Stingray Kills Crocodile Hunter

Crocodile Hunter dies in freak accidentSteve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, died in what has been described as a freak accident. At about 11 a.m. local time on September 4, Irwin was filming a new wildlife series and got too close to a bull stingray. Irwin had many close calls over the years. In his words, “Too many to count.” This one cost him his life. The ray’s barbed tail pierced his heart.

The accident occured in north Queensland Australia as Irwin and his crew swam near the Great Barrier Reef. The crew was swimming in less than seven feet of water as Irwin cruised along side the stingray. The normally placid stingray turned suddenly and lashed out at the Crocodile Hunter. The injury was like a knife wound in Irwin’s chest.

World reaction has been swift and sad for the Australian folkhero. Irwin was an international proponent of conservation and ecology. We join millions of others that mourn his death.

This article provides more information on Irwin’s death .

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Is the Church Relevant Today?

Is he welcome in church? Some churches are guilty of welcoming only the up and not the out. This article describes how one church is doing something new to reach the “scum of the earth” for Christ.

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What Does $1,000 Buy?

What is freedom worth?With the advent of the $1.00 Store and the Internet consumers are accustomed to finding bargains on everything. What would you pay to help 26,000,000 people find freedom? Would you pay $1,000?

Along with many others, I am saddened by the loss of life in Iraq but I blame the terrorists more than President Bush, unlike many. I unearthed an astonishing bit of not so trivia today. While media talking-heads endlessly replay the American problems in Iraq, they regularly fail to put significant issues in any historical perspective.

What did the Cold War cost the USA? Less than it would have cost to rebuild from a Russian nuclear attack I suspect? What has the war in Iraq cost so far? To hear liberals talk it is bankrupting our economy. Did the title make this question too easy?

$1,075. That is the cost of the war so far. For slightly more than $1,000 per person we have liberated 26,000,000 people from tyranny and oppression. This is a pretty good bargain in my opinion.

I know the cost is greater than money. And we should consider all of the costs as we evaluate what to do next. But that means not only evaluating the cost in lives but also coutning the cost of quitting against an adversary that views the USA as weak-willed. As we count the total cost though, let’s put all of the information in honest perspective.

Read this related article – War in Iraq or $1,075

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Muslims vs. Non-Muslims

Become A Muslim or Die!Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan: There is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan. The interview was aired on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2006. See the video here.

“The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.”

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Just How Peaceful Is Islam?

How Peaceful is Islam? Over the centuries, evil men have executed evil plans in the name of Christianity and Islam. Often against one another. In the 21st century, most Christian leaders and activists acknowledge the past evil and seek to apply the love of Jesus in a Godly and peaceful way. While this does not exclude the use of military force, it does guide its use.

Based on this, many writers and commentators condemn the entire Christian faith. When a handful of people carryout their evil acts in the name of Christ, Christians must speak the truth in love and condemn evil, especially when it is done by those that claim the mantle of faith in Jesus.

In the same way, the leaders of Islam must condemn the constant use of violence by those claiming to be followers of Islam if they want to assert that Islam is a religion of peace. Hezbollah cannot use children as human shields while firing their weapons and then condemn Israel because children were killed in the ensuing military conflict. When terrorists, in the name of Islam, send teenage children strapped with explosives into shopping malls to kill innocent Jewish people, Islam has forfeited the `moral high-ground’ they so fervently wish to occupy.

Can you imagine the outcry if there had been 5000+ acts of terrorism in the name of Christianity or Judaism? The horror of the Holocaust and Nagasaki would pale in comparison to the ensuing political meltdown.

Those that bash Bush, hate America, and condemn Israel must make at least a token attempt to be fair and even-handed in this debate. There have been many terrible decisions and outrageous failures in the last 50 years of Middle East conflict and a large number since 9/11.

It seems to me at least 5711 of the evil acts have been done in the name of Islam by those claiming to follow the Prophet and Allah.

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Honoring the victims of 9/11

Remembering 9/11
I have been asked to participate in our local observance of 9/11 and will do so happily. In researching what I could do to honor our fallen heroes I discovered a fabulous project to recognize every victim of this horrific act of cowardly terroism. The website is 2996 – A tribute to the victims of 9/11

It is my privilege to join in this worthwhile effort. Blessings to those that have worked so hard to create and sustain the project.

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Appeasement 101

I stumbled across a brilliant column by Victor Hanson outlining the futility of the politics of appeasement. Fascism and Terrorism do not allow us the option of peaceful coexistence. I will be reading more of Mr. Hanson’s work in the future.

*****

It is easy to damn the 1930s appeasers of Hitler such as Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain in England and Edouard Daladier in France given what the Nazis ultimately did when unleashed. But history demands not merely recognizing the truth post facto, but also trying to reconstruct the rationale of something that now in hindsight seems inexplicable.

Appeasement in the 1930s was popular with the European public for a variety of reasons. All of them are instructive in our hesitation about stopping a nuclear Iran, or about defending the right of Western newspapers to print what they wish or about fighting radical Islamism in general.

Read the rest of “Appeasement 101”

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Blessings to our Military

Twin towers explodeAfter seeing "World Trade Center" this weekend, I resolved to post thanks and encouragement to the blog or website of every member of the American military I stumbled across. Regardless of their politics, gender, ethnicity or social standing, these men and women are heroes. I am happy to thank Michael Gallaugher living in Worcester County, Massachusetts first. His website has been added to the blogroll. Blessings!

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Can Anyone Fix Public Education?

The public school system in New Mexico is broken. Politics, infighting, cronyism, mismanagement and incompetence have capsized the vessel. The latest report reveals that almost 70% of schools in Albuquerque failed to meet progress standards.

Officials in state and local government blamed everyone and everything for the problem. I will not repeat their tired refrains. One telling comment surfaced from a local administrator however. “More students were required to test at grade level this year” she said.

Reign in your incredulity and read it again. MORE students… AT grade level. Amazing. It is difficult for me to set the sarcasm aside for even a sentence.

The 2005 testing required that 50% of students score at grade level or higher. Daily, there are teachers, parents and politicians calling this standard outrageous. I agree. Requiring a standard that low is outrageous.

BTW, no one is New Mexico is offering a solution, just blame. Republicans and Democrats blame each other. Poor and rich blame each other. Hispanics and Anglos blame each other.

In the meantime, my wife realized she had received too much change after a purchase at a local store. She tried to return the extra funds. A manager was called. For ten minutes, the manager and cashier tried to do the math to return three dollars. Since they could not do the simple math, it was a fiasco.

Thought for the day. “If we want to make real change in education, it will require real change.”

Blessings.

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Greetings!

Welcome to our discussion of faith, politics and culture.

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