from Vulgar Latin *exvigilare : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin vigilare, to stay awake, from vigil, awake

Friday, December 19, 2003

Very light posting until Monday. Well, actually none. The semester is over, I took time from work, and I need a break. So we're off to Breckenridge for the weekend with sister-in-law and her boyfriend. This should be interesting since I can't ski to save my life - maybe I should try snowmobiling. I heard it's easier than it looks and even a child could do it.
View From a Height's Joshua brilliantly relates a WSJ piece on the soldiers who tracked down Saddam. Money quote:

In one of those twists that makes you proud, Cpl. Engstrom joined the Army after September 11, to help do something. Not only did the attacks make us willing, they made us able. I seem to remember a lot of naysayers saying that we were babes in the woods, too naive to penetrate anything as dense and difficult as Iraqi society. These two had been on the job for less than two years. Nothing in their training, not their language skills, not their analytical training, not their societal or cultural background, prepared them for this. They made it work, anyway.

And this is what makes America work. When something needs to be done, we pull on our boots and go to work. Americans can do anything we put our minds to, even find a snake in the ground. As I've said before, those who are able need to spread the good news far and wide to make up for the naysayers who insist on reporting through their own altered lens. Americans, by and large, know the truth and know who to trust.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Bugger to BlogOut, then. I'm a capitalist - I'll take my business elsewhere. Find comments now provided by BlogSpeak, thanks to Jared's lead. They're not where I want them, but I'll have to figure that out later - we have company, and I'd much rather have a glass of irish whiskey with Hendrik right now.
So now there are no comments at all. I think I've just about had it with BlogOut. Suggestions? TrombaMusica at msn dot com
The truth-challenged Howard Dean finally got facts right on an issue - and it makes him look worse. Rich Lowry points out how badly Dean mangles facts:

Dean has said of Bush routinely on the campaign trail: "One night, Friday night,” he hoped the media wouldn't notice,” he announced that combat pay was being cut because 'mission accomplished.' One day last January he went to a Veterans Administration hospital and said that veterans deserve the best pay, the best health care that money could buy. That was the day after he cut 164,000 veterans off their health-care benefits. This president doesn't get that the defense of the United States depends on the men and women he sent to Iraq and depends on the veterans who came home."

But here's the truth:

In the mid-1990s, Congress decided to open the VA health care to all veterans, prompting a flood of new entrants into the system. Today, the VA treats a million more patients than it did three years ago, for a total of about five million.

Because the VA system was overwhelmed by a flood of new patients, many of them relatively well-off, it established a new rule saying that veterans with no medical problems relating to their service and an income above a certain threshold are not eligible for VA care. The rule affects an estimated 164,000 people. These are Dean's 164,000 veterans "cut off" from benefits. But they can't be cut off from benefits, because they never received them. The VA grandfathered in everyone already receiving care to make sure no one would be cut off.

The VA budget has increased by about a third, going from $48 billion a year to $64 billion a year. This year, the VA will provide educational assistance to more than 400,000 people, and guarantee home loans of another 300,000 people, with the total value of about $40 billion.

This is what Dean does with just one subject - Veteran's benefits. He speaks constantly, though, on a wide variety of topics, and continues to spew forth vitriolic half-truths like this.

4:00pm update: Hugh found an accurate slogan for the Dean campaign:
"Dean in '04: Whatever it Takes, That's What We'll Say".

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I generally tend to avoid (or ignore) political commentary from "entertainers," but I stumbled upon this article today at NRO about John Rhys-Davies, the actor who plays Gimli in LOTR (this whole post is really just a reason to use that abbreviation to show how hip I am). Rhys-Davies speaks eloquently about Western Civilization using LOTR as the vehicle, and he seems to have the attention of at least some press. Money quotes:

"By and large, our cultures and our society are resilient enough to put up with any sort of nonsense. But if Tolkien's got a message, it's, 'Sometimes you've got to stand up and fight for what you believe in.' He knew what he was fighting for in World War I."

"I am for dead white male culture"

- you're not going to find many people say that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Joshua, at View From a Height, has discovered a disturbing "Islamofascist, anti-Israel, anti-American" nasty piece of work run by a disturbing man, Imam Kazerooni. This cannot pass.
Comments are down....like shutting down the mass of comments I get is going to cause world panic.
As VodkaPundit puts it, game over." Now stop parroting the idiotic complaint you've been fed about "Bush lied."
Bill Whalen at the Weekly Standard suggests a Democratic presedential-wanna-be BCS. I think it just might work.

"So how to bring the BCS to the Democrats? Let's begin by substituting "Bad Candidates" for "Bowl Championship." I came up with six determining factors--four of which are important to the nominating process, two of which are less crucial, but still reflect the candidates' ability to make news and the public's desire to know more about them. The vital four: how the candidates are faring in (1) Iowa polls, (2) New Hampshire polls, (3) nationwide polls, and (4) organizational momentum, as defined by recent campaign contributions. The two less vital factors, but interesting still as they reflect media and public interest: (5) number of mentions in the New York Times over the past 30 days, and (6) number of hits on the Google Web search engine."
I have humbly submitted my application for membership into the Rocky Mountain Alliance. Once they lower the rope ladder and I learn the secret handshake, we're all going snowmobiling with Hugh Hewitt. I hear that Breckinridge will never be the same - Mangled Cat has a better title for Hugh.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Another brilliant post from the Evangelical Outpost. Money quote:

"If there is a pistol on the wall in the first act," said Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, "it will be fired by the third act." In the first act of the Iraqi war, Saddam Hussein portrayed himself as a "valiant knight leading the Arabs into battle against the infidel." Yet by the third act he was found cowering in a hole.

Scroll down to see last week's Christian artist's art gallery. Read this site regularly!
On a more personal note, I think we've found our new church. After dealing with the Episcopal nightmare and subsequent abandonment of righteousness, it's like putting on that pair of soft, old, comfortable leather gloves. It just fits, and you know it right away. The right church means you're comfortable, have the tools you need and should be prepared to get to work. God speaks, but sometimes we're talking too much to hear.

We've been attending a Lutheran church since we left our "home" church. It's a beautiful facility - brand new - that they built just last spring. The rector is a truly amazing man - one of the smartest people I know, I believe (that's tough with my circle of friends). He has been welcoming to our group, understanding that we may not join or even stay long, but has been fantastic with us all. What hasn't been great is the congregation. I don't want to be accosted every time I step in the door, but it would sure be nice if someone I didn't know shook my hand. On the other hand, I know some people that prefer it that way, and more power to them.

Going back to the Anglican church feels so right. I sat through the entire service thinking, "I hope my wife is feeling the same presence that I'm feeling." Whisked away into side conversations after the service, we didn't get a chance to talk about it until much later. Not only did she feel the same, she would have talked me into it if I didn't! The littlest one, Emma, loved being surrounded by her friends again, so the entire family felt at home. Sometimes you just know.

Curious what the liberals think about Saddam's capture? John Hawkins found this on the "Democratic Underground" site. Read this, but make sure you have something close at had to either throw or be sick into, depending on your tolerance for b.s.

Thanks, John, for pointing out that the trackback doesn't work on this link...look at the main site Right Wing News.
Lileks has the new favorite Christmas gift that's sure to be all the rage - get your Saddam Hummel before they're gone! Oh yeah, James also writes, but if you don't get to it today you'll miss it since he's not permalinking this month.

Update, Lileks decided the Saddam Hummel was too good not to link.

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