Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cool things you find on your birthday:

You find that one of your former history prof's bugbears is a Catholic saint.

I don't think my old Roman history professor liked Irenaeus much. She seemed to go along with Elaine Pagels' excoriation of this bishop who fought to maintain proper Christian identity and teaching. Not only did he argue against the Gnostics, he also helped to ensure that Jewish scripture was integrated into The Bible. Irenaeus is one of the reasons we have an Old Testament and a New Testament. Further information on St. Irenaeus can be found here and here.

Irenaeus did the jobs of Bishop, historian, fact-checker, and Father of the Church. He's sort of an early blogger in a way. My kind of guy!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Well, looks like the War on Terror got a little closer to home.

American law enforcement agencies worked together to stop a plot to bomb the Sears Tower. Thankfully it looks like this group was nipped in the bud, to use a phrase from Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife, America's Other Most Beloved Law Enforcement Agent. Chicago law enforcement groups are saying that there was no credible threat. They can say that now that the plotters have been arrested so early in their careers as would-be terrorists.

As for the ambush that killed two US soldiers this week, I hope that charges come down on the officer who left his convoy split up like that. You don't split such a small group off from the main body if the main body is small to begin with. It's things like this make a Western victory in Iraq so much more important. Let's treat al-Qaeda like the Mongols treated the Assassins of old: Storm the Alamut and leave no survivors, only memories.

And then, for another bombshell, literally: Austin Bay, a regular NPR contributor and Army reservist who served in Iraq puts together a nice roundup of the information that Senator Rick Santorum and Representative Pete Hoekstra put into play in the media. 500 shells of sarin and/or mustard gas? Looks like Saddam has some explaining to do about why he kept all those chemical weapons when the UN told him to destroy them. Gosh, I guess Saddam had WMDs if this information is good. Does this mean that President Bush didn't lie about the presence of Saddam's chemical arsenal?

"Hey, kids! Need to know about the tactics that US intelligence forces use to hunt terrorists? Read the New York Times! (Yes, I know the link goes to the New York Sun. Read the article.) Hey, terorists! You can join in the fun, too! Read the Times and learn what we do to hunt you. Just promise to be good and not use that info to your advantage, because that would be cheating. Okay, well, you can use it if we get more dead Americans to put on our front page and get another chance to tell everyone that President Bush is evil. Otherwise, don't do it, okay?" I think that pretty much sums up the Times editors' opinions on disclosing tactics in public. This is not good, folks. Glenn Reynolds sums it up perfectly: "[W]hen you talk about military force, we're supposed to use law-enforcement and intelligence methods instead. But if you use law-enforcement and intelligence methods, people shout "Big Brother" and the Times runs stories exposing them."

And now, something that makes me happy I'm Roman Catholic: The Episcopal Church, USA, has rejected Jesus Christ as the only salvation of souls. Never mind that's kind of the whole point of Christianity. To all of my Episcopal and Anglican brethren who are shocked and do not wish to "cross the Tiber" and join the Roman Catholic Church, I can say easily that I understand why you don't want to leave, and I hope that God will bring your leaders back to their senses. The Catholic Church has its share of troubles as you well know, but I will not leave it nor deny that Jesus is the only way of true salvation. Combine this with the Presbyterian Church USA allowing you no name the Holy Trinity whatever you please and I see that while the Catholic Church may have a moral crisis, we at least have a firm grip on our teaching. In the spirit of ecumenism among feuding brothers, I will support those who wish to bring their doctrine back in line with solid Christian doctrine. Any of those wishing to join in communion with the Holy See are welcome as well, naturally.

That's about it from here. Later.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm trying to gather up the energy to actually blog right now. It's so nice outside.

The news of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's death last week was quite nice. The top al-Qaeda terrorist in Iraq found out what overpressure is all about. According to Sunday's State Journal-Register in Springfield, the bombs that killed Zarqawi may have been dropped by pilots of the 183rd Fighter Wing. I suppose if the wing is going to be eliminated through Base Realignment and Closure proceedings, it should end with a victory. I still think the unit is being closed down as punishment for the incident in Afghanistan where one pilot from the 183rd accidentally killed a unit of Canadian soldiers in a case of being too quick on the trigger finger. This may give the 183rd a chance to at least end its run with a good note in history.

As for our beloved St. Louis Cardinals, what is happening to them? Sure, they're a game and a half ahead of Cincinnati, but the lead was further than that. My biggest question is why can't they beat the Cubs? They're the freakin' CUBS for cryin' out loud! I'm tempted to believe that they don't play with any desire to humiliate the Northsiders, and thus play a bit more lazy with their rivals. The Cubs will capitalize on that.

And today's SJ-R also has an amusing story about Ol' Blaggie telling the Department of Energy to stop funding an ethanol research center at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Note to Governor Blagojevich: Ethanol research means more investors coming to Illinois to help create a better fuel alternative to oil. Don't let ADM have all the fun. And considering that Governor Blagojevich has pulled this center from a public university, can we say that he's worked to cut education funding?

That's all I have for now, folks. Later.