“The Republican candidates returned to their respective outposts on the campaign trail Friday, hours after appearing in a vigorous debate that focused on national security and America’s role in the world. The conversation began when the candidates evaluated the U.S. response during a recent incident in the Strait of Hormuz between a U.S. Navy ship and five Iranian speed boats. Five of the six candidates on stage at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina applauded the commanding officers for responding with restraint when they did not fire on the speed boats even though a radio call claimed the U.S. ship was going to explode in minutes. Of the six candidates, only Ron Paul said he thought the incident was being blown out of proportion.
‘Let’s put it in perspective. We have five small speedboats attacking the U.S. Navy with a Destroyer? They could take care of those speedboats in about five seconds. And here we’re ready to start World War III over this? … You know there are people in this administration and in Washington, D.C., that are looking for the chance’ to bomb Iran, the 10-term Texas congressman said.”
Aside from prayer–which I perhaps should do more often–I have felt great sadness and helplessness when hearing of the plight of Iraqi Christians.
Fortunately, CNEWA has a way for us to help more directly: they has a list of projects to support Christians in threatened parishes and also to help relocate a Baghdad seminary to a more secure location, among others. Check it out, and please give!
A while back somebody posted a request for book recommendations. At the time I couldn’t think of a good non-fiction one. I can think of several good non-fiction books, but most of them are too specialized for the general public to read. The DSM-IV, for example. It’s a great read, and an absolute must for some, but for the average person? Not so much with the useful.
But I was looking over my shelves today, and I saw the perfect book to recommend:
This is a great book. It’s chock full of information on interesting and useful topics like finding food, building shelter, basic medical and sanitary practices in the field, signaling for help, and plenty more besides. The prose is straightforward, practical, yet confident and authoritative. One of the best parts about this book is its effort to familiarize the reader with the rudiments of survival in nearly any situation, including what to do if your plane crashes into an oil fire at sea. There are sections for jungle, arctic, mountain, and desert survival techniques. What more can you ask for? There are a few sections that seem glossed over, such as evading enemy patrols (this subject is given very light treatment), but overall great book. Highly recommended.
[While going through old posts, I found a comment that I felt deserved a post of its own. Since the author is a relative of mine and a guest blogger here, I took the liberty of editing the text and publishing it here. Funky]
“Violent lyrics in songs increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment, according to a U.S. a study released yesterday.”
Quite some time ago, Funky off-handedly related this article to gangster rap. Indeed, gangster rap music feeds the need to feel empowered, to feel righteous in the fact that anyone who crosses you shall be an ant to be squashed. You feel less frightened, but you continue to support the environment that you fear. Everything is a fight for life.
“DESTROY THE THREAT! ASK NO QUESTIONS! DO NOT HESITATE!!!”
You have to romanticize your screwed up social environs. Otherwise, you won’t feel good behaving in such an inhumane, psychotic manner. So, yes, it induces aggressive thoughts. It helps to have these when everyone else is about to pounce on you and destroy your life! Or so you think.
That’s the real problem, though. People often behave stupidly when they perceive a threat. Take reactions to 9/11 , for instance. One day I hope they make a study about American foreign policy showing that it can “increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment.”
September 11, 2001 was indeed a sad and tragic day that will haunt Americans for years to come. I mourn the loss of life and my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones. However, I cannot and will not jump on the rah-rah "Let's Roll" bandwagon of melodrama mixed with hawkish propaganda.
If the lives of ~3000 who died at the hands of terrorist scum mean so much to us, why aren't we doing anything in Darfur, Sudan where tens – perhaps even hundreds – of thousands of people have died, are dying, and will die at the hands of genocidal scum? If we're so gung-ho about kicking Evil's ass, why didn't we do it in Congo , where millions died – not by a swift crash, explosion, or building collapse, but by starvation?