Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Don't Amend the Constitution, Say "No" to Judges

In coming weeks, you can expect to see leaders of various parachurch organizations stumping hard on behalf of the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA), which will be voted on by the Senate during the week of June 5th.

Speaking after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a constitutional amendment defending "traditional marriage," Richard Land said, "It is now up to the American people to let their voices be heard loudly and clearly that they want their senators to vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment to keep activist judges from ramming same-sex marriage down their throats." The line among evangelicals seems to be that we must define marriage for judges or they will define it for us.

Under the auspices of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Focus on the Family, Land and James Dobson penned a letter asking pastors to gin up the troops in a fight on behalf of MPA:

Pastors could distribute information about same-sex marriage on that Sunday, perhaps preach on the issue if God should lead them to do so, and hold a postcard signing time at the end of the service. The churches could gather the postcards and deliver them to a local office of their senators or mail them to their senators' DC offices.

Why are religious conservatives always taken in by this charade? For as long as I can recall, conservatives have been trotting out favored amendments that never go anywhere. Remember the Balanced Budget Amendment? Then of course there were amendments banning abortion and flag burning, or others in support of school prayer and term limits. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a slew of others.

Our friends among religious conservatives are right about one thing. At the heart of the gay marriage debate is the attempt by proponents of sexual and cultural revolution to subvert traditional institutions and normalize the abnormal and aberrant.

Nonetheless, amending the constitution is a foolish remedy? Why? First, it won’t pass! More importantly, the problem isn't with the Constitution, but rather with American elites, in particular judges who wield the law as a weapon of revolution. The solution then, dear reader, is to rein in the judges, not rewrite the law of the land.

There is already an existing remedy to the problem written directly into the Constitution, but you won't see conservatives embrace it because it would ring the death knell of a judicially imposed liberal imperium—and conservatives have neither the heart nor the stomach to fundamentally challenge the nature of the regime.

The constitution authorizes Congress to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Court. Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution says, "the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."

Under that language, Congress may simply choose to forbid the Court even to hear, much less rule on cases involving gay marriage, abortion, capital punishment, school prayer, and a whole host of issues by a simple majority vote.

A constitutional amendment is not the answer to the collapse of marriage in American culture. Instead of adding amendments to our founding documents, true conservatives should be about the business of repealing existing monstrosities.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Some Immigration Blurbs

I see that Richard Land has joined the immigration debate. He tells Baptist Press that Bush’s speech on Monday was "a tremendous, giant step forward." Bush "clearly sent the message that the government is serious about controlling the border," said Land. (Sigh!)

Land actually had the benefit of seeing the speech before commenting. John O'Sullivan, on the other hand, published this column BEFORE the president spoke. You won't be surprised to know that O'Sullivan's analysis is far closer to reality. O'Sullivan points out that whenever Bush gets in trouble on the immigration issue, he starts talking about enforcement:

"Did the president spend a large part of his speech on promising to secure the border by sending the National Guard there? Heigh-ho. This is the umpteenth time that Bush has promised to toughen up border security with a new initiative. He does so whenever there is public disquiet about illegal immigration.

Yet this kind of mini-initiative is fundamentally irrelevant. As this column has repeatedly pointed out, porous borders are the result of uncontrolled immigration as much as its cause. You cannot control the borders, however many patrols you hire or fences you build, if you grant an effective pardon to anyone who gets 100 miles inland."

But even talk of enforcement is just that--talk. Speaking apparently with Vincente Fox in mind, the president said that we are not about to militarize the border. In fact, National Guard troops that head south will do so in lieu of their annual two-week training period. That's right, head to the border for two weeks at a time. How effective can that possibly be? And as Steve Sailer has pointed out, the number of guardsmen Bush is proposing aren't sufficient to do the job anyway.

Fred Reed has some intersting thoughts on the multiculturalist future of the United States. Fred lives in Mexico these days and tells us exactly what types of folks are heading north:

The Latinos coming into America are heavily Indian and uneducated. Mexican ophthalmologists do not swim the river. Mexicans who can make a decent living do not want to live in the United States. Thus the US gets the losers, the second-grade educations, people who on average have neither the intellect nor the urge to study. Yes, there are exceptions. But they are exceptions.

Everyone says, “But the Hispanics work hard.” They do indeed, in the first generation. Many people in fields such as construction have told me that the Latinos are the backbone of their operations, that blacks don’t want to work, have attitudes, show up if they feel like it and quit without warning. The Latinos work, now. Their children do terribly in school, however, drop out, and lose the desire to work. Then they join gangs.

It is interesting that some establishment liberals are beginning to speak with a touch of sanity on the immigration issue. At the NY Times, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, and even Tom Friedman have spewed the occasional sensible utterance. Over at the Washington Post, Robert Samuelson is writing with great clarity, too. Here is a taste:

President Bush's immigration speech mostly missed the true nature of the problem. We face two interconnected population issues. One is aging; the other is immigration. We aren't dealing sensibly with either, and as a result we face a future of unnecessarily heightened political and economic conflict. On the one side will be older baby boomers demanding all their federal retirement benefits. On the other will be an expanding population of younger and poorer Hispanics -- immigrants, their children and grandchildren -- increasingly resentful of their rising taxes that subsidize often-wealthier and unrelated baby boomers...The central problem is not illegal immigration. It is undesirably high levels of poor and low-skilled immigrants, whether legal or illegal, most of whom are Hispanic. Immigrants are not all the same. An engineer making $75,000 annually contributes more to the American economy and society than a $20,000 laborer. On average, the engineer will assimilate more easily...

As the president says, we need a "comprehensive" immigration policy. He's right on some elements: controlling the border; providing reliable identification cards for legal immigrants; penalizing employers that hire illegal immigrants; providing some legal status for today's illegal immigrants. But he's wrong in wanting to expand the number of low-skilled immigrants based on the fiction of U.S. labor "shortages." In his testimony, economist Chiswick rightly argued that we should do the opposite -- give preferences to skilled immigrants. We should be smart about the future; right now, we're not.

Even with changes made to the original Senate "compromise" bill, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation calculates that the number of legal immigrants who would enter the country or would gain legal status over the next 20 years is 66 million.

Steve Sailer also makes the point here that Mexico is actually above average in terms of income, which means that any "temporary" worker program may bring scores of Asians from China and Bangladesh while Mexicans will continue to sneak across the border.

With all of this, not to mention that foolish war we're waging, is it any wonder that presidential and GOP support is in the tank?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where's Darrell?

My wife had some minor surgery and her recovery has been a tad slow. As a consequence, I've been spending a lot more time herding children and significantly less in front of a computer screen.

I just watched Dubya's paean to immigration. One word comes to mind--ridiculous. I'm sure I'll find time to touch on this later in the week along with more on the madness of a potential Darfur intervention, the continuing mess in Iraq, and the political circus always going on for our amusement in Washington.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

He's Checkin' In

I don't mean to make light of Patrick Kennedy's problems, but I think Doug Thompson hits the nail on the head when he says that alcoholics are often serial liars, looking to blame their drunkenness on other factors.

Thompson also adds other elements to the story that I haven't seen elsewhere, including that Kennedy was in another car accident three weeks ago but was not compelled to take a sobriety test.

When I heard that this man of privilege was heading to the Betty Ford clinic, all I could think of was "The Simpson's" episode where the family goes to New York and Marge and Lisa catch a show. Here are lyrics to the song "Checkin' In":

[Judge] How do you find the defendant?
[Jury Foreman] He's guilty of mayhem, exposure indecent
[Jurist #1] Freaked out behaviour, both chronic and recent
[Jury] Drinking and driving, narcotics possession
[Jurist #2] And that's just page one of his ten page confession!
[Judge] I should put you away where you can't kill or maim us,
But this is LA and you're rich and famous!
[Young Celebrity] I'm checkin' in!
[Doctors & Patients] He's checkin' in!
[Young Celebrity] I'm checkin' in!
[Doctors & Patients] Checkin', checkin' in!
[Young Celebrity] No more pills or alcohol, no more pot or Demorol,
No more stinking fun at all! I'm checkin' in!
[Doctors & Patients] He's checkin' in! He's checkin' in!
[Doctor] No more looking pale and thin, no more bugs beneath your skin!
[Young Celebrity] Hey, that's just my aspirin!
[Doctors & Patients] Chuck it out!
[Doctors & Patients] You're checkin' in!

WAPO Defends Rummy

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies (with apologies to Stevie Nicks).

The Washington Post has (surprise, surprise) come to the defense of Don Rumsfeld, who was challened in a forum the other day by former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern. McGovern was simply doing what WAPO and NY Times journalists haven't been doing--asking questions.

McGovern also used the "L" word when speaking to Rummy. "Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked McGovern, a 27-year analyst. (For a transript, click here.)

Blogging over at the Post website, William Arkin defends the administration and Rumsfeld in particuluar against the charge of lying.

Below are quotes from administration officials leading up to the Iraq war. I'll let you judge the truthfulness of the administration.

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention
August 26, 2002

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."

George W. Bush
Speech to UN General Assembly
September 12, 2002

"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
December 2, 2002

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
January 9, 2003

"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."

George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."

Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
February 5, 2003

"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."

George W. Bush
Radio Address
February 8, 2003

"If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct."

Colin Powell
Interview with Radio France International
February 28, 2003

"So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not."

Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
March 7, 2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

George W. Bush
Address to the Nation
March 17, 2003

"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."

Ari Fleisher
Press Briefing
March 21, 2003

"There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them."

Gen. Tommy Franks
Press Conference
March 22, 2003

"I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction."

Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman
Washington Post, p. A27
March 23, 2003

"One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites."

Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark
Press Briefing
March 22, 2003

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

Donald Rumsfeld
ABC Interview
March 30, 2003

"But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found."

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
April 10, 2003

"We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them."

George W. Bush
NBC Interview
April 24, 2003

"There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country."

Donald Rumsfeld
Press Briefing
April 25, 2003

"We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 3, 2003

"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."

Colin Powell
Remarks to Reporters
May 4, 2003

"We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."

Donald Rumsfeld
Fox News Interview
May 4, 2003

"I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program."

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 6, 2003

"U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction."

Condoleeza Rice
Reuters Interview
May 12, 2003

"Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction."

Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
NBC Today Show interview
May 26, 2003

"They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."

Donald Rumsfeld
Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
May 27, 2003

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."

Paul Wolfowitz
Vanity Fair interview
May 28, 2003

Land of the Lawless

As a Christian, I believe words, and their meanings, matter. I also believe that law is an integral part of religion. If Christian theologians believed such wacky ideas, we would all be in better shape.

Unfortunately, any debate over issues of public policy that touch on matters of ethnicity, race, or nationality wind up being clouded by a lack of clear definition, and in too many cases are pervaded by a spirit of lawlessness.

Take for example Richard Land's comments about the current immigration debate. Land bristles at the patently ridiculous assertion that a "guest worker" program amounts to amnesty. "Having to pay back taxes and undergo a background check and learning English," said Land, president of the Southern Baptists Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "That's not amnesty. Having to wait six years before you can apply for permanent status is not amnesty."

Mr. Land is a Princeton graduate, but let's define amnesty for him. Webster's defines amnesty as "the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals." Amnesty amounts to a remission of punishment, which is general in nature, to an entire class of persons.

So, for example, if 11 million people ignore the sovereignty of a neighboring nation and pour across it's borders, and then are allowed to stay in said nation with the forgiveness of the state...well, that sounds like "amnesty" to me. How 'bout you?

Interestingly, at the same conference, Land said, "We have a right to expect the government to fulfill its divinely ordained mandate to punish those who break the laws and reward those who do not." Can anyone say cognitive dissonance?

Even more obscene is Land's defense of his position, which is little more than pragmatism. "The political reality is that we're not going to round up 12 million people and send them back home," says Land. Let's hope Dr. Land doesn't become the next head of the Border Patrol.

Land then accuses Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo of...pragmatism. "When [Colorado Rep. Tom] Tancredo says we've got to stop this illegal invasion and send them all back, in my opinion, he's just playing politics," intoned Land.

According to Land, the debate over immigration has become polarized, appealing to raw emotion. "There are people running around saying that we've got to seal our borders and arrest all 12 million illegal aliens and send them home—to keep America for the Americans," Mr. Land said. "And then on the other side you basically have people who want open borders and they say if you don't agree with that, you're a bigot. I think both positions are untenable. And I think both positions tend to appeal to the emotions rather than to the rational part of the brain."

Land is engaged in Clinton-style triangulation here. The opponents of mass immigration are little more than irrationalists and cynical opportunists, while Land is right there, squarely in the sane center, which is apparently occupied by deconstructionists and antinomians.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Of Purely Local Concern

My friend Eric Schansberg is running for Congress in the 9th District of Indiana on the Libertarian Party ticket.

Many friends of Dow Blog think it virtually impossible to be a libertarian and a Christian. I have my own doubts about classical liberalism. However, Eric is a man of principled Christian conviction who believes in the limitation of the state not because man is good, but because he is not.

If you are interested in a Christian defense of libertarianism that is a long way from Randian rationalism, please read Eric's books.

Get Out of Iraq

William Odom was director of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration and has been a thoughtful critic of the Iraq invasion. In a short essay in Foreign Policy Magazine, Odom says the time has come to cut and run.

Odom dissects the various administration rationales for the continuing war and concludes with this assessment:

Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.

G. K. Chesterton--Complementarian

This poem, "Comparisons," was penned by G.K. Chesterton:

If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the town beside the country,
And if I set the man beside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk about one being better

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Con Job

A reader sends along this post discussing the differences between traditional conservatives and the neocon contingent.

I attempted to briefly sketch the origins of neoconservatism in my review of Pat Buchanan's book "Where the Right Went Wrong." Here is an excerpt:

"Neoconservatism originated in few periodicals and northeastern universities in the 1960’s. Its early exponents were largely Jewish and Eastern European. Today, neoconservatism claims such "luminaries" as Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, Richard John Neuhaus, and a bevy of syndicated columnists. Buchanan calls them "ex-Trotskyites, socialists, leftists, and liberals who backed FDR, Truman, JDK and LBJ." They are "the boat people of the McGovern revolution that was itself the political vehicle of the moral, social, and cultural revolutions of the 1960’s."

Skilled in the arts of political chicanery and bureaucratic infighting, the neocons migrated into the Republican Party during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Sam Francis explains why the neocons drifted to the right politically:

"The political impetus for neoconservatism was, first the threat to the integrity of universities and American intellectual life presented by the militancy of the New Left and the barbarism of the counterculture of the late 1960’s; secondly, the threat to Jewish academic and professional achievements in America presented by the quotas and affirmative action programs of the Great Society; and thirdly, the development of serious anti-Semitism on the Left and the Soviet alliance with radical anti-Western and anti-Israeli Arab regimes and terrorists.

Another pillar of the neoconservative mind is the conflation of American and Israeli national interests, which is the root of the current mess in Iraq. In an essay in the Wall Street Journal, militant neocon Max Boot, who has called for the U.S. to take up the imperial burden, called support for Israel a "key tenet" of neocon ideology...

On the foreign policy front, the necons are warmongers, pure and simple. But what about domestically? Don’t they believe in limited government? To the extent that they care about such matters at all, the answer is no. Indeed, they are "big government conservatives," as Fred Barnes has said. Irving Kristol, the most prominent first-generation neoconservative, wrote that:

In economic and social policy, it [neoconservatism] feels no lingering hostility to the welfare state, nor does it accept it resignedly, as a necessary evil. Instead it seeks not dismantle the welfare state not in the name of free-market economics but rather to reshape it so as to attach to it the conservative predispositions of the people. This reshaping will presumably take the form of trying to rid the welfare state of its paternalistic orientation, imposed on it by Left-liberalism, and making it over into the kind of "social insurance state" that provides the social and economic security a modern citizenry demands..

In sum, the neocons are devoted to the welfare-warfare state."

The Case Against Intervention in Darfur

Pressure is beginning to build on the administration to "do something" about the mess in Sudan where Arab Muslims are effectively slaughtering African Muslims.

The case for intervention has been supported by numerous Evangelicals, not to mention SBC titans Albert Mohler and Richard Land are also on board.

Christians are increasingly drawn to militarism and interventionism, often dressed up in humanitarianism or democratist flights of fancy.

To get a more sensible overview of possible snags associated with an African excursion, we have to turn to the non-Christian, homosexual, libertarian writer, Justin Raimondo. Praise the Lord for general revelation. Here is Raimondo (read the entire piece here):

Before we send tens of thousands more American troops into a very troubled region of the world, let us examine what these "Darfur advocates" are advocating. Both Tony Blair and retired U.S. general Wesley Clark have argued in favor of intervention, raising the "successful" war and occupation in Kosovo as a model. That was one war we didn't hear much about from the great mass of present-day "antiwar" protesters, who apparently thought that attacking a country that represented no threat to the U.S. and had never attacked us was okay, so long as it was done by a Democratic president. By going into Darfur under the rubric of "humanitarianism," the War Party can sell to anti-Bush liberals the idea of opening up another front in the Muslim world.

The Dubai brouhaha showed how easily anti-Arab sentiment can be exploited on the ostensible "Left" and utilized by the War Party to demonstrate their effective control of both major political parties – and distance themselves from an increasingly unpopular administration. The Darfur campaign is another example of their strategic shift: in both instances, instead of following President Bush's lead, they stood in opposition to the White House. Up until this point, the Bush team has been skeptical of getting involved in Sudan. As the Bush White House drags its feet in provoking the Iranians into war, the War Party is turning increasingly to the Democrats – and the ostensible liberal-Left – for support. This is beginning to pay off, as Hillary Clinton tries to out-hawk the GOP on the Iranian nukes issue, and leading Democrats take up the banner of Darfur.

From a realistic point of view, there is nothing U.S. military intervention can accomplish in Sudan except to make things far worse. Sudan would soon become Iraq II, with an influx of jihadists and a nationalistic reaction against what would become, after a short time, a de facto occupation very similar to what the Iraqis have to endure. The rebel groups, aided by Sudan's neighbors, such as Ethiopia and Eritrea, would metastasize, more weapons would pour into the region, and the probable result would be a humanitarian disaster on a much larger scale. Intervention, in short, would lead to the exact opposite of its intended result – a principle that, as a libertarian, I hold is true in economics as well as foreign policy.

But you don't have to be a libertarian to see the folly of interventionism in the case of Darfur, or Iraq. In the latter, it is the presence of the U.S. occupation force that empowers the rising anti-U.S. insurgency: the same principle would operate in Sudan. There is no reason to believe that we would be welcomed with open arms by the Sudanese any more than we were by the Iraqis. An initial euphoria – some of it staged – would soon be supplanted by a growing resentment, and the influx of jihadists would destabilize the entire region, requiring increased U.S. and "allied" forces.

"Saving" Darfur would mean opening up another theater in what the neocons refer to as "World War IV." Spreading outward from Iraq, this global conflict will pit the U.S. against a wide variety of enemies, both freelance and state-sponsored, swelling the ranks of terrorist outfits and inviting further attacks on U.S. soil. This could be construed as a "humanitarian" intervention only in the Bizarro World inhabited by our leaders, including those hailing from the entertainment industry.

Probably Won't See This Again Soon

As Christians continue to lose cultural clout, it is interesting to recall that most of America's great academic institutions were originally founded for the purpose of educating pastors and furthering the Kingdom of God. Below are some of the rules required of men entering Harvard in 1643:

1) When any scholar is able to understand Tully or such like classical author EXTEMPORE, and make and speak true Latin in verse and prose, SUO UT AIUNT MARTE, and decline perfectly the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue: let him then, and not before, be capable of admission into the College.

2) Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, "to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life," John 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him, Prov. 2:3.

3) Everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in theoretical observations of the language, and logic, and inpractical and spiritual truths, as his tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing "the entrance of the Word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple," Psalm 119:130.

4) That they, eschewing all profanation of God’s name, attributes, word, ordinances, and times of worship, do study with good conscience, carefully to retain God, and the love of His truth in their minds. Else, let them know that (notwithstanding their learning) God may give them up "to strong delusions," and in the end “to a reprobate mind,” 2Thes.2:11, 12; Rom. 1:28.

5) That they studiously redeem the time; observe the general hours appointed for all the students, and the special hours for their own classes; and then diligently attend the lectures, without any disturbance by word or gesture. And if in anything they doubt, they shall inquire, as of their fellows, so (in the case of "nonsatisfaction"), modestly of their tutors.

6) None shall, under any pretense whatsoever, frequent the company and society of such men as lead an unfit and dissolute life. Nor shall any without his tutor’s leave, or (in his absence) the call of parents or guardians, go abroad to other towns.

7) Every scholar shall be present in his tutor’s chamber at the seventh hour in the morninng, immediately after the sound of the bell, at his opening the scripture and prayer; so also at the fifth hour of the night, and then give account of his own private reading, as aforesaid in particular the third, and constantly attend lectures in the hall at the hours appointed. But if any (without necessary impediment) shall absent himself from prayer or lectures, he shall be liable to admonition, if he offend above once a week.

8) If any scholar shall be found to transgress any of the laws of God, or the school, after twice admonition, he shall be liable, if not ADULTUS, to correction; if ADULTUS, his name shall be given up to the overseers of the College, that he may be admonished at the public monthly act.

Getting Ready for the Loooonnnggg Haul

The Pentagon is planning to stay in Iraq for ten years, according to a report in Newsweek. Meanwhile, the "American" ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said, "We must perhaps reluctantly accept that we have to help this region become a normal region, the way we helped Europe and Asia in another era. Now it's this area from Pakistan to Morocco that we should focus on."

Why are we in the business of reconfiguring an entire portion of the globe? Evidently, the president heard a sermon at some point from Galatians 5 and decided he should be about the business of doing God's will spreading peace, love, joy, democracy, liberty, and freedom--American style.

Speaking to a group of business leaders recently, the theologian-in-chief unbosomed himself with this load of nonsense:

"I base a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true. One, I believe there's an Almighty. And, secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody's soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free.

I believe liberty is universal. I believe people want to be free. And I know that democracies do not war with each other."

So God has predestined everyone, universally, to liberty, and George Bush is going to make sure they get it--right at the point of a bayonet.

But the World is Safer Without That Madman in Power!

From the Times of London:

"Three years after its invasion of Iraq the US Administration acknowledged yesterday that the war has become 'a cause' for Islamic extremists worldwide and there is a risk of the country becoming a safe haven for terrorists hoping to launch fresh attacks on America.

According to CIA data released yesterday, there were 11,111 terrorist incidents last year, killing more than 14,600 non-combatants, including 8,300 in Iraq. Of the 56 American civilians killed by terrorists in 2005, some 47 of them were in Iraq.

The figures in the State Department’s annual report on terror represented a fourfold rise compared with 2004, partly because it has adopted a broader definition of such incidents since having to withdraw data used two years ago on the ground that it was grossly understated. Officials conceded yesterday that the rising violence in Iraq was a factor in last year’s figures, saying that fatalities from terrorism there had 'probably doubled'."