It seemed like an appropriate term, "illegal aliens," to refer
to people from another country who had entered this country
illegally, in violation of our national laws. But "Political
Correctness" prevailed, and that term was tacitly forbidden,
along with its companion designation, "Illegal Immigrants."
The acceptable term became "Undocumented Immigrants,"
or "Undocumented Workers." The ridiculous aspect of these
requirements provoked comments like this: "Calling an illegal
alien an ‘undocumented immigrant’ is like calling a burglar
an uninvited house guest." It is obvious that Conservatives
who are concerned about the prevailing immigration problem
and our wide open borders have not been particularly pleased
with that "politically correct" designation.

So it was something of a surprise when on August 6, ABC
TV network news (not a bastion of conservative thought) used
the term "illegal immigrants" when referring to the execution
style murder of three American college students quite close to
the campus of Seton Hall University. The illegals also raped
two of the students and left a fourth girl close to death. The TV
coverage was not the only use of the forbidden term – ABC’s
email reporting of the event on the Internet August 21 used the
term 8 times in the one account.

Also pointed out was the fact that the apparent leader of the
assassins, an illegal from Peru, had been arrested twice for
violent crimes, but had not been convicted. His presence, free
and at large in the area, was well known to immigration and
naturalization officials.

The residency status of these illegals has moved this crime into
the fore-front of the ongoing debate about illegal immigration.
And "debate" is all that it is; it is not an action event by the Bush
administration or by members of Congress and the Senate from
either side of the aisle. Newark is a self-proclaimed "sanctuary
city" making it a haven for illegal immigrants and providing them
with a relative degree of security and freedom from prosecution.

"Where’s the fence?" is the title of a series of Internet ads put
together by an activist organization called Grassfire.org, referring
to the 800 miles of border fencing, authorized by Congress and
signed into law by President Bush on October 26, 2006, with
funding of $1.2 billion authorized by a Homeland Security bill.
To date some 12 - 18 miles of fence have been completed. And
now to further hamper the project, half of the National Guard
troops assigned to bolster the Border Patrol agents have been
withdrawn, leaving the fence building to the overworked and
understaffed Border Patrol.

Feelings are running high, particularly in the states which border
Mexico: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Rich Pierce,
executive vice president of the National Border Patrol Council
spoke bluntly, "The president’s game of pretending to enforce
our border continues. He has never been serious about this
issue at all."

The opponents of the enforcement of our immigration laws have
a new poster girl, Elvira Areliano, an illegal who sneaks back
into this country every time she is deported. Her strong objection
to American immigration laws is that those cruel laws separate
a mother from her child. Yes, she has an illegitimate son, born
in this country, and thus entitled to full citizenship. "Why not
simply take the boy with her when she is deported?" you may ask.

Elvira, despite not speaking any English, is not stupid. Her son is
entitled to welfare support, education and health care here in
America. And so it goes.

The criminal bent of illegal immigrants is not easily proven
by the simplest mathematical equations. Yet the evidence is there,
based on national studies of prison confinements demonstrating
that illegals are twice as apt to be convicted for crime as the rest
of the US population. Similar studies in Arizona, the most densely
illegal immigrant populated state, produce the same result, as do
other studies in the 13 states with the highest percentages of
illegal immigrant population. And there is another important
factor: the issue of national security. Mike McConnell, the Director
of National Intelligence, has admitted that Iraqi terrorists have
been apprehended while trying to enter the United States from
Mexico. In an interview with the El Paso Times he said, "There are
numerous situations where people are alive today because we
caught them [terrorists]."

In that respect, it is reported that al Qaeda is looking at the
US/Mexico open border situation as a route to enter the United
States and inflict what they speak of as "mass casualties." The US
Customs and Border Protection officers have intercepted 178
Iraqis seeking to cross the US/Mexican border already this year,
whereas only 60 such interceptions took place during 2006.

What they are called is not the most important fact.
What is important is the fact that millions of illegal immigrants
are already living in this country, and that unlimited numbers
of others are joining them year after year. The parades, the
demonstrations in Los Angeles and other border areas make
it clear that not only do they want to become American citizens
overnight, by a stroke of a legislative or judicial pen, they also
want to reclaim for Mexico the entire American Southwest which
they claim was taken from Mexico by the United States. This is
not an issue to be minimized by equating it with who picks our
lettuce or who makes the beds in our motels. This is an issue,
long ignored by administrations of both political parties, but
one which has now taken on very serious aspects of major
national importance.

A Quote from Theodore Roosevelt, three days before his
death in 1919: "We should insist that if the immigrant who
comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates
himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with
everyone else ... But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming
in every fact an American...and nothing but an American...We
have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room
for but one language here, and that is the
English language ...
and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty
to the American people."

Afterthoughts . . .

A forthcoming wedding ... sort of. Vicki Gene Robinson, the
homosexual Bishop of New Hampshire, whose appointment and
consecration ignited the uproar which has brought the Anglican
Communion to the brink of deep schism, announced in London
last week that in June, just a few weeks prior to the Lambeth
Conference, he and his male partner will celebrate a civil union
under New Hampshire law. How can anyone comment on an
announcement like that?

Just when it seemed he had gone silent, Jesse Jackson is
touring Great Britain, preaching his doctrine that ethnic minorities
are not fairly represented in the British government. Although
the slave trade was abolished in Britain in 1807, Jackson claims
that the present government became economically sound because
of slavery,and wants the government to apologize for it. "We must
not speak of slavery and the slave trade in past tense terms,"

he said. Two hundred years since 1807 would seem to be past tense.

"One of the most distorted programs ever," is the way a
major TV watchdog agency described CNN’s "God’s Warriors"
with Christiane Amanpour, an Iranian with American citizenship,
and married to Jamie Rubin, himself a Jew. Amanpour’s liberal
views and her abysmal lack of understanding of the Christian faith
adversely affected the three part film, shown on CNN last week.
"The CNN series is false in its basic premise,"
was the evaluation
of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in
America... The report concluded with these words, "Whether
wittingly or not, Amanpour’s program ... is a perfect illustration
of classical propaganda techniques."
The best hope on the part
of Christians is that the program enjoyed only a small audience,
and will soon be forgotten. Unfortunately, Christiane Amanpour
and CNN will still be around. In other words: don’t feel bad if you
missed it.

A clever use of EBAY and the Michael Vick matter. A lady
in the state of Missouri had a collection of Michael Vick cards, and
gave them to her dogs and let them chew on the image of Vick.
When the cards were terribly damaged, she retrieved them and
offered them for sale on EBAY. At last report she had 2,000 bids,
the highest being for $455. A few cards, unchewed, were going for
less than half of the bids for the chewed ones.There is probably a
lesson in there somewhere.

A meaningful understatement from Australia: as part
of a lengthy report on a new "values" test which applicants for
Australian citizenship must pass was this summary statement:
a masterpiece of understatement and a great thumb nail sketch
of the prevailing immigration situation in just about every country
of the world. "According to 2006 census figures only about 1.7%
of Australia’s 21 million people are Muslims, but as in other
Western countries with growing Muslim populations the com -
munity has assumed a disproportionately high profile since 9/11."

It could not be said much better.

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The Historical Background: This is the way it was.
When our nation’s Founding Fathers assembled in 1787 for
the first Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, there
were 55 delegates who would discuss, debate and edit the
document until they reached agreement, and began the
signing process which was completed in 1789.

One of the first actions taken while the formal signing was
still in process, was to develop a set of Amendments to the
Constitution, the first ten of which were finalized in 1791 and
became known as "The Bill of Rights."

The First Amendment can be said to have been the
most important in the minds of the Founding Fathers, if for
no other reason than it was the first amendment they proposed.
It dealt with the issues of our rights of freedom; freedom of
religion, of speech, of the press, and of the right to assemble.

Concerning religion, here is what the First Amendment says;
just 16 words: "Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise

The Founding Fathers obviously felt that the right of freedom
of religion was extremely important, so important that they
made it the first freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The
wording and the intent are clear and simple: Congress can
not make any law affecting any establishment of religion, nor
can Congress make any law which would in any way restrict
the right of the people of the United States of America to have
freedom to worship and to express themselves on religious

And what religion did the Founding Fathers have in mind
when they established the Bill of Rights? Very obviously it
was Christianity. It was the only religion in which they were
in any way involved. The 55 delegates were members of
these denominations of Christian churches: Episcopal/
Anglican; Presbyterian, Congregational; Quaker; Catholic;
Methodist; Lutheran and Dutch Reformed.

As confirmed by the writings and the speeches of the
Founding Fathers, no other form of religion was involved
in any way; this nation was founded on the principles of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Christianity.

That is the way it was in 1791 and that is the way it was
until 1948 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that any
religious instruction in public schools was unconstitutional
because it violated what the Court termed "separation of
church and state," a concept which the Court now considers
to be based on the First Amendment.

In the immediate succeeding years, spurred by the perhaps
overly aggressive action of the ACLU, other aspects of
the Christian faith were banned by the Supreme Court, and
soon any kind of prayer, any Bible reading, any posting of
the Ten Commandments, any display of the Nativity Scene,
and even the use of terms like "Christmas recess," or "Easter
recess" were banned, as was any use of the term "God" by
school officials.

So that is the way it is. But we already knew that. By the
action of the courts, all the way from the Supreme Court to
local municipal and state courts, in just those 60 years any
expression of the Christian faith in schools or in public
facilities has just about been made "unconstitutional." That
this could happen in a nation founded by Christian men on
historic Judeo/Christian principles would seem impossible.

But the evidence is all around us. In those years since God was
thrown out of our schools, teen age crime, teen age drug use,
teen age pregnancies, teen age suicides have all increased. The
only notable decline has been in the level of SAT (Scholastic
Aptitude Test) scores.

But amid all this, we made a false assumption. We made
the assumption that the courts would use the term "religion" in
a generic sense, and that these new rules and restrictions would
apply to all religions.

But this is not the case. As the Muslim followers of the Islam
religion became more active and more aggressive, it has
become obvious that any relationship between governments
and Islam is not considered to be "unconstitutional."

Increasingly public universities and cities are paying to have
foot-washing facilities installed for Islamists to perform the
act of "ablution" before their several daily prayer times. This
action includes facilities for taxi drivers outside municipal
airports. And in schools allowances are made to accommodate
the Muslim students in their prayer needs, and to allow for
school holidays on Islamic "holy days." Those are just a few
examples of a rapidly growing trend.

Those supposedly "little problems" which are rigidly enforced
against Christian students become openly permissive practices
with respect to Muslims, but there has been no relinquishing
of control of Christian students. Thus, in a very real sense, the
Christian faith has become secondary in America, a nation
which has always been considered to be Christian, in one degree
or another.

And who is responsible for degrading Christianity?
It is easy to point to the courts as responsible, and it is true that
the strange interpretation of the First Amendment originated
with the Supreme Court, as did all the subsequent limitations
of any expression of the Christian faith. And it was a majority
of one in the Massachusetts Supreme Court which made "same
sex" homosexual marriage legal. But the courts did not act in a
vacuum. They were aided and abetted by organizations like the
ACLU, but probably more so by people across America who were
actively expressing their opinions.

But look at the numbers. There are in this country something
between 1.4 and 2.4 million Muslims, or between .5 and .8% of
the population. There are approximately 2.5 million atheists
and agnostics, or about .8% of the population. There are about
4.3 million BGLT (all types) homosexuals, or 1.5% of the
population. But there are an estimated 125 million born again/
evangelicals, or 44% of the population.

The answer is glaringly obvious. As Christians we have been and
still are outmaneuvered by much smaller numbers of opponents.
We appear to be content to sit back in the hope that the status quo
will continue, while those who oppose our way of life are actively
seeking ways to change it. They are not willing to come to this
country, content to accept the right to worship freely in a Christian
environment, but they come with their own religion and demand
that it be honored and revered above the faith upon which this
nation was built and under which it has grown and prospered to
represent the best hopes of men and nations throughout the world.

A very applicable quote. Speaking of the Liberal mantra,
"Anything and everything Islam is okay with us, " Sher Zieve
wrote "Perpetuated by these same groups, anything and
everything Christian is in process of being removed from life
as we know it. Christianity, which essentially preaches peace,
is being barred from American life while Islam, that preaches
war and death to all non Muslims, is being deified. We the people
have but two choices. We can ignore these mounting perils to
our existence, and choose to end our lives, or we can fight them."
- Sher Zieve, New Median Journal. 08/02/07.

Afterthoughts . . .

A new name for God. Or at least a different name. Actually
this one has been around since sometime in the 7th century
when Muhammad came up with it. Now a Catholic Bishop in
the Netherlands has proposed that all churches use the name
"Allah" for God to ease the tensions between Muslims and
Christians. One might ask why the Bishop didn’t suggest that
the tension might equally be resolved by the Muslims giving
in and use the name God, which has been around a whole lot
longer, and there are more of us than there are Muslims. But
those people never seem to be involved in any form of logic.

A note for avid computer users. One of the most used
"Free" services of the Internet is "Wikipedia," the on-line
encyclopedia. One of its weaknesses is that almost anyone
can make changes in the explanatory sections of the many
subjects included therein. Recently it was disclosed that
some corporations were altering descriptions of their
products – making them look better, of course. But here
is one of a different sort. Traced to a Democrat HQ the
page dedicated to radio spokesperson Rush Limbaugh,
spoke of him as "idiotic" and "ridiculous" and described
his millions of listeners as "legally retarded."

One of the effects of a non marriage society. Europe
may be awakening to the fact that the plunging birth rates
on the continent may lead into national extinction. Of the
10 nations of the world with the lowest birth rates, 9 are
in Europe. Year after year, fewer children are being born
to support, and in turn replace the world’s community. In
some European countries the birth rate is as low as 1.2 per
woman. The World Conference of Families and the Family
Research Council are working to awaken world leaders to
the need to return to pro marriage and pro family values.

A final decision by Lutherans. It was under discussion
and debate for a long time, but on the last day of the annual
meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA) last week a decision was reached. The resolution,
adopted by a delegate vote of 538-431 urged Bishops to
refrain from disciplining pastors "who are in faithful
committed same gender relationships." It has been pointed
out that the "faithful relationship" with homosexuals replaces
a "faithful relation ship" with Jesus Christ. Sadly, what we
have is another group of church leaders under the name of
"Christian" establishing themselves as a higher authority
than the Bible.

A good word from an old friend. It was good to see
Joseph Califano on TV this past week, in his present position
as President of the National Association of Addiction and
Substance Abuse at Columbia University. As one of the better
(perhaps the best) choices made by President Jimmy Carter,
Califano served as Secretary of Health Education and Welfare.

In this most recent appearance he warned of the drug scene
on America’s High School campuses (giving very frightening
examples) and commented on the fact that parents are greatly
concerned about sending their children to a school where there
may be some asbestos dust, but are not concerned about
sending their students into the world of readily available drugs.

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It seems like the election campaign has been going on for
way too long, but actually election day 2008 is still almost
15 months away. At least a year ago, when the unofficial
campaigning began, it was our expressed conviction that
we would not comment or get involved until early in 2008.
That is still our position.

But when you read headlines like this one: "DEMOCRAT
CANDIDATES GET RELIGION," it alters our perceived
responsibility, and a comment seems to be clearly called for.
It was called an "historic Democratic forum on homosexual
issues" when 6 of the Democrat candidates engaged in a
"Debate" or at least a "discussion" of their views on gay and
lesbian issues on August 9. It was the first such event in U.S.
presidential election campaign history. The two hour forum
took place in a Hollywood film studio before an audience of
200, under the sponsorship of Human Rights Campaign, a
gay-rights group active in Democrat politics, and Logo, a
gay-oriented cable TV channel that aired the program live.

Two of the Democrat presidential hopefuls did not show up
for the program, Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. Of the
six who did participate, only two favored same-sex marriage:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Senator Mike Gravel.

The other contenders, Senators Clinton and Obama, Governor
Richardson and former Senator Edwards all seemed to agree
that they do not support the idea of same-sex marriage, but
do endorse civil unions with full marriage rights, and do not
care for the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy in the military, put
in place by the Clinton administration.

The most honest in his evaluation of the same sex marriage
issue was Governor Richardson who stated, "The country is
not there yet on gay marriage," and said that what was
attainable was acceptance of civil unions.

Despite the indication that they are getting religion,
the candidates stayed away from the religious or Christian
concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
In addition to that ignoring of Bible based teaching on
marriage, was the equally ignored Bible based teaching that
in God’s sight, homosexuality is an abomination, and further
that homosexuals shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Senator Obama of late has made much of his conversion to
the Christian faith under the leadership of the Rev. Jeremiah
Wright, pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ,
saying that Mr. Wright, "took me on another journey, and
introduced me to a man named Jesus Christ. It was the best
education I ever had." However, he made no mention of any
Christian conviction in saying that it was merely a matter of
semantics involved in making any distinction between civil
unions and marriage.

Senator Clinton expressed her eagerness to be partners with
the homosexuals, saying, "I really hope that we can be
partners in trying to make our country a little bit better and
a little more progressive for all of us," adding that the Clinton
administration "didn’t get as much done as I would have
liked" on homosexual issues. Like Senator Obama, Senator
Clinton did not reveal any of the Christian teachings from
Billy Graham which she referred to in the nationally televised
ABC "20/20" TV program last week.

Former Senator Edwards who has moved from his almost
flippant disregard of Christianity during his vice presidential
try, to almost a Southern Baptist expression of the Christian
faith (but with a heavy emphasis on poverty being the greatest
moral concern) also made no mention of the Bible teachings
on homosexuality, nor did Governor Richardson.

In some respects, the forum was a "non event," but
David Mixner, a long time gay rights activist and Democrat
fund raiser, said, "It firmly establishes us a major constituency
in the Democrat Party. It is a real validation of our position
within the party." Mr. Mixner may be correct, or he may be
taking an entirely too optimistic view of the event. Demographic
reports vary, but the Composite U.S. Demographics list from
Adherents.com lists gay men as .70% of the population;
lesbians as .32%, and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender) total as 1.51% of the population. By those
statiistics, all the LGBT adherents in America would total a
bit less than 4,500,000 – hardly a "major constituency."

It is our continued intention to avoid commenting on
the 2008 presidential election until sometime early in 2008.
However, when the subject happens to be, as in this case, of
a religious nature, rather than political, you may expect some
sort of comment within these pages.

An appropriate quote from a Founding Father: "The
aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first
to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to
discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of
the society, and in the next place, to take the most effectual
precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue
to hold their public trust." - James Madison, February, 1788.

Afterthoughts . . .

You haven’t heard the last of Kofi Annan. He has just
purchased a multi-million dollar estate near Tangier, Morocco
on the Mediterranean coast. This purchase followed shortly
after he bought another estate near Geneva, Switzerland.
Right now he is house hunting for something suitable in mid
town Manhattan. He will be here frequently to work with his
good friend and former patron, Bill Clinton, on Clinton’s
Global Forum which he operates in conjunction with the UN.
All this is solid evidence that Mr. Annan was thrifty and saved
his money during his days at the UN. They do learn quickly.

The foot washing issue keeps popping up. The University
of Michigan at Dearborn has announced that it will spend
$25,000 to install foot washing facilities for the convenience
of Muslim students in connection with their pre-prayer ablutions
five times a day. What you have to understand is that the rule
of "separation of church and state" is applied only to Christians
and the expression of their faith, but not to Muslims. When you
grasp that fact, all these foot washing facilities across America
are quite obviously not unconstitutional.

The Red Cross is being sued for using as an emblem,
what else: the Red Cross. It is true. Johnson and Johnson,
the health products giant which uses a red cross as its trade
mark in its advertising, has sued the American Red Cross for
using the red cross emblem on its products. They claim that
the Red Cross can only use the emblem on its relief material,
like on a bucket of water, or on blankets, or on boats to go
to the rescue of people in emergencies. It would seem fair
to make Johnson and Johnson wait till the cases where the
ACLU is suing the Boy Scouts of America for using camp
sites in a city park are settled.

Can you trust the news media? In these days when
almost everything is decided by polls (the president: 34%
approve of his performance; Congress: 14% or less approve
of their performance) now here is a new Pew Research
Center poll which shows that more than half of the
country, 55%, feel that news organizations are politically
biased and inaccurate. And for those who get their news
from the Internet (about 25% of Americans) 59% say the
reporting is inaccurate; 64% think they are politically
biased, and 53% say the news organizations fail to "stand
up for America." Incidentally, this lack of trust and a poor
opinion of news organizations has been increasing for
the last several years.

A growing trend in investment attitudes. Based on a
research study of two years, a United Methodist task force
in New England is urging its members, churches and
investment managers to stop investing in at least 20 major
companies which do business with Israel, and divest from
existing holdings. The conclusion of the report said that
"the church should not profit from the illegal Israeli
occupation of Palestinian land ..." This is not the first such
action by Christian churches in America; similar actions
have come previously from the Episcopal Church in
the USA, the ELCA, the UCC and also from the Church of
England. We are by no means an investment service, but
Israel is historically God’s chosen people, and remains as
America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East.

Another warning voice on terrorism. This past week
former CIA Director James Woolsey said that terrorists
would strike the American homeland, possibly with a weapon
of mass destruction, this Summer or early Fall. Asked what
three things were most urgent to make America safe, or safer,
Woolsey said the first and most important was not to tie the
hands of the president with respect to intelligence
collection. He equated efforts to require a court order for
intercepting international communications to "shooting
ourselves in the foot." Sounds very much like FBI Director
Robert Mueller in his previous comments cited herein.

Too good to miss: "I have wondered at times about what
the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had
run them through the U.S. Congress." - Ronald Reagan
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The professionals who are employed to compose headlines
for news stories, or headlines for advertisements, are very
skillful . . . and that is why they get paid the big bucks. Here
are two of those headlines which caught our attention this
past week, and the apparent thoughts behind them.


And this one:


Followed by this sub-head:

Every year nearly 6,000 teens die in car crashes
In a systematic way we will look at them in order.

For several days we have experienced around the clock
discussions, warnings, expressions of concern, stories of
heroism, rejoicing and sorrow, all with respect to the bridge
collapse in Minneapolis.

Simultaneously we have been presented with reports of
warnings from Al Qaeda about upcoming attacks of
horrendous nature on America, Great Britain, etc. Somehow
there seems to be a logical link between those two widely
different stories.

Think back to the two major attacks on American soil.
We recall the events at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,
when Japan, a recognized and definable nation, without
appropriate warning unleashed a major attack on U.S.
military facilities in Hawaii. The immediate dead from the
attack numbered about 2,500. The direct cost in dollars is
inestimable. President Roosevelt said it was "a day that will
live in infamy."

We also remember the more recent attack, some 60 years
later on September 11, 2001 when an enemy known only as
Al Qaeda launched an attack on the East Coast, primarily on
New York City, with immediate dead numbering about 2,700,
and again, the cost is inestimable. The definition from
President Roosevelt is applicable, perhaps even moreso.

The difference between the two attacks is very important. In
the case of Japan, it involved a nation with armies. In the case
of Al Qaeda, the brain child of Osama bin Laden, the ultimate
enemy is a man, not a state, with devoted followers rather than
armies. There is no headquarters, no national capitol, no
national boundaries. The organization, as such, is stateless,
yet global, is more religious than political, and is driven by one
idea, the desire to destroy the United States, drive all Western
ideas from the Arab world, and ultimately unite all Islamic
countries into one entity without any national boundaries.
Despite constantly recurring threats from Al Qaeda and other
terrorist entities, there have been no further attacks on U.S.

But there have been extremely serious effects from other kinds
of "attacks" on this nation. Not at all an exhaustive list, but
consider these few examples: Hurricane Katrina in 2000,
wiping out most of New Orleans as levees gave way; The
"Station" night club fire disaster in Rhode Island in 2003;
the dam collapse and flooding in Michigan in 2003 and the
dam collapse and flooding in Kauai, Hawaii in 2006; the Sago
coal mine disaster in West Virginia in 2006, and another this
week in Utah; the Virginia Tech campus murders in 2007; the
"Big Dig" tunnel collapse in Boston in 2006; and now the bridge
collapse in Minneapolis last week.

Each of these events has had a profound effect on life in this
nation, which was in many ways equally or even more serious
than an attack by Al Qaeda on a target of their own choosing.

And now the media, as prophets of gloom, outline the
potential bridge and dam disasters across the country, as the
infrastructures of the nation age to the breaking point. We are
greeted daily by estimates like these: "30% of the nation’s
bridges are in dire need of repairs," or "Thousands of dams are
at the point of collapse," or "30% of America’s infrastructure
is in bad shape."

Al Qaeda, the Terrorists, seem almost impotent, as we look
back on 5 years since the attack of 9/11 with no further attacks
on U.S. soil, but interspersed through recent years are the attacks
on the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998;
the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen harbor in 2000; the attack
in Madrid, Spain in 2004 and in London and Glasgow just a few
weeks ago.

And the attacks in Iraq, in Israel, in Afghanistan and elsewhere
in the Arab world continue.

We here in America, in supposedly "Christian America," continue
in the grip of the convoluted logic: "All Muslims are not terrorists,
but all terrorists are Muslims." It is a strange religion that we are
asked to embrace as peace-loving, when its tenets include the
killing of "infidels" or nonbelievers in Islam. But the utter
strangeness is that adherents of Islam are killing, beheading,
members of their own religion and destroying the mosques and
holy places of other elements of the Islamic faith.

We dare not consider as meaningless the continuing threats
from Al Qaeda. The intelligence agencies of other nations offer
conclusions very similar to those from our own intelligence

Nor can we ignore the dangers from our own internal
problems. The second headline reminds us of a different, yet
extremely serious ongoing problem. If, indeed, 12 jumbo jets,
A-340 or 777, or 747, each loaded to capacity of 500 or more,
should crash in one year, the impact both nationally and
internationally would be unfathomable.

Yet each year in the U.S. approximately 6,000 teenagers are
killed in auto accidents and such stories barely merit modest
headlines, or any mention on TV. There is abundant evidence
that we need to lift our heads up out of the sands of unconcern
where, like the legendary ostrich, we have hid from the facts of
life, and focus our concern on some of the real day to day
problems which face our nation.

Interesting quote for today: The commander for Northern
Command, the American operational region that includes North
America, Air Force General Victor Renuart, told the Associated
Press on July 25, "I believe there are [Al Qaeda] cells in the
United States, or at least people who aspire to create cells in
the United States. To assume that there are not those cells is
naive and so we have to take that threat seriously."

Afterthoughts . . .

Too busy for God; that is the conclusion of a five year study
involving 20,000 Christians in 139 countries, in an age range
of 15 - 88. According to the Christian Post, 4 out of 10 of the
respondees say they "often" or "always" rush from task to task.
It is interesting that Christians in Uganda, Malaysia , Kenya
and Nigeria were less likely to be so busily engaged. Even so,
on a worldwide basis, 6 out of 10 Christians agreed that "the
busyness of life gets in the way of developing my relationship
with God," "often" or "always." Not an encouraging picture.

With sound and pictures; that is the latest Al Qaeda ad,
featuring a picture (altered of course) of President Bush and
President Musharraf of Pakistan, standing in front of the
White House which is on fire and blazing intensely. The words
"Soon . . . God willing" are imposed over the picture, and are
repeated several times.. The full length video is expected to be
released soon. Probably not at your neighborhood video store.

An interesting comparison to make a point is offered by
Gary Bauer in his "End of Day" column on August 3: "What
do you call a photograph of a small plastic crucifix immersed
in a glass of urine?" If you are part of the Liberal establishment
you might call it ‘modern art.’ ... Now what do you call a Koran
submerged in a toilet? If you were part of the Liberal elite you
would call it a ‘hate crime’ and a felony punishable by up to
two years in prison." Mr Bauer uses these illustrations to help
highlight a perverted double standard that has emerged in this
country in recent years, whereby the Islamic religion is elevated
to a protected status while the Christian faith is made the root of
all the problems that America is facing today. He makes a good
point, as always.

A date that will live in frustration; just over 17 months
away: February 17, 2009. That is the date when literally 10s
of millions of analog TV sets will suddenly become inoperative,
or just another piece of furniture. That is the date when by law
digital TV becomes the rule, rather than the exception. It has
been rumored about for a few years, and has largely been ignored.
But now it is a sure thing,and within understandable time limits.
Just an advance notice: FYI.

"It’s like deja vu all over again," to recall a familiar Yogi Berra
quote. In months past we have mentioned the City of Hamtramck,
Michigan where by law the Muslim calls to prayer are permitted to
be broadcast over public address systems covering the entire city.
Now in a further step in that direction, 4 Muslims are seeking seats
on the city council, and if successful, they will join the Muslim
member already in office, giving them 5 out of the 6 council seats
and control of the city, and in a position to enact Muslim laws
governing all city residents. This is not something to laugh at. Yogi
Berra may be right. And remember the story of the nose of the
camel slipping under the tent.

Almost another Berra "deja vu." Last week we mentioned the
transgender Police Commissioner in San Francisco. This week the
interesting situation concerns the lesbian Fire Chief in San Diego.

(Yes, it is another California city.) For the San Diego "Gay Pride"
parade a few days ago, Chief Tracy Jarman ordered four firemen
to appear in uniform and drive one of the fire trucks in the parade.

The men protested, but were forced to do so. They reported they
had been subjected to lewd (sometimes filthy) remarks during the
long parade route, and now their attorneys are seeking permission
to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the San Diego Fire and
Rescue Department. Chief Jarman claims she has participated in
the parade for 15 years and has always regarded it as a "fun event."
Probably so ... probably so.

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