How many generals oppose Rumsfeld?

Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation, relishes the controversy over a few retired generals who have called for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign. Joining the media dogpile, Vanden Heuvel asks:

Batiste. Eaton. Newbold. Riggs. Zinni… Is there a retired general left in the States who hasn’t called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to fall on his sword? While The Nation suggested he resign in April, 2003, an unanticipated and unprecedented cast of characters has joined the growing chorus.

So far something like six of these guys have sounded off. Heck, I’ll be generous. Let’s say a full dozen are out there talking to the mainstream media and urging Rumsfeld’s ouster. Where does that leave us? Right here, Katrina:

The dirty dozen Everybody else











































Yes, that’s a giant chorus of condemnation. This is only based on the estimate that there are roughly 4,700 retired generals and admirals, so do your own math. Maybe it’ll be more persuasive.

Update: Welcome, readers of Hugh Hewitt, PoliPundit.com, TKS, Ed Driscoll, Right Wing News and RedState! Enjoy your stay here at Brain Shavings, and be sure to drop by the Buckeye Bloggers before you go.

Storekeepers shoot, kill robbers

CNN brings us proof that sometimes the only way to stop robbers is to shoot them:

When two men walked into a popular country store outside Atlanta, announced a holdup and fired a shot, owners Bobby and Gloria Doster never hesitated. The pair pulled out their own pistols and opened fire.
The armed suspect and his partner were killed. The Dosters won’t be charged, according to local officials, because they were acting in self-defense.
“I just started shooting,” said Gloria Doster, 56. “I was trying to blow his brains out is what I was trying to do.”

Before my liberal readers get bent out of shape over private citizens “acting like vigilantes” instead of waiting for police to arrive, read another excerpt from the story:

She said she tried to open the register, but one of the men told her she wasn’t moving fast enough and tried to shoot her husband. He missed — and his gun jammed.
At that point, Bobby Doster pulled out a .380-caliber handgun and shot one of the suspects. Gloria Doster then went for a 9 mm pistol she keeps near the register.
“All hell broke loose,” she said. “I was trying to shoot and dial 911 at the same time.”
Both suspects took cover behind the store’s meat counter as the Dosters opened fire. Gloria Doster said she doesn’t know how many bullets were fired, or how many times the suspects were hit.
Police arrived about five minutes after receiving Gloria Doster’s call; the suspects died a short time later at a hospital.
[emphasis added]

If the Dosters had waited for the police to arrive, the Dosters would be dead today. Their exercise of their right to keep and bear arms saved their lives. When you disarm the populace, gun crime soars.

Apologetics? What’s that?

Every Thought Captive and RazorsKiss.net are sponsoring a Christian blog symposium called Vox Apologia 1. The topic is “What does apologetics mean to today’s Christian church?” I can’t resist this one.
First, a definition. In rough terms I’d define “apologetics” as “defending the faith”, although others give fuller definitions based on the Greek root word apologia, which means “a verbal defense, a speech in defense.”1 Christian apologetics is a branch of Christian theology seeking to provide a rational defense of the truth of the Christian faith. When you engage in apologetics, you give an answer to tough questions about subjects like the existence of God, the Bible’s reliability as a historical document, Jesus’ resurrection, the simultaneous existence of evil and a good all-powerful God, and the like. That covers the definition well enough for our purposes here.
Since I don’t hop from church to church, I can only speak for my impression of my congregation, which is part of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Here’s what I fear “apologetics” means to my congregation:

[insert chirping cricket sound here]

That sounds a bit harsh, so let me dial it back a little. If I conducted a survey of my congregation and got replies from a signifant chunk of the ~2,000 official members, I’m confident that over 90% would not know what the term “apologetics” means, nor would they know much about the subject.
It’s not that way because they wouldn’t be interested if they were given an opportunity to learn. Any blame lies with the 10% of us (myself included) who do know something about apologetics … and I also blame the inherent handicap we face in a society that tends not to read books, pay attention to anything but a TV screen, and have any spare time to speak of.
Odds are, your church’s library has several books by apologists like C.S. Lewis, R.C. Sproul, G.K. Chesterton, Saint Augustine, Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, Francis Beckwith, or Ravi Zacharias … or at least “pop apologetics” books by Lee Strobel, Paul E. Little, Josh McDowell, Hank Hanegraaf, or Phillip E. Johnson.
But if your church is like mine, those books probably have a good coating of dust on them. The most popular books are most likely the ones with the least theological meat in ’em, from authors like Tim Lahaye, Rick Warren, and Max Lucado. Don’t get me wrong; these authors are fine Christian men who write well, and their books inspire many people to live better Christian lives.
What their books don’t do is teach you to know what you believe, why you believe it, how it differs from what cults and other religions believe, and how the Christian faith makes more sense than any competing worldview out there. That is apologetics. And it’s a field that absentminded amateur apologists like me need to get workin’ on, so we can educate our fellow believers and offer the world better reasons to become a Christian than “it feels good and helps me cope.”
So right now, I think the church has barely a clue about apologetics. I’m hopeful that some years down the road, it’ll mean a lot more to the average believer … who will be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks them to give the reason for their hope, with gentleness and respect.

Note:
1) The word “apologia” occurs in the original Greek New Testament in the following passages: Acts 22:1 & 25:16; 1 Corinthians 9:3; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 1:7, 16; 2 Timothy 4:16; and 1 Peter 3:15.

Best tsunami defense: prosperity

OpinionJournal weighs in on the finger-pointing after the tsunami in Asia:

It is preposterous to blame the inexorable forces of nature on the development of industry and infrastructures of modern society. The more sensible response to natural disasters is to improve forecasting, put in place efficient communications and evacuation procedures and, should the worst arrive, conduct relief efforts and rebuild what nature has destroyed. Those cautionary measures, as is now clear, cost money. The national income necessary to afford them is made possible only by economic growth of the sort too many of environmentalists retard with their policy extremism.
Rich countries suffer fewer fatalities from natural disasters because their prosperity has allowed them to create better protective measures. Consider the 41,000 death toll in last December’s earthquake in Iran compared with the 63 who died when a slightly stronger earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989.
The principal victims of the tidal waves in Sri Lanka and elsewhere Sunday were the poor people living in coastal shanty towns. The wealthier countries around the Pacific Rim have an established early-warning system against tsunamis, while none currently exists in South Asia. Developing countries that have resisted the Kyoto climate-change protocols have done so from fear that it will suppress their economic growth. These countries deserve an answer from the proponents of those standards. How are they supposed to pay for such protection amid measures that are suppressing global economic growth?

Makes sense to me.

For the record: Kerry defense cuts

As several 24-hour news cycles pass by after the Republican National Convention and blur our memories of who said what at which point in time, a reminder can come in handy.
Lest anyone forget that John Kerry wanted to cut numerous military weapons systems that Zell Miller recited in his RNC speech, I offer two photocopies of a Kerry campaign flyer from the 1980s … which advocates cutting those very systems.
Page 1
Page 2
Kerry boosters claim that Miller misrepresented their man’s vote on a single defense budget bill. According to the lefties, Kerry would have voted for all of these systems, but because the appropriations bill had other really bad stuff hidden in it, poor John was forced to vote “nay.”
Now you know better.
Hat tip: Citizen Smash