/Family Tree? Go ahead! Who will stop you? Will the police arrest carolers? Will the Mayor sue you? Do you think most of your neighbors there will assault you?

Hanukkah CandlesNot likely. They will probably join you in your song. And if your Jewish neighbors wish to sing Maoz Tzur, or Channukah, Channukah, in celebration of Hanukkah, why not learn the words and join them? Let's face it, Jews probably feel quite overwhelmed at Christmas. What with all the Christmas music playing wherever they go - other than Synagogue, that is - and the displays, and what not. But they are our religious relatives, don't forget. And they are our fellow Americans. What befalls us befalls them and vice versa.

Jewish cemeteries continue to suffer vandalism. And you cannot simply pass this off as the actions of stupid youths, bored into criminality. No, this is one of the payoffs of Secular Humanism. The degradation of this tiny religious, and ethnic, minority is merely one of the vectors of attack. Christianity is the big prize for these GOD-less religionists. And the Jews are "collateral damage". They are part of our family. And they are under attack, as always. And so are we.

As I said at the opening, people of good faith, whether they are believers or not, do not like what is happening anymore than we do. And they see what is going on around the world as Christians and Jews come under attack - physical, economic, psychological - from those who hate what Christianity and Judaism stand for. They are our family, too.

Christmas is under attack, again, but it's only one, long battle in a Spiritual War. And we cannot lose the war, but it will not be won with timidity, nor with "dialogue". It will only be won with determination and valor. So fight! It is your Right!

Note: Tom Clough has some interesting posts regarding a few Christmas Attacks on his website. Try "Trashing Christmas" and "A Maplewood Christmas" for some ugly stories of what these Secular Humanists get up to when they start feeling their oats and standing on their rights. The battle is an old one and it won't end any time soon.

Angel looks at celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas "downrange"!

Need to re-energize your Christmas Spirit? Feeling overwhelmed yourself? Defiant Infidel has a post that is a must read! In "Christmas Strife? I have A Friend ..." he says,
A well dressed, stunningly pretty lady stood just ahead of me with a small child of perhaps three or four years old in her arms. I had seen the woman hastily snatch the little girl from the shopping cart ahead of her... it was piled high with what were assumably Christmas gifts, leaving almost no room for the brightly snowsuit clad baby. The woman was impatient and scolded the little girl as she repeatedly reached for all those little hangy things on the aisle pegboards that wall in the funnels to each checkout register. The child, who was as beautiful as her mother, looked a bit confused as to why her mother was so irritated, but continued to paw at the shiny items that captured nearly her entire attention otherwise. Afterall, it's in her contract, right?

The woman continued to become more irritated by the slow, distant cashier's progress, the normal child antics of her daughter, a person in front of her that didn't close up the opening in the line ahead of her as quickly as she thought it should have been, etc.. She was obviously very susceptible to any additional perceived annoyances. She swore under her breath, shook her head with gloom while looking at the floor and repeated warnings to her little girl with a tone that became increasingly more strained.

Suddenly, the woman looked up at the ceiling and asked aloud, "God, why am I so unlucky that you burden me with such always impossible tasks?"

I shocked myself by reactively reaching out and gently squeezing the shoulder of that lady. She turned and shot me a laser look that would have sliced other bodies behind me in half, long after it obliterated me. I felt awkward and very pressured to justify my unsolicited gesture, yet the words just spilled from me calmly, in a low voice that only the two of us would really hear. I think I was as surprised as she was. What I said to her was something very close to this:

"Ma'am, I have a friend who repairs my vehicles. He does so with an ever present smile and an optimism that always makes me look hard in my mirror. He lives alone and is long divorced now. I think many people take advantage of his kindness and good will, I strongly suspect perhaps even some of his own flesh and blood. But he is stubbornly undaunted by anything and everything. He is also a double amputee at the hips. I don't pity him in the slightest... he would never want or allow that. Rather, I admire him highly."
and he ends with this simple admonishion:
"Merry Christmas everybody. Take inventory of your blessings and be thankful."

Please take the time to read this. It's the best post of the season!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Our First "Date of Infamy" - December 7, 1941

Bumped to the top until December 7th! Please scroll down for newer posts.

Zeros prepare to leave the Japanese Carrier ShokakuFrom The History Place:
Saturday, December 6 - Washington D.C. - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt makes a final appeal to the Emperor of Japan for peace. There is no reply. Late this same day, the U.S. code-breaking service begins intercepting a 14-part Japanese message and deciphers the first 13 parts, passing them on to the President and Secretary of State. The Americans believe a Japanese attack is imminent, most likely somewhere in Southeast Asia.

Japanese Sailors cheer Zeros heading for PearlSunday, December 7 - Washington D.C. - The last part of the Japanese message, stating that diplomatic relations with the U.S. are to be broken off, reaches Washington in the morning and is decoded at approximately 9 a.m. About an hour later, another Japanese message is intercepted. It instructs the Japanese embassy to deliver the main message to the Americans at 1 p.m. The Americans realize this time corresponds with early morning time in Pearl Harbor, which is several hours behind. The U.S. War Department then sends out an alert but uses a commercial telegraph because radio contact with Hawaii is temporarily broken. Delays prevent the alert from arriving at headquarters in Oahu until noontime (Hawaii time) four hours after the attack has already begun.

From Naval Historical Center:

Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941 --

Overall Views of the Pearl Harbor Attack

ord Island during early attack. Battleship Row is visible, as is a Jap plane."When the first Japanese attack wave arrived over Pearl Harbor seven of their primary targets, the U.S. battleships, were moored along "Battleship Row", on the eastern side of Ford Island. Another battleship was in drydock in the nearby Navy Yard. Other moorings which the Japanese believed might include battleships, or the equally important aircraft carriers, were at the Navy Yard's 1010 Dock and along Ford Island's western side.

Attack continues as Hickam Field burns in background"The Japanese initially hit airfields, including that on Ford Island. Dive bombers attacked there at about 7:55 AM, destroying many aircraft, among them PBY patrol planes at the island's southern tip. This attack prompted the dispatch of the famous message "Air raid, Pearl Harbor -- this is no drill", the outside World's first indication that war had come to the Pacific.

USS West Virginia"Within a few moments, torpedo planes attacked from east and west, with one of the latter torpedoing the USS Helena at 1010 dock. Others, from the same direction, hit USS Utah and USS Raleigh, off the western side of Ford Island.

USS Shaw"The great majority of the torpedo planes came in from the east, flying up the waterway between Pearl Harbor Navy Yard and the Submarine Base to hit the ships on that side of Ford Island. They put two "fish" into USS California, at the southern end of the row. At the northern end, another struck USS Nevada. The outboard ships in the center of "Battleship Row", USS Oklahoma and West Virginia, each had their port sides torn open by many torpedoes.

USS Arizona"As the torpedo planes were completing their work, horizontal bombers swept up "Battleship Row", dropping armor-piercing bombs. Several ships were hit. One received a death blow, as USS Arizona blew up with a tremendous explosion.

"Planes of the second attack wave revisited some of the ships already hit, and also spread destruction in the Navy Yard, where they bombed the drydocked battleship Pennsylvania and three destroyers. Other dive bombers went after the Nevada, which had left her berth and was trying to get to sea. Very heavy anti-aircraft gunfire greeted these aircraft, whose losses were significantly greater than those of the first attack wave.

"The raiders had no opportunity to hit American aircraft carriers, all of which were at sea, and did not target fuel storage, most cruisers and destroyers, submarines and most maintenance facilities. However, in just under two hours they had wrecked the U.S. Pacific Fleet's battleship force, ensuring that it would not interfere with Japan's plans for conquest."

Speaking to a joint session of Congress, on December 8, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said this:FDR delivers 'Date of Infamy' speech
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker , members of the Senate and the House of Representatives : yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong .

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Atoll.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Propoganda poster - 1942But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Propoganda posterDo we, the American People still remember the character of the Islamist onslaught against us? The onslaught that reached a crescendo on September 11, 2001? I trust we do, and that Roosevelt’s words are still true:
... we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us."
God Bless America!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Get Email! "... And I Don't Care!"

From the email comes this gem:
Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don't Care

"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not
started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutallymurdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from ournation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania?

Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they? And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was" desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet?...Well, I don't. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the mean time, when I hear a story about a brave Marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured: I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank: I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts: I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran" Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and - you guessed it - I don't care !!

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your E-mail friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behavior!

If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great Country!

And may I add: "Some people spend an entire life time wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." -- Ronald Reagan

I have another quote that I would like to add AND......I hope you forward all this. "If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." Also by. Ronald Reagan

One last thought for the day: In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the Anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember England's Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during a recent interview. When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America, he said: "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in. And how many want out."

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ
2. The American G. I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.


Libera: Angel Voices


From Wiki:
"Libera is the third 'public' name for the boys' section of an Anglican parish church choir from South London. The boys are between the ages of 7 and 16. Some boys stay longer to help coach the younger children."

Angel VoicesThe second "public" name they used was "Angel Voices", and perhaps that is how the general public knows them best. It certainly reflects the sound this choir/boy band produces. And the boys in it don't actually see themselves as members of a choir, but as members of a different sort of band. Heaven knows they're popular, and they get gigs!

How did I come to "discover" them? I was merely lounging on my bed, reading a copy of Paul Johnson's "A History of the American People" (a good read, by the way), and semi-watching the television. I flipped the channel, hit the local PBS station, and rather than find the umpteenth airing of "Celtic Women" or Suze Ormon spending hours talking about money, I saw white robes and heard young voices. And since it 'tis the season, I surmised I would be seeing a church choir performing Christmas Hymns and Carols.

Nope. Whatever I was hearing it wasn't Christmas songs, but sounded a bit like Latin, and then between the last two songs a few of the boys spoke. They addressed the audience - which was in the Netherlands - and you could tell they had done this before. Very professional, these young boys, smiling, clear of voice and word, and giving off just a touch of impish good humor. Perhaps you can see it in the images I've posted.

Well, after all, these are boys, not little Angels, so if they are merely impish then they are probably well-behaved *wink*. And the fact is they were good at this concert. Very, very good indeed!

When the program ended I rolled off the bed and wandered into my living room to hit the computer and find out about this group. First I checked the TV lisitings page on the browser, which lets me know what shows are airing in my locale, found the channel and the time, with the title of the group: Libera, and I was off and surfing.

Naturally, along with a Google search, I checked YouTube where I found quite a few videos of the group, some studio videos and some from concerts. I also found the website of Libera where a number of videos are available for viewing. Of course these videos are not postable, so I headed back to YouTube to find a good one to share with you.

This video is called "Sanctus" and is arranged, I suppose, by the group's director and songwriter Robert Prizeman. This is a Latin Hymn - Catholics may recognize the words, though this Protestant only recognized that it was Latin - and the lyrics are below.

Sanctus, Sanctus
Benedictus qui venit in Domine
Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabbaoth,
Pleni sunt coeli et terra Gloria
Benedictus in nomine
Qui venit in nomine

Sanctus is described in Wiki thus:
Sanctus is the Latin word for holy, and is the name of an important hymn of Christian liturgy.

In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung (or said) as the last portion of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine. In this setting, the Sanctus immediately follows the preface of the eucharistic prayer. The preface, which alters according to the season, usually concludes with words describing the praise of the worshippers joining with the praise of the angels.
The text is adapted from Isaiah 6:3, which describes the prophet Isaiah's vision of the throne of God surrounded by six-winged, ministering seraphim. A similar representation may be found in Revelation 4:8. In Jewish liturgy, the aforementioned verse from Isaiah is uttered by the congregation during Kedusha, a prayer said during the cantor's repetition of the Amidah (18 Benedictions).

Although the Sanctus is traditionally set to plainchant, many composers have set it to more complex music. It constitutes a mandatory part of any mass setting. In the eucharistic prayer, the Sanctus is usually followed immediately by the Benedictus.

Amazing, don't you think? No crashing drums and cymbals, no whine of electric guitars, no mumbled lyrics or screaming vocals. Just a hymn to GOD. Sung with beauty, smiles, and a practiced perfection, by boys in white robes - as the one lad said during the concert, "They're good for hiding things, too." - performing for an appreciative audience.
The boys out of the robesIn describing the group’s style, Wiki had this to say:
The musical and visual style of Libera has changed, along with the name, at various points during its history. The distinctive white robes now worn arrived soon after the change of name to Angel Voices. Previously, standard choir robes or normal clothes were worn by the choir. This variety of style has continued, but the white robes have been worn more and more. The music has always been distinctive, even when based on traditional choral music; originally, the music was traditional choral music such as Amazing Grace interspersed with modern music like Orinoco Flow or You Are the New Day. Since becoming Libera, however, the style has become more distinct. Although the choir mostly sings new compositions by Robert Prizeman, who still directs the choir, the new compositions contain elements of Gregorian chant and classical such as Debussy, Beethoven and Pachelbel. The lyrics are either new, as most of the album Free is, or are translations from the Latin text to Christian services, a good example of this being the song Vespera from Luminosa. We are the Lost uses the poems In Flanders Fields by John McCrae and For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon.
Libera added drums and synthesizer and, despite the meanings of some of the songs, is very upbeat, whereas Luminosa is calmer and quieter with a much more reflective mood over all.

Album coverThey have recorded CDs, and perhaps have some DVDs of their performances, too, which you can buy if you're so inclined. Had I the shekels to spare I would buy one or more of the CDs. The music really is lovely. Quiet, lyrical, melodious, soothing to the soul.If you’d like to see more, click on the YouTube link above which is the search results page I found, or you can head to for another video of the group. This one is “Stay With Me”. Well worth the visit.

Libera: Angel Voices. A very nice change of pace for the ears and the soul. I recommend them, my friends. Have a great week!

In concert

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Not-So-Trivial Award

I took a "Sunday School" test this evening. I followed a blogroll link at Dee's blog which took me to The Lowest Rated Blog, run by CFS - and why not, with that very interesting title? And there I found an award he'd received at yet another blog! (Isn't this the way we bloggers do things? Flitting from link to link?) So after I'd checked out today's offering from CFS - and dropped a comment, I checked out the blog where he took the test. Thus I arrived at For Love Of Home where In-spired holds forth on things religious and otherwise. And I went looking for the post with the test.

Turns out she'd been so overwhelmed with CFS's response that she awarded him for his answers rather than wait until Monday. Well, I still wanted to give it a try, and started doing my research. The test involves 10 quotes from the Bible. She asked anybody who took the test to ... well, why not quote her?
For those of you who leave comments and would like to participate, GO FOR IT! (If there is no participation, I'll know not to try this again!)[Smart blogger, huh? *wink*]

Our first lesson is EVERYDAY PHRASES FROM THE BIBLE. Identify the book and, if possible, the chapter and verse where these commonly used phrases originated. (I don't consider it cheating if you use your Bible's concordance/index, or whatever you need to find the answer. Some of you may even use google search and come up with the answers!) Answers will be posted Monday morning!

And she has a list of phrases, very familiar, from the Bible. And that's what I spent some time doing this evening, finding those phrases. I clicked on the comments link when I was finished to find that CFS had found all 10, though some were in more than one verse (and I found them! Heheheee!), and it was all over.

Well, heck!

Oh, what the heck, I did all that work, so I posted it anyway. It's a good test and was actually fun to do. And I found a few spots where I did not expect the phrases to be, so I learned a few things. For example, here's one of the phrases: 5. Woe is me!

Okay smarty pants, where is that from? Well, why not look for it? And why not go ahead and take the test? Like you have something better to do? Come ooooon! You know you want to! LOL

Maybe if you do real well In-spired will letcha have this nifty award! If you notice, I have it displayed in my sidebar. I earned it! :D

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Another NaNoWriMo Ends

National Novel Writing Month is over. I conquered - or at the very least persevered - and received my sidebar logo showing all and sundry that I did indeed make it to the end. I also received a pdf certificate, suitable for printing and framing - a truly lovely thing that is saved on my hard drive - to let any visitors to my home, or office (ain't got one), know what a fine typer of words I am.

In the group that I was a part of we had quite a few make it over the 50,000 word mark, including one intrepid Lady who was over 70,000 words before she had the nerve to finally "validate" her totals. Her final total stands at 80,153! Wow! My own total was a meager 52,570 for the month. Only a few of our group didn't make it to 50K, but they certainly did not give up, despite computer problems, illness, or "life" butting in.

If you have the interest you can access our forum to check out our postings and see what we did as the weeks went on. It's really a lot of cheer leading. And that's actually helpful when one enters, wondering how bad they're doing. They don't see any bragging, but instead see applause and support, urgings to keep going, and snippets of works in progress (WIP) posted in their profiles. Writers need the support, even if they don't want to show anybody their work until it is done. Writing, especially fiction, is a very strange vocation, and it comes with all sorts of pitfalls and dangers. We writers tend to be very solicitous of our characters and stories, and suspicious of comments on unfinished work.

We can get very touchy!

Perhaps the greatest pitfall, and abiding fear, that every writer has is the infamous "Writer's Block". NaNoWriMo is a kind of defense against the Block. What with all the support from fellow writers it is difficult to fall into "Writer's Block" - you simply have too many folks tossing perfectly good ideas and suggestions to you to stop writing.

Like some writers I have a different problem, though the fear of Writer's Block is ever-present. I have too damned many stories in my head. At present I have 2 novels in the writing stage - one is moving along slowly but is the one I should finish soonest; the other is at the beginning stage and is still mostly humming in my head - 2 on the shelf for later consideration and research, and 1 just suggested, so little more than an idea (Thanks a heap, Kevin! Grrrrr!), though an interesting one. 2 each of the novels are Historical Fiction and 2 are Science Fiction (though one is aimed at younger readers), and 1 is a Saga, I suppose (Thanks a heap, Kevin! Grrrrr!).

And like all writers I have the constant urge to not write. Writers are much like Irish Setters, easily distracted by shiny objects and inviting smells. Programs like NaNo help as you're measuring your output with the output of many thousands of other writers. Embarrassment is to be avoided! But what you produce is real and is now usable verbiage, waiting for more words to be added and the editing process to begin. So 50K+ is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to a novel. It's a nice total for one-third to perhaps one-half of a book. NaNo is a help and it's fun. It's a bit of networking, too.

On another, though related, note, my publisher now has a Print On Demand agreement with Amazon! So my book is available at as well as! That's a good thing!

So tell your family and friends! Buy my book! You may well enjoy it. LOL