While, we wonder about airline security and potential terrorist attacks and whether the system worked or not, there are some interesting noises coming from Moscow. And, making those noises is none other than Vladimir Putin, the real head of Russia. You knew that last part already, right? Check out some of these comments in an article from the UK Times. By the way, he was at Vladivostok while speaking. Big Russian naval base, might have heard of it. His comments come just weeks after those made on Russian television in which he praised Stalin for building a superpower and winning a war.
He said today that Russia must forge ahead in developing new weapons to prevent the United States from doing”whatever they want.” He is traveling around the Far East of Russia in a rather high-profile trip for this time of year. During this trip he keeps stepping into those areas supposedly the purview oof Mr Medvedev, his hand picked seat warmer, I mean successor. Wonder if Putin can wait till 2012 to reassume the visible reins of power?
Never forget the bear.
So said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in commenting on a failed terrorist attempt to take down Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. No,wait a minute. Yesterday, she said that it failed miserably. So, which is it? Did it fail or not ? If one measures that by the new security measures and the additional U S marshals assigned to aircraft, I’m going with failure.There are lots of ways to look at this event that could have , but thankfully, did not have tragic consequences. The alleged bomber, who
is in custody, is Nigeria, although funded from Yemen and claims that there are more like himself on the way. Comforting thought, is it not? Yemen itself does seem to be developing into fertile ground for Al-Qaeda. Although it is located at the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula, it isn’t that far from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,etc.We sorta know about them and terrorists,do we not?
The President issued a statement today from Hawaii, 3 days after the near bombing, if you are counting. What he said sounded good. We’re gonna get ‘em, not just words but”every element of our national power.” No matter where they are, he added.
Imagine, if you will, thoses words coming from Bush, war mongerer, etc. And, if he had waited 3 days before speaking on the issue. Wonder if there will be any criticism of the President in that regard?
We have been providing support, both overt and covert to Yemeni forces and that support is slated to increase even more next year. Senator Lieberman, who has been there recently thinks that Yemen could be the next battleground, not that it hasn’t been before. In October, 2000, the USS Cole was victimized by a suicide bombing.And, there is even a 9/11 connection.
So, let us hope that the President backs up his rhetoric in an appropriate fashion.
We talk a great deal in our country about rights and well we should. One of the crucial elments of our Constitution is the Bill of Rights without which some states refused to even ratify the document in the first place. ( North Carolina for one).
There is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press amon others. But of late, I have been reading about other rights that might not have been on the founders’ radar screens. The one that grabbed m attention today was proclaimed by the Senator from Nevada, Majority Leader Harry Reid. He made his comments in the aftermath of the Democrats triumphal march to victory in the passing of Obamacare. Don’t know if Sherman’s march through Georgia is an appropriate analogy, but for now, it shall suffice. The Dems have been described as jubilant over their victory as if they had won the World Series or Super Bowl.
The Senator made a statement in the aftermath of the Democratic victory that health insurance was a right and it was an achievemnet of great worth. I began wondering, is health care a right for all Americans ad is it our governmwent’;s duty to provide such? I am not so sure that either of those statements is accurate. For most of my working career, I have had health care trough my employer. There was a period of time when I did not and could not afford it out-of-pocket. We were quite fortunate in not requiring major medical attention during this time, although there was a good bit that we had to pay. I do not recall thinking that someone, somewhere owed me health insurance. And, I still don’t.
I know that health insurance is important, vitally important in people’s lives. But, a right, a government provided, guaranteed right? No, Senator, it is not. One consolation, at least, Reid did not call it a God-given right as Reverend Carlton W Veazey recently described abortion.
As we bask in the warm afterglow of Copenhagen which if you remember featured Obama, Hilary, algore and Hugo Chavez among others. There were some deals made, perhaps even more than we know about. But,all in all, the issue of climate change and what to do about it and whose lifestyle shall change and who is gonna pay for it all; remains an elusive commodity.
When possible solutions are discussed we often hear of cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, green technology,etc. Bet that even algore doesn’t comprehend it all, And now, I am reading that our pets are a greater danger to our environment than the evil suv.
But, there may be a simple solution that is already in place. China has had one child policy in place since 1979. Now, a national newspaper in Canada, the Financial Post is advocating that the world should adopt this policy. This is according to an article by one Diane Francis. Among the benefits that would be derived would be one billion decrease in world population in just 40 years. What a magnificent idea this would be. The complexities of climate change would fade away. There would be fewer of all the nasty things in the world- cars, suv’s, coal-fired electric plants, etc. To say nothing of the $ that would be saved on schools, roads and so on.
It wouldn’t work, couldn’t be implemented , not legal. Not a big deal. There are ways around all the legal niceties. Besides, since China pretty much owns us, they could probably provide assistance with the set up. Pass a law, one year lead time and we could set the standard for the world to follow.
And never think that there are probably people out there, perhaps even serving in te current administration, that would be strong advocates of what now seems like an extreme solution.
Last night was I think, the first NCIS Christmas episode. The show provided its typical quality hour of entertainment, with an interesting mix of storylines There was the return of Gibbs’ father, McGee performing Christmas magic ( Admiral Nicholas Whitebeard was a great line ) and Tony and Ziva winning a great bar fight. But my main interest lay in another area entirely.
The central plot line was solving the murder of a marine who had converted to Islam. As it turned out, he was killed by his brother who felt he had shamed the family by converting to the Islamic faith. A sorta sidebar to this was that the deceased’s father had left the military to become a minister and was not so thrilled with his son’s conversion. The other member of our mixture was a Nay Muslim chaplain.
To me , the show presented the two Muslim characters and thus the religion in quite a favorable light. The father, from a more traditional faith, not so much. It just got me to thinking how in this country we seem to work very hard to accomodate other faiths, particularly the Islamic faith. In contrast, those countries with a Muslim majority don’t seem to be so accommodating to those of the Christian faith. Think of Libya, Sudan, Iran etc.
It just made me think how sometimes television can be used to frame a point of view or encourage one in subtle ways. I’m not saying we should not be accommodating but it seems at times that we overdo things. And, as much as I hate to disagree with Gibbs, I don’t think that Christians and Muslims are on the same page when it comes to God.
There is a young man playing basketball for the University of Kentucky. This young man is John Wall, a freshman from Raleigh, NC. John is a freshman point guard who has played in eight games as a collegian and has scored the winning points in more than one of those. while averaging a team leading 19 points per game.
Listen to some of the comments made thus far. PTI’s Tony Kornheiser says hew will probably be the first pick in the NBA draft if he turns pro and probably would have been last year had he been allowed in the draft. Sorry, Blake Griffin. Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated has Wall as his top contender for player of the year. Anything wrong with this, not really. Wall is an extremely talented player and may very well earn all the accolades being bestowed on him. But is it not a bit premature? He has played 8 games thus far. Couldn’t we wait just a bit with the comparisons and the greatest this and that. if Wall is as good as he is projected to be right now, the NBA will know and some team will make him a very wealthy young man. For now, a T.O. baby and give things time.
With the plethora of topics about which one can post, I find it necessary to return to a subject of almost exactly one year ago. But it isn’t my fault. The blame lies with the soccer team ( women’s) of the University of North Carolina. About this time last year they won their 19th national championship ( out of 27) by defeating a previously undefeated team in the finals.
Fast forward ( no pun intended) to 2009 in chilly College Station, Tx. Th opponent is undefeated Stanford in the finals. Doggone it, history managed to repeat itself and the Lady Tar Heels won it all, with a 1-0 victory achieved by a Jennifer McDonald goal. So again we salute the team and program for its 20th championship. Seniors Tobin Heath, Whitney Engen, Casey Nogueira,Ashlyn Harris, Caroline Boneparth, Kristi Eveland, Sterling Smith and Ashley Moore who have been a part of 3 titles in 4 years. Now, if the men’s team can beat Akron, who knows , we may have twin titles.
During the Christmas season, I am always reminded of what a wonderful blessing we have in music. As with most people, I have my favorites. But there is one Christmas song that seems to belong on an entirely different level. I am not musically literate enough to use the proper terminology so I will resort to describing it as a layman. The song is “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.
My wife, the musically talented part of us has sung the entire Messiah on occasion and has tried to describe for me its difficulty and its majesty. The majesty part, i think i get. She and I attended a concert by the Albemarle Chorale this past Sunday which closed with the chorus. For me, an okay evening of music was again transformed by their presentation. I have heard it don ea number of times, perhaps my favorite was in Columbus, Ga at First Baptist Church which was our church at that time. Some twenty plus years later, it remains for me a special musical memory.
Don’t know if it is the music or the words that leap directly from the pages of the Bible (Isaiah, if you want to look it up) or the music or knowing that King George II was so moved that he may or may not have stood when it he first heard it. Audiences still stand though.
The Messiah was written in 1741-42 and first performed in Dublin in 1742 and I am thankful that it has endured to bring a touch of majesty to each Christmas season.
So, some time during your Christmas celebration, find a recording of the Chorus and enjoy!
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