Saturday, September 22, 2007

Columbia U - Hitler Yes, Gilchrist No!

Much is being made about the fact that genocidal maniac Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been invited to speak at Columbia University, one of the leading leftist cesspits universities in the United States. Columbia University Dean John Coatsworth says that even Adolph Hitler would be welcome to speak at his indoctrination center university.

Video: Of course we’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean

(Be sure to read the comments from the terrorist's "useful idiots".)

That's interesting because, while we are willing to freely discuss the merits and demerits of genocide, we are not apparently willing to discuss border security. In fact, anyone who suggests that we should have the same border controls that every other nation on this planet has is accused of racism.

Columbia U. Nixes Minuteman Speech
Columbia University students have abandoned plans for a speech by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, one year after their classmates violently interrupted an address by the illegal immigration foe.

The Columbia Political Union voted late Monday night to cancel Gilchrist’s Oct. 4 appearance, the New York Post reports.

The student group said in a statement that "it has become clear this event cannot take the form we had originally hoped it would and could not effectively accomplish the goals we had hoped it might."

Last year critics questioned Columbia’s commitment to free speech after Gilchrist was physically and verbally attacked by student protesters.
So for Columbia University and the American Left™ terrorism and Jew killing is ok, border security and the national defense is not.

Whistling Past the Graveyard

The Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.), of which I am a former member (it was the United Presbyterian Church back then) has suddenly come to the realization that something is wrong with itself. When I was a child it had a membership of more than 4 million and now has a membership of just under 2.3 million. So, I would have to agree with their assessment. In the below quoted article Joan Gray, moderator of the General Assembly during a Sept. 17-21 GAC (General Assembly Council) meeting in Louisville, Ky. says, "I recently spent time in the Midwest, and these areas are drying up. The people are not there any more. In Detroit, 3,000 people a day are leaving to emigrate elsewhere. That is just the tip of the iceberg.”

'Tsunami' Hits Presbyterians; Dramatic Changes Ahead
The PC(USA) has suffered continual losses in membership and now claims a little less than 2.3 million. More dissident Presbyterians and some historic congregations have voted to split from the PC(USA), citing that the denomination is not consistent with written theology in such areas as the singular saving Lordship of Jesus Christ and homosexual ordination.

Many are moving into the smaller and more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

“Much of our discomfort is really about our coming to grips with the overwhelming change that is coming at us from all sides. The bottom line is that we simply cannot continue doing church the way we have been," said Gray, according to PNS.

"One thing I am seeing is that some of those churches and presbyteries who have come to the end of the string are making a choice,” she added. “They are letting go of what they had been doing and opening the way to what God is doing.”
The people are voting with their feet and going to churches that really do believe in the Holy (triune) God and in Jesus the Christ who was both fully God and fully Man - yes, orthodox Christianity. Many like myself have come to the Holy Orthodox Church, to the Catholic Church, or to other believing churches as mentioned in the article. Sadly, many others find that there is no point to membership in a church that doesn't teach that its beliefs are actually true and abandon Christianity. The children of many Presbyterian (and other liberal churches) do not continue church membership.

Look again at the table that is linked above;

% Change : Church
-57.6% : American Baptist Association
-56.4% : Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
-30.7% : Churches of Christ
-32.6% : Episcopal Church
-21.1% : Presbyterian Church (USA)
-35.9% : United Church of Christ
-23.6% : United Methodist Church

Granted, there are a couple of cases where conservative churches have lost members, but I believe that there were other factors at work in those cases. Also granted, the biggest gains have been for some very heterodox churches, most notably the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (3233.3%).

More regularly;
188% : Antiochan Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
188% : Armenian Orthodox Church of America
109.1% : Church of the Nazarene
25.0% : Greek Orthodox Diocese of North and South America
32.5% : Orthodox Church in America
57.7% : Roman Catholic Church

Yet, all Joan Gray can bring herself to say is that "change" is occurring.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

UN Human Rights Head Joins Anti-Semites

As if further indication were needed to demonstrate the evil supported by this organization, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour joined a human rights meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), currently chaired by Cuba this week. Here she is in the front row, far right, along with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left).

From Eye on the UN Anne Bayefsky writes, UN Human Rights Chief takes Front row seat to hear Ahmadinejad in Tehran
While Arbour was hobnobbing with anti-semites, butchers and anti-democratic forces from around the world, Iranians were being prepared for public hangings. Arbour was reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency as having "expressed pleasure with being at the NAM meeting and described Iran's representation office in the UN in Geneva as "very good." In an unusual move, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has so far neglected to put her official statement on their website.

The day after Arbour left Iran the government felt sufficiently buoyed by their UN stamp of approval, that they executed 21 prisoners. People are executed in Iran for charges like "enmity against God" or "being corrupt on earth."

Iran need not worry about the UN reaction after-the-fact either. Arbour is quoted by Iranian news sources as telling participants: "The new method of considering issues related to human rights is comprehensive and not selective and the UN Human Rights Council is ready to present technical and consultation assistance to Iran." "Non-selective" is UN code for refusing to name states that violate human rights, let alone taking action to stop them. "Technical assistance" is UN code for helping the state avoid criticism by pretending the problem is some kind of infrastructure glitch. It has been clear for some time that the new UN Human Rights Council is bent on eliminating all country-specific criticism, (not directed at Israel of course). Now, apparently, Arbour agrees.
And, not to put too fine a point on it, but;
The Iranians were delighted at Arbour's visit - crowing that the UN had "taken part in the conference at the highest level." They clearly understood her presence as support for their view that human rights are all relative, or as Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Mehdi Mostafavi put it, participants "indicated international resolve to uphold human rights in line with the cultural diversity in the international community."
As I have said many times before, there is only one reason for the United States to remain a member of one of the most evil, corrupt, anti-semitic organizations on Earth, and that is to veto all resolutions that would cause harm to the only decent, democratic country in the area - Israel.

Louise Arbour and everyone else involved with the UNHCR should be ashamed of themselves. But they are not, of course.

Another Music Great Lost

While at work yesterday, strolling through USS Ronald Reagan's aircraft hanger bays, I was thinking of the passing of Luciano Pavarotti. It occurred to me that during the period when I was away from my computer Beverly Sills passed away.

She was another one of those whose influence was so huge that she seemed to be everywhere, informing and defining interpretations of opera. When one wanted to hear how it should be sung, one listened to Beverly Sills.

She passed away on this past July 2nd. Her last performance was at a farewell gala held on October 27th, 1980. We have had time to listen to other fine performers since then. Still, it is difficult to imagine a musical world without her. Following her final performance she remained heavily involved with the New York City Opera, the Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and most importantly her charity work for the March of Dimes and other charities seeking to help children with birth defects.

She was truly a great American.

Beverly Sills Farewell - Her Final Performance

Maestra, the world misses you. Rest in peace.

Here are two performances of "Una Voce Poco Fa" from Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini, the first from 1971, the second from 1976.

What a magnificent performer!

Beverly Sills - Una Voce Poco Fa!! (1971)

Beverly Sills - Una Voce Poco Fa!! (1976)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

An Irreplacable Loss

As both of my loyal readers no doubt already know, Luciano Pavarotti died today. He was a great figure in music for nearly my entire musical life. He was like a mountain that you just know it's there without having to look at it. There are a few great tenors in the world, but none like him.

When he began to sing Neapolitan folk songs and sing in very large venues many music critics complained that he was cheapening opera - tarnishing its artistic purity.

That is idiocy. In Italy opera is a very popular musical form. It does not exist in some lofty inaccessible height, but it exists at the level of the people who love it so.

And we loved him.

Rest in peace, Maestro.

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o, Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
che fremono d'amore
e di speranza.

Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me,
il nome mio nessun sapra!
No, no, sulla tua bocca lo diro
quando la luce splendera!

Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il silenzio
che ti fa mia!

(Il nome suo nessun sapra!...
e noi dovrem, ahime, morir!)

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincero!
vincero, vincero!

None must sleep! None must sleep!
And you, too, Princess,
in your cold room,
gaze at the stars
which tremble with love
and hope!

But my mystery is locked within me,
no-one shall know my name!
No, no, I shall say it as my mouth
meets yours when the dawn is breaking!

And my kiss will break the silence
which makes you mine!

(No-one shall know his name,
and we, alas, shall die!)

Vanish, o night!
Fade, stars!
At dawn I shall win

And this;


Hail Mary!
Virgin of heaven,
queen of grace and holy mother,
ever receive a fervent prayer,
do not deny my tortured heart
relief for its distress!
My lost soul lies humbly before you
and at your feet, full of hope,
appeals to you and waits
for you to grant
the peace which you alone can give.
Hail Mary!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pyongyang's Upper Hand

Here is another splendid piece from John Bolton, a man who has served, and continues to serve, our country well.

Thanks to feckless diplomacy, Kim Jong Il may preserve his nuclear program. (a hat tip to my beautiful wife, Sophia)
The Six-Party talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program have now descended into a miasma of "working groups," one of which, on U.S.-North Korea bilateral issues, will meet this weekend in Geneva. It is worth paying attention to the outcome of this gathering.

North Korea wants to be taken off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and, as soon as possible, to enjoy full diplomatic relations with Washington. Pyongyang may well succeed, as many in the U.S. State Department seem more eager to grant full recognition to the Pyongyang dictatorship in North Korea than to the democracy in Taiwan. This would be a profound mistake on our part.

Nearly 200 days have passed since Feb. 13, when the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program produced an "agreement" to eliminate that program. Despite encomiums about the virtues of diplomacy, little real progress has been made in eliminating Pyongyang's program. Negotiations in July ended without agreement on a timetable, despite repeated State Department assurances since February that the North would be held to strict deadlines [because we have given up - Photi].

The Yongbyon reactor is shuttered, but that reactor was not frequently operational in the recent past, and may well be at the end of, or even beyond, its useful life. The return of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to Yongbyon provides North Korea with a new patina of respectability, despite the near certainty that significant nuclear activity is happening anywhere but Yongbyon.

In fact, the key change is that economic assistance is once again subsidizing and reinforcing Kim Jong Il's hold on power. Heavy fuel oil, food and other "humanitarian" assistance from South Korea, and substantial unpublicized aid from China are all flowing North. Cheeky Pyongyang is once again demanding that the outside world supply it with light-water nuclear reactors. The second North-South Summit in Pyongyang, postponed until October--closer to South Korea's presidential elections-- will provide renewed legitimacy to the North Korean dictatorship, and may bolster the political chances of South Korean advocates of appeasement, in turn providing Kim Jong Il even more breathing room.

Kim is once again besting the U.S. in accomplishing his two central strategic objectives: staying in power and preserving his nuclear-weapons program. The working groups currently underway do nothing to achieve the proper ends of U.S. foreign policy. A few weeks ago in Shenyang, China, the "denuclearization" working group met without visible progress, even on permanently dismantling Yongbyon.
As always, read it all. Mr. Bolton points up several things that clearly need to be done and that clearly are not being done.

Memorializing the King

No, not that King, the King of Jazz - Louis Armstrong.

The Monster is Winning

With the Bush Administration in normalization talks with North Korea, preparing to roll over for Kim Jong-il (again) and give that monster everything that it wants, it is good to review this piece by John Bolton that I found some time ago.

Pyongyang Pussyfooting
Not only did North Korea thereby achieve at least one key objective before any performance on its part (contrary to the February 13 deal), Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill recently made a pilgrimage to Pyongyang where he said he was "buoyed by the sense that we are going to be able to achieve our full objectives." Undoubtedly, North Korea was buoyed by the visit, which marked yet another administration retreat--this one from the position that such a trip was impossible before performance by the North.

This Pyongyang visit symbolizes the full return of Clinton-era, bilateral negotiations with North Korea, and their predominance over the Six-Party Talks. The Bush administration has effectively ended where North Korea policy is concerned, replaced for the next 18 months by a caretaker government of bureaucrats, technocrats and academics. So complete was the transformation that putative Shadow Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke facilitated a number of Mr. Hill's bilateral contacts with Pyongyang. Kim Jong Il will now, in all likelihood, further his slow roll, waiting for America's 2008 elections, when the Clinton era may return de jure as well as de facto.

This is not a comment on partisan disagreements, but an important signpost that Bush's clear determination in 2001 to follow a different course has disappeared, replaced with the same flawed conceptual framework that failed so badly in the 1990s. New failures lie ahead.
Indeed they do;

U.S., N. Korea Officials Start Talks on Normalization of Ties
Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. and North Korean negotiators begin two-day talks today on how to normalize their relations, as part of ongoing discussions on dismantling North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill will meet his counterpart Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan at the U.S. mission in Geneva, in a meeting on normalizing ties, one of five working groups that operate under the nuclear talks forum.
Of course this will require an end to the armistice between the United Nations Command (headed by the U.S.)and a peace agreement.

And if you don't believe that terrorism and blackmail can be used successfully against the United States, here is a document prepared by the Congressional Research Service for members of Congress;

North Korea: Terrorism List Removal?
Updated April 6, 2007
North Korea also may have increased the incentive for the Bush Administration to strengthen this linkage. The South Korean newspaper, JongAng Ilbo, quoted "a diplomatic source knowledgeable on the New York talks" between Hill and Kim Kye-gwan on March 5-6, 2007, that Kim asserted that if the United States took steps to normalize relations, North Korea could disable the Yongbyon nuclear installations within a year (i.e., March 2008). Kim specifically mentioned as a key step the removal of North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. (Yi Sang-il and Chin Se-ku. Yongbyon nuclear facility can be disabled within a year.JongAng Ilbo (internet version), Mar. 13, 2007)
And for all of those leftists™ out there who think that North Korea is somehow being falsely accused or put upon by the evil, imperialistic United States, here is another report to Congress;

North Korea: Chronology of Provocations, 1950 - 2003
Updated March 18, 2003

Read it all.