I don’t often root for Russia or the Russian Orthodox Church, but I’m pulling for them hard on this one:
The Saudis have recently asked permission to build a mosque in Moscow, a city where there are only four mosques and 2 million Muslims. The Russians, however, are saying they want, in return, an Orthodox church in Saudi Arabia.
Read the whole Improptus article
…but at about the 2:30 mark of this video he gets it exactly right.
Palin has already done the things Obama claims to want to do. If you want a good speech, listen to Obama, but it you want reform with results, pick Palin.
And to a certain extent, isn’t it interesting that Obama’s campaign has been comparing him to Palin over the last few days? What does it mean that the best comparison between candidates is the GOP’s Vice-Presidential candidate and the Democrats’ Presidential candidate? Aren’t they just admitting that Obama can’t hold a candle to McCain’s experience?
Read the whole thing
Benedict XVI may preach against violence, but in his own fashion he takes a tougher stance than the American president. That surely is not the way it looks at first glance. Bush invaded an Arab country, while Benedict preaches reason to the Muslim world, receiving in the past few months Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah as well as delegations from Iran. He has agreed to a meeting with a group of 138 Muslim scholars at the Vatican in November. Why should Muslims fear Benedict?
For the first time, perhaps, since the time of Mohammed, large parts of the Islamic world are vulnerable to Christian efforts to convert them, for tens of millions of Muslims now dwell as minorities in predominantly Christian countries. The Muslim migration to Europe is a double-edged sword. Eventually this migration may lead to a Muslim Europe, but it also puts large numbers of Muslims within reach of Christian missionaries for the first time in history.
What seems to the West a low-key appeal to reason and Western norms of religious freedom, Dall’Oglio warns, looks like a Trojan Horse to Muslims. Islamic leaders already have noted that months before Allam’s baptism, the Vatican published a “doctrinal note” on evangelization that specifically repudiates the notion that Catholics should refrain from attempting to convert people of other faiths. Church-watcher Sandro Magister notes that one of the 138 Muslim scholars scheduled to meet with the pope in November already has filed a protest in the Vatican monthly Mondo e Missione.
Mustafa Cherif, an Algerian Islamic scholar prominent in dialogue with the church, singled out the December 3, 2007, doctrinal note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirming that “evangelization is aimed at all of humanity”, and seeking to correct “a growing confusion which leads many to leave the missionary command of the Lord unheard and ineffective”.
As Father Dall’Oglio warns darkly, Muslims are in dialogue with a pope who evidently does not merely want to exchange pleasantries about coexistence, but to convert them. This no doubt will offend Muslim sensibilities, but Muslim leaders are well-advised to remain on good terms with Benedict XVI. Worse things await them. There are 100 million new Chinese Christians, and some of them speak of marching to Jerusalem – from the East. A website entitled Back to Jerusalem proclaims, “From the Great Wall of China through Central Asia along the silk roads, the Chinese house churches are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ all the way back to Jerusalem.”
Islam is in danger for the first time since its founding. The evangelical Christianity to which George W Bush adheres and the emerging Asian church are competitors with whom it never had to reckon in the past. The European Church may be weak, but no weaker, perhaps, than in the 8th century after the depopulation of Europe and the fall of Rome. An evangelizing European Church might yet repopulate Europe with new Christians as it did more than a millennium ago.
An excellent article showing that Bush and Benedict may be two of the few people who understand the situation we’re in, and what it will take to change it.
This Day in History 1945: V-E Day is celebrated in American and Britain
On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.
It was a long, hard-fought victory. At times it seemed foolish to continue to fight, but we fought and prevailed against one of the greatest evils this world has ever seen.
Of course, had today’s Democrats been around back then, the Nazis would likely control mainland Europe and be executing any remaining Jews in their concentration camps. The war was really hard and saving Europe just wasn’t worth the effort and doomed to failure anyway and we had a Depression going on. It would have been foolish to fight such an impressive military as the Nazis had. And fighting them just created more Nazis anyway.
UPDATE: Here’s the image I was thinking of when I chose the headline:
From the opening credits of the greatest sitcom of the 80s, Cheers. Although, I’m not 100% it actually refers to V-E Day. It might be V-J.
UPDATE 2: It’s neither V-E or V-J Days. According to IMDB, it refers to the end of Prohibition. Who’da thunk it?
..and even Democrats are starting to turn on him:
The new chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee on Monday criticized fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter for plans to meet with Hamas, saying the former president holds “warped” views on the Middle East.
By meeting with the militant Islamic group that controls Gaza and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, Carter “in effect is undermining a current policy which is not just American but held by many others,” Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The Bush administration also has criticized Carter’s plans to meet in Syria this week with the leader of Hamas, and the plans have angered Israel. There’s been less public criticism from other Democrats.
When the Democrats think you’re too soft on terrorists… Wow…..
Jay Nordlinger’s latest Impromptu is an excellent analysis over Libya under Qaddafi and their relationship with the United States and its relation to the War on Terror. The money quote:
In March 2003, Qaddafi started some serious talking with the Brits and the Americans about Libya’s WMD programs. Anything special about March 2003? Oh, yes: We were about to go into Iraq. Qaddafi’s mind was concentrated.
You may recall what Qaddafi said to Silvio Berlusconi: Tell the Americans I’ll do anything they want. Just spare me the fate of the Taliban and of Saddam and his family.
Qaddafi’s mind was further concentrated in October 2003. Then, under President Bush’s Proliferation Security Initiative, we seized a Qaddafi-bound ship: the BBC China. (I just love that name.) It was carrying nuclear goodies for the dictator. Qaddafi was a customer of both Mr. Khan and the Norks. By all accounts, our operation was daring and brilliant, as were subsequent moves in and around Libya.
(By the way, Libya’s WMD programs are in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee.)
And then we get to December 2003: That’s when the U.S. dragged Saddam out of his hole. And Qaddafi’s mind was really, really concentrated. Credible reports say he watched the tape of Saddam’s capture for hours — mesmerized. And he threw in the towel. He “turned state’s evidence,” in the words of one U.S. official.
Liberals discount this because they refuse to acknowledge that any good can come of Bush’s Presidency, but the timing is pretty conclusive. Many Christians are fond of saying the God draws straight with crooked lines, and the liberals could view this as one of those times, but their monomaniacal hatred of Bush is too overwhelming for them to see the indisputable good that has come as a result of his presidency. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Greenhouse Affect – WSJ.com
The ink is still moist on Capitol Hill’s latest energy bill and, as if on cue, a scientific avalanche is demolishing its assumptions. To wit, trendy climate-change policies like ethanol and other biofuels are actually worse for the environment than fossil fuels. Then again, Washington’s energy neuroses are more political than practical, so it’s easy for the Solons and greens to ignore what would usually be called evidence.
The rebukes arrive via two new studies in Science, a peer-reviewed journal not known for right-wing proclivities. The first, by ecologists at Princeton and the Woods Hole Research Center, reviews the environmental consequences of increased biofuel consumption, which had never been examined comprehensively. Of course, that didn’t stop Congress and the Bush Administration from jacking up the U.S. mandate to 36 billion gallons by 2022, a fivefold increase from a mere two years ago. Such policies are supposedly justified because corn-based ethanol and other “alternatives” result in (very modest) reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions when mixed with gasoline.
The researchers break new ground by exposing a kind of mega-accounting error: Prior studies had never credited the carbon-dioxide emissions that arise when virgin forests, grasslands and the like are cleared to grow biofuel feedstocks. About 2.7 times more carbon is stored in terrestrial soils and plant material than in the atmosphere, and this carbon is released when these areas are cleared (often by burning) and the soil is tilled. Compounding problems is the loss of “carbon sinks” that absorb atmospheric CO2 in the bargain. Previous projections had also ignored the second-order effects of transferring normal farm land to biofuels, which exerts world-wide pressure on land use.
So, incredibly, when the hidden costs of conversion are included, greenhouse-gas emissions from corn ethanol over the next 30 years will be twice as high as from regular gasoline. In the long term, it will take 167 years before the reduction in carbon emissions from using ethanol “pays back” the carbon released by land-use change. As they say, it’s not easy being green.
JIMMY AKIN.ORG: Well, This Would Be Nice
Stratfor, an independent private intelligence firm, argues that not only have we destroyed Al Qaeda as an effective force, we’ve also isolated Iran in the Arab world to the point where they can either play along with us or be the target not just of us, but also the rest of the Middle East. (Stratfor is not a Republican apologist organization, having criticized Bush at many points in the past.) The money quote from their analysis:
The president’s primary goal in 2008 is simple: reaching an arrangement with Iran. Ideally, this would be a mutually agreed upon deal that splits influence in Iraq, but we have already moved past the point where that is critical. Al Qaeda, the reason for being involved in the region in the first place, is essentially dead. The various Sunni Arab powers that made al Qaeda possible have lined up behind Washington. Iran and the United States may still wish to quibble over details, but the strategic picture is clearing: a U.S.-led coalition is going to shape the Middle East, and it is up to Iran whether it wants to play the role of that coalition’s spear or its target. And the Bush administration has the full power of the United States — and one long year — to drive that point home.
While I hope this is true, I’m also not sure Iran would necessarily care about being isolated. Ahmadinejad doesn’t strike me as the most stable guy over there. But, we should all hope Stratfor is correct.
Castro says he’s too unhealthy to speak – Yahoo! News
Fidel Castro said Wednesday he is not yet healthy enough to speak to Cuba’s masses in person and can’t campaign for Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
1) He’ll still pull out a victory.
2) His victory will be lauded by the same people in America who deny that Bush won the last two US Presidential elections.