Monday, July 31, 2006

Don't Forget that Mel Gibson Was Drunk

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving the other day. The police who arrested him described his uncooperative behavior, his repeated use of the "f**k" word and his making several clearly anti-Semitic statements.

Apparently, this somehow "proves" that Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite.

No it doesn't. All it proves is that Mel Gibson was drunk.

If (let's imagine) that Mel Gibson's outburst is proof of his anti-semitism then the circumstances of his arrest would also prove that . . .

--Mel Gibson is an advocate of expressing anger in public places; that
--Mel Gibson believes that it is good and right to resist arrest; that
--Mel Gibson feels that it is OK to drive while intoxicated; that
--Mel Gibson, deep, deep down, approves of resisting police officer.

No one in their right mind would draw these conclusions about Mel Gibson from his behavior and actions the night of his arrest.

In spite of this, otherwise sane people have concluded that his drunken comments about Jews somehow reveals the "true" Mel Gibson!

I don't know about you but, in my experience, "drunken behavior" rarely reveals deep truths about anyone. On the contrary, alcohol removes the self-imposed disciplines of self-control that keep the inner "raging beast" (that lies within most of us) under wraps.

Drunks do and say things they would never, ever, ever say or do when they are sober. They sincerely regret those words and behaviors afterwards.

I am not suggesting that Gibson's drunken comments were not offensive. They were both offensive and disgusting.

But what we saw with Mel Gibson was not Dr. Jeckyll but Mr. Hyde . . . not Robert Bruce Banner but The Hulk.

Which is the real Mel Gibson? Well, I would have to say that the real Mel Gibson is the person that, in his heart, he truly desires to be.

We all know the stories of Mel's father's anti-semitism. Clearly the son grew up with this along with all the anger that accompanies such beliefs.

Such upbringing stays with us the rest of our lives. We cannot purge ourselves of it but we can tame it, subdue it and hope that it remains dead and buried and beyond recall.

When our inhibitions are diminished through alcohol, rage, stress or impatience those things we had hoped were "dead and buried" find ways to express themselves completely against our will and against our own moral values.

I know this to be true in myself.

Although I am a sincere Christian Pastor, with clear beliefs about godly behavior and conduct, I know how quickly the "f**k" word can arrive on my own lips when I am stressed, or allow myself to become enraged (I have never been drunk, by the way, and have not had an alcoholic beverage since 1985). I deeply regret this and I do so immediately. It is not something I believe to be good or right. It is a part of myself that I literally "absorbed" from being around people who swore while working on summer paint crews over a ten-year stretch while in college. I have worked very hard to repress and control this behavior . . . even during those summers I was working on that paint crew!

In spite of my best efforts, however, in spite of my sincere beliefs, in spite of my godly upbringing and the influence of my non-swearing wife, out comes the word . . . usually just uttered once . . . not too loudly . . . but loudly enough for me to feel ashamed.

The apology that Mel Gibson has offered seems sincere and genuine enough to me. I have heard such apologies from alcoholics before. They are always sincere. The fundamental problem is not with what they say and do when they are drunk . . . the problem is with being drunk in the first place.

I, also, have sincerely apologized for uttering a word which I would never have chosen to speak if I had been in full control of myself.

I am still working on my problem (it only erupts once or twice each year) and I hope and pray that those who know me will know that I am neither a hypocrite nor a blasphemer. I am simply a sinner in need of encouragement, love and support to move me further in the direction of godly character that I have chosen for myself.

I believe the same about Mel Gibson for he, too, is a sinner.

I suppose that those "who are without sin" might be excused from having cast stones at him but as for the rest I fear that, in a spiritual sense, they are only throwing stones at themselves.

In this regard I give Captain Ed a C+, Powerline's Scott Johnson a small pebble with which to symbolically tap himself on the head and Abraham Foxman, the director of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, a big button to wear on his lapel that reads, "I Hate People Who Hate People!"

UPDATE: At someone's request I have changed my word for Scott Johnson to reflect my actual intent, replacing "small stone" with "small pebble" and "bang" with "symbolically tap." Also, based on his latest post, I raise Captain Ed's grade to an A-!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Michelle Wie Almost Wins LPGA Evian Masters . . . But That's OK

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMichelle Wie came close again but finished one stroke short of first place at the Evian Masters LPGA tournament in Evian, France today.

Some have been describing her as a “disappointment” or as "a marketing story, nothing more."

It is true that she has not yet won a professional golf tournament but, then again, she is not even old enough to be a member of the LPGA! If it were not for the waivers and special invitations she would not even be able to play in any of these tournaments at all!

Just for the sake of comparison I have taken the three major Women’s golf tournaments that have been played so far this summer: The LPGA Open Championship, The U.S. Women’s Open and The Evian Masters.

By adding up the ten best cumulative scores along with the prize money (est.) I find the following:
PlayerCumulative ScoreCumulative Prize Money
# 1. Michelle Wie841$ 568,833
# 2. Se Ri Pak842$ 517,000
# 3. AnnikaSorenstam846$ 670,174
# 4. Karrie Webb851$ 631,645
# 5. Pat Hurst852$ 445,794
# 6. Lorena Ochoa854$ 209,014
# 7. Mi Hyun Kim855$ 286,491
# 8. Julie Inkster (tie860$ 158,048
# 8. Young Kim (tie)860$ 143,427
#10. Paula Creamer863$ 150,124
As you can see, Michelle Wie has the lowest combined score and is #3 in total prize money won in these three tournaments.

All in all I would say that Michelle is the “real deal.” So far she has only been able to play in tournaments that have not interfered with her school schedule. She is still only 16 years old. When she plays she is equal to the best women golfers in the world . . . and she has done it the old fashioned way . . . she’s earned it!

Hats off to Michelle Wie . . . and congratulations to Karrie Webb who came in first today.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Chinese-English Chopstick Package Translation

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting While eating a vacation meal at a Chinese restaurant in Portland, Oregon, last month, we were given chopsticks sealed in a paper wrapper that said, "Made In China."

Those words were just about the only thing that the translator got correct. Here is what else we found on the wrapper (you can click on the photo to read it for yourself):
Welcome to Chinese Restaurant. Please try your Nice VChinese Food With Chopsticks the traditional and typical of Chinese glunous history and cultual.
And then, of course, there are the instructions in how to use your chopsticks. Here I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The spelling and grammar errors are so bad that it crossed my mind that it may have been done on purpose simply to provide a little entertainment for the user. Perhaps this is an evil plot by Taiwanese nationalists who print these things up simply to embarrass their mainland rivals!

In any case, I hope you enjoyed this stroll down Cliche Lane!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hawaii's Abercrombie Votes Against House Support for Israel

Hawaii's US Representative Neil Abercrombie hit a new low this past week by standing up as one of only 8 Congressional members to vote NO on the House resolution in support of Israel (the Senate version passed by a unanimous voice vote).

Here is the text of the resolution that Abercrombie could not bring himself to endorse:
Condemning the recent attacks against the State of Israel, holding terrorists and their state-sponsors accountable for such attacks, supporting Israel's right to defend itself, and for other purposes.

Whereas on September 12, 2005, Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, demonstrating its willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of peace;

Whereas more than 1,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since Israel's disengagement;

Whereas in a completely unprovoked attack that occurred in undisputed Israeli territory on June 25, 2006, Israeli Defense Forces Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and is being held hostage in Gaza by a Palestinian terrorist group which includes members of Hamas;

Whereas Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, in Damascus, Syria, has acknowledged the role of Hamas in holding Corporal Shalit hostage;

Whereas in a completely unprovoked attack that occurred in undisputed Israeli territory on July 12, 2006, operatives of the terrorist group Hezbollah operating out of southern Lebanon killed three Israeli soldiers and took two others hostage;

Whereas Israel fully complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (1978) by completely withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, as certified by the United Nations Security Council and affirmed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on June 16, 2000, when he said, `Israel has withdrawn from [Lebanon] in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425.';

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004) calls for the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon and the dismantlement of all independent militias in Lebanon;

Whereas despite the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, the Government of Lebanon has failed to disband and disarm Hezbollah, allowing Hezbollah instead to amass 13,000 rockets, including rockets that are more destructive, longer-range and more accurate than rockets previously used by Hezbollah, and has integrated Hezbollah into the Lebanese Government;

Whereas the Government of Israel has previously shown great restraint despite the fact that Hezbollah has launched at least four separate attacks into Israel using rockets and ground forces over the past year;

Whereas the failure of the Government of Lebanon to implement all aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 and to extend its authority throughout its territory has enabled Hezbollah to launch armed attacks against Israel and recently to kidnap Israeli soldiers;

Whereas Hezbollah's strength derives significantly from the direct financial, military, and political support it receives from Syria and Iran, and Hezbollah also receives important support from sources within Lebanon;

Whereas Iranian Revolutionary Guards continue to operate in southern Lebanon, providing support to Hezbollah and reportedly controlling its operational activities;

Whereas the Government of the United States has enacted several laws, including the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-175) and the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172), which call for the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran for, among other things, their support for terrorism and terrorist organizations;

Whereas the House of Representatives has repeatedly called for full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559;

Whereas section 1224 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) withholds certain assistance to Lebanon contingent on the deployment of the Lebanese armed forces to the internationally recognized border between Lebanon and Israel and its effective assertion of authority in the border area in order, among other reasons, to prevent cross-border infiltration by terrorists, precisely the criminal activity that has provoked the current crisis;

Whereas President George W. Bush stated on July 12, 2006, `Hezbollah's terrorist operations threaten Lebanon's security and are an affront to the sovereignty of the Lebanese Government. Hezbollah's actions are not in the interest of the Lebanese people, whose welfare should not be held hostage to the interests of the Syrian and Iranian regimes.', and has repeatedly affirmed that Syria and Iran must be held to account for their shared responsibility in the recent attacks;

Whereas the United States recognizes that some members of the democratically-elected Lebanese parliament are working to build an autonomous and sovereign Lebanon and supports their efforts; and

Whereas both Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist and call for the destruction of Israel: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel;

(2) condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for engaging in unprovoked and reprehensible armed attacks against Israel on undisputed Israeli territory, for taking hostages, for killing Israeli soldiers, and for continuing to indiscriminately target Israeli civilian populations with their rockets and missiles;

(3) further condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields, locating their equipment and bases of operation, including their rockets and other armaments, amidst civilian populations, including in homes and mosques;

(4) recognizes Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss and welcomes Israel's continued efforts to prevent civilian casualties;

(5) demands the Governments of Iran and Syria to direct Hamas and Hezbollah to immediately and unconditionally release Israeli soldiers which they hold captive;

(6) affirms that all governments that have provided continued support to Hamas or Hezbollah share responsibility for the hostage-taking and attacks against Israel and, as such, should be held accountable for their actions;

(7) condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas in their armed attacks against Israelis and their other terrorist activities;

(8) supports Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it, which is in accordance with international law, including Article 51 of the United Nations Charter;

(9) commends the President of the United States for fully supporting Israel as it responds to these armed attacks by terrorist organizations and their state sponsors;

(10) urges the President of the United States to bring the full force of political, diplomatic, and economic sanctions available to the Government of the United States against the Governments of Syria and Iran;

(11) demands the Government of Lebanon to do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in the territory of Lebanon;

(12) calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to take action to ensure full and immediate implementation of United Nations Security Council 1559 (2004), which requires Hezbollah to be dismantled and the departure of all Syrian personnel and Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon;

(13) expresses its condolences to all families of innocent victims of recent violence; and

(14) declares its continued commitment to working with Israel and other United States allies in combating terrorism worldwide.

David Mack Solves the Problem With Israel--Give All the Land Back--Right!

David Mack is vice president of the Middle East Institute. A commentary he wrote for the McClathchy-Tribune News Service appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser today under the heading, "Mideast today reaps whirlwind of 1967 war."

After considering why all the attempts at peace have failed over the years he offers us the "money quote":
With the benefit of hindsight, it seems to me that the enduring problem is Israel's domination of East Jerusalem and much of its West Bank hinterland and U.S. acquiescence in Israel's decision . . . Israel's determination to hold on indefinitely to occupied territories (ie greater Jerusalem & Golan) . . .has changed the conflict from a conflict of national movements to a conflict of religiously defined political ideologies.
Yes, Mr. Mack, since the debacle of the 1967 & 1973 wars those nations hostile to Israel's existence have used proxies (or "patsies") to do their dirty work for them. First it was the PLO and all of its terrorist spin-off groups, then Hamas and Hezbollah with their Syrian-Iranian connection. It was Iran who changed the equation to a "conflict of religiously defined political ideologies" and the region has been the worse for it ever since.

The "problem" is not, however, with Israel's occupation of land previously held by Jordan or Syria (East Jerusalem was never under any "Palestinian" authority don't forget). The "problem" came before Israel was forced to occupy those regions for self-defense when the surrounding countries attempted to destroy Israel in both wars.

Curiously, Israel signed a treaty with Egypt and gave back the entire Sinai. Not a small gesture. Israel kept Gaza in part because Egypt did not want it and nobody else in the world wanted to administer it either.

After determining that some of the Golan Heights did not pose a security problem for Israel they even gave some of that territory back without a treaty with Syria!

When Jordan renounced its jurisdiction of the West Bank Israel had little choice but to occupy the area . . . who else was going to administer the needs of the Palestinians there and provide for Israel's defense? Saudi Arabia? The United Nations? Nobody wanted any part of that mess, either. Instead, the anti-Israel countries utilized radical Palestinian sentiments to continue their war under the guise of a "resistance movement."

Occupation of southern Lebanon did not even take place until the displaced PLO used the Lebanese "civil war" (instigated by Syria and Iran) as a pretext for attacking Israel from the north. Again, the taking of this territory was an act of self-defense.

With the rise of Hezbollah and its substantial support by Syria and Iran, Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon became too great a liability and they withdrew in 2000, knowing full well that Hezbollah's presence would one day necessitate a future confrontation to destroy them (if no one else was courageous enough to do it earlier).

In 2005 Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, releasing it into the control of the Palestinian Authority which immediately began to permit the launching of rockets into southern Israel from the territory.

Mr. Mack must live in some sort of parallel universe to miss the point that every piece of land that Israel has occupied since independence has been in response to attacks by Arab nations or terrorist organizations funded by them.

When Israel held no land beyond its stated borders . . . it was attacked.

When Israel held land beyond its stated borders . . . it was attacked.

When Israel has withdrawn from land beyond its stated borders . . . it has been attacked.

And now Mr. Mack suggests that if Israel would simply return East Jerusalem to the Palestinians (which Israel cannot technically do since you can't "return" something to someone who never possessed it in the first place . . . they COULD return it to Jordan but Jordan does not want to have anything to do with its security or administration) and the Golan Heights to Syria (who is already shelling and sending rockets into Israel through its proxies in southern Lebanon) and closed every settlement in those areas then everyone would be happy and peace will be just around the corner.

Sorry, Mr. Mack. You've got it all backwards. Israel has proven time and time again that, when its neighbors seriously negotiate for peace, Israel will gladly return all relevant territory.

Until those who seek Israel's destruction are neutralized or removed by either Israel or other regional nations, there will be no question of Israel releasing its hold on whatever occupied land it deems necessary to secure its continuing existence.

Yes, Mr. Mack. It is always Israel who is the "problem" and the United States' acquiescing that exacerbates the matter. If only Israel and the United States were more "reasonable" and less "intransigent" then we would most certainly enjoy "peace in our time."

I'm sure that Neville Chamberlain would wholeheartedly agree with you.

Landis' Tour de Force at Tour de France

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWell, it appears that even in France there is nothing that can ever be considered impossible again. Floyd Landis, American cyclist, came from 8 minutes behind four days ago to win the grandest cycling race of them all.

In what the Tour director described as the greatest single performance in the modern history of the race Landis regained all but 30-seconds of that 8+-minute deficit in one, incredible burst of energy and finished off all contenders two days later in the race's final time trial.

Today he cruised down the Champs Elysee, hoisting a glass of champagne along the way to celebrate the 11th American victory in the past 12 years.

Landis has now moved up from the shadow of Lance Armstong (for whom he has provided support over the past years as a member of the US Postal Service Team) and into the spotlight by his own right.

He did so with perserverence, determination and drama that often was lacking in Armstrong's annual, methodical destruction of everyone else. This year's race was a true competition and, in the end, the winner was the one who refused to lose.

Congratulations to Floyd Landis-- Champion!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

More Orchilds

Another bloom of orchids in our yard and one of our many white antheriums, too!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Google elgooG

Google provides the best and most creative search engine on the internet. Are you doubting me? Then try what Kiril Kundurazieff (the Mad Macedonian, see below) did and type in his name backwards: ffeizarudnuk

You can then try it with other names such as Eisenhower rewohnesie

Then try it on AltaVista and Yahoo.


ht: Kiril, the Mad Macedonian whose comment at Classical Values tipped me off to this bizarre Google feature!

The Moral Evil of Iraqi Terrorism

When before in the history of the world has an armed militia adopted the strategy of murdering their own people in order to defeat an enemy? The answer is, of course, never before.

Yet that is what is happening in Iraq today.

Whatever may be motivating them to do so, the tangled web of competing terrorist/insurgent groups in Iraq have apparently adopted the common strategy of pursuing their goals by blowing up fellow Iraqis.

The twisted morality of this approach is unfathomable. Yet there are countless millions in the world who believe that the United States should be held accountable for every one of these unfortunate and tragic deaths.

Just how foolish and blind these countless millions are can be shown by simply pointing out the obvious moral truth that those who blow people up are the ones who must bear the responsibility for their deaths.

For example, if the police, acting on a warrant, broke into your house and you grabbed your wife and children and said, "Get out of my house, now, or I'll shoot my family," they would rightly consider you to be either morally evil, psychotically deranged or both. Should you then choose to murder your wife and children (or the wife and children of your neighbor next door) it would not be the police who would be held responsible for the killings but you...and rightly so!

Unfortunately, the present time appears to be a golden age for terrorists.

Day after day Iraqi civilians are shot, stabbed, beheaded and blown up while lining up for work, shopping for food or for simply going to visit a member of their family.

And the world media and a morally bankrupt world justifies these killings saying that, "If the United States was not in Iraq these killings would never have taken place. Since, therefore, the United States is morally responsible for their deaths, it is morally imperative for the United States to leave Iraq as quickly as possible so as to prevent even more Iraqis from being murdered."

What foolishness! The evil is in the hearts of those who kill them.

Consider another example: What if, upon entering Germany following the Battle of the Bulge in WW II, the United States and its Allies found that the German army had discarded their uniforms, hidden their arms and munitions throughout the country and began to blow up and otherwise murder thousands of German citizens rather that attacking the allied troops? Consider then that the spokesmen for these murderous Germans demanded that either the allied troops withdraw from Germany or that the killing and murdering of the German people would continue.

The civilized world would have recoiled in horror at such barbarism.

(In truth the German government and military DID murder hundreds of thousands of their own civilian citizens and over 10 million people from other countries during WW II.

Even so, they did so as uniformed members of a national military acting under orders of a sovereign government and were subsequently condemned, tried and rightly punished by those who defeated them.)

Who in their right mind would have held the United States guilty of those deaths both real and (in my example) imagined?

Yet, as regards the terrorist killings in Iraq today, the world is doing just that.

The reality is that the moral gulf between Iraqi terrorist/insurgents and the US military deployed in that country is so vast as to be beyond imagination itself.

Let me ask two final questions to point out the difference:

1. Would the world be a better place if every member of the US military and their supporters were to be either locked up in prison or killed outright?

It would be hard to imagine any sane person arguing that this would be true.

On the other hand,

2. Would the world be a better place if every member of the murderous Iraqi terrorist/insurgent groups and their supporters were to be either locked up in prison or killed outright?

Anyone who does not answer an unequivocable "Yes" to this question is a fool.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hezbollah's Occupation of Lebanon

Doesn't it seem strange that, when CNN correspondant Nic Roberts wants to visit a part of the capital city (Beirut) of a sovereign nation (Lebanon) he must get permission and be escorted by a representative of Hezbollah?
Hezbollah officials gave CNN access into the southern suburbs of Beirut -- the area thought to house the organization's headquarters . . . (Captain Ed cites a similar quote.)
Isn't it strange that Hezbollah has been preventing UN representatives from entering southern Lebanon so as to prevent them from helping local villagers from being evacuated?

Isn't it strange the the infamous Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon is off-limits to anyone except for those given permission by Hezbollah leaders?

Gee, it would almost seem as though Hezbollah was an occupying force in a country not their own!

Well, in reality, that is exactly what Hezbollah is: an occupying military force in Lebanon and Beirut.

The origin of Hezbollah comes from Lebanese Shi'a who, with Iran's backing, took advantage of the Lebanese civil war (1982-) by seizing control of southern Lebanon and resisting Israel's occupation of that border area (Israel entered southern Lebanon after driving out Arafat's PLO forces. Those PLO militants had entered Lebanon after being kicked out of the West Bank and Jordan by King Hussein of Jordan after their unsuccessfull attempt to overthrow the Jordanian government in 1974).

At first, Hezbollah was opposed by Syria but Syria soon joined Iran in supporting them, accepting them as useful in making Syria's own occupation of Lebanon possible . . . an occupation that only ended last year.

Although it was included in the new Lebanese government as a legimate political party, Hezbollah has refused to disarm and has not allowed the Lebanese army or security forces to hold any authority where they hold control.

It is curious that when the news media speaks of the West Bank region it always introduces the story with, "The Israeli-occupied West Bank."

Wouldn't it be refreshing to see the media do the same thing with Hezbollah? As in, "Hezbollah-occupied southern and eastern Lebanon" or "The Hezbollah-occupied section of Beirut."

Hezbollah is an occupying force backed and armed by Syria and Iran. They have no legitimate claim to power in Lebanon.

But you will never read this in your daily newspaper. Apparently it is not something they want you to know.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Congress Votes to Support Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Well, the Senate voted by a significant margin (63-37) today to support the use of Federal tax dollars to fund research on Embryonic Stem Cell Research. President Bush is expected to veto this bill, a veto that has little chance of being overridden by a 2/3 majority vote.

I've already written on this subject here so, if you want to know what I think, just follow the link!

US Senate Condemns Hezbollah & Hamas--Defends & Supports Israel

Here is the clear and strong statement made by the US Senate in regards to their UNANIMOUS (by voice vote) support of Israel's right to exist and to defend itself and their condemnation of Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations. Personally, I'm surprised yet pleased that the US Senate found itself able to agree on something and to do so with such passion. One hopes that Iran & Syria (as well as Hezbollah & Hamas) will take notice.


Mr. FRIST (for himself, Mr. REID, Mr. BIDEN, Mr. SANTORUM, Mr. NELSON
of Florida, Mr. KYL, Mr. BOND, Mrs. HUTCHISON, and Mr. LEVIN) submitted
the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on


Condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel’s exercise of its right to self-defense.

Whereas Israel fully complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (adopted March 19, 1978) by completely withdrawing its forces from Lebanon, as certified by the United Nations Security Council and affirmed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on June 16, 2000, when he said, ‘‘Israel has withdrawn from [Lebanon] in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425.’’;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (adopted September 2, 2004) calls for the complete withdrawal of all foreign forces and the dismantlement of all independent militias in Lebanon;

Whereas despite the Resolution 1559, the terrorist organization Hezbollah remains active in Lebanon and has amassed thousands of rockets aimed at northern Israel;

Whereas the Government of Lebanon, which includes representativesof Hezbollah, has done little to dismantle Hezbollah forces or to exert its authority and control throughout all geographic regions of Lebanon;

Whereas Hezbollah receives financial, military, and political support from Syria and Iran;

Whereas the United States has enacted several laws, including the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note) and the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), that call for the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Iran for, among other things, their support for terrorism and terrorist organizations;

Whereas the Government of Israel has shown restraint in the past year even though Hezbollah has launched at least 4 separate attacks into Israel using rockets and ground

Whereas, without provocation, on the morning of July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched an attack into northern Israel, killing 7 Israeli soldiers and taking 2 hostage into Lebanon;

Whereas on June 25, 2006, despite Israel’s evacuation of Gaza in 2005, the terrorist organization Hamas, which is also supported by Syria and Iran, entered sovereign Israeli territory, attacked an Israeli military base, killed 2 Israeli soldiers, and captured an Israeli soldier, and has refused to release that soldier;

Whereas rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since Israel’s evacuation of Gaza in 2005; and

Whereas both Hezbollah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and call for the destruction of Israel: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) reaffirms its steadfast support for the State of Israel;
(2) supports Israel’s right of self-defense and Israel’s right to take appropriate action to deter aggression by terrorist groups and their state sponsors;
(3) urges the President to continue fully supporting Israel as Israel exercises its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza;
(4) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers who are being held captive by Hezbollah or Hamas;
(5) condemns the Governments of Iran and Syria for their continued support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and holds the Governments of Syria and Iran responsible for the acts of aggression carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas against Israel;
(6) condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for exploiting civilian populations as shields and locating their military activities in civilian areas;
(7) urges the President to use all available political and diplomatic means, including sanctions, to persuade the governments of Syria and Iran to end their support of Hezbollah and Hamas;
(8) calls on the Government of Lebanon do everything in its power to find and free the kidnapped Israeli soldiers being held in its territory, and to fulfill its responsibility under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (adopted September 2, 2004) to disband and disarm Hezbollah;
(9) calls on the United Nations Security Council to condemn these unprovoked acts and to demand compliance with Resolution 1559, which requires that Hezbollah and other militias be disbanded and disarmed, and that all foreign forces be withdrawn from Lebanon;
(10) urges all sides to protect innocent civilian life and infrastructure and strongly supports the use of all diplomatic means available to free the captured Israeli soldiers; and
(11) recognizes that thousands of American nationals reside peacefully in Lebanon, and that those American nationals in Lebanon concerned for their safety should receive the full support and assistance of the U.S. Government.

Friday, July 14, 2006

More Comments From Lebanese Citizens

Someone writing from peaceinlebanon recently left an angry comment on my sight. I can understand their anger over what is taking place in their country. I wrote a short comment in reply but would like to take a moment to commend them for linking to a site of email commnets from people representing all sides of the conflict in Lebanon.

I urge my readers to link up with those postings here and read the many comments (note, some are in Arabic). And don't forget to pray for the innocent people in Lebanon and Israel who are suffering in the midst of this conflict.

Indeed, Peaceinlebanon has an open letter calling for an immediate cessation of the hostilities. I respect the intent of this letter but believe that sometimes a thing has to finish its full course if it is ever to come to an end at all.

My own prayer is as follows:
God of Abraham, I ask that you will intercede on behalf of peace and life in the current conflict between Israel, Hezbollah and the innocent people of Israel and Lebanon who are suffering. I particularly ask that you would protect Israel from those who desire to destroy it. By your grace may all who dwell in your holy land fashion their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks so that they might live together in peace. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

What the People of Lebanon Are Thinking: Blog Comments From the Front

LGF posts the following comments written by Lebanese folks who are sick and tired of Hezbullah:

Cries for Help from Lebanon
At Ynet News, a Lebanese Christian issues a cry
for help in the comments to this article: IDF bombs Hizbullah stronghold in
Beirut. (Hat tip: Joe S.)

24. A message to the IDF

Please free
our beloved tortured country from these crazed mullah-followers. Free our land
from these bloody syrian and iranian agents. we want to live in peace.

Please take caution to focus your attack where they are and not attack
christian areas. we support you and bear you no ill will.

May god bless

Lebanese christian, Damour area (07.14.06)

7/13/06 8:36:01 pm:

More cries for help from Lebanon, from the comments
at Ynet News:

Peretz: We’ll break Hizbullah.

22. Please no more
empty words

I beg of Israel not to back off!!!!!!

Please ignore
the world and really go after hizbalah.

hizbalah is a foreign
iranian/syrian implant in our beloved lebanon.

wipe them out , kill
their leaders one by one. we want to live in peace with civilized nations.

Thank you

farid of lebanon (07.14.06)

Israel hits petrol
tanks near Beirut airport.

7. Israel go ahead

I’m lebanese
Christian from beirut, i hope Israel can reach hezbolla in their bed and kills
them, and also let Israel strike the syrian president,, I wish this strike will
finish soon,, with less civilian,, we are in the Christian area of beirut
feeling happy about the strike, but psychologically we are affected,,everybody
hates hezbolla here,,

I hope this will finish

nadim, lebanon

IDF: If Hadera is hit we’ll destroy Beirut buildings.

13. lebanese

to the person who said that palestinian and
lebanese are one people well ur so damn wrong we are not like the palestinien
and we do not want to fight their war, we only want out country we want peace
and we want to get over with hizbulla, hopefully soon, so don’t link the
lebanese to any of the arab world peope caus they are a bunch of f-cked up

elie, lebanon (07.13.06)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Israel vs. the World

I'm praying for God to intervene in the Middle East this week as Israel appears to have been caught in a well-planned and well-executed coordinated assualt by both Hamas in the south (Gaza) and Hezbolla in the north (Lebanon).

By all accounts the attacks appear to have been directed from Iran through the usual suspects in Syria.

Israel is now in a real bind. Its military is stretched thin, now occupying much of Gaza and gathering its forces along its border with Lebanon. All the while it continues to occupy the entire West Bank and, of course, East Jerusalem.

It will not come as a surprise for Syria to be used next to launch rockets or some other attack against Israel. Iran has already coopted this possibility by warning Israel that, should they respond to any attack from Syria, Iran would enter the conflict with overwhelming force.

The European Union and the individual nations of Germany, France (etc.) have all chastened and criticized Israel for "overreacting" to the situation and for using "disproportionate force."

I suppose enduring over one thousand rocket attacks from Gaza since Israel withdrew last year is not sufficient reason for France to consider Israel's response justified. Well, c'est la vie et ferme la bouche!

There are two wrinkles in this current scenario that make me more than nervous. Both concern Iran.

1. Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told the United Nations and the major nations that have offered an incentive package for halting their nuclear enrichment program that they must wait until August 22 for his response. Why August 22? What does that date represent? One site (with a clear bias!) suggests that the date may have been chosen more for theological and historical significance that for any other. Most significant, perhaps, is that August 22 represents the historical date that the Muslim leader Saladin recaptured the city of Jerusalem from the Crusaders.

2. Iran may have developed or acquired a nuclear weapon. Would they dare to use it against Israel? I believe that they are morally capable of making such a decision.

Such an attack would generate an immediate nuclear retaliation from Israel and draw virtually every Middle Eastern nation and most of the West into total chaos and what could turn out to be the greatest political, security and economic disaster in world history.

Consider the closure of virtually every oil field in the Middle East. Consider the hoards of trained suicide bombers and other Islamist thugs streaming out across the European and Asian continents as well as seeking entrance to the United States, Canada and Mexico to work their pre-planned terror.

The Iranian President seems to believe that such a world conflagaration could mark the return of the Mahdi, the "hidden Imam" of the Shi's tradition. The Mahdi is expected to initiate a world caliphate and the suppression and submission of all infidel nations and individuals to Islam.

In the meantime, Israel clearly has its hands full. What we are seeing is clearly not simply the coincidence of random attacks by two disconnected terror groups against the state of Israel. Something far more sinister is afoot.

Aside from a nuclear attack how else could Iran attack Israel without having to pass through Iraq (and perhaps Jordan as well)?

This is why I began this post by refering to my prayer for God to intervene.

At this point it does not appear likely for anyone else to do so on Israel's behalf.

Thoughts On the Akaka Bill

Bird Dog, over at Maggie's Farm, recently wrote me to ask what I thought about both the Akaka Bill and the very negative article written about the bill by Peter Brown at Real Clear Politics. With my permission my response was posted at Maggie's Farm. I thought I might as well post it here, too!

Aside from the sheer ignorance of the writer of the actual "culture" and "ethos" of Hawaii Mr. Brown simply fails to mention that, unlike the segregated academies of the Dixie-South, the Kamehameha Schools was educating Hawaiian students in this manner (as interpreted in Princess Pauahi Bishop's will and endorsed by her husband after her death) back when Hawaii was an independent nation. There is a strong sense of justice in Hawaii that appears to have been completely lost to Mr. Brown. Here in Hawaii we respect the people who were once the sole inhabitants of this land and whose ancestors ruled and governed Hawaii as an independent nation (one of the few in the world during the 19th century) until a coup-d'etat overthrew the monarchy and established a republic that later became a territory of the United States and then, in 1959, our 50th state.

The Hawaiian people have, with little complaint (except for a few hateful individuals) been granted over 100 legal exemptions to state laws by the Hawaii legislature over the years (including access to certain private properties for gathering herbs, etc., etc.) There are few who begrudge the admissions policies of the Kamehameha Schools (although there are many who desire that the Pauahi Biship Estate be better and more fairly administered to meet the many needs of the many poor and needy children of Hawaiian ancestry inthe state.)

This is one reason why the Akaka Bill was supported by many in the Hawaiian & Hawaii communities (not a majority, but still a sizable number--I opposed the bill but only because it is so loosely written that the full implications of the bill would not be known until years after its passage). By granting "native Hawaiians" indiginous legal status (as Native American tribal groups have) these exemption laws and the admission policies of the Kamehameha Schools could remain intact AS APPROVED BY THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND ENDORSED BY THE PEOPLE OF HAWAII rather than having these cultural "rights" thrown out by a bunch of legal bozos in San Francisco (who have nearly 2/3 of their decisions overruled anyway).

I am not pro-sovereignty for the Hawaiian people but I do desire (as virtually every resident in Hawaii does also) to extend to them certain rights and priviliges appropriate to their heritage, culture and traditions.

While the current interpretation of US Constitutional law may, in fact, negate those legal priviliges now enjoyed by the Hawaiian people (as distinct from the "people of Hawaii") it is nonetheless the clear consensus in this state that, in this case at least, Dickens was right when he wrote that, "The law's an ass."

Aloha -

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hero to Zero as France Loses World Cup Final

From the opening kick-off something looked wrong with the French side. They seemed in a fog, lackadaisical, too overconfident and/or too loose. Their passing was sloppy and they looked as if they were trying to conserve their energy for some other big game coming up tomorrow.

Their momentary glory came in the opening minutes not from any team effort but simply a break by a single striker into the Italian goal area where he was clearly fouled.

Zidane's ensuing penalty kick was also so "laid back" and nonchalant that he almost blew it completely, getting one of the most lucky breaks in soccer history by hitting the cross bar and rebounding straight down just 1 foot inside the goal line.

The Italian's then took the game over with quick and dominating play for the rest of the half, scoring the games only true goal just 10 minutes after the French penalty kick.

The second half saw a renewed and reorganized French team that took the game to the Italians in a fine style. As the half progressed the Italians began to noticeably sag with exhaustion, requiring the Italian coach to use both of his substitutions to maintain equality of play.

Officiating was fairly even with some noticeable inclination in favor of the Italian team. Yes, it is true that one excellent goal by the Italian side was called back because of a paper-thin off-side call (that on replay appeared to be called correctly) but, on the other side, the Italian players were allowed to foul Zidane and other French players almost with full immunity. Even a clear foul against France in the Italian penalty box area was ignored by the officials.

The frustration reached a boiling point when Zidane, attempting to jump for a head ball, was crushed from behind and smashed to the ground by an Italian player just before the end of regulation play in the second half. No foul was called even though seemingly identical plays had resulted in fouls being called against France both before and after.

Zidane had been double-teamed throughout the game and had been kicked and tripped often without any fouls being called. A player of his international stature is generally respected by officials and given enough room to move during a game of this magnitude. But not today.

Zidane's greatness and heroic stature had taken such a beating by the closing minutes of the second overtime period that he appeared to "snap," giving a viscous head-butt to the chest of the Italian Marco Materazzi who had been covering him so closely. The incident took place away from the ball and was unseen by the head official. A sideline judge, however, confirmed the foul and Zidane moved meteorically from a hero to a zero in the blink of an eye as he received the first overtime red card in World Cup final history.

Until that moment it appeared that, even with star striker Henry sent to the side with leg cramps, France stood at least a 50-50 chance to come out ahead of Italy in the approaching kick-off.

With Zidane and Henry gone, however, and the French team gutted and demoralized by the disgusting behavior and expulsion of their team captain, it was only a matter of time before the Italians stood tall and the French folded.

It may be true that a missed "penalty kick" by David Trezeguet (who replaced Henry) lost France the kick-off but it must be clear to everyone that, in the end, it was Zidane who lost the game.

Congratulations to Italy for being the victor in the World Cup. Rarely have there been two teams more equal in skill and character competing in a World Cup final. The game was, until the very end, exciting and entertaining.

In the end, character won.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


My wife and I just returned from three nights on Kauai. We stayed at a resort overlooking Hanalei Bay. Somehow we managed to get our room for $103 per night. Wow! What a deal!

I didn't take very many pictures because I was having too much fun spending time with my wonderful wife! But here are a few that did manage to sneak into my camera!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Sometimes it seemed as if we had paradise all to ourselves!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hanalei Bay

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hanalei Valley . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
. . . up close . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
. . . and personal!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Kiluea Lighthouse & Norwiegen Cruise Lines Ship

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Heliconia . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
. . . Poinciana . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
. . . & our own 4th of July firecrackers!

A good time (and a good rest) was had by all (both of us!)

Vacation Bible School (VBS) -- God Loves Kids!

Our church held its annual Vacation Bible School program last week. Lots of kids (nearly 100 were registered although we never had that many on any given evening) came. Because of our large preschool program we have to hold our VBS in the evenings. We start off with a free meal and then move to singing, stories, crafts, games and lots of other fun things. Here are a few photos I took on "opening night!"

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

VBS is for families . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

. . . and children . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
. . . and every child is special!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The children sing . . .

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
. . . and love doing it!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Sometimes it's just too hard to stay in your seat!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Even the littlest ones enjoy seeing what's going on.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Everyone enjoys a good story . . . especially if its about God's love!
As you can tell, we love children at our church and, like Jesus himself, we "let the children come!" I cannot think of anything more important than children! Or anything more beautiful and full of energy and joy, either!
I can hardly wait 'til next year!