Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Why I've Not Posted

My decision to start a Blog was influenced by Hugh Hewitt. He recently released a book titled "Blog" and is considered by many to be one of the foremost advocates and promoters of the Blogosphere. I continue to struggle in my own thoughts about whether or not I should concern myself about blogging. I do realize based on what I've seen in the blogosphere, especially amongs the most popular blogs I visit, that to produce a substantive blog with significant traffic requires an intensive committment of time and energy. I have very little left after a day at work to commit to such an endeavor. So for now, I will likely continue to dabble, occasionally posting random thoughts and posts, and maybe someday actually let other knows in my sphere of influence that I have a blog. Until then, here is a dabble.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Why should Rumsfeld Remain?

VDH , in the NRO Online has the answer.

This is why I like Victor Davis Hansen....viewing the present through lenses of history provides penetrating insight and understanding into the complex realities of today....this is a gift that so few in our society have but one that all should cultivate...can we challenge ourselves to develop this talent?

"The blame with this war falls not with Donald Rumsfeld. We are more often the problem — our mercurial mood swings and demands for instant perfection devoid of historical perspective about the tragic nature of god-awful war. Our military has waged two brilliant campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. There has been an even more inspired postwar success in Afghanistan where elections were held in a country deemed a hopeless Dark-Age relic. A thousand brave Americans gave their lives in combat to ensure that the most wicked nation in the Middle East might soon be the best, and the odds are that those remarkable dead, not the columnists in New York, will be proven right — no thanks to post-facto harping from thousands of American academics and insiders in chorus with that continent of appeasement Europe."

"....multilateralism is not necessarily moral, but often an amoral excuse either to do nothing or to do bad — ask the U.N. that watched Rwanda and the Balkans die or the dozens of profiteering nations who in concert robbed Iraq and enriched Saddam."

"Donald Rumsfeld is no Les Aspin or William Cohen, but a rare sort of secretary of the caliber of George Marshall. I wish he were more media-savvy and could ape Bill Clinton's lip-biting and furrowed brow. He should, but, alas, cannot. Nevertheless, we will regret it immediately if we drive this proud and honest-speaking visionary out of office, even as his hard work and insight are bringing us ever closer to victory."

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A Poem - About War

4/10/98

About War

by
Steven


He saw alot
in those days
many who had died
and given life in sacrifice.


It has been since Abel
- man shedding brothers blood.

And now
the tides of history
converge on the
battlefield
where blood drips
tracing memories
of lives
which melt
into
the ground.

Freedom's skeptics

Natan Sharansky's recent article The Great Debate reveals the convictions of a man with patience and clarity of understanding. He penetratingly reveals his concern that believes in a democratic middle east a few in number compared to what he calls "Freedoms Skeptics." Read the whole thing.....this from a man who during his imprisonment was sustained on the words of Ronald Reagan who sent the message out to the world that America would stand up against the tyranny of the Soviet Union.

Words Betray the Collective Heart of the Palestinian Leadership

Steven Stalinsky's recent article The False Dawn of Peace provides crystal clear insight into the mind-set and inner heart of the Palestinian leadership. The words reported in the article betray the collective heart of the Palestinian leadership. This collective heart is a heart with a clear agenda which, as clearly revealed here, does not include a permanent, peaceful settlement with Israel.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

At the Seaside: A Poem

On the shore
Snowy Plovers
In flocks by line
Move swiftly to then away
From the waters edge

Dividing time
in jagged streaks of speed
they dash about
Heads bob poking sand
Behind trails of outbound sea.

Waves crash in quiet thunder
Rolling out to settle in the deep

Here, is where I’ve wandered.
A thousand times I’ve come
To be swallowed up by ocean space,
To wash away troubles of thought and mind
Into the sea.

3/10/98

The Power of Heritage

This morning's reading is the chapter "Palestine" in Margaret Macmillan's book, Paris 1919. This chapter is part of several that make up a section under the title of "Setting the Middle East Alight." These chapters describe how the victorious allied powers after World War I, established the modern Middle East and sowed the seeds of which we have already seen the fruit, see the continuing harvest in today's present situation, and see portends of days to come.

The chapter on Palestine provides a good summary of the diplomacy and intrigue underlying the ultimate settlement leading to the British Mandate of Palestine from the League of Nations. It's fascinating reading. What is obvious but worthy of remembering is that the sympathy and support for the Zionist cause by the leaders of Britain and America were rooted in the deep soil of the common heritage that these Christian Nations shared with the Jewish people. The Christian Faith, growing from the root of Judaism, was what leaders like Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour were nurtured on from their youth. Macmillan points out that both men had grown up on the bible and that Lloyd George "was taught far more about the history of the Jews than about the history of (his) own land." Woodrow Wilson called himself the "son of a manse" and felt honored that he "should be able to help restore the the Holy Land to its people."

Despite Arab protests and refusal to recognize the mandate, the course of history rolled onward. The Word of God, having taken root in the hearts and minds of these men, helped shape the future course of world history. God, the "ruler of the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1), worked behind the scenes utilizing his earthy agents, to carry out his higher purpose.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Wall of Partition

I recently recalled a passage of scripture where Paul the Apostle prayed that the hearts of the believers would be knit together in love (Ephesians). This passage came to mind last night while attending a dinner with a group of business associates from another country. These associates represented a totally different culture and faith. I realized during this dinner how wide the gap is between peoples which caused me to consider the many things separating the peoples of the world. In the book of Ephesians, Paul spoke about Christ's death breaking down the middle wall of partition, the enmity, which actually referred to the Jewish Ritual Law. This wall of partition actually represents all that divides and separates mankind. In Ephesians, the true Church is represented as being composed of Jew and Gentiles who have been joined together to become one holy temple and dwelling place of God. I remembered that the nearest and dearest, most heartfelt relationships I've had are those that were based on faith in Christ. There is truly something real and genuine that believers in Christ of any culture can experience when the middle wall of partition has been torn down so hearts can be knit together in love.

His Excellency: George Washington

Today I began reading His Excellency: George Washington, by Joseph J Ellis, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Founding Brothers. Mr. Ellis, in the first chapter, provides glimpses into the early years of George Washington's life and events that left profound, life long impressions on his person, views and character. His role in the beginnings of the French and Indian War including the Fort Necessity experience, were key events positioning George Washington in the middle of large political events of the times. I was reminded that George Washington was first and foremost a warrior....his beginnings in public and political affairs were rooted in his military endeavors. Another reminder that the beginnings of our Nation are very much rooted in the military.

Hewitt Inspired Blog

Just received a note from Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost that this Blog has been added to the Hewitt Inspired List of Blogs.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Magellan's Fatal Flaw

Magellan’s rash stubbornness and flawed judgment eventually led to his ultimate fate….he was hacked to death by indigenous forces lead by Lapu Lapu in the Battle of Mactan.

There was no practical reason for Magellan to have engaged this Island King. Magellan had enjoyed good relations with other Island Kings in the Philippine Archipelago where he was celebrated and the recipient of much honor at many royal feasts held on his behalf having entered into “blood brother” relations with at least two of the Island Kings. Members of Magellan’s expedition enjoyed good relations with the Natives and hospitality and trading between the Europeans and the Island natives abounded.

Magellan’s flaw was his growing obsession as a messenger of the Catholic Church and his perceived immortality. He had deviated from his specific charter from King Charles to “go in search of the Strait, demonstrate that that the Spice Islands belonged to Spain, and return in ships laden with spices. He now put aside his commercial goals in favor of conversions and conquest.” (Bergreen) Magellan had previously held that no one would be forced to become a Christian. He now turned toward forced conversions of the Islanders which was contrary to the Church’s doctrine concerning the baptism of adults but consistent with the spirit of the Inquisition. This approach was what eventually led to Magellan’s conflict with Lapu Lapu resulting in his own death.



Friday, November 26, 2004

Magellan's Quest

Laurence Bergreen's account of Magellen's expedition to find the fabled passage leading to the Spice Islands, portays Magellan as a man on a divine mission, having been sent by God and the King of Spain. Magellan believed he was God's servant doing God's will and that God was providing for and protecting him along this perilous journey. He believed that eventually God would assist him in achieving his goal. A man on the expedition by the name of Gomez offered a competing vision of the expedition to that of Magellan's. Gomez, in the words of Bergreen, was a "rebellious rationalist" who eventually deserted the the expedition. This conflict of vision occured prior to Magellan discovering the famed passage to the Pacific that now bears his name. If Magellan would have bowed to Gomez' "rationalist" view which called for a return to Spain despite having not achieved the goal of the expedition, Magellan would not have discovered the famed passage way on this expedition. According to Bergreen, "Magellan's skill in negotiating the entire length of the strait is acknowledged as the single greatest feat in the history of maritime expoloration. It was, perhaps, an even greater accomplishment than Columbus's discovery of the New World....."

The theme portayed here reminds us that rejecting and choosing a course contrary to the competing point of view, even one which is "rational" and which offers near term relief from difficult circumstances, can result in great acheivements of historical importance.

As my reading continues and the story unfolds...hints indicate that this great achievement will possibly be tarnished by Magellan's failures of judgement or character. I'll post my disoveries.....