Friday, April 25, 2008

Palm trees in stormy frame

Palm trees in stormy relief: contrast, light and shadow and cloud-texture. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A rainstorm over Lake Okeechobee

Rain pours in blue out on the lake, clouds in varying hue. Enjoy!

Jesus alone defends His own

Worship, and thanks, and blessing

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Deliverance

Worship, and thanks, and blessing,
And strength ascribe to Jesus!
Jesus alone
Defends His own,
When earth and hell oppress us.
Jesus with joy we witness
Almighty to deliver;
Our seal set to,
That God is true,
And reigns a King for ever.

Omnipotent Redeemer,
Our ransomed souls adore thee:
Our Saviour thou,
We find it now,
And give thee all the glory.
We sing thine arm unshortened,
Brought through our sore temptation;
With heart and voice
In thee rejoice,
The God of our salvation.

Thine arm has safely brought us
A way no more expected,
Than when thy sheep
Passed through the deep,
By crystal walls protected.
Thy glory was our rearward,
Thine hand our lives did cover,
And we, ev'n we,
Have walked the sea,
And marched triumphant over.

The world and Satan's malice
Thou, Jesus, hast confounded;
And, by thy grace,
With songs of praise
Our happy souls resounded.
Accepting our deliverance,
We triumph in thy favour,
And for the love
Which now we prove
Shall praise thy name for ever!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Global food prices rising: starvation looms, riots ensue

Austin Bay talks of the food crisis, and implies that the factors involved are more complex than a simplistic reliance upon ethanol. So I offer his thoughts [Food Crisis and Starvation: The Maze of Maize] to balance my previous post highlighting the green rape of poor people.

I agree that the factors are more complex than simple green doctrine alone. However, I stand by my statement that the consequences of such green doctrine are yet to be counted, to the detriment of the poor of the world, and potentially, the environment, too.

To quote John at Powerline:

One fundamental issue, maybe the most important one, is that most governments can't resist meddling in the farm economy. Ethanol is also a big part of the problem. Whatever you think of ethanol--and lots of people here in the Midwest think it's terrific, especially for the local economy--it's hard to avoid the conclusion that we picked a bad time to start burning a big chunk of our biggest crop.

Apt words.

An addendum from Dana H., commentator at Austin Bay blog:

I hope people realize that this is what happens when green chickens come home to roost. Biofuel subsidies are an obvious and immediate cause of higher food prices. But one reason oil is so expensive (which in turn makes food expensive) is environmental restrictions on exploration (e.g., ANWR) and extraction (e.g., the California coast). Nuclear power, which could substitute for oil-burning plants thereby driving down demand for oil, has been all but regulated out of existence (at least in the US). It’s probably a much more minor effect, but green regulations have also stymied any increase in hydroelectric power, and have even caused dams to be destroyed.

Thought provoking, and in line with my assertion that we have yet to pay the piper for the long-term results of green doctrine: a cure which might dramatically trump the disease, in terms of its detriment on human life.

Right now, the people paying the steepest price for green doctrine [and other catalysts] are the poorest people of our planet. Consider: How many additional African orphans will die this year because of comfortable, environmentally chic mantras in America?

Thanks for caring.


Greatest line of the day

Imagine James Dobson in Birkenstock's & a ponytail

David Kopel looks at BHO and HRC trying to woo gun owners, and riffs on the irony:

Imagine an election race of Pat Robertson versus James Dobson, each of them appearing at organic grocery stores and Starbucks throughout Massachusetts, with each candidate insisting that he alone deserves the vote of gay-marriage advocates. An equally silly spectacle is taking place these days in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky, as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama compete for the pro-gun vote.

Read it all, it's rich.

Don't miss the detailing of Obama's seamless anti-gun record compared to his current words -- and this is just one subject! The same disingenuous disconnect exists on so many levels and issues... it's pretty astonishing, the chasm between words and actions, even for a postmodern politician. One Hillary voter put it this way: "Hillary may tell lies but Obama is a living lie."

Interesting. Yo'Bama git yer gun! :-)


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The silent green rape of needy people

Thanks Lisa Benson, for a provocative and prophetic cartoon!

The pontiff and the pontificator

Ok, this one was just too rich to pass up! Michael Ramirez is off the top rope: professional body slam in art form, lol. Enjoy!

Hat tip for an awesome title goes to John at Powerline.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A painting of evening clouds over Lake Okeechobee

The Master Artist at work, blending light and dark, closer darkened clouds and far away light! Enjoy!

Prayers for the 9th day

In the morning

Give me this day, O God,
  • The energy I need to face my work;
  • The diligence I need to do it well;
  • The self-discipline, which will make me work just as hard, even if there is none to see, and none to praise, and none to blame;
  • The self-respect which will not stoop to produce anything which is less than my best;
  • The courtesy and considerateness, which will make me easy to live with and easy to work with.

Help me to so live today that I may make this world a happier place wherever I may be: through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

In the Evening

Give me this night, O Father, the peace of mind which is truly rest.

Take from me
  • All envy of anyone else;
  • All resentment for anything which has been withheld from me;
  • All bitterness against anyone who has hurt me or wronged me;
  • All anger against the apparent injustice of life;
  • All foolish worry about the future, and all futile regret about the past.

Help me to be
  • At peace with myself;
  • At peace with my fellowmen;
  • At peace with you.

So indeed may I lay myself down to rest in peace: through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hurry! Let me drink, let me drink!

A friend shared this 1919 pre-prohibition poster with me...

All I can say is, "Save me, Lady Liquor, save me!"

grin. Enjoy!


Monday, April 07, 2008

An ad that New York Times radio won't run

Fifteen seconds

Fifteen seconds. Imagine you had fifteen seconds to find shelter from an incoming missile. Fifteen seconds to locate your children, help an elderly relative, assist a disabled person to find shelter.

That's all the residents of Sderot and neighboring Israeli towns have.

Day or night, the sirens go on. Fifteen seconds later, the missiles, fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza, hit. They could hit a home, a school, a hospital. Their aim is to kill and wound and demoralize.

Imagine yourself in that situation.

The sirens blast. 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The time to seek shelter has ended. The missiles hit.

This is what Israelis experience daily. But, amazingly, they refuse to be cowed. Help us help those Israelis. Visit

Thanks, Powerline.

Click the link and read the articles. 'Nuff said...

God bless Israel.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

In memoriam of G.L. Mershimer

Today is the anniversary of my father’s death, and in honor of a great man, I offer this poem. It distills the virtues that dad tried to instill. He loved this poem, and for good reason: it contains the essence of bracing, manly character – truths of personhood that truly caring fathers and mothers would love to have reflected in their sons… and yet lost seemingly lost virtues in a postmodern age of victims and identity politics.

Here’s the classic poem by Rudyard Kipling, in honor of G.L. Mershimer:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And – which is more – you'll be a Man my son!

Thanks, Dad!

I can still hear your words, “Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run!”



My beloved, arise

Come away to the skies
Words: The Southern Harmony, 1835, alt.
Tune: Middlebury

Come away to the skies,
my beloved, arise
and rejoice in the day thou wast born;
on this festival day,
come exulting away,
and with singing to Zion return.

Now with singing and praise,
let us spend all the days,
by our heavenly Father bestowed,
while His grace we receive
from His bounty, and live
to the honor and glory of God.

For the glory we were
first created to share,
both the nature and kingdom divine!
Now created again
that our lives may remain,
throughout time and eternity thine.

We with thanks do approve
the design of that love
which hath joined us to Jesus' Name;
so united in heart,
let us nevermore part,
till we meet at the feast of the Lamb.

Hallelujah we sing,
to our Father and King,
and His rapturous praises, repeat:
to the Lamb that was slain,
hallelujah again,
sing, all heaven, and fall at His feet.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A kingdom of kings and priests

Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king! To this end I was born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth: every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. — John 18:37


George MacDonald

Yet the Lord says he came into the world to be king!

What then is the kingdom over which the Lord cares to reign? I answer: A kingdom of kings, and no other. A kingdom where every man is a king, there and there only does the Lord care to reign, in the name of his Father.

As no king in Europe would care to reign over a cannibal, a savage, or an animal race, so the Lord cares for no kingdom over anything this world calls a nation. A king must rule over his own kind. Jesus is a king in virtue of no conquest, inheritance, or election, but in right of essential being. And he cares for no subjects but such as are his subjects in the same right. His subjects must be of his own kind, in their very nature and essence kings.

To understand his answer to Pilate, we must see what his kingship consists of – we must see what it is that makes him a king, what manifestation of his essential being gives him a claim to be king.

It is this: The Lord’s is a kingdom in which no man seeks to be above another. Ambition is of the dirt of this world’s kingdoms. He says, “I am a king, for I was born for the purpose, I came into the world with the object of bearing witness to the truth. Everyone that is of my kind, that is of the truth, hears my voice. He is a king like me, and is one of my subjects.”

Thereupon — as would most Christians nowadays, instead of setting about being true — Pilate requests a definition of truth, a presentation to his intellect in set terms of what the word truth means.

Yet instantly, whether knowing his inquiry was useless, or intending to resume it after he had se the Lord free, he goes out to the people to tell them he finds no fault in him. Whatever interpretation we put on his action here, he must be far less to blame than those ‘Christians’ who, instead of setting themselves to be pure ‘even as he is pure,’ to be their brother and sister’s keeper, and to serve God by being honorable in shop and bank and office and market, proceed to ‘serve’ him by going to church, by condemning the opinions of their neighbors, and by teaching others what they do not themselves heed.

Neither Pilate nor they ask the one true question, ‘How am I to be a true man? How am I to become a man worth being a man?’

The Lord is a king because his life — the life of his thoughts, of his imagination, of his will, of every smallest action — is true. He is true first to God the Father in that he is altogether His. Then he is true to himself in that he forgets himself altogether. Finally, he is true to his fellows in that he will endure anything they do to him, and not cease declaring himself the son and messenger and likeness of God. They will kill him, but it matters not — the truth is as He says!


George MacDonald, "Kingship," Unspoken Sermons: Series Three.