February 2007 - Posts
I won't even make excuses for the drop in daily post counts. Let's just say that I've been busy and leave it at that. In the meantime, there are some wonderful low-lying fruit just ready for the Napalminator to comment:
Medal of Honor
One of my favorite movies -- possibly top-five -- is "We Were Soldiers" starring Mel Gibson. Based on actions of the US 7th Cav, 3rd BDE, 1st Cav Div and the book We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young, written by retired Army Lt. Gen. Harold "Hal" Moore, the movie is an accurate depiction of the November 1965 Battle of Ia Drang (pronounced yah drayng) in Vietnam.
I own the book and the movie and recommend it to everyone. Most Vietnam movies are -- for a lack of a better word -- crap. Not "We Were Soldiers". It is top-notch.
I also had the honor of studying this particular battle at the Battle Command Training Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Except for a lieutenant's hasty actions, the battle was a success for US
helicopter-inserted air assault infantry tactics.
In the movie, you will become familiar with a lot of heroes. One in particular was awarded the Medal of Honor two days ago and was then inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. Retired Army Lt. Col. Bruce "Snake" Crandall repeatedly volunteered to fly into heavy enemy fire to replenish Hal Moore's unit and evacuate wounded troops.
Even though I have a blog that is a testimony, and even though I am a deacon, and even though I am a Gideon, and even though I go to church three times a week, if I have do not have love, I am nothing but a noisy racket.
Our Beloved Vols
How about them Vols? In front of a packed crowd including the football Head Coach Philip Fulmer, and pro quarterback Peyton Manning, Bruce Pearl led UT's men to a victory against Florida last night. The first half was domination!
Right now, the highlight of the game is in dispute. Was it the 86-76 victory against fourth-ranked Florida? Or was it Lady Vol Head Coach Pat Summitt's on-court antics during the first commercial break where she donned a cheerleading outfit and sang "Rocky Top"?
Go Big Orange!
So, James Cameron says he found the tomb and ossurary of Jesus. His documentary is scheduled to air on the Discovery Channel in March.
I'll save you the trouble: Don't watch it. It can only be like Geraldo's unsealing of an ancient Egyptian crypt. Remember that disaster? The show was hyped; but, in the end, the crypt was empty. James Cameron's documentary will be the same -- empty.
There is an abundance of eyewitness accounts that Jesus was resurrected. Try Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, ....
From The Drudge Report:
ACTIVE-DUTY U.S. MILITARY MEMBERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST WAR ON '60 MINUTES'
"Our leadership gets to choose the mission. Congress gets to choose the mission," Staff Sgt. Matt Nuckolls says. He's loyally committed to whatever Congress wants him to do but savors the right to question it. "My Congressman is Lacy Clay. I would like to tell him as a constituent of his, 'Is the mission in Iraq really what you want us to be doing?' And then [if] he responds yes, okay, well, we go back to Iraq and keep doing what we're doing."
The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war; and the president was given power to wage war. In 2002, Congress gave President Bush authority to invade Iraq. Bush used his authority as Commander-in-Chief to deploy our forces.
SSG Nuckolls, get back to work. Or in the parlance of our webmaster: "Put on your big boy pants and quit whining!"
1. As you can imagine, someone as opinionated as I has pet peeves. And this week I discovered another. Do not ever -- ever, ever, ever -- tell me how you used to do things. I don't care. Really.
At my new job, the workforce is made up of two categories of employees. There are those of us with 5 years or less tenure; and there are those with 25 years or more with the company. There are no 'tweeners. In my two weeks of employment, I have heard from about a dozen of the old-timers how things used to be done and how it was soooo much better. I. Don't. Care.
That same mentality is what keeps the Chinese from moving to the fork.
2. Fridays used to be the day when I met BJ for lunch. Now I work on the other side of town and don't have the opportunity. So I'm on antidepressants. ::Sigh::
3. Where's Napalm? "The US used napalm during the Vietnam War (although technically speaking, it was not 'napalm' per se because it included neither naphthalene nor palmitate, but instead was the Napalm-B [super Napalm] mixture of polystyrene, gasoline and benzene)." (from GlobalSecurity.org)
4. In spite of number one listed above, do you ever yearn for the good ol' days? I'm talking about the days when we had judges like Judge Wapner that didn't cry; Anna Nicole Smith was just a bouncy Guess Jeans model; and our female pop stars had long, luxurious hair. Ah, those were the days...
5. Have a relaxing weekend. Splurge a little this weekend. Buy a GPS and start geocaching.
The USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) entered the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations on February 19.
The strike group includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), guided-missile destroyers USS O’Kane (DDG 77) and USS Preble (DDG 88), and the fast combat-support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). More than 6,500 Sailors and Marines are assigned to JCSSG.
There are currently two strike groups in the U.S. Fifth Fleet AAO: The JCSSG and the USS Eisenhower Strike Group. That means that there are two Nimitz Class carriers, nineteen air squadrons, two Ticonderoga Class guided-missile cruisers, five guided-missile destroyers, two fast combat-support ships, two Los Angeles Class submarines and about 14,000 sailors and marines operating in 2.5 million square miles of water.
We can certainly project a tremendous about of force -- more force than any other nation in the history of the world. We have weapons that have potential to remove entire nations. But why do we fight minimalist wars? We only commit enough force to lose. We lost in Korea. We lost in Vietnam. And we'll lose in Iraq.
What is wrong with a lopsided butt whuppin'? If I were president, the Iraq war would be over by now, the Sunni Triangle would be a charred plain and the troops would be home.
"If there is not the war, you don't get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name." - Theodore Roosevelt, leader and statesman.
Last night, I posted a fairly lengthy essay on why America should support Israel. I thought about it and then reworked it into a silly "non-post". A reader who noticed the rewrite pointed out to me that the original post was better and asked why I had changed it.
The subject of Israel is a touchy one on many levels. And I am not confident writing about Israel chiefly because I am not as educated as I should be to write with authority. I thought my original post was not quality writing and reworked it into something that was mediocre at best.
The word "Israel" has three distinct meanings. First, "Israel" is the nation in the Middle East located between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea conventionally known as the State of Israel. 6.3 million people of different ethnic groups including Jews and Arabs populate it. It is divided into six districts and has its capital in Jerusalem. It has a parliamentary democracy form of government; and its legal system is a mixture of English common law and regulations.1
Second, "Israel" can, specifically, mean the Jews. Israel was the name given to Jacob of the Old Testament. The name collectively applied to the twelve sons of Jacob and their subsequent family groups -- or tribes. Many times, the Jews are referred to as the Children of Israel.
And, finally, "Israel" is the Assembly -- or Church -- of the New Testament who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Son, Jesus Christ. These are the people called "Spiritual Israel". (We can discuss Dispensationalism later if you want; but, for now, understand that it raises many serious theological problems that I don't have time to discuss in this post.)
The reason that I say the subject of Israel is touchy is that many, many people spiritualize the first two "Israels". And it's here that I feel inadequately informed to give comment. Sure, God chose the Jews in order to reveal Himself and his laws. But, does He now reject them because they reject the Son? Right now, I just don't know.
So, when I write about why America should support Israel, I mean only that America should support the first "Israel" -- specifically, the State of Israel. And below are my original bullet points from the first draft of yesterday's post:
Why America should support Israel:
- Israel is a thorn in the side of Muslims. We have a common enemy.
- Israel supported us as an ally during the Cold War.
- Israel is an island of democracy in a sea of dictatorial regimes.
- Israel allows for individual freedom.
- Israel supports the rule of law.
- Israel is a phantasmagoria of modernity.
Why I, Joe Napalm, will support Israel (Serious this time):
- The survival of the Jewish people is a miracle of God. Despite civil war, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Germans and neighboring Arab nations, the Jews continue to inhabit the land of Abraham.
- Jerusalem is my spiritual capital.
- The alternative to Israel is Islam. And Allah is not supreme.
- I serve a Jewish Messiah.
Today is Wesley's birthday. Until two years ago, he had the whole month of February to himself. What I mean is that he didn't share a February birth month with any other friend or family member. Now he shares it with his niece, Lilybug. She's way more cute than he; and, sadly, now he gets very little attention.
Wesley, I got you a Swiffer [Link]. It's for cleaning up after the party -- Lilybug's party.
Last week, Presidential candidate John Edwards* said that perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.
For those of you that have been cooped up in a monastery somewhere in the hills of Tibet, you may have just noticed a growing anti-Israel movement in the U.S. And it's not just coming from the kook fringe with slick heads and Nazi regalia. Some of our representatives in Washington and even former-President Jimmy Carter sound more anti-Semitic than a few of Der Fuhrer's henchmen.
So that got me to thinkin'. (Take that grammar you English-major pig dogs!) Why do I, Joe Napalm, support Israel? Here is what I have decided.
- Israelis smell good. Muslim terrorists don't.
- Israelis like to kills terrorists. I like reading about terrorists being killed.
- Israel has bombs and isn't afraid to use them on terrorists and their nuclear facilities.
- I don't want the Mossad to confuse me with a Nazi.
- "Israel" means "struggles with God". Yet, God hates the terrorists. I'll side with Israel, thank you very much.
* Can you call a one-term senator longshot a "candidate"?
Amillia Sonja Taylor was just 9 1/2 inches long and weighed less than ten ounces when she was born in late October. She was delivered 21 weeks and six days after conception and is the first human known to survive a gestation period of less than 23 weeks.
And she's going home today!
I could now climb up on a soapbox and explain how it's ironic that a baby born before the second trimester is going home even though it was previously a non-human lump of flesh according to our laws. And I could rant and rave and work myself into a froth about how an Italian judge has sentenced a 13-year-old girl to abort her baby. But ... I won't.
For now, I choose only to stand in awe of a miracle and say to Him, Thank you for looking down on one of us and having compassion.
[Link] and [Link].
"When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died ... ."
Many of you may already know that a new question is posted on the main website (www.e... or www.b...). If not, check it out. There is a new message along with two .PDF attachments. In order to solve this one, expect to set aside some time to read. The first attachment is 33 pages!
I am now printing the attachment to take it on the road. I'll update this post later when I discover the name of the "prophet."
Update: Yep, the name is in there. And the 33-page attachment is actually a good read. On top of that, I think I found a new description for this blog. Found on page 31 of the document is this description: "A gallant son of Old Dominion; a noble champion of Constitutional liberty; a watchful guardian of Southern rights; and a sleepless sentinel on the ramparts of the Union."
"Most Republicans would do well to study his commitment to national parks, national forests, and the management of the natural world. On the other hand, Democrats would do just as well to note that Theodore Roosevelt saw man as part of nature and not as its opponent. As a rancher, big game hunter, fisherman and perhaps the most outdoor President in American history, TR believed that conservation included land use and not merely its preservation. I believe he would have resoundingly advocated a multiple use approach to Federal lands." - Newt Gingrich. "Why we should study Theodore Roosevelt." Time Magazine
. June 29, 2006.
This one is an amazing gem. The Waldsassen Abbey Library in Germany was completed in 1726 (started in the 16th Century) in late Baroque and early Rococo style. Ten life-sized statues, skilfully carved out of wood carry the narrow gallery that encircles almost all of the hall.
The library once possessed a number of precious books which were taken to public archives in 1803. Today, the shelves hold tomes, quartars and octans from the 17th and 18th centuries which are on public loan. The Library Hall is maintained by nuns of the Cistercian Sisterhood.
For an amazing panoramic, visit the official website (German) at http://www.abtei-waldsassen.de
, click on "Bibliothek" on the left and then click the picture of the library in the middle of the page. Another window will open with an awe-inspiring virtual tour.
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A "wave" of clues is right. The floodgates have opened!
To solve this one, you will have to know the subject of the hieroglyphics clue found in the catalog. After a little searching and reading, you'll find the answer.