SEVERAL MAJOR NEWS STORIES ARE
VYING FOR OUR ATTENTION; HERE
ARE OUR COMMENTS ON A FEW
What seems to be the biggest news story, and thus
conceivably the most important, is the Russian attack
and invasion of the small independent nation of
Georgia. With America voicing the strongest protest,
and urging Russia to withdraw, Russia -- or Prime
Minister Putin -- has effectively challenged America
and President Bush to choose between its diplomatic
ties with Georgia, or its long term relationship with
Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
responded to Bush's call for Russia to respect the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia by
declaring "We can forget about talks on Georgia's
For those of us who can remember, what we are
seeing today is fearfully similar to the attempt to take
over Europe by Adolph Hitler some 70 years ago.
Even given the possibility of some measure of
success from the agreement for a cease fire and
withdrawal of Russian forces as crafted by French
President Sarkozy and US Secretary of State Rice,
this crisis may be only at its beginning, rather than
at its conclusion.
In the opinions of some observers, the new "cold war"
has already begun -- as Russia, through Deputy Chief
of Staff, General Nogoitsyn, threatens to use nuclear
weapons against Poland because of their agreement
with the US to install nuclear missile defense devices,
saying,"Poland, by deploying the system, is exposing
itself to a strike -- 100 per cent." Russian military
doctrine allows using nuclear weapons in such event.
Former Senator Fred Thompson, once an almost
presidential candidate, summed up the total situation
and spoke of the future effect: "While this crisis
plays out, we should also note that these events
give evidence of a larger reality; the next
American President is going to face an inter-
national landscape that is more difficult and
more treacherous than we have ever faced."
Based on that evaluation -- which appears to be
perfectly valid -- Thompson added this conclusion:
"This is no time to elect a president whose
international experience is limited to speaking
to adoring European crowds who want to see
the United States retreat from the world until
they require our help in the next crisis that
threatens them... This election cycle the traffic
in the world is very heavy, and dangerous; it's
no time to give a kid with barely a learner's
permit the keys to the car."
Lower in importance, and really low in terms of
accepted moral standards, is former Senator John
Edwards' affair with a video employee who worked
on his failed presidential campaign. As she so often
does, Ann Coulter summed it up well in the heading
for her column of August 14: "Even By Trial
Lawyer Standards, Edwards A Real Sleazebag."
With the nation's apparent salacious appetite sated
by the extensive detailed coverage of the affair by
the news media, it is not our intention to repeat the
tawdry details of Edward's extra marital exploits.
Rather, we offer two reminders: (1) We Americans
should be profoundly grateful that Mr. Edwards'
failed to be elected vice-president in 2004, and
that his campaign to become the Democrat nominee
for president in the present election also failed. And
(2) It is a simple fact that individuals with morals as
low as those demonstrated by former president
Clinton, and wannabe-president Edwards should
never be elected to positions of leadership in our
government, and certainly not elected as president.
In support of that conviction, recall these statements
by men who established the principles upon which this
nation was founded.
"Providence has given to our people the choice
of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the
privilege and interest of our Christian nation to
select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
(John Jay, 1816)
"If the citizens neglect their duty and place
unprincipled men in office, the government will
soon be corrupted ... because the citizens neglect
the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make
and administer the laws." (Noah Webster, 1832)
"Those who are Mahometans (Muslims), or any
others who are not professors of the Christian
religion, can never be elected to the office of
President or other high office, unless first the
people of the America lay aside the Christian
religion altogether." (Samuel Johnson, 1788)
Those were the principles our Founding Fathers
established for this new nation. Those principles
made America great. The abandoning of them will
lead to America's demise -- or our Founding Fathers
were wrong in establishing what we later chose to be
called, "one nation, under God."
And there is the Olympics story. Begun in 776
BC as a religious ceremony honoring Zeus and
Hora, the name grew out of the place where the
games were held: Olympia. The games continued
essentially as a Greek affair for some 1200 years,
before being banned by the Roman Emperor
Theodosius in 393 AD. They were revived as
our present day international games in 1896 in
Athens with 12 nations competing in 9 events.
Since then the Olympic games have been held
without interruption every 4 years -- climaxing
with this year's games in China.
In recent years the games have been beset with
serious problems such as charges of bribery to
influence the International Committee to select a
host city, financial deficits, use of performance
enhancing drugs by athletes, etc. Now the China
games are branded with a new offense: fakery.
The TV audience for the opening ceremony was
nearly 35 million in the US, with record numbers of
viewers in all major TV markets around the world.
"Spectacular" was the over-riding term for the
opening ceremonies, with "too long" (at 4 hours)
the next most frequent descriptive term. But now a
series of disclosures have revealed that "fakery" is
also a fitting term for that ceremony.
Fake #1 -- the angelic 9 year old girl who sang so
beautifully the "Ode to the Motherland," was actually
lip-syncing a recording by another young girl, Yang
Petyl, whom the producers decided not to use in
person because she has crooked teeth.
Fake #2 -- the ethnic children, in different native
dress who carried the Chinese flag, supposedly
representing the 56 ethnic groups which make up
the China of today were young actors from the
Galaxy Children's Art Troupe, mostly all from the
dominant Han ethnic group which makes up some
92% of China's population -- the other 55 ethnic
groups make up only 8% of the population.
Fake #3 -- TV viewers were awed by the fireworks
displays which seemed to erupt from right in the vast
stadium and which did things that fireworks have
never done before-- but they were both pre-recorded
and computer generated, and were only seen by the
TV audiences -- not by the spectators in the stadium.
One blogger wrote: "So forget Beijing 2008. Best
opening ceremony so far is still Sydney 2000.
They didn't see it necessary to use computer
generated images to impress the world."
We can't fail to mention the so-called religious
joint appearance of Barack Obama and John McCain.
It wasn't the block-buster sensation Rick Warren's
PR firm had anticipated, but the media keeps labeling
Warren as the most influential Evangelical in the
country . . . and a successor to Billy Graham. Mr.
Warren's first statement on Saturday evening was
"We believe in the separation of church and
state." With that phrase he severed himself from
the nation's Evangelicals, and more deeply placed
himself within the "new Liberalism," or the "new Left."
As for being another "Billy Graham," that is surely
an implausible comparison. Billy Graham was an
evangelist in the Evangelical tradition, fulfilling the
definition of the "New Evangelicalism" as offered
by the theological father of the Evangelical position,
Carl. F.H. Henry, "The evangelical task primarily
is the preaching of the Gospel, in the interest of
individual regeneration by the supernatural
grace of God, in such a way that divine
redemption can be recognized as the best solution
of our problems, individual and social." ("The
Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism") Or
as Billy Graham used to preach, "Communism says
change society, and society will change man.
The Gospel says change man and man will change
society." Billy Graham and the true Evangelicals put
social change as the result of the Gospel, never in
place of it. Cures for HIV-AIDs, relieving poverty,
enforcing human rights, concern for the environment
-- all these are good, but they must follow the Gospel,
not displace it.
And that is where Evangelicalism differs from the
New Liberalism or the New Left. But you can't fault
the media. They are not theologically trained; they
write what they are told.
As for the program involving Obama and McCain;
pure objectivity is difficult when so much affecting
America as a Christian nation is at stake -- but in our
view, John McCain emerged as the clear winner,
based on the type of questions which were asked.
And then there is the gasoline problem, arising
from our dependence on imported oil. While the
entire nation is pleading with Congress to lift its ban
on off-shore drilling and drilling in the Alaskan
wilderness, Nancy Pelosi sent Congress on an
extended Summer vacation -- her rationale: the
Democrat mantra "we can't drill ourselves out of
this problem." Do they think we are all incredibly
stupid? They argue that if we started drilling today it
would take 5 years before there were meaningful new
supplies. But if we had started drilling 5 years ago,
we would have that supply now. How does it make
any sense to keep delaying new drilling when there is
always that 5 year lag? Apparently while she was on
her nation-wide book signing tour, Ms. Pelosi heard
enough people complaining, and now she says when
Congress ends this vacation, she will permit a vote
on new drilling to develop America's own source of
oil. The question remains: Why is Congress so
reluctant to listen to and respond to the demands of
the American people?
Some Random Afterthoughts . . .
A projected change in America: some months ago
we reported on a projection to the effect that by
2050 people of the white race will be in the minority.
Now a later survey has revised that projection, and
the minority status for whites is estimated to occur 8
years earlier, in 2042. By 2050, the white percentage
will be 46%, with Latinos 30%, blacks 15% and
Asians 9%. One other interesting statistic: by 2050
the population 85 and older will triple to 19 million.
Where do Americans get their news? A survey
just released last week gives an interesting report:
46% get their news from TV . . . 34% from
newspapers . . . and 25% from the Internet. Just
think back a few years when there was no Internet
. . . and even a few more years when some of us
can remember there was no TV, just radio . . . and
yet today radio isn't even listed as being of any
Rather than our usual closing quote from one of
our Founding Fathers, or from a distinguished
former national leader, we offer this quotation from
a present day voice who so often cuts straight to the
heart of the issue: "Once upon a time, we saw
America as the greatest nation on earth.
American citizenship was a great privilege, an
honor worth dying for. Today, our history is
being rewritten by the politically correct,
patriotism is mocked by the elites and many
yearn to be 'citizens of the world.' Why is it that
in America today radical groups like MoveOn.org
and the militant homosexual rights movement
have come to wield such influence in our public
policy debates? How was the radical “green”
movement able to so dominate our energy policy
and put so many of our own vital resources off
limits? These are difficult questions, but they
deserve our attention. America desperately needs
to rediscover the cherished values that once
united us and turn again to the common sense
principles that have served us so well." -- Gary
Bauer, "End of Day," 08/14/08