April 2007 - Posts
And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder: One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see." And I saw. And behold, a white horse.
There's a man goin' 'round takin' names. An' he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the man comes around.
The hairs on your arm will stand up. At the terror in each sip and in each sup. For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter's ground. When the man comes around.
Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singin'. Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum. Voices callin', voices cryin'. Some are born an' some are dyin'. It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom come.
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree. The virgins are all trimming their wicks. The whirlwind is in the thorn tree. It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Till Armageddon, no Shalam, no Shalom. Then the father hen will call his chickens home. The wise men will bow down before the throne. And at his feet they'll cast their golden crown. When the man comes around.
Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still. Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still. Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still. Listen to the words long written down, When the man comes around.
Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singin'. Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettle drum. Voices callin', voices cryin'. Some are born an' some are dyin'. It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom come.
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree. The virgins are all trimming their wicks. The whirlwind is in the thorn tree. It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
In measured hundredweight and penny pound. When the man comes around.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.
Hear the song here: [link] (Does not work with Firefox).
What can wash away my sins?
What can make me whole again?
1. I perceive a need. There is a gap here at "a son of Liberty", that, unfortunately, I can't fill. We need a pirate blogger. No blog is complete without a peg-legged, squinty-eyed terror of the sea. So, we need someone that will blog once or twice a week and share with us the current events from the perspective of a politically-incorrect, calloused pirate. Any takers? Email me your pirate resume with your best pirate accent [link].
2. Sometimes, when you say something, tact is a useful tool.
3. Sometimes tact doesn't work. In that case, you look the guy in the eye and say, "There ain't nuthin' between you and me but air and opportunity".
4. I would post something about the Democrats' surrender legislation if I thought I could do it without cursing.
5. I have been tracking the growth of baby robins in our backyard. Shame on me for not sharing with you. Tomorrow, I will post the photos to catch you up. And we have a squirrel that won't stay out of the bird feeder. I find myself stepping out on the front porch every morning, shaking my fist in the air and saying, "Squirrel!".
6. There's a 30% chance of rain tomorrow afternoon. I had hoped to catch a baseball game at our local minor league field, but that might not work out. Have a very blessed weekend. Really. If you live in the city, get out. If you live in the country, thank God you don't live in the city. See you on Monday if not earlier.
Name: Joe Napalm
Age: Wisdom of a 90-year old, courage of a 20-year old.
Height: Let's just say that you look up to me when you talk.
Turn ons: Getting a parking space close to the door at Wal-Mart. Red meat. The smell of expended ball powder on a foggy morning. Romeo y Julietta Churchill cigars. The thud of artilery rounds impacting. A good book.
Turn offs: Invertebrates. Men who talk too much. Butchy women. Body butter.
In accord with the wildly popular "Library Blogging", I begin a new series entitled "Dangerous Roads Blogging". I currently have about 13 roads in my Moleskine journal that I plan to share with you over the next few months.
The first installment isn't so much a road as we define roads as it is a hiking trail (I mean, was the Silk Road a four-lane highway? C'mon.).
Mount Huashan is a heavily trafficked tourist site just east of the city of Xi'an in the Shaanxi Province of China. The foot trail leading to it is quite perilous because of the steep cliffs. Mt. Huashan is one of the sacred mountains ... blah, blah, blah.
Look, I nearly wet my pants just looking at the photos. This is insane. Look at the photo below and click on the links at the bottom and you'll feel my pain. Wow.
You can read more about the area and see photos at the following links:
I am researching the library for my next "Library Blogging" post and ran across an interesting bit of history. The National Library of Sweden (not currently on tap for a "Library Blogging" post) has in its collection the Devil's Bible (Codex Gigas) which one of the largest manuscripts in the world (weighing 165 lbs) and one of the most valuable medieval manuscripts (summarizing period knowledge).
From Ceskenoviny.cz [link]:
The Devil's Bible was created on the turn of the 12th and the 13th centuries in the Benedictine monastery in Podlazice, east Bohemia. Later it belonged to the same order's monasteries in Brevnov, then near Prague, and Broumov, east Bohemia, before it ended up in Emperor Rudolph II's collections of art.
At the end of the Thirty Years' War, the Swedes took it away as war loot for their Queen Kristina.
It comprises the Old and New Testaments in Latin translations, along with the text of the oldest Chronicle of Bohemia, written by Cosmas of Prague, and a calendar.
The name of the Devil's Bible is connected with a legend, saying that it was written by a monk repenting of his sins in a cell, who finished the manuscript in one single night with the aid of the devil.
You can read more about it and see pictures at wikipedia.org [link].
First, 82-year old Miss America 1944 shoots the tires out of a thief's car with a .38-caliber snub-nosed pistol [link]. And then Miss America 2007 busts online predators on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" [link].
Now, if only a contestant would set aside the "I-want-world-peace" speech and say that she will commit her reign as Miss America to the destruction of Islamofascism through the pursuit, punishment and carpet bombing of terrorist states by our armed services, I could get behind this whole Miss America thing.
In the wake of the Va. Tech shootings, a student at Williamstown High School in Monroe, PA, was suspended pending a mental health evaluation for sketching a stick figure shooting another in the head [link].
Also, in the wake, Yale University banned the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions and then rescinded the ban [link].
And in other "Silly Overreaction" news, a Boston college has fired a teacher for pointing a dry-erase marker at students and saying, "Pow!" during a discussion with students about the Va. Tech shootings [link].
Knowing that I couldn't possibly pass a mental health exam* and that I have an itchy trigger finger, I am putting a trigger lock on my pistol wink and storing it out of reach. One pistol wink could cause mass media hysteria. So, out of respect for your victimhood, I will no longer offer a pistol wink as a form of greeting, salutation or acknowledgement of a job well done.
* I never liked any of my school counselors.
Mark Rose [link] uses the term "Quote Du Jour". Du Jour is French. France is full of metrosexuals. Does that, therefore, mean that Mark uses large amounts of body butter and hair gel? Maybe someone close to him can give me a call or email me.
But I digress. A friend of the family has been under some stress lately. I won't go into details because having my posts thrown up in my face around the dinner table isn't too appetizing. But BJ heard about it the other day, to which he replied, "Stress? He doesn't know stress. Stress is a cup of coffee and a bran muffin in rush-hour traffic."
Update: I'm such a dolt. Mark Rose uses "Quote of the Day". I use "Quote Du Jour". I'm such an idiot. Sorry, Mark. And, no, I don't use body butter.
... Or 'Why I Will No Longer Shake Hands.'
Sociologists within the field of network theory tell us that there are no more than six degrees of separation between individuals. Name anyone. Anyone. Theory holds that there are no more than five friendship links between you and that person.
So, Joe, where are you going with this post? Glad you asked. Today, you probably shook someone's hand that is linked to Sheryl Crow's hand by five or fewer people. The entire world knows that she advocates the use of one square of toilet tissue when ... cleaning up [link]. And we all know that the odds of getting fecal matter on your hands when using too little toilet tissue is quite high -- approaching 100%. Making the connection? Good.
If you aren't thoroughly disgusted, let's take it over the line. Did you wipe your eye today or bite a loose hangnail? Chances are you have ingested Sheryl Crow's ... droppings. But we may have saved a tree today, so it's worth it. Right?
Sidebar: Remember the Saturday Night Live skit entitled "Fecal-Vision"? I did a quick video search and couldn't find it. Expect it -- or an updated parody -- to come up in the next few days.
This post is a follow-up of a previous post I wrote, Are You Normal or Abnormal? http://steeplemedia.com/blogs/son_of_liberty/archive/2007/04/16/25734.aspx
In light of the horrible shooting at Virginia Tech and the NASA incident, we ask ourselves what is happening. How could these horrific incidents occur in the United States? I wonder how much of our shock stems from our belief that the US is abnormal (must read previous post to understand usage of this word). Stated clearer, is the United States a Christian nation?
I agree with Richard Land in his interview in World magazine when he says: “Too often too many conservative Christians assume that God is on their side or they tend to conflate God’s interest with America’s interest. That’s an assumption that no one can make about any country, even the United States.” (ref) Land goes on to say that the US was never a Christian nation. Along with Francis Schaeffer, Land says our nation was founded on a “Christian memory.”
One of my Chinese friends told me that horrible violence is the “American way.” I told her it was the “normal way.” I then reminded her of the Shaanxi Temple Axe Murderer in China in 2006. He killed 11 people, ages 12 to 62.
I have yet to talk to one of my Middle East friends; however, I bet the number of victims in the VT shooting falls on deaf ears in the Middle East. 32 is a weekly number in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc.
In conclusion, I believe we can confidently say that the US is different. Due to aligning ourselves in the past with God’s side, He has blest us. It is this long history of alignment that I believe invokes sadness on the loss of just 32 lives.
Nevertheless, the United States and the majority of her citizens are normal. To be born-again, now that is abnormal.
Marvin Olasky. God and Country. World, April 21, 2007.
1. Today, a motivational speaker is at work, teaching us to be an agent of change. We took a the DiSC profile test [link]. I am an "i". "I" is for "influence". According to the test, I excel in personal relationships and influencing others. I weigh the pros and cons and am persuasive and analytical. Yet, I abuse authority with caustic speech.
What do I think? I think the test was beneath me and was stupid.
2. Monday is the day that the cable Internet connection will be installed at our new house. That means that there will be a little less tension at home.
3. I'm glad BJ's back. My back was starting to hurt from carrying this place.
4. Sorry for the short Free Prose Friday. Work called today. Have a wonderful weekend. It'll be beautiful in the Southeast this weekend. That can only mean one thing: Great Smoky Mountains! See you on Monday.
It's hard having this amount of super-human wisdom. With it comes great responsibility.
I wasn't even going to get involved in the gun control discussion at all because it's a hard blog subject. It's not as cut-and-dry as, say, identifying a racist. Gun control isn't a three-paragraph subject. I could begin typing and end up typing a book, and no one wants to read a book on the computer monitor. But I read Doug Phillips' post about the Va. Tech shooting [link] and the reader comments and saw a need to put on the cape and answer the beacon in the sky.
If you read Mr. Phillips' post, you'll see "many people affected". Sure. "We're all going to die eventually". Yep. "God doesn't do evil". Uh-huh. And "A strong case can be made that in a violent society like our own, it is the duty of every Christian man to be armed such that he is ready, willing, and able to come to the immediate aid of his neighbor in the face of the ruthless behavior of lawless men." What?! Where'd that come from?! For now, I'm going to write off this last statement as an emotional response. He does say "a strong case can be made" which is a passive and weaselly way of saying that his mind isn't completely made up. (Although he also says that "the surest safeguard against lawless men" is a "well-armed citizen population". On the "surest" part I would disagree. But again, I'm writing it off as emotion.)
For the sake of full disclosure, I have a love-hate relationship with our Bill of Rights. I suppose this is because of thorough readings of the Federalist papers and insight into the arguments of Theodore Sedgwick and James Wilson. I agree with James Wilson when he argued that the purpose of founding our Constitution was to secure and enlarge the rights we already possess by Providence. The Bill of Rights does state some of these inherent rights, but it muddies the water a bit by disillusioning many to think that our government is the bestower of rights. Only God bestows rights.
So, since our rights are bestowed at birth by our Creator and not by some document created by our legislators' consensus, what does our Creator have to say about protection and vengeance?
First, and for some this is hard to swallow, all authority is established by God. All government is established by God and empowered with His authority to protect its citizens and punish those who terrorize them. Our leaders are bound by duty to do pursue and punish those who commit terrible acts or those who harbor them. We are to submit to our leaders because one day they will stand before God, accountable.
Second, we are not to take punishment into our own hands but defer vengeance to God. Being a soldier in God's army (Liberty Forward) it gives me pleasure to say to you, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath" (Romans 12:19). He promises to repay. And He'll keep His word.
And, finally, we are to overcome evil through good and compassion, not personal retaliation and hatred.
I, like many, enjoy weapons. I played Army for 10 years and appreciate a good three-round burst. I own a shotgun and rifle for sport. But, God forbid, if something were to happen to my family or neighbors, I will have to struggle with many emotions including guilt; but hopefully I won't struggle with forgiveness and faith that God will keep His word.
I'll conclude this windy post and leave you with this: If owning a handgun or semi-automatic weapon will cause you to hate or be eager for personal retaliation, sell it or give it away. That's gun control ... Joe Napalm style.
Yes, I am a bigot.
I just don't want there to be rumors. And in case I become famous, feel free to direct any of my opponents to this self-acknowledgement.
Next page »
Pictured below is the reading room of France's first public library, the Mazarine Library (Bibliothèque Mazarine) in Paris [link].
Courtesy of RenaissanceLibrary.com:
Cardinal Mazarin’s private library became France’s first public library, when it was opened to the public in 1643.
Naudé, a learned physician, set up Mazarin’s library, which became the most important privately owned and run library in Europe. By 1652, it had about 40,000 items.
Mazarin decided that his library would become part of the future Collège des Quatres-Nations to be founded according to his will dated in 1661. Construction took place between 1662 and 1673, and it was opened to the public in 1689.
During the French Revolution, the library received many items which were confiscated from monasteries and the Émigrés. This was due partly to the public nature of the library, and partly to the commitment of its librarian, Abbé Gaspard Michel.
The Bibliothèque Mazarine’s magnificent reading room was restored between 1968 and 1974. It recreates the surroundings of an important 17th century library.
The library's collection includes 500,000 printed books, 180,000 of which were published before 1801.