Tagged: Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-20

Nativity in stained glassIn those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luther's rose in stained glass

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas!

Nativity in stained glassLuke 2:1-20
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luther's rose in stained glassAnd there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Blog swarm gathers around Conyers

Captain Ed over at Captain’s Quarters may well be touching off a blog swarm around Michigan Democrat Congressman John Conyers, whose staff stands accused of taking charity Christmas turkeys and giving them to friends instead of to Detroit’s hungry and needy.
Conyers’ reaction to press inquiries? Silence.
If he keeps ignoring this story and the blogosphere goes nuclear, you’ll be seeing another demonstration of the power of the tail.
More coverage:
Instapundit
Wizbang! (inevitably tagging it “Turkeygate”)
Cheese & Crackers
Pejmanesque
hubs and spokes
Three Knockdown Rule
PoliBlog
Turkeygate (too funny!)
Daily Pundit
Urban Republican
You Know What Part
Pajama Journal
BrothersJudd
Chicago Avvocato
The Baron
Florida Pilot
Dinocrat

Religion and politics

Yesterday I pointed out the correlation between deeply-held Christian belief, knowledge of current events, and antipathy to Islam. Today, Power Line notes a similar connection between religious belief and voting patterns:

This year’s election made clear what political leaders have known for some time — religious belief and degree of religious commitment are closely associated with how people vote. Thus, the extent to which people hold, and are serious about, religious beliefs has a direct bearing on who will hold political power and what our policies will be across the spectrum of key foreign policy and domestic issues. Put another way, the fact that so many Americans believe in God and take religious teachings so seriously is a major reason why our politics and policies are not like those of Europe, where religion has been marginalized.

This is another “duh” moment for most everybody from the center to the right in American politics, but I’m betting that the guys at Power Line felt obligated to point out what ought to be obvious, since otherwise intelligent folks like Jeff Jarvis and Jesse Taylor still just don’t seem to get it.
Hugh Hewitt tackles Jarvis’ essay on the supposedly exaggerated battles over Christmas in America:

It is too easy to say “everything is fine,” and “chill.” The place of faith in America is a crucial topic that deserves every bit of attention it receives, even when a particular battle seems overblown when measured against the persecution of the house church in China.
Every time an elitist condemns a person of faith as a “theocrat,” or a scientist rejects an argument against embryonic stem cell research as a “fundamentalists’ position,” the effort to expel faith from the public square advances, and not via debate, but via the sneer. Jeff Jarvis may not care a bit because such steps don’t result in bloodshed or any sort of violence. But most public policy disputes don’t, and the absence of physical injury doesn’t make them any less worthy of debate or attention. Jarvis’ jeremiad against focus on conflicts between the sectarian and the secular is itself an attempt to demote issues of faith in the culture to second-class conflicts, beneath the attention of “serious” thinkers — a back lot drama played out by hayseeds and snake handlers. How convenient, and how wrong.

Read the whole thing.
For more examples of the War on Christmas, keep checking in with Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, and David Limbaugh.

C’mon, say it … say it!

In the interest of annoying the P.C. shocktroops (who definitely deserve to be offended) I offer three brief commentaries in favor of the public celebration of Christmas, written by three of my favorite Jews: Charles Krauthammer, Dennis Prager, and Michael Medved.
Merry Christmas!

UPDATE: More from Diana West and Jeff Jacoby, both Jews.

You think the Christmas season’s crazy?

When you get frustrated with the traffic at your local mall, consider the behavior of Saudis during Ramadan, as explained in a letter to Victor David Hanson from an American living in Saudi Arabia:

The third week of Ramadan I ran into Mohammed at work. He looked haggard and exhausted, but still a bit more lively than most. “I’m starting to see dead people,” he said dreamily. Then he wandered off down the hall like a ghost.
I was beginning to see dead people too; Saudis shaking and shuffling to their desks to vegetate until it was time to go home and sleep.

Saudis have their own peculiar way of observing Ramadan. During Ramadan the Saudis flip their lifestyles from day to night. True, they do abstain from food, water, and sexual intercourse, during the day. What they deny themselves in the sunlight they more than make up for in the dark. Most Saudis gain weight during Ramadan. Like camels storing nourishment and water in the form of fat in their humps for long treks across the desert, the Saudis gorge on food and drink during the night for the perilous journey from dawn to dusk the following day.
Nightlife in the heart of the Magic Kingdom during Ramadan is frenzied. Shops and restaurants stay open until late in the morning. Some don’t bother closing until just before sunrise. Stores are congested. Restaurants are full. Traffic is bumper to bumper. There are Ramadan Special Offers and Ramadan Sells and Ramadan Drawings and Ramadan Discounts everywhere as stores vie for customers.
Aside from an occasional catnap before iftar (the first evening meal at sundown, when you break fast) and after suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) no one bothers to sleep. Sleep can be postponed until the weekend, when you can snooze all day long to your heart’s content, which is exactly what the Saudis do. On Thursdays and Fridays (weekend in this part of the world) during Ramadan the heart of the Magic Kingdom becomes one massive necropolis. Streets are completely empty. Shops are closed. Aside from police at checkpoints on the lookout for terrorists it’s as though the entire city has been abandoned.

One discernible impact of the lack of sleep during Ramadan is a tremendous rise in traffic accidents. Driving in Arabia is dangerous anytime of the year, but during Ramadan it is like playing Russian roulette, only with cars instead of bullets.

Be thankful our holiday behavior’s only minor-league insane.

Operation Holiday Spirit

Here’s something we can all agree on. Let’s send some Christmas cheer to the troops fighting to defend us! Soldiers’ Angels is running Operation Holiday Spirit, and you can help. Just click on the image below.

Operation Holiday Spirit

You can either make a donation or send a stocking and a phone card yourself. Go and do your part. The deadline for shipping anything to the war zone if you want it to arrive by Christmas is this Saturday, the 13th. The deadline is November 27th for mail shipped on military aircraft when space is available and December 4th for military parcel airlift mail.

Cleveland Plain Dealer notices the elephant in the room

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has finally noticed John Kerry’s lies as revealed by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Sort of. And it only took them twelve days.
Here’s the extent of their coverage:

Kerry also said in the Senate in 1986 that he entered Cambodia on secret missions, which would have been illegal, and in other accounts he specifically recalled being there on Christmas Eve, 1968, a memory “seared” in his mind.
Fellow officers and living commanders said he was 55 miles from the Cambodian border and never entered Cambodia.
They also criticize him for associating President Nixon with the alleged Cambodian incursions of 1968, since Nixon didn’t take office until 1969.
Kerry adviser Michael Meehan said on Friday that Kerry was “near and around the border” on Dec. 24, 1968 – Christmas Eve – and “for certain he transported Special Operations folks into Cambodia” other times.

That’s it. Four innacurate paragraphs at the end of a single article, and Kerry slinks away with minor damage. I pointed out the PD’s .000 batting average on Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” lie two days ago. The PD still doesn’t mention Kerry’s magic hat, nor does it dig into his unbelievable fallback lie #1 or fallback lie #2.
For August 16-18, here’s the PD’s John Kerry news tally:

  • “John Kerry”: 5
  • “John Kerry” and “Cambodia”: 1
  • “Swift Boat Veterans”: 2
  • “anti” and “John Kerry” : 3

Ah, but what about those shadowy swift boat vets? There’s a two-paragraph item from PD Washington bureau chief Stephen Koff, the last half of which reads:

The group’s financing is highly partisan. The source of the Swift Boat group’s money wasn’t known when it first surfaced, but a report filed July 15 with the Internal Revenue Services now shows its initial funding came mainly from a Houston home builder, Bob R. Perry, who has also given millions to the Republican party and Republican candidates, mostly in Texas, including President Bush and Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose district is near Houston. Perry gave $100,000 of the $158,750 received by the Swift Boat group through the end of June, according to its disclosure report.

Oh, no … not the dreaded partisans! The next thing you know, Cleveland sports fans will start preferring the Browns over the Steelers, and heaven knows we can’t have people choosing sides. It’s like, y’know … just not nice. Or something. I guess non-partisan campaigning is the way to go. I can see the bumper sticker now: “Elect Somebody in 2008.”
Koff highlights Bob Perry’s $100,000 donation to the swifties, but makes no mention of the $400,000 raised online from 8,000 donors, leaving Perry’s $100,000 contribution as 17.9% of the total of $558,750. Spare me the veiled insinuations of back-room skullduggery, please.
Koff also makes no mention of Democrat-friendly 527 committees like MoveOn.org and America Coming Together, which are liberally funded by billionaire lefty uber-partisans like George Soros (who’s contributed over $12,000,000) and Cleveland’s own Peter B. Lewis (who’s contributed over $14,000,000). If you’re going to cast aspersions about big money donors, your story ought to report relevant contributions from the other side. Bob Perry’s $100,000 looks a bit less significant when compared to the $26,000,000 these two billionaires gave to Kerry-boosting 527 committees.
You want a second source, Plain Dealer? Here, knock yourself out. Now you have confirmation. This is what’s known as “journalism.” You guys ought to try it sometime.

UPDATE: More here.

Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” lie breaks out

The authors of Power Line have published a summary in the St. Paul Star Tribune of John Kerry’s habitual story-telling and falsehoods. It’s a succinct read and it’s well worth your 5 minutes.
Perhaps now the mainstream media will “discover” the story. This candidate is a national defense disaster waiting to hapen.

UPDATE: More by Hugh Hewitt over on WND

Cleveland Plain Dealer ignores Kerry’s lies

My home state, Ohio, is a critical battleground state for this presidential election. Cleveland is Ohio’s biggest media market (TV, radio, newspaper). The Cleveland Plain Dealer is the only newspaper in this city, and it routinely leans leftward. I doubt that the intrepid PD editors have missed the discovery of John Kerry’s war-stories-that-never-happened.
Yet between August 4th (when the release of the ad by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth reached the news) and August 15th, here’s what the PD has had to say about John Kerry, tracked by number of mentions:

  • “John Kerry”: 27
  • “John Kerry” and “Cambodia”: 0
  • “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth”: 0
  • “anti” and “John Kerry” : 1
    (and this one doesn’t refer to the ad from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth)
� SuperStock, Inc.

Nice work, guys. In John Kerry’s Navy, this would be called “dereliction of duty.”
Kevin O’Brien, where are you?

UPDATE: As to mentions of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, I stand somewhat corrected. The PD published one AP story on August 6th, which mentions the ad as follows …

Disputing that vow was a group of Vietnam veterans who unveiled a television ad challenging Kerry’s medal-winning service in the war. Another veteran, Republican Sen. John McCain, put the president on the spot by urging the White House to condemn the “dishonest and dishonorable” commercial. The Arizona lawmaker, in working for the president’s re-election, has campaigned with both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Bush’s spokesman declined to condemn the ad, taking a slap instead at McCain and his fight for campaign finance reform.

Kerry frequently suggests that a wartime president needs war experience, but the remark carried extra weight Thursday as a group of fellow veterans questioned his combat credentials.
“When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry,” says Larry Thurlow, one of several veterans who criticizes Kerry in a new 60-second ad.
Thurlow didn’t serve on Kerry’s swiftboat, but says he witnessed the events that led to Kerry winning a Bronze Star and the last of his three Purple Hearts. Kerry’s crewmates support the candidate and call him a hero.

No mention of “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth”, but the ad has technically been mentioned in a veiled reference in a single wire story. Hardly impressive.
Meanwhile, Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” lie and his “magic hat” story are still missing. It’s still dereliction of journalistic duty.

UPDATE: More here.