Friday, April 24, 2009

Hither and thither 4/24/09 — duty to die, Obama caving, Miss California, and more!

Wellnow, because of things I had spinning, I thought it might end up as a fairly slim H&T this week. AND YET!
  • Here's a funny thing, though. H&D is a very popular feature... but traffic is always down on Friday. Why is that? Go figure.
  • I think Will Ferrell is one of the luckiest men in Hollywood. I don't think he has much talent, I don't think he's (usually) funny, yet he keeps getting gigs in relatively major movies. If I were a serious, hardworking actor, he'd drive me nuts. But recently it could be argued that his luck ran out. It might be fun to watch.
  • So. Anyone ever eaten a ramp? Sounds yummy, actually.
  • Geek alert: David Pierce switched from Firefox to Chrome, and tells us why. He's sure right about it being faster than FF.
  • Our Future Alert: in Britain, Baroness Warnock says senile old people are a complete waste of resources, and have a duty to die. Of course (someone should have told her) they will. But not fast enough for the Baroness. Ironically, the Baroness is 84, and clearly feels she is a fine investment of resources.
  • The leaven of apostasy continues apace in the PCUSA, as the National Capital Presbytery voted to approve homosexual clergy. The move still may fail nationally, but leaven does have a tendency to spread. No word on whether they've also moved to approve clergy who are practicing thieves, rapists, atheists, or adulterers.
  • In a turn fraught with irony, Sen. John Kerry (D-France) is moving to rescue newspapers. It is fitting, certainly, since the Dems have the MSM's concerted misinformation campaign to thank, in part, for their current spike of power.
  • So these are supposedly 14 pizzas worth dying for. Me, I like mine better. Well, except maybe... these two:
  • It appears that President Obama did the right thing in how he managed the pirate-hostage crisis: he gave general directives, approved what the military requested, and let them handle it. I'm glad to give credit when credit is due. Well done, Mr. President, and thank God it was successful.
  • On the other hand, Obama caved to liberal extremists, reversing himself and signaling that he might legally go after Bush officials who obtained highly-valuable information from terrorists by methods he considers harsh. It's immoral to be harsh with mass murderers or their associates, Obama wants to says. If not corrected, this irresponsible lurch will chill any initiative in obtaining future intel by anything more extreme than "Care for a cigarette, Mr. Mahoobadood?" or "Another copy of Islam Today, Mr. Baksheesh?" Hugh Hewitt develops more of what's terribly wrong about a move that will hurt America, and please only the barking-mad, anti-American left... and our enemies. (See more on the "witch hunt" here, here, and here.)
  • More on "torture": IBD notes today's Dems' hypocrisy. Meanwhile, a tape of real torture makes for horrid reading. The Obama administration doesn't want you to know the life-saving information obtained by the tactics. Voters may not be buying the Dems' tactics.
  • So did you get that Moral Compass Alert from the Obama White House? Inconvenient or imperfect babies may be torn limb from limb, alive, all the way from conception to delivery. But terrorists? Raised-pinkie time!
  • Slouching towards Canada, etc. One of Americans' most cherished, Constitutionally-guaranteed rights is the right to free speech. Regular readers will be unsurprised to note that Democrats in Congress are hard at work to relieve us of that right.
  • I'm sure Justin Taylor's readers think they've very smart. No doubt many of them are. But do you think they even know there is such a thing as a Hawaiian Happy Face Spider? No sir, no ma'am; no, they do not. But mine do. Now they do.
  • How much of a bummer would this be? You look at yourself in the mirror, and you're forced to admit: "Yeah, I'm famous and everyone wants to talk to me. But the only reason that's true is because I had immoral sex with a famous woman's daughter and made her pregnant, and the only thing they want to talk about is that, and the only reason is because they want to ruin that famous woman and make immorality more acceptable. And, what's more... I'm okay with that!" Yeah, that'd be the stinks.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand meanwhile, Bristol Palin is reportedly out there advocating abstinence. Late to the party, but... nice. Nice change of story, too. Whatever.
  • Mmmmm, Sasquatch Burger. Yep, I'd eat it.
  • Here is an iPhone application I don't think I'd have gotten.
  • Oh boy. Don't let my family see this. Or anyone in any church to which I'll ever preach.
  • My dear daughter points me to this, about Miss California who may have lost the title because she didn't give Perez Hilton the answer he wanted. But where do you start, where do you stop on that one? For starters, I just don't have anything good to say about beauty pageants, period. I believe I've offered a few thoughts about women who dress selfishly and unmercifully. Further, Carrie Prejean's answer was really very sloppy, and she's kind of sent mixed signals since. Prejean, a student at San Diego Christian College, says it was about being "Biblically correct," and that God was testing her; yet her answer was that this was the way she was raised, and she says “I’m so proud of myself” (which isn't, very), and that she's glad she was true to herself. I do think it's remarkable and praiseworthy that she gave what she knew would be a controversial answer. But I think it's far more remarkable that it was a controversial answer, that it has caused such a stink, and that people Hilton said he was "floored" by her answer. News flash: history really does go back beyond yesterday! Biblical values are at the root of our nation! Reality doesn't change simply because you stomp your foot and throw a tantrum!
  • Damn cancer, anyway. I won't miss it.
  • Title of the Week goes to Mystery Spots: Places Where Bizarre Forces Obscure Reality. Do you think of the same places I do? In about this order: Washington, DC; Hollywood, CA; The Vatican, Rome; Salt Lake City, UT... but that isn't what they're talking about.
  • "If do right, no can defense."
  • You know... I could happily live (or at least vacation) in some of these treehouses.
  • I'm not as interested in the name of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg as I am in (A) what's in it and (B) are they hitting on dry flies?
  • Dude... this is one confused palm tree.
  • Uh, so... nice hat.

  • And then there's all this:


CR said...

As usual, outstanding HT, today. Loved the Kerry (D-France), but you forgot to mention he served in Vietnam. He said that a lot in his speeches in 2004.

I won't miss cancer either!

DJP said...

Kerry served in Vietnam?

Dang! You'd think the man would SAY something about it....

Fred Butler said...

Man, those sex questions from Larry King to Bristol's ex boy friend were a bit creepy. Like dirty old man creepy.

The Squirrel said...

I vow that you will never see a recipe for Reindeer eyeballs in The Squirrel Can Cook. And, as for beverages... No! (but Pizza & Burgers? Oh, Yeah!)

Fred, I was thinking the exact same thing. Creepy just doesn't cover it! And would somebody, anybody, tell Levi to just shut up! "I don't kiss and tell..." Give me a break.

Michelle said...

It was pathetic how Levi what's-his-name went on Larry King and aired his dirty laundry before the world. At the time I thought Larry stooped pretty low too facilitating it. Then I remembered that I was watching, so I wasn't doing much better.

Trinian said...

So when they say that this Miss California "should represent everyone" what they really mean is that she should represent the demonstrated minority portion of California that they agree with and approve of, not the real population of California. Definitely not the greatest role model, as you said, but the response was... typically compassionate".

Mesa Mike said...

Wow, lotsa H&T today!

The PCUSA oughtta be renamed the PCS&G

Mesa Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trinian said...

"clergy who are practicing thieves, rapists, atheists, or adulterers"

Man, OLD news. Old like a British baroness; old like Pope Alexander VI old!

Sir Aaron said...

My wife and I were watching OReilly and she asked why it was necessary to show only the swimsuit portion of the pageant over and over. I told her I thought it was pretty obvious to me...I told her it was most unmerciful for a woman to wear that for all men to see (excepting Hilton Perez who I assume is unfazed by such things). Then I told her it actually was just as unmerciful to her since my lust affects her too. I told her Job, who made a covenant with his eyes, was one heck of a man.

The Levi thing astounds me. He thinks because he is a sperm donor he should get rights? How about you get a job (since he quit the one he had) and put some money where his mouth is. Or how about getting a job, getting an apartment, and acting like a responsible father.

Levi's interview with Tyra Banks was interesting. He thinks abstinence is unrealistic but then Tyra gets him to admit he didn't always have "safe" sex (duh...). The whole notion of safe sex is a smokescreen. Nobody who is sexually promiscuous uses preventative measures 100% of the time even when they know they should and have ready access to the necessary equipment (and this is experience speaking). If you are going to espouse doing whatever you want whenever you want, you're going to have a difficult time getting people to be disciplined enough to abide by the proviso that you have to be "safe."

< /rant >

DJP said...

PLUS: he was irresponsible in his treatment of his girlfriend, irresponsible in the way he had sex, irresponsible since...

...but he wants his RIGHTS!

There's America in a nutshell. Or one of several.

Doug Hibbard said...

There. I clicked through google reader so your Friday traffic would get another hit.

JTW said...

Yikes! Your post on what real torture looks like is beyond disturbing. It's hard to imagine such sadistic behavior as one of the torturers told the cameraman to get a closeup of the victims suffering.

The Left desperately wants a Jack Nicholson "You can't handle the truth!!!" moment starring a high-ranking Bush official or George Bush himself. They want to see him disgraced and carted of in handcuffs.

This behavior is beyond obscene, treating enemies like friends and patriots like enemies.

The Squirrel said...

Ok, this will sound funny, coming from me, but...

I want a treehouse! I want, I want, I want!


Becky, slave of Christ said...

I did a search for ramp recipes. They are used in a variety of ways, but three very common ingredients they are partnered with are bacon, eggs and potatoes. Apparently they are nice for breakfast, but I don't think they will ever come to a supermarket near me.

Dan, please remove the picture of that caterpillar, you are torturing me with it! I am definitely going to have nightmares.

Nick and Katie's story is heart wrenching. Damn cancer, yes and the sin that makes it possible.

DJP said...

Talk! Or it'll be the comfy chair for you!!!

SolaMommy said...

"Ramps is special"

That pretty much says it all, I suppose.

I hate spiders, but...that one's kinda cute :-)

trogdor said...

I'll see your gay clergy and raise you a buddhist bishop.

I love how those pizzas are all unique specialty pizzas except for Chicago style, which is only available at about ten thousand places around here. Since moving out here, it's kind of challenging to refer to anything else as 'pizza'. Somehow, places like Pizza Hut are available here - who buys that stuff? Ugh. Buying Pizza Hut or Domino's in Chicago is like going to Solomon's Porch when you could head to Bethlehem Baptist. You have no one to blame but yourself.

What does it mean when Chicagoan the Obama flies in a pizza chef from St. Louis? If there weren't already hundreds of reasons to doubt him...

"I'm sure Justin Taylor's readers think they've very smart."
I'm sure there are a lot who are. Unfortunately, they're not the ones who comment.

Rachael Starke said...

Re: Ms. Prejean -
When I found out she claimed to be a believer, my first thought was "Where's her PASTOR? Where's her FATHER??!" Good grief.

But my second thought was, based on her answer, I would have failed her too. She's representing California in a national beauty pageant. And her sister is a gay rights activist? Did she honestly think this question would never come up?? And if she did, was that her best effort?? Sure hope she's not a Communications major...

And regarding dear Ms. Bristol, to be honest, I think she could actually have a compelling abstinence story to take to America's girl yoots....

"Here's the thing, girls. I found the greatest guy. Really. He was everything I knew I needed and wanted in a man. And, hey, it couldn't be wrong when it felt so right. Right?

And now I'm a single mom, and the father of my child sees him every couple weeks, in between talk show appearances when he talks about which rooms in my parents' house we fooled around in, and whether he might have to take me to court to take the baby away.

That'll preach.

And I'm with the Squirrel on the treehouses. Where's the Mom version?

DJP said...

Rachael - you so rock. Thank you for that.

Kristine said...

Rachael - right on. Dan totally nailed it:

you rock.

Mesa Mike said...

Rockin' Rachael!

Don Hatfield said...

You need to wander here to WV for a ramp feed, Dan. My grandmother was from Richwood and we try to go annually for a visit during the big feed. The other biggie in spring is the morel mushroom season...they're affectionately called molly moochers, and a real delicacy. The weather should allow for a good crop this year.

Something they didn't mention in the article - Richwood got its first Chinese restaurant about four years ago. Someone (I think the mayor) visited and gifted the owner with a mess of ramps and a request to come up with a recipe using them. He ended up with several recipes and ramps were made a regular part of the menu when in season and for the festival.

Boil them first to make them tender, then fry them in potatoes, chop them up in an omelette, they're great. And the legend of the ramp odor on people who've eaten them is true only if you eat them raw, usually in large quantity. Once cooked they're not a problem, just sweet and delicious.

DJP said...

Dude, you're making me hungry, and I've never even (knowingly) seen a ramp.

Rachael Starke said...

Y'all are too kind. In my second job, I'm an executive communications consultant, which means I coach executives on how to communicate technically complicated or politically difficult information effectively, all for a (very reasonable, currently heavily discounted) fee.

Here, I'm just good for nuthin'.

I appreciate Dan's weekly H&T offerings to help me keep my skills fresh while my project pipeline gets rusty and echo-y from lack of gigs...

And re: ramps, I saw them used all the time on Top Chef. I'm pretty sure you can get them at Whole Foods for some outrageously inflated price. Any member of the onion/scallion family is welcome in my kitchen! :)

Andy Dollahite said...


This weekly feature is awesome. I really hate to make a serious comment, but I'm struggling to make biblical sense of things like waterboarding. The methods used by the US since 9/11 to gather intelligence aren't in the same category as the UAE video, but where is the biblical line for "intelligence" gathering?

Also the Hugh Hewitt (does Frank know you're linking to him?) interview fails to discuss the full scope of some of the recent debate. For example, he highlights the positive statements from Adm. Blair, but neglects to mention the admiral's assertion that, "The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security." Perhaps the admiral is schizophrenic, but we can't cherry pick him, can we?

Are you not concerned with some the power grabs by the federal government since 9/11? It seems to me that we aren't worried about what the government does as long as we're safe... until they start doing it to us that is, and then we'll be outraged.

Barbara said...

Rachel said, Any member of the onion/scallion family is welcome in my kitchen! :)They have just finished harvesting the Vidalias from the field across the road from me - the air smells wonderfully of onions, and the festival starts tonight :)

CR said...

Andy: This weekly feature is awesome. I really hate to make a serious comment, but I'm struggling to make biblical sense of things like waterboarding. The methods used by the US since 9/11 to gather intelligence aren't in the same category as the UAE video, but where is the biblical line for "intelligence" gathering?What President Obama did in declassifying the so-called, "torture" memos, was an absolute travesty and at best showed his complete and utter incompetence, and at worst showed his beholding to liberal groups. The memos were top secret. The definition of top secret is information, if revealed, would cause great harm to US security. Now, you have the current CIA director and 4 other former directors telling Obama, not to release the memo. So, you have the current director and 4 former directors saying that these memos were appropriately classified. They viewed the release of these documents as a grave threat of national security.

So, what we have described at the tactical level for our enemies is this: that the outer limits that any American would ever go to in terms of interrogation of terrorists. This is very valuable information and describes the box which Americans will not go beyond. This is very useful information even if as a policy matter President Obama has decided not to use one interrogation technique or another it still reveals the outer limits and I can't think of a more stupid, dangerous and selfish thing that a President could do then what Obama did! What Obama did was teach terrorists our outer limits and take techniques off the table.

Then there is also the broader effect on CIA officers. If you're a CIA officer commissioned to do interrogation you're going to be thinking: (1)Hmmm, what's the ACLU going to say about this. What's the NYT going to say about this. They're going to be asking will these things happen to me five years from now as a result of what I'm doing today.

The President is certainly in his power to declassify top secret documents and change policy. But if he wanted policy changes he didn't have to release these memos. He's done much to harm this country.

Puritan Man said...

on a lighter note, I did see that you didn't print the article you referred to regarding kids getting smarter at math by chewing gum. I saw that earlier in the week and my kids loved it. Next time you see me chewing gum in church I'm gonna remind you that my brain is getting smarter by the second. It will help me to process the sermon better. That sounds like a good excuse to me anyway. Lol!

Andy Dollahite said...


I don't disagree with any of your analysis. Releasing the memos was a terrible idea. But addressing that doesn't really answer my question to Dan, which was what are the biblical limits within which to "gather intelligence?"

DJP said...

Puritan Man — oh, my gosh, I didn't even think of the havoc that article could wreak among other abusers of the viscid, amorphous exudations!

Tell you what: if I'm ever preaching in your hearing about the exact calculations of the seventy weeks of Daniel, or the proportions of the furnishings of the Tabernacle, and you're finding it difficult, you have my permission to do some discrete chewing.

But no bubbles! And no snapping!

CR said...

Andy: But addressing that doesn't really answer my question to Dan, which was what are the biblical limits within which to "gather intelligence?"Romans 13 gives the state maximum and ultimate authority. The United States (under President Bush) limits its exercise of that authority and did not torture. But Romans 13 states that those who resist the authorities that the Lord has appointed will incur judgment. Those that resist the governing authorities, in this case terrorists, Paul says, rulers will be a terror to them. Certainly Romans 13 allows the enhanced interrogation techniques that the United States has performed in the past under President Bush (which stopped after 2003 or so).

threegirldad said...

I first read Dry Bones 30 years ago this summer, in the English-language edition of the Jerusalem Post. During the month I was there, it was an almost daily roast and skewer of Yasser Arafat -- and I do mean roast and skewer.

Quite the strip, it was...

CR said...

Just to clarify again what are the biblical limits to gather intelligence. The meaning of terror and fear used in Romans 13 for those that work evil is to be in a state of severe distress, aroused by intense concern for impending pain (or possibly by the illusion of such circumstances).

Now, US does not torture. Congress prohibits severe physical or mental pain or suffering. (Note: the ban on torture does not prohibit any pain or suffering, only severe pain or suffering. Congress never defined the definition of "severe" but the Bush Office of Legal Counsel did (this is what happens when Congress passes laws that are not specific). The OLC interpreted "severe" as a level of pain "equivalent" in intensity to the pain of death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions.

The fact is, our interrogation methods our below the biblical limits of interrogation methods because the Bible says that those that do evil should be in state of severe stress.

DJP said...

3GD — yeah; Dry Bones is usually very Jewish in feel, by which I mean you don't so much LOL as grimace and smile ruefully. Like this one.

Carlo — I was going to email you, but realized that that would be stupid; why not say it in public. So:

Thank you for what you bring to this blog's metas.

CR said...

Well, thanks, Dan. But I really appreciate you bringing out these topics into the public arena and allowing us to respond from a biblical perspective.

Andy's question was an excellent question and you're one of the few men I know who has a Christian public forum where important questions like these can be addressed.

Andy Dollahite said...

CR (Carlo?),

Thanks for the response. I'll look over the Rom 13. passage and give it more thought. My initial reaction is that you've made a compelling and faithful case. But I want to take more time to think about it. Again, thanks for the time.

DJP said...

Andy, I'm not ignoring you. I just really couldn't improve on Carlo's response at this time; not even close.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

"That'll preach."Rachel, you have obviously been listening to some excellent paper pastor.

Andy Dollahite said...


No problem. I figured you were on the same page as Carlo given your public affirmation of him. I think I'm fully on page with him (and you) regarding intelligence gathering, but I just want to give it some more thought.

Although, I do still have some serious issues with things like warrant-less wire tapping. It seems to me that is an extension of power the government has no right to hold. God may have granted civil authorities the power of the sword, but I have a hard time connecting that to eavesdropping on law-abiding citizens.

Susan said...

You know, that first pizza picture looks a bit unappetizing right now--but that's only because I had a 3X3(!!) with raw onion at In 'N' Out this afternoon (with animal fries and a chocolate shake!!) and am now suffering from a minor case (hopefully) of indigestion....

threegirldad said...

Carlo...Thank you for what you bring to this blog's metas.

I definitely second that (for whatever it's worth).

Solameanie said...

I was arguing over on Facebook about "torture" with Jon Trott, editor of Cornerstone Magazine, who identifies himself as an "evangelical lefty" and an Obama supporter. I won't rehearse the whole thing here, but to me, his answers to me were classic examples of cherrypicking Scripture to support an ideology, and emoting instead of reasoning.

If, according to Romans 13, the state is supposed to be a "terror" to evildoers AND bearer of the sword, then why is it suddenly evil for the state to be a terror to evildoers and bearer of the sword? The terrorist thugs we're holding at Club Gitmo don't seem particularly terrified to me.

Andy Dollahite said...


Does the state have the right to indefinitely hold people at Gitmo without charging them with any crime? It seems to me that if Rom. 13 is going to be applied, then they need to be charged with something, no?.

Like I've said before, we're all in favor of allowing the government powers to do what it "takes to keep us safe" until they start doing it to us. And governments have shown a propensity to abuse powers in times of "crisis"... Manzanar, Tule Lake, etc.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Interesting conversations, as always :0)


Just possibly your Friday traffic is lower because some of us anticipate spending a bit of time absorbing the links and have to set it aside until the weekend. Just a thought. (About your H and T.

Love the tree-houses! When we began attending the church we call home, the first folks to invite us over for lunch were a family of five living in a 600 sq. ft. tree house, waaaaaay up in a Douglas Fir. With a zip line, to boot.

My boys were in HEAVEN.

Keep it up, Mr. E. Clectic,


DJP said...

Mph, I suppose. Since I seldom post on Saturday, or Sunday, I suppose I could theoretically add those to the Friday stats....


Stan McCullars said...

Regarding the Gitmo prisoners, I have an idea that would deal with them and help reduce the national debt.

Sell raffle tickets which would give the lucky winners the right to execute a Gitmo prisoner.

I'm sure it would raise a lot of money. Only problem I see is that Congress can spend faster than raffle tickets could be sold.

JOYce ~♥~ said...

hmmmm, see more was added since last visit ~ thanks for helping us be alerted!

Rachel...where is her father? Not sure...Italian Catholic background is what surfaced online so far. Her pastor? He's here where the view be: The worship style of the Rock Church is casual and contemporary. Our bands blend rock, funk, island and pop styles to create a moving experience of celebratory praise and meditative worship. Consider visiting the prayer niches through the sanctuary. and We're a casual congregation. Feel free to wear whatever you would like, as long as it's not immodest! "Woorr-dd!"

Trinian said...

I'm now kicking myself for not previously considering the intense importance behind keeping the details of the US's policy on torture publicly vague and uncertain. Thank you for explaining that so well, CR.

Solameanie said...

The problem with this, Andy, is that this is a pretty "untraditional" war. In a declared war between nations, there were methods of dealing with POWs and adjudicating cases. With terrorists, it's a different matter. Let them loose, and most of them end up back with their terrorist colleagues.

I have no problem with trying them in a military commission. But Obama will probably find a way to turn them loose with an apology.

Andy Dollahite said...

I'm NOT saying turn them loose. I am saying however "untraditional" this "war" may be, and it is in most respects, it shouldn't take years, or what was headed towards a decade, to charge captives with a crime. If they were at war with the US, or however you want to describe it, then charge them with an appropriate crime. But we can't throw folks into prison and leave them there until we figure out how to deal with them 5, 10, or ...years later.

Dave said...

The Katie Kirkpatrick photoessay was incredibly touching. As someone who works in cancer research, with friends and family touched by the vile disease, it was another reminder of "why we fight." As well as another reason to pause and praise the Defeater of Death who will one day put all things under His pierced feet.

Andy Dollahite said...

I followed JT's link to read the essays on Christian views of torture. I'm still working my way through them, but I found these paragraphs by Al Mohler particularly interesting given the polical climate of the last week. Thoughts?

"These two contexts of moral decision-making can serve to develop a coherent and principled policy on the state’s use of torture and extreme coercion. First, the use of torture should be prohibited as a matter of state policy— period. No set of qualifications and exceptions can do anything but diminish the moral credibility of this policy. At the same time, rare exceptions under extreme circumstances can be considered under those circumstances by legitimate state agents, knowing that a full accounting of these decisions must be made to the public, through appropriate means and mechanisms.

Second, a thorough and legitimate review must be conducted subsequent to the use of any such techniques, with the agents who authorized or conducted such use of torture fully accountable, even to the point of maximum legal prosecution if their use of extreme coercion is seen to have been unjustified (not simply because the interrogation did not produce the desired information, but because the grounds of justification were invalid). The absence of legitimate accountability through a thorough and comprehensive process of review— with the threat of real and appropriate sanctions against those found to have acted without due justification— makes the state complicit in a web of cruelty and the official rationalization of evil." (emphasis mine)

Andy Dollahite said...

Doug Wilson chimes in:

DJP said...

Well, even without reading it, I'd bet it's a discussion-changer.

DJP said...

...and not quite in step with the handwringing over at JT's?

Am I guessing right?

Andy Dollahite said...

I think Doug does his usual job of humorously yet effectively jabbing at both sides of the debate. Eventually he derides those who think that waterboarding should be considered torture, and concludes: "In the Bible, righteous men can dispense some pretty rough treatment. But it is never disconnected from the fixed limits of justice, and those fixed limits are defined by Scripture, and never by the sum of all fears."

Sir Aaron said...


I think Doug Wilson's article answers a lot of the questions you posed here. I agree with most of his points. I'd add that I don't like torture not because of what it does to the criminal or terrorist (they get what they deserve) but because of how it affects me. You cannot torture somebody and expect it not to change you. So I'd give serious thought before I engaged in a harsh interrogation technique (and I don't think waterboarding is such a terrible thing).

With respect to holding people forever...actually, I think you have a fair point. These people should be tried (in military tribunals) and executed with all due haste. If we actually punished people, torture would be totally unnecessary.

And an FYI to CR: the government loves to classify stuff. They don't always have a good reason. It makes prosecution of terrorists darn near impossible. In fact, every case I've been involved with, we find some other unrelated criminal allegation to use against them because we can't get the terrorism activities declassified. And to tell you the truth, some days I wonder how we get any criminal prosecuted.

CR said...

Andy: And an FYI to CR: the government loves to classify stuff. They don't always have a good reason. It makes prosecution of terrorists darn near impossible. In fact, every case I've been involved with, we find some other unrelated criminal allegation to use against them because we can't get the terrorism activities declassified. And to tell you the truth, some days I wonder how we get any criminal prosecuted. Well, first of all, enemy combantants are not criminals. They are enemy combatants. Criminal trials have a very high standards on information that reaches a jury (witnesses must testify in person, hearsay is excluded, juries are kept ignorant of certain types of evidence that sway the novice, juries are not trusted to make difficult judgments of broad contextual info).

Military commisions are staffed by professionals versed in many things. Courts use rules to encourage law enforcement to respect defandant's rights and because the costs to society of errors here and there in the criminal's favor are considered low. These rules don't make sense in war where the purpose of the military is to defeat the enemy.

They are not "criminals" but enemy combatants. Juries can't examine classified info, but a military tribunal can. Juries can't consider hearsay evidence but a military commission could consider it if it was reasonably reliable.

Like Dan says in a later post, the Obama administration is thinking pre-9/11. And the American people have seem to buy the argument that these enemy combatants are "criminals."

If the Lord does not choose to intervene, we will pay a very high price in the future for this thinking.

sethpotter said...

Slouching towards Canada eh? To be honest I think our hate speech law makes sense, especially considering the strength of the defenses embedded within it that promote truth and religious freedom. At least we've got that.

An excerpt from the Canadian criminal code:

Public incitement of hatred

319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Wilful promotion of hatred

(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
(a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;

(b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;

(c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or

(d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

DJP said...

You're serious? Jailing pastors for affirming what the Bible says about perversion is a good thing for religious freedom?

Put me down for "Not."

Andy Dollahite said...


I thought I had responded to your last post on 4/28, but it must have electronically evaporated. Nevertheless, here is...

I think the first part of your comment should be addressed to Sir Aaron???

Also, I recognize that the folks captured in the current "war" are not "criminals" in the legal sense. Fine by me. Trying them in military tribunals is also fine by me. But whatever they are, they still shouldn't be held without charge indefinitely. In fact, anything more than a few months seems ridiculous to me. The government should NEVER have such power in my view. Am I wrong?

CR said...


Yes, you are wrong.

The rules of war permit the capture and detention of the enemy without trial, because the purpose of detention is to remove combatants from action. No trial is required because the detainees are not being held as a punishment for a crime. They are held until the end of hostilities, then they are released. At least in 2004, the SCOTUS acknowledged that detention to prevent a combatantants's return to battle is a fundamental incident of waging war.

In prior wars, (Korean, WWI,WWII) 100Ks of POWs were captured and they never had a trial. I would strongly recommend, Andy, that you read the history of detainment of enemy combatants. I don't have time to get into it now.

Andy Dollahite said...


Apple to oranges. We've described countless times how this "war" is not between identified nation states. In WWII et al there was an objective enemy and an objective criteria by which surrender could be measured and POWs returned to their homes. In this case we have neither. All I want from my government is to identify specifically what these captives were doing and then specify what their punishment should be. I have no problem with punishment including the death penalty. But I completely object to the vague notion that because we caught them in a cave somewhere in Pakistan then we have the right to hold them potentially forever without a specified charge being levied against them. We wouldn't stand one second for this if a missionary was captured by some foreign government under the banner "enemy combatant" and then held indefinitely without specifying their actions. Of course I have no doubt that 99.99999999% of these guys are doing terrible things and are not Christian missionaries, but I want my government to document it, and not simply assert it.

CR said...

Andy: Apple to oranges. We've described countless times how this "war" is not between identified nation states.Huh? Apples to oranges?! While Al Qaeda is not a nation per se, it can inflict violence once only in the hands of nations. Your statement that we don't have an objective enemy or there is no objective criteria is not true. The terrorists who hijacked those planes had conventional military objectives: decapitate America's political, military and economic headquarters. They failed at the first (whatever their target was, the WH or Congress, they couldn't find it; they partially succeeded at the second - Pentagon; and they were successful with the third - WTC).

Without any conventional armed forces or military resources of a nation/state they inflicted a level of destruction on the US that only a few nations would be capable of achieving! If a nation/state had carried out these same attacks on the targets, there would be no question whether a state of war would existed! I don't see how you can say, "apple to oranges?!"

Again, the rules of war permit the capture and detention of enemy combatants w/o trial because the purpose of detention is to remove combatants from action.

And now you're trying to make a comparison between enemy combatants and missionaries captured by some foreign governments?! Now, if that isn't apples to oranges, I don't know what else is!

Andy Dollahite said...


My example about the missionaries was not intended to make a one-to-one comparison. However, it illustrates the point that biblical justice shouldn't simply allow a government to hold captive people it simply declares enemies of the state. As Doug Wilson pointed out yesterday, "While it is good to defend your nation and your people, it must always be remembered that defending your nation and people is not the ground of your right to do so." There should be a just cause vindicated by the evidence. In the case of terrorists captured on the battlefield I suspect that such a case **CAN** be made, and I'm simply asking for our government to declare the facts. As I said, I'm sure 99.9999% of these guys are deserving of their current situation.

But I can also imagine a scenario where local Afghan tribesmen who had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda, defending their territory which is currently occupied by a foreign army, could end up held indefinitely at one of our camps. Folks in that area are not organized according to our neat /clean categories of nations/states. Many of these countries are just artifacts of British and American cartographers and their pencils. If the scenario were reversed, and a foreign army roamed our streets looking for whacked out members of Green Peace who bombed their industrial complexes would we consider it just for that foreign nation to indefinitely hold captive as "enemy combatants" our people who stood up to defend their property?

CR said...

Andy: However, it illustrates the point that biblical justice shouldn't simply allow a government to hold captive people it simply declares enemies of the state.I have not read (nor plan to) Doug Wilson's blog. One has to put a limit on blog reading.

But your statement above seems to have a presumption - that we are holding captives by mere declaration of the President. (Only the commander-in-chief can declare a captive as an enemy combatant). While Al Qaeda's statelessness means there will be some uncertainty around detentions, there must be enough information to know that the captive acted in association with Al Qaeda to detain him.

In addition, the Bush administration was proceeding with military tribunals (with habeus corpus no thanks to the SCOTUS.)

Now the Obama administration appears to be heading in the direction of civilian trials for some of these combatants that they don't choose to just release.

Andy: In the case of terrorists captured on the battlefield I suspect that such a case **CAN** be made, and I'm simply asking for our government to declare the facts.What obligation does the US have to declare this information to you, me or any other private citizen? What obligation did the US have to declare facts to private citizens of POWs in previous wars.

These scenarios that you mention would have been handled by the military tribunals.