After a long and prayerful time of decision, I will no longer be posting to this blog. I will, however, continue to keep the blog active minus new posts. I believe there are some very insightful entries to The Unlikely Christian, but I have decided that a new, more anonymous blog will work best for me. Thank you for all of your comments. I hope that I have offered some good insight, and that it has done some good in educating you about what kind of things are happening in our world.

Please continue to seek out websites and blogs that offer a nonbiased view of the situations happening in our world. We are at war with an enemy that has no respect for us, or our religious views. It is an enemy that thrives on massacring Christians, and you should be VERY concerned about that.

Signing off,
The Unlikely Christian


Savin' Me

I have about 3,000 songs on my iPod. I could go 9 days continuously listening to it and never hear the same song twice. Every now and again I hear a song that speaks to my heart.

Christians, like me, enjoy songs that praise God, and are uplifting. But life is not always uplifting and enjoyable. There are many things which happen that are downright hard, and test your faith. Death, despair, searching, sin--Christians are not immune to the perils of this world, although, if you tune into a mainstream Christian radio station you would never know that.

Tonight my iPod found a song for me that made me feel like someone understood my angst and my anguish. I turned it up loud. No surprise it was from a band not known for its "Christian" music.

The song is "Savin' Me" by Nickelback, and I have included below the lyrics and a link to the video. The video is worth pondering and interpretation, but the song itself is what speaks to me.


Prison gates won't open up for me
On these hands and knees I'm crawlin'
Oh, I reach for You
Well I'm terrified of these four walls
These iron bars can't hold my soul in
All I need is You
Come please I'm callin'
And oh I scream for You
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show You what I can be
And say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me

Heaven's gates won't open up for me
With these broken wings I'm fallin'
And all I see is You
These city walls ain't got no love for me
I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
And oh I scream for You
Come please
I'm callin'
And all I need from You
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show You what I can be
And say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me
(Hurry I'm fallin')

And all I need is You
Come please I'm callin'
And oh, I scream for You
Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
And teach me wrong from right
And I'll show You what I can be
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me
Hurry I'm Fallin'
Say it for me
Say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth saving me


Amish Forgiveness

In light of the recent killings of female students at an Amish school in Pennsylvania, you would expect outrage and anger directed to the killer. That would be the normal reaction. As a father of two children, I cannot say I would be as godly and composed as the families of the slain girls, and the Amish community as a whole, have been.

In a society where we are quick to judgment, and more quick to place blame, the Amish community is not reacting with outrage, but with peace. They insist that the girls are in Heaven--better off than those left behind.

To top it off, the Amish community has been in full support of the family of the man who did this horrendous act. Even more bizarre, the Amish community has offered forgiveness to that family, even going as far as to say that they wished the family would be able to stay in the community and that they would find the support and friendship from the Amish.

Gertrude Huntington, a Michigan researcher and expert on children in Amish society, predicted the Amish will be very forgiving of the killer and his family, noting that "judgment is in God's hands: 'Judge not, that ye be not judged."

The grandfather of two of the dead girls was asked if he had forgiven the gunman, in which he responded "In my heart, yes," he said, explaining it was "through God's help."

I do not know about you, but I am in awe of the reaction of the Amish. While some may taunt them for being behind the times by having no telephones or automobiles, this is a group who truly emulates Christ in their actions in the face of peril and deep sadness. How many of us could lose a child, under any circumstances, and rest in the fact that everything happens for good to those who obey and believe in Christ Jesus.

How many of us could forgive?


A House Divided

Fatah and Hamas have been fighting each other as Fatah has been critical of Hamas' political rule.

Fatah militants have been attacking Hamas local offices in response to the the government control of Hamas interests in many parts of Paletstine. The picture featured (above) shows an armed member of Fatah shooting at a local Hamas office.

8 people are confirmed dead.

From all accounts, this is a civil war. Islamic leaders pressed for the fighting to end, and suggested that each party continue their efforts to protect the Gaza Strip from Israel; however, the interviewing within Islamic sects promises to weaken the team as a whole.

Fatah, the predominate political party until Hamas took control in the past months, has been active in attacking their opposition, and, hoped to reduce Hamas to impotent.

So, the Gaza Strip erupts in a civil war, while Israel watches.

It seems that there is much animosity between some Islamic radical groups.


Baghdad is under curfew because of a supposed threat from, who else?, al-Qaida. Apparently, the terrorists were in the final stages of planning a series of suicide bombs.

Meanwhile, as the US enjoys unseasonably cooler weather, the troops in Iraq are serving you in above 100 degree weather. They deserve our support. It will be 106 degrees there today.


Turn That Frown Upside Down

Wow, has Al-Qaida been chatty lately. New comments today target Bush. No "converted" Americans appeared on this video, though. Although, there was a small, stylish lamp and a pretty neat model cannon in the background sitting on a table. Kudos to the prop folks.


The Islamic fundamentalist's favorite news source, Aljazeera, has an article in their on-line edition entitled "10 Questions To The Zionists."
Supposedly written by a Jewish Rabbi, it is worth a read if you want to see what kind of attack the Jews are under from Muslims. Especially the part about the Jewish people accepting the gas chambers instead of relinquishing rights to Palestine. All untrue, but if you read this in the New York Times, and you knew very little about the history, it would sound almost believable.

Thus, this is why so many uniformed and introspective Americans buy into the far left (and far right for that matter) deceit and misuse of information and historical evidence to perpetuate agendas and political motives. Sad.

And it's only getting worse.


Elmo New Muslim Goodwill Ambassador

Sept. 24, 2006

Mecca, Saudi Arabia (AP) - In an effort to develop a more favorable public image, Islamic leaders today announced the hiring of lovable Muppet, Elmo, as their "Goodwill Ambassador."

Well known the world over, Elmo, who got his start in 1984 as a minor character on Sesame Street, became an instant celebrity upon the release of the Tickle-Me-Elmo doll for Christmas 1996. Adding to his popularity were his appearances on the talk-show circuit, including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Martha Stewart Living, and The Tony Danza Show.

The late 90's saw Elmo star in several feature films, mostly aimed at children. He even dabbled in politics, appearing in 2002 before the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service, and Education.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad officially introduced Elmo to members of the media, praising him for his work in "binding relations with all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. Except, of course, the Jews, who have repeatedly tried to tarnish his image with false accusations."

Ahmabinejad was referring to the 1995 controversy surrounding Elmo's self-help book, Potty Time With Elmo, when a mother, reportedly with ties to Israel, complained publicly that pressing certain buttons on the interactive book caused Elmo to say "Uh oh. Who wants to die?"

Moshe Katsav, President of Israel, when questioned by reporters about Ahmabinejad's claims, responded by saying "The people of Israel, and, I believe I can safely say, all Jewish people, have never said or done anything to tarnish the image of Elmo, or anyone associated with Elmo. In fact, we look forward to working closely with him in his new role."

After the long introduction by Ahmabinejad, during which Elmo appeared to fall asleep several times, the lovable red puppet took the podium and made a short statement, noting "Elmo loves Islam!" and "When you've done the best you could you feel really really good." When asked about the strategy he would take to boost the popularity of Islam, he said "Happy's such a neat emotion. It'll give your feet a happy notion. If your toes get tired rub in some lotion, and they'll feel swell, so come join Elmo!"

Following the press conference, Elmo boarded an airplane assumed to be bound for Afghanistan, where he reportedly will meet with Osama bin Laden at a secret location. On the tarmac, when asked where he was going, Elmo had a quick "Elmo has no comment." But added, "Took off in Elmo's jet. A ride we won't forget. And bailed out just below a huge tall mountain. We climbed for hours and hours. Then found some spooky towers. Inside we helped a fellow with his counting."

U.S. President George Bush released a statement about the Elmo appointment, noting that "Elmo has been an ambassador of love for many years, raising the spirits of all children, including Muslims." Bush also challenged Elmo to turn the "axis of evil" into the "axis of Elmo."

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his country's willingness to "sit down face-to-face with Elmo."

Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia, released a short statement, in which he asked, "Who's Elmo?" and reaffirmed the desire of the Namibian people to lift the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba.

Fidel Castro, Cuba's President-for-Life, on his weekly 10-hour radio address, called Elmo a "hero" and reminisced about his joy while playing with the toys Let's Pretend Elmo and Limbo Elmo; both, he noted, reminded him of himself.

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, alleged that the idea of using Elmo had been his, and that it came to him in a vision. ""I saw an Elmo in the sky," Farrakhan said, after which the UFO "brought me back to Earth and dropped me off near Washington; over to Tyson's Corner and Fifth Street I think..."

Even Bill Gates, Founder and President of Microsoft, expressed his pleasure with the Elmo appointment. "This is the best thing to happen to the world since the United Nations."

Most Muslims seemed to be happy about the effort to change people's perception of their religion, though one Islamic group, Hezbollah, issued a terse statement, imploring Muslims not to fall for "the Great Satan's toy."

One notable American seemed dismayed with the idea of Elmo altogether. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, pointed out "Elmo is three and a half years old. I mean, he's a red toy. I don't get it."


New Look for Islam

I am convinced that Islam is getting a bad rap because it does not have a user-friendly spokesperson. If you look at all of the major religions of the world today, each one has at least one positive member who represents them well.

Look at Buddhism, for example. Is there a more laid back dude than the Dalai Lama? This guy is the real deal. He's humble ("I am just a simple Buddhist monk - no more, nor less.") He hangs out with cool Hollywood stars like Richard Gere. He's got stylish glasses. And, he never pisses anyone off except the bad guys (i.e. China). Who wants to be friends with the Chinese anyway?

How about Christianity? What bad can you say about Billy Graham? The guy is without fault. He's also humble, hangs out with Presidents and foreign dignitaries, but lives in a log cabin. Plus, his wife really digs him.

Catholicism is led by a guy who also socializes with world leaders, and he has a huge house. Plus, he's got the guts to wear red robes in public. Who, besides Hugh Hefner, could pull that off? To top it off, there are Catholic (and Christian) missionaries around the world helping needy people.

Judaism? They're all over and are known mainly for their hard work and religious fervor. Plus, most people (READ: everyone except Muslims) are horrified by what was done to them by the Germans during the Holocaust.

And there's Confucianism. Does anyone think Confucius was anything but a wise man? He never even hit anyone.

Taoism? Yin Yang, man. Balance that positive energy. Taoists believe that people are good by nature. Sounds like someone you want to invite to your next cocktail party.

Then there's Sikhism. The "I love everyone!" religion. They believe all people all equal in God's eyes, and they are led by a bunch of meditating Gurus. Gurus don't even know what AK-47's are.

Compare all of those with Islam:
Osama bin Laden: He's never going to live that whole "World Trade Center" thing down.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (President of Iran): hates America and wants to enrich uranium that can be used to build nuclear weapons.
Louis Farrakhan: goofy, baffling idiot surrounded by yes-men. Spews out laughable quotes and continuously tries to stir up conflict between blacks and whites (i.e. The White House bombed the levees in New Orleans to kill black people.)
Yasser Arafat: sole purpose and calling is to wipe Israel (READ: all Jewish people) off of the face of the Earth.

Let's face it, even the Communists have better representation, and they have to work with Stalin and Lenin, who had some real PR issues of their own.

So, I have decided to donate my time and effort into finding a new spokesperson for Islam. Since Islam is a religion of love, this needs to be someone who exudes that quality to the public. Someone to cut the ribbon at the openings of children's hospitals; someone you would trust to babysit your kids; someone that you'd want living next door to you; a coach of your son's baseball team.

In truth, I have already identified this individual. Please stay tuned for the official announcement. This could be a real turning point.

Can Dish It Out, But Can't Take It

Without having to comment on the irony that surrounds the reaction of Muslims to the Pope's comments on Islam, I just wanted to point out that these are the very same Muslims who decried the reaction of Israel to the terrorist group Hezbollah as "disproportionate."

I think one can read the quotes below, pulled from various world news sources, and see what we are up against. The quotes come from different Muslims, and I won't take the time to list each name, although I assure you they are not fabricated. Just take a look at the news and you'll see that. Pay attention especially to the last quote. Doesn't the religion of love make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Me too.

"He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world,"

"If this person were really someone reasonable, he would not agree to remain at his post one minute, but would convert to Islam immediately,"

Muslims "should not look for charity from the infidel... but should fight Islam's enemies who attack the faith and the Prophet Muhammad".

"We say to the pope - whether you apologise or not is irrelevant, as apologies make no difference to us."

News Story:
An Italian nun was shot dead at a hospital by Somali gunmen Sunday, hours after a leading Muslim cleric condemned Pope Benedict XVI for his remarks on Islam and violence.

"We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion. Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim."


Lost in America

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

I have to admit that I "missed it." I am just now getting caught up on the Pope's remarks and subsequent (and politically correct) apology, as well as the autopsy results of Anna Nicole Smith's son.

So, please be patient as I reacquaint myself with the world.



Deep Thoughts

Remembering Jack Handy:

If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let them go, because, man, they're gone.

To me, its a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody asks, "Hey, can you give me hand?" you can say, "Sorry, got these sacks."

One thing I like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh no!" I said. "Disneyland burned down." He cried and cried, but deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.

If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, because I bet that's what really throws you into a panic.

I think a good gift for the President would be a chocolate revolver. And, since he's so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and hand it to him.

Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, "why did they believe me?"

One thing vampire children have to be taught early on is not to run with a wooden stake.

It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.

Fear can sometimes be a useful emotion. For instance, let's say you're an astronaut on the moon and you fear that your partner has been turned into Dracula. The next time he goes out for the moon pieces, wham!, you just slam the door behind him and blast off. He might call you on the radio and say he's not Dracula, but you just say, "Think again, bat man."

I bet the main reason the police keep people away from a plane crash is they don't want anybody walking in and lying down in the crash stuff, then, when somebody comes up, act like they just woke up and go, "What was THAT?!"

When you go in for a job interview, I think a good thing to ask is if they ever press charges.

Most people don't realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer.

If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and you friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.

When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.

A funny thing to do is, if you're out hiking and your friend gets bitten by a poisonous snake, tell him you're going to go for help, then go about ten feet and pretend that you got bit by a snake. Then start an argument with him about who's going to go get help. A lot of guys will start crying. That's why it makes you feel good when you tell them it was just a joke.


No Fences

As we are plodding along the same path we have seen dozens of times between Israel v. Arab conflicts, the Middle East has been largely taken out of the news, replaced by hurricanes and September 11 anniversary pieces.

However, don't think for a moment that there is not a lot going on in the region. Here are some highlights.

Saudi Arabia
While not widely reported, and not new news, Saudi Arabia announced in April that it was going to erect a electrified fence along their 560-mile border with Iraq. The irony of course is that Saudi Arabia is concerned about insurgents from Iraq upending their political system and creating a new terrorist state, not unlike Afghanistan or even Sudan.

Lebanon and Iraq
Dangerously close to becoming states ruled by extremists. Again, ironically, Iraq is acting as a real-time battlefield training ground for young radicals, while in Lebanon, Hezbollah is obviously driving the boat.

Not in the news at all, Afghanistan is seeing it's worst fighting since late 2001, and is beginning to resemble Iraq in many ways, including the rising trend of suicide and roadside bombings.

Islamic militants attempted an attack on the US Embassy in Damascus yesterday.

So, why does it all seem to be falling apart? Is it the Bush administration that is to blame? Is the region inherently unstable, and beyond repair? Is the draw of Islam so powerful and corrupting that it seeps deep into Arab governments, making political change impossible?

The question of why the failure of the US and allies to plant a peaceful democracy is complicated, but when considering the answer, one should take into consideration these things:

1. Liberal Power. Let's face it, liberals hate Bush. Like extreme Islam, this kind of hate drops a fog over dissidents, preventing them from applying logic to anything Bush. Unfortunately, these hatemongers control most of the media, so your average Joe and Jane, who probably couldn't even point to Iraq or Israel on a map, are subjected to extremely biased news coverage and commentary. Let's face it, unless you spend a lot of time looking, there is no unbiased news out there. Jane and Joe have no time to look for real news, so they take at face value what CNN (Clinton News Network) has to say.

2. Bush Failures. There are a lot of really good things about our President. He is a man of his word, he does not back down, he calls a spade a spade, and he is, I believe, doing his very best to try and protect the U.S. from another 9/11. Can you imagine Al Gore or John Kerry dealing with the hand that Bush has been dealt. Scary indeed. To top it off, Bush has had to fight for every inch of ground, as the Democrats disapprove of every move he makes, whether it is best for the U.S. or not. However, Bush has done himself no favors for not reaching out more to his detractors, simply for the sake of greasing the pole in the interest of national security. And, it looks like the Bush administration continues to be surprised by the way the ball bounces in the Middle East. The administration was completely taken aback that the demise of Saddam Hussein wasn't the yellow brick road to a stable Iraq. No one expected the insurgency to be so strong and lasting.

3. You and I. Talk to anyone who has been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and you see the sad truth of the widening gap of support for this war on terror. The troops are all for it. They are there and see the need. Very few of them, and maybe none of them, see this as Bush's war for the control of oil. They are engaged in a battle between good and evil, and they are on the front lines. Yet, we continue to back-seat QB this conflict, and question every step made, capitalizing on every failure. Some of us even scream "Viet Nam" with righteous indignation, comparing apples to oranges in an attempt to drum up even more support for the anti-war movement. In truth, the only way this war compares with Viet Nam is the brazen lack of support our troops are receiving from the average American. Would it surprise you to see John Dean or Cindy Sheehan waiting for the troops to come home so they can protest, spit on, and ostracize them? Just wait. We should all be standing on chairs, waving our arms back and forth in support of what those soldiers go through everyday. When was the last time someone shot at you, or that you saw your colleague's arm blown off by a roadside bomb? How many days have you spent living in a tent with 30 other sweating men as the heat tops 120 degrees? How many days did you spend away from your loved ones in the past year? How many of your children were you not able to see born? Do you have to carry a gun around with you all of time, as well as full body armor?

The troops are the real heroes, and we are all guilty of not supporting them as we should. Wave a damn flag for them, for goodness sake! They are dying for a cause, and if they weren't, there would be more of us dying at the hands of Islamic nutballs who believe that killing you and I is a free ticket to Heaven.

Get past the politics and get in the game.


It's not the Heat, It's the Humidity

The late summer months have a long history of producing uprisings and violence.

August 22, 1831
Osama bin Nat
OK, his real name wasn't Osama, but Nat Turner led 40 fellow slaves on a murderous spree through Southampton County, Virginia, killing nearly 60 whites in one day. Turner, also a preacher, conspired for months before taking advantage of the lax controls on slaves in rural Virginia to bring his plan to fruition. Had they not been caught, the Turner-led group may have been able to escape and take refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp, as was their plan.

Turner and his flock didn't just kill the whites, they massacred them. At their first stop, they hacked four white occupants of a farmhouse to death using axes, hatchets, and knives. After leaving the scene, someone remembered that they had forgotten the family's baby, and they promptly returned to the farmhouse and chopped it to bits.

September 8, 1781
Uh, Over Easy Please
America's most infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold, led British troops on a sack, loot, and burn mission in the town of New London, Conneticut.

August 24, 1970
Protesting War with Bombs
Four Vietnam protestors detonated a van filled with explosives (2,000 pounds of explosives, by the way) at the University of Wisconsin. Strange place for an anti-war protest? Maybe not. The Army Mathematics Research Center, located in the university's physics building, was rumored to have produced the technology to find and assassinate infamous Latin American rebel Che Guevara.

August 19, 1981
Top Guns
U.S. Navy fighter jets return fire and shoot down two Libyan fighter planes over the Gulf of Sidra. Libya was the axis of evil at that time, and claimed the entire Gulf as its territory, while the U.S. insisted the water and the airspace above it was international territory.

October 6, 1981
It's Only A Flesh Wound
Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat, was assassination on this day in Cairo while attending a military parade. Religious fundamentalists (read: Islamic Terrorists) sprayed Sadat with machine-gun fire and lobbed hand grenades into the crowd. While the president was most likely killed instantly, initial reports coming out of Egypt said that he had survived with minor injuries. However, by noon, EST, it became clear that he was dead.


Peace, Love, or War

Al-Qaeda issued another infomercial this week, informing Americans that if they did not convert to Islam, they would suffer the consequences.

Is this the same religion that insists it's main tenet is love? Where's the love in insisting non-Muslims convert or be punished? Especially when al-Quaeda's form of punishment seems to be violence and the killing of innocent people.

To make the 48-minute video interesting, American Muslim-covert, Adam Yehiye Gadahn (please see the irony in his first name being Jewish, and that his pre-conversion name was Adam Pearlman), added some colorful commentary, spicing up the usually dull, rhetoric-filled past videos from al-Quaeda.

Here are a couple of quotes from Adam:

"Instead of killing yourself for Bush ... why not surrender to the truth (of Islam), escape from the unbelieving army and join the winning side. Time is running out so make the right choice before it's too late."

"You know that if you die as an unbeliever in battle against the Muslims you're going straight to Hell without passing 'Go."'

"We send a special invitation (to convert to Islam) to all of you fighting Bush's crusader pipedream in Afghanistan, Iraq and wherever else 'W' has sent you to die. You know the war can't be won."

"It is time for the unbelievers to discard these incoherent and illogical beliefs. Isn't it the time for the Christians, Jews, Buddhists and atheists to cast off the cloak of the spiritual darkness which enshrouds them and emerge into the light of Islam?"

No Muslim should "shed tears" for Westerners killed by al-Qaida attacks.

OK, no direct threats in Adam's sermon, but just check out the news each day and we see Islamic radicals killing innocent "infidels" all over the world. His organization was also behind 9/11 (remember that?).

Parading their new propaganda star around will not likely win many converts, but I'm sure Adam is enjoying the spotlight and cozying up to the top brass in al-Qaeda. His resume is going to look great in a couple of years! That is, if the FBI doesn't catch up with him first, since he is wanted by them in connection to terrorists attacks. If he does get nabbed, chances are he'll be spending his life at Club Guantanamo.

Sadly, Adam's comments above could easily be cut and pasted into many Protestant sermons. The comment about going straight to Hell without passing go in particular. Yes, Christians should work to convert non-Believers, but threatening fire and brimstone does little but create an atmosphere of fear, and it pigeon-holes God into a fierce and heartless judge intent on holding us by the ankles over a lake of fire until we give in.

Instead, we should be potraying God as He is, a loving and merciful Lord who longs to have a relationship with us and to use us for His work. I believe God weeps over each of His children who does not put their trust in Him, for He knows their punishment is eternal separation from Him. As a parent, I can understand that kind of love.

In June, we were on our annual beach trip. My wife and I were taking turns watching our kids, and suddenly we realized we could not find our daughter. Scanning the water, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was her floating under the water.

We sprinted into the surf, but when I got to where I thought I had seen her she was not there.

Words cannot describe the terror and anguish I felt as I tried desperately to find her. Minutes passed and my desperation grew. I kept calling her name, over and over, as people from all over the beach joined us in the water, searching. I heard someone say that 911 had been called, and I found myself wondering how long she would be able to survive underwater.

Long minutes passed. What was probably five minutes seemed like 5 hours. The last words I remember screaming were "Where is my baby girl?? Someone help me find my baby girl!!!"

Then, my father was there, yelling to me from the beach that my daughter had snuck past us and was safe in the house.

From desperation to complete relief and joy. That night, after putting her to bed, I must have gone in to hug and kiss her six or seven times, just grateful that I could.

In my image of God, I see Him desperately wading through the water, frantically trying to find his lost children, screaming "Where is my child?? Where is my baby??"

The God I serve mourns each of his lost children. Instead of throwing around the threat of eternity in Hell, we should be talking about the benefits of eternity with a loving and caring Father who is desperate to hold onto you.


Iran as Peacemaker?

In an attempt to reconcile with the UN, Iran has offered to support the cease-fire between Lebanon and Israel. This comes in the wake of the deadline two days ago for Iran to halt all uranium enrichment.

Of course, as noted in my earlier posts, this deadline by the UN means absolutely nothing, and the EU and the UN have already offered to continue diplomacy with Iran on this matter. And, as expected, the EU wants to give no timeline for the talks with Iran to produce results.

To add to the insanity, Iran has asked the UN to adopt "new approaches towards Iran's nuclear case."

I find this maddening. This is deja vu, as the UN prattled on for years with Iraq as it continually defied UN deadlines and did not allow UN inspectors into their country.

The UN is already backing down from their original threat to impose sanctions against Iran. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, noting that diplomacy was the only way to negotiate with Iraq, said he hoped sanctions could be avoided so as to keep from adding to tensions in "a region already subjected to a great stress."

Why the US continues to be a part of an organization with absolutely no credibility or power is a mystery.


Farrakhan on Katrina

Just to place some "perspective" on Louis Farrakhan, here are some quotes from him regarding incidents surrounding Hurricane Katrina. I challenge anyone to prove these comments are correct.

"Mayor Nagin told us that those poor brothers and sisters that went to the Superdome, these were the ones who made it out of their houses but didn't have any money or means to get out of the city . . . So when the water began to rise around the Superdome, Mayor Nagin told them to get out and start marching over the bridge, the I-10, and get out of here. So they started marching. And when they got over that bridge into the next parish, which was white, they were met with attack dogs and machine guns."

"This is Mayor Nagin talking to us. They fired the machine guns over the heads of the crowd. They accepted any white people that were there, but no black people."

"Divers inspecting the ruptured levee walls surrounding New Orleans found something that piqued their interest - burn marks on underwater debris chunks from the broken levee wall."

"Mayor Nagin told us there was a 25-foot crater under the levee. [He] didn't say there was a bomb. He just said there was a crater. I say they blew it [up]."

Katrina Debate

I received a rather lenghty comment about my last post "Katrina and the Plot to Kill Black People." It's certainly interesting. I have included it below with my comments in bold face.


"There is no perspective," a friend of mine living outside of the United States wrote to me in an e-mail, a few weeks back. He was referring to the American media coverage regarding Hurricane Katrina, as well as the reaction and thinking of many in response to the disaster. In that, and subsequent e-mail exchanges he has placed emphasis on relevant examples, analogies, parallels and precedents from recorded history – all over the world, that he believes help to place what happened in the Gulf Coast and across America over the last 40 days in perspective.

Three meanings of the word "perspective" according to yourdictionary.com are: 1) The relationship of aspects of a subject to each other and to a whole 2) Subjective evaluation of relative significance; a point of view and 3) The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.

I often find that most people with deep emotional attachments to political ideologies, among other worldviews, lack "perspective", as the word is defined in its first and third meanings above. One such influential group within the much larger body of those who ardently subscribe to political ideologies, that many of us are familiar with, are political talk show hosts – on both cable and radio. The recent ‘explosion’ of conservative talk radio, in particular, and its influence on public opinion and the decision-making of American elected officials is an interesting study, related to this concept and word – perspective.

Recently, as it relates to the controversy that has erupted over Minister Louis Farrakhan’s suggestion and hypothesis that a levee breach, or crevasse, in New Orleans was intentionally affected by an explosion; I have noted that much of the public discussion and ‘uproar’ over the Minister’s publicly expressed thinking has been heavily influenced by opinion leading talk show hosts. (Most sane Americans do not need talk show hosts to convince us that Farrakhan's insinuations were absurd) Those, within that group that I have paid closest attention to over the last two weeks are Mr. Sean Hannity and Mr. Larry Elder. I have listened periodically to both of their radio shows for several years, and in terms of their profession, I see both of these men as talented, interesting, and successful. I do not consider them to be journalists and I do realize that their public expressions take place as much in the context of entertainment and a broadcasting industry business model, as they do in the spheres of ‘politics’ and ‘news.’ As a result of this, and their rigid attitudes and thinking, I expect them to be selective in their research process and limited in how broad and deep of a context they provide in discussing current events. Although they frequently speak truths accurately, as many of us do, I do not expect them or any of their peers to be purely motivated by a desire to a) search for facts b) make proper interpretations; and c) draw accurate conclusions, that can be tested and verified by any reasonable and rational person.

However, for many, talk radio is often the first and only, if not most trusted source of news, information and analysis on current events and politics. I have several associates and acquaintances who have impressed me with how deferential they are to what they hear on such programs. It is as if they do no independent thinking outside of what they hear Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Larry Elder, Glen Beck, Michael Savage and Laura Ingram say. For liberal or progressive ideologues, perhaps the same is becoming true of their relationship with National Public Radio (NPR), and Air America talk show hosts. (I would add CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS to the list of liberal media, meaning that the majority of what the American people think is journalism is, in fact, politically motivated, lacking the a) desire to search for facts [i.e. ABC using a fake National Guard document to report George Bush did not show up for his service times while ignoring the facts surrounding John Kerry's deplorable service in Viet Nam], b) make proper interpretations, and c) draw accurate conslusions that can be tested and verified by any reasonable and rational person)

I have been struck by this reality as it relates to the quality of the discussion, in not only talk radio, but all forms of media regarding Minister Louis Farrakhan’s statements. To me, the most noticeable factor missing from this conversation and debate - other than a serious effort to get the premise, motive and context of his actual remarks - is that of historical perspective.

Although Minister Farrakhan has mentioned historical information in all of the public statements he has given regarding his suggestion and hypothesis regarding the levee breach; I have not heard a single talk show host; Sunday morning news program; or newspaper article that has addressed the Minister’s view or that of other Blacks who share it - in part or full - deal with some of the historical information presented or alluded to by the Minister in any of his talks in question. Nor have they, of their own, presented a relevant historical context in which to weigh his remarks.

Minister Farrakhan’s teacher, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, wrote, in part, beginning in the 1930s, "Of all our studies history is the most attractive and best qualified to reward our research, as it develops the springs and motives of human actions and displays the consequences of circumstances which operates most powerfully on the destinies of human beings." His statement has been repeated over the years by many of his students, perhaps most famously by Minister Malcolm X.

History takes us into the motivation of human beings and consequences of their thinking and action. It also provides perspective for events that take place in the present, allowing us to weigh events, things, institutions, persons, ideas, and scenarios in relation to one another, across space and time. It elevates our view of what we are currently looking at, above and beyond its "face" or most superficial aspects. With the light of history we can deepen and sharpen our perception of an actual reality, and its relationship to the law of cause and effect.

Although it is hard to estimate and verify such things, I am convinced that the most referenced book utilized by the media since Hurricane Katrina is the historical work, Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 And How It Changed America by John M. Barry. As a consequence, I also hold the opinion that, thus far, Mr. Barry is the media’s most respected opinion leader on the wide impact, implications and ramifications of floods that have hit the Gulf Coast region of the United States, over the last 100 years. He has been quoted extensively by journalists in mainstream and alternative media and has been interviewed by a wide range of talk show hosts – from Tim Russert, on the respected mainstream political talk show, "Meet The Press" to Matsimela Mapfumo and Dick Gregory on the popular Black talk radio show, "Make It Plain." Mr. Barry and his book, provide historical perspective for those who would wish to better understand Hurricane Katrina, and think through its real and potential impact.

Yet and still, as widely referred to as Mr. Barry and his book are by members of the media, I have not read in print or heard on radio, a single reference to a major, if not central theme of his book – the decision to intentionally destroy the levees in the Flood of 1927, in order to save one part of New Orleans at the expense of another. I find it hard to imagine it possible for anyone who has read this book to miss this prominent subject. And even for those who only skim, glance or glean, the book’s index even includes a section under the heading: "levees: the intentional destruction of." It then lists the following page numbers as dealing with that particular subject: 168, 222, 227, 229, 231-232, 234, 238- 258, 339, 408. Under the index heading of "Herbert Hoover" one finds a sub heading of "levee dynamiting and." The page numbers listed for this are 246, 252-253, 255, 340. (Even Minister Farrakhan makes an appearance in Rising Tide's index under, "Farrakhan, Louis, 128").

So why, in light of this subject’s prominence, in such a widely respected and referred to book, has it received so little attention in all forms of media? More specifically, why have those who have spoken so apparently freely on the subject of Minister Farrakhan’s comments, not mentioned the material in Rising Tide which describes not only the intentional destruction of levees, but also how the decision was made and who made it, in chronological order? Is it a mere oversight or accident that not one person in the media to the best of my knowledge has explored a relationship to what Minister Farrakhan is suggesting happened in 2005 with what is documented to have happened in the 1920s, in this book?

In my "E-Letter To Mike Dunne and The Advocate Re: "LSU Storm Expert Rejects Levee Failure Explanation", I wrote that there is a rational and reasonable basis for suspecting that there is more to the reality of what caused the levee(s) to break during or after Katrina, than what has been publicly offered by government and the mainstream media. I also mentioned that there were five salient points to that basis.

The fourth of those points was the possibility of a historical precedent. To support that basis I quoted two brief excerpts of Rising Tide, pages 222 and 231 to be specific.

In order to provide more perspective related to that basis, here, below, are some more excerpts, with brief notes of introduction, related only to the planning phase of the intentional destruction of levees during the 1920s.

-*Note: In 1922 a flood hit New Orleans and intensified a decades-old debate among those who favored a policy of using levees only to protect the city from flooding, and those who believed that "spillways" – outlets that allow water from rivers to escape, in order to relieve water pressure on levees – should be built somewhere in the city. The leading advocate of "spillways" was James Kemper who was supported by a major New Orleans newspaper publisher, Jim Thomson, a man with high level Washington, D.C. connections. When a levee breach or crevasse took place in a place called Poydras, 12 miles below New Orleans, in St. Bernard Parish, although it caused widespread damage in that area, it resulted in a decrease in rising water levels in the river at New Orleans. The Poydras crevasse and its effect was used by "spillway" advocates as support for their approach. Those lobbying for spillways made their case at the local, state and federal level and received support as well as resistance. The discussion of "spillovers" evolved into one over whether or not it would be helpful to destroy levees that had already been built

Excerpt From Rising Tide, pgs. 167-168: More than ever, Kemper was convinced New Orleans needed a spillway for emergencies. He believed the experience of the Poydras crevasse proved his case. He began to fight, hard, for his beliefs, and was joined by far more powerful allies. Jim Thomson threw his weight behind Kemper. Long interested in the river, Thomson owned two New Orleans newspapers, the Morning Tribune and the afternoon Item. He was also well connected in Washington; he had worked in several presidential campaigns and, using family like a medieval potentate cementing alliances, became the son-in-law of the Speaker of the House and the brother-in-law of a senator, with a niece married to a senator. He contacted the presidents of every bank in the city, the Cotton Exchange, the Board of Trade, the Association of Commerce, and union leaders, then formed them all into the Safe River Committee of 100. Together their connections stretched from Washington to Wall Street. For the next five years Thomson pushed Presidents Harding and Coolidge, the War Department, and the Congress to require the river commission to build a spillway. General Beach, head of the Army engineers, responded by charging that New Orleans’ interests wanted a spillway only to save money. The city’s port infrastructure – docks, railroads, grain elevators, cotton warehouses, wharves – had been built to the old Mississippi River Commission standard. Raising it all to the new commission standard would cost millions o dollars, and the federal government would pay none of it. Beach also warned, "Some one has apparently started a propaganda, judging by the letters which are reaching this office...Indiscriminate accusations against adopted methods can only result in harm." When the criticism did not stop, he threatened the city, subtly intimating that he might advise "capitalists" to invest in competing ports like Mobile or Baton Rouge instead of New Orleans. But his critics persisted. Finally, at a meeting on spillways in August 1922 in New Orleans, Beach told the businessmen present, "If it were my property, I would rather blow a hole in a levee, if conditions became serious, and let the water take care of itself, rather than [pay to] build it and pay $250,000 a year continually in interest charges [for bonds] and the additional cost of maintenance." The chief of Army engineers was recommending that his audience blow up a levee and flood its neighbors. It seemed an astounding position for him to take. In taking it he was conceding that they were right, that a spillway would work.

Excerpt From Rising Tide, pg. 222: After the 1922 flood the chief of the Army Corps of Engineers had advised the New Orleans financial community that, if the river ever seriously threatened the city, they should blow a hole in the levee. In the years since, those words had never left the consciousness of either the people in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, who would be sacrificed, or those who dealt with the river in New Orleans

-*Note: On pg. 225 of Rising Tide, John Barry writes, "Three men determined what went into newspapers in the city." He describes how New Orleans-area and Louisiana media coverage was determined by three men, Robert Ewing, owner of the States and papers in Monroe and Shreveport; Esmond Phelps who controlled the board of The Times Picayune; and Jim Thomson, owner of The Morning Tribune and the Item. According to Mr. Barry, a Mr. Issac Cline, head of the U.S. Weather Bureau’s New Orleans office, who was watching the media’s coverage of the flood, became displeased with it. The local coverage of the flood, as he felt it ignored or understated its severity for some. In this next excerpt Mr. Barry describes Mr. Cline’s position and continues with more of the discussions regarding the intentional destruction of levees – an emergency meeting among the city’s establishment. Referred to in this excerpt are Rudolph Hecht, president of Hibernia Bank and Lonnie Pool, president of Marine Bank and Trust Company.

Excerpt From Rising Tide, pg. 227 Cline was not worried about New Orleans itself. He agreed with Kemper that a great flood – and this already looked like a great flood – would break levees hundreds of miles upriver and relieve the city. But people in vulnerable areas read and relied on New Orleans papers; the lack of warning there would create a false sense of security. His angry protest was conveyed to Thomson, who relented somewhat, printing that afternoon, "Heavy Rains Raise River; Weather Bureau Advises of Rising Stages…The bureau urged ‘all persons interested to take necessary precautions against still higher stages during the next two weeks.’" The story did not satisfy Cline. Late that afternoon he met with business leaders to demand honesty in future stories. They assured him of it. They were lying. Nor did they tell him that Thomson had already called an emergency meeting about the river. Butler had been out of the city and had sent Canal Bank Vice President Dan Curran, a close friend of LeRoy Percy, as his representative. Hecht and Pool had attended. In that meeting, for the first time, Thomson had talked seriously about dynamiting the levee. If the situation worsened, he said, he would travel to Washington and see the president himself. No one had protested against the enormity of the act Thomson was suggesting. It was illegal, and it would destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people. Nor had anyone questioned the authority, right, or ability of those in the meeting to perform this illegal act. Nor, although they had been discussing the most public business, business that involved federal, state, city, and parish governments, had anyone protested the fact that no public official had been present. After the meeting, Thomson had informed levee board president Guy Deano, who in turn privately advised Klorer, the city councilman and river engineer, "The Emergency Committee had conferences...and plans have been worked out by them."

-*Note: A second emergency meeting was held to discuss the intentional destruction of levees in New Orleans. Referred to in this excerpt is James Pierce Butler, head of the Canal Bank, the largest bank in the South with intimate ties to Chase in New York. Also referred to is the Board of Liquidation, which was created in 1880 by New Orleans bankers to handle the debt left over from Reconstruction. It had enormous powers including handling all of the money New Orleans collected in taxes and authority over the city’s issuance of bonds.

Excerpt from Rising Tide's picture section. Under a picture of Mr. James Pierce Butler, Jr. appears the following caption: "...Butler was president of the South's largest bank and of the elite Boston Club. He manipulated the state and federal governments into dynamiting the levee outside New Orleans - flooding out thousands of people - to relieve pressure on the city."

Excerpt From Rising Tide, pg. 228 With the torrents were still falling, Marcel Garsaud, a former Army colonel and levee engineer who was now manager of the Dock Board, called Hecht, the board president, and said they needed to discuss the river situation immediately. Hecht also asked Butler, Pool, who that year headed the New Orleans Clearing House Association, several other bank presidents, and General Allison Owen, president of the Association of Commerce to come to an emergency meeting. Thomson was not invited. Possibly Hecht kept him out because he was not a member of the inner sanctum. Possibly Garsaud objected because of Garsaud’s bitter feeling toward Kemper, whom Thomson might have brought. Garsaud was prickly, bristled at any offense, and although the two engineers agreed on policy Kemper had recently rebuked him for his mistaken calculations on the industrial canal, and for playing "politics" and creating discord, writing, "I have been in this game, Colonel, much longer than you have. For a long time I fought a lone fight...You have set us back several years." Those who did belong to the inner sanctum gathered in Hecht’s office at the Hibernia Bank. Outside, the rain lashed the windows; the wind shook them. Hecht, a cigar aficionado, lit one. So did several others. The smoke filled the room. The windows were opaque with condensation, isolating them from the world outside. Garsaud announced that he had just talked to Cline. The rain could continue for hours. "If the levees up river hold, the Mississippi could reach a stage of 24.5 feet here," Garsaud said. "In my opinion a stage above 24 feet could well cause a crevasse." Then Garsaud suggested that they could eliminate any doubt about the safety of New Orleans by dynamiting the levee elsewhere, if the men present deemed it wise. Everyone present knew that Thomson had already begun planning for this eventuality, but it was not his decision. It was theirs. They were bankers, mostly. Bankers had a history of taking charge in city crises. During the 1905 yellow fever epidemic, the U.S. Surgeon General refused to help the city without a guarantee of $250,000. The mayor had lacked the authority to make any such commitment. Charles Javier, then president of the Canal Bank, a member of the Board of Liquidation, and chairman of the state Democratic Party’s Central Committee, had made two telephone calls, then gave the guarantee, and federal resources had poured into the city to fight the outbreak. Now all of the bankers present had received wires from correspondent banks in New York and elsewhere, inquiring about the city’s safety. Implicit in the inquiry was the question of investment risk, a life-and-death question to them. Butler had replaced Janvier at both the bank and the Board of Liquidation. Nothing could be done if he opposed it. Butler was the key.

Excerpt From Rising Tide, pg. 231 Butler turned to the men in the room and said they needed information on several issues, some legal, some technical. Addressing Garsaud, he said, "You say "if the levees above us hold." There is little chance of that, is there?" "They will probably not hold," Garsaud conceded. "But the pressure will be intense here in any event. It is possible that water could flow out through any levee breaks and return to the river." Hecht raised another point. Even if no river water entered New Orleans, the flood could destroy the city financially. People were building boats, tying them to their porches, stocking groceries. To liquidate inventories, wholesale suppliers were cutting prices in half and begging customers around the country to buy. Daily, hundreds of thousands of dollars were being withdrawn from banks. If the fear grew great enough, if a run developed on a bank, it would hurt, and perhaps even destroy, weaker banks. Short-term credit was disappearing, period. Long term, if the nation’s businessmen lost confidence in the safety of New Orleans, serious damage could result. Rival ports were hungry. The Illinois Central recently had – for the first time – shipped a load of molasses from Gulfport, Mississippi. U.S. Steel was planning to ship exports out of Mobile, Alabama. Pool’s bank was the most vulnerable in the city; he had aggressively loaned money to sugar planters. A crevasse on the river’s west bank could destroy them, and his bank. Dynamiting the levee on the east bank might also relieve them. Pool argued: "The people of the New Orleans are in such a panic that all who can do so are leaving the city. Thousands are leaving daily. Only dynamite will restore confidence." Butler knew the power of the river. As a boy, he had watched his father cut a canal from St. Catherine’s Creek on their property to the Mississippi. It had been a mistake. The creek quickly grew into a powerful river itself and scoured out acres of their plantation. The creek had awed him, and the Mississippi had seemed like God. He knew what floods were. Now they were discussing purposefully loosing the Mississippi River on their neighbors. It was a horrible thing, a thing that ran against everything he had been raised to believe. How real was the threat to New Orleans? The threat to its business was real enough, but how real was the threat of the river? Or did it matter? "I believe," Butler said coolly, not explicitly deciding but allowing momentum to gather more force, "the appropriate step at this point is to involve the authorities."

Eventually the decision to explode the levee was made and actually executed. It involved the highest levels of government and commerce. According to Mr. Barry, it was an unnecessary act and one that had tremendous negative consequences - some less obvious than others. The book, Rising Tide contains this story in great detail, as the above excerpts should indicate. The actual explosion is described in Chapter Twenty. The destructive process took place for ten consecutive days, using 39 tons of dynamite. It destroyed the St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.

Why isn’t that story being told today, in light of a supposed interest, expressed by many in media, to understand why so many Black former residents of New Orleans believe that levees were intentionally exploded - that certain parts of the city may be saved at the expense of other parts?

Shouldn’t the account of levees dynamited in New Orleans in 1927, contained in a popular book - arguably the most respected in the media since Katrina - be included in any discussion of Minister Farrakhan’s belief that a levee might have been blown up, in 2005, to save some portions of the city, at the expense of others? (I have read and reread these excerpts and can find nothing that says that the city leaders blew up the levees to sacrifice the homes and business of blacks for the good of the white population. I also fail to understand why an event in 1922, and decisions made by local politicians and businessmen who are no longer in office, and probably not even still alive, should be the basis for assumption in 2005? To add to that, the 1922 decision was made on a local level, not a federal level. If one were to use that scenario to justify a possible 2005 scenario, one would have to take into account that the majority of political leaders in New Orleans are Democrats, and that the Mayor is indeed black. Using this author's logic, then, would be to assume that Democrats and blacks bombed the levees.)

What Minister Farrakhan has presented - that levees were intentionally exploded so that certain parts of the city may be saved at the expense of other parts - has been mocked as a ‘conspiracy theory’ by many. None of those that I have heard making a caricature out of the Minister and his suggestion - using the "straw man" argument technique - do so with any reference to history, not to mention the history of levees in New Orleans or the Gulf Coast. And none of them use Rising Tide to refute what he has put forth. (Because Rising Tide and the facts of that situation simply do not apply to the facts surrounding Katrina, and anyone who tries to tie the two together is making a huge leap past logic into science fiction)

Regardless to what the term ‘conspiracy theory’ has come to mean in today’s lexicon and colloquial expression, what is described in Rising Tide, as it relates to the deliberate dynamiting of levees, clearly reads like a widening conspiracy. It would not be difficult to prove this, I don’t think. If that is the case, then those who mock and ridicule Blacks for considering the possibility that the levee breach near the Ninth Ward was deliberately created, do so without perspective, or while concealing or omitting it. (Again, why should blacks think this, unless they are coerced by someone with the sole motivation of further driving the wedge between blacks and whites, democrats and rebulicans, and the black population and the president)

There are a lot of factors involved in an individual or community accepting as possible or probable, the suggestion that Minister Farrakhan has put forth. Not the least among these factors is historical precedent. (If the author is concerned about history, and wants to make an argument for Farrahkan's claims, then I would be welcome to review any pertinent historical documents and facts that actually argue the case. He has yet to present any)

Perhaps that is why "no one" is talking about a major aspect of the book, "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood Of 1927 And How It Changed America."(No one is talking about it because it simply does not apply. If it did, the liberal media would be all over the connection in an attempt to bury Bush)

Maybe it provides too much perspective, in a climate that has too little. (Or the accusation comes from a man with absolutely no perspective)

Cedric Muhammad Monday, October 03, 2005


Katrina and the Plot to Kill Black People

On the one year anniversary of hurricane Katrina I have many memories of that disaster. Death, total destruction, a city underwater...and Louis Farrakhan.

The leader of the Nation of Islam stands out in my mind because of his belief that the White House wanted black people dead. Soon after the levees broke, Farrakhan announced that he had "reliable information" which proved that underneath the levees were craters that were blown up so that black neighborhoods would be flooded thereby eliminating the threat to white neighborhoods.

Sure, Farrakhan is a kook, but don't doubt that there are a lot of people who hang on his every word as truth. People can be very blind when it comes to religion, as was proven to us in situations like the Jonestown Massacre.

Take New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, for example. After consulting with Farrakhan and some other assorted nuts from the Nation of Islam after Katrina, he made a speech in that city on Martin Luther King Day saying that Katrina was God's punishment to the US for the war in Iraq, which was the same point Farrakhan brought up later in a speech to a Methodist Church in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the remarks were met by the black congregation "with enthusiasm."

The destruction caused during Katrina was not only physical, but political as well. Look for liberals to blame Katrina itself on the Republican Party in the 2008 Presidential Election, and for them to try and alienate black voters from conservatives by bringing the levee rumors to the surface again.

Ernesto Who?

The hype is on! I love the Weather Channel, but they are just a little too excited about Tropical Storm Ernesto. Max sustained windspeeds blowing at a death-defying 35 miles per hour. No real rain to speak of, and no damage.

On the Weather Channel this morning, they interviewed their on-location reporter, Mike Seidel, who was toughing it out on Miami Beach this morning.

"Any damage where you are Mike?"
"Uh, well, I see this branch here that was blow off of a palm tree (bends down to pick up the branch), but other than that, nothing really to speak of."
"How about power outages? That's always a concern."
"Have not heard that any were reported."
"What about rain?"
"Well, that was one of things we were looking for with Ernesto, but so far no real dramatic rainfall totals. HOWEVER, it is supposed to rain today, so that will certainly add some to the totals."


Janine Albert's report was just as terrifying.

"It's very quiet out on the beach here. As you see, no one is on the beach, which is usually full this time of year. Currently it is raining."


The truth is, the major hurricane season that was forecasted has bombed out. To put it in perspective, this season, as of today, we have 5 named storms in the Atlantic Basin. Only one was a hurricane (Ernesto) but only for a couple of hours.

In the 2005 hurricane season, as of this date last year, there were already 13 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, and 5 of them were hurricanes, including Katrina.

Uh-oh. Looks like Al Gore will have to wait another year to try and blame the hurricanes on global warming and George Bush.

My expert opinion for the weak hurricane season does not take into account wind shears or the jet stream; I believe that it is all in the names.

In 2005, storms had bold names like Bret and Gert and Dennis. Phillipe and Rita. Maria and Stan. I think Bret and Dennis could hold their own in any barroom fight. Maria and Rita are feisty Latin American women who talk loud and don't take any crap from anyone. Gert is tough because he has to be just because everyone makes fun of his name.

In 2006, we are limping along with Beryl and Debbie. It doesn't get any better, either, with Florence and Leslie coming up soon. Florence is your maid's name. Debbie and Leslie are pretty busy with sorority rush week to care too much about hurricanes. And what kind of a name is Beryl? Did someone at the National Weather Service think it would be great to hear Jim Cantore announce "Beryl is barreling up the East Coast!"

We need names like Scout and Tristan. Or Paul and Steve. Ivan and Pablo. What about Cynthia or Jane? Greta and Casey.

So that's the secret to hurricanes. Strong names = big seasons. Wimpy names = low ratings for the Weather Channel.

As Ernesto dies a slow death I will be steering clear of the WC's Hurricane Central.


Iran Again

Iran has fired another test-missile. While the UN deadline for this terrorist nation to abandon all nuclear activities is only days away, Iran continues to display a "we don't give a crap" attitude.

In their latest "military maneuvers" Iran launched a long-range, radar-evading, sea-to-air missile from a submarine in the Gulf. The Sagheb missile was fired to demonstrate the Islamic Republic's ability to "respond to any threat." Anyone with an IQ over 15 knows that the only "threat" to Iran is Israel.

Once the end of August rolls around, how do you think the UN will respond to Iran, and their blatant refusal to cease all nuclear enrichment activities? My guess is that they will issue vanilla statements and baseless threats.

Look for Iran to strike Israel in the next 12 months with some sort of nuclear device.

This is not going to be pretty.

Lucas With the Lid Off

I searched forever for this video, and here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dahONyptuo0

It was 1994, and I remember that this video was pretty great. In my searching online I was reminded that this was all done in one take. Amazing!

Too bad Lucas bombed out as a one-hit-wonder.

Here are all of the sets/scenes that video director Michel Gondry used:

1,8 : the stairwell, with piano
2 : "reggae man," drunk at table, with projected band playing behind him
3,11,24 : Lucas's studio, with projection of the woman, computer screen of "reggae man"
4 : under table of drunk "reggae man", projected bottom half of band behind him
5 : below 4's floorboards, a shot of Lucas on his bed in his hotel room
6 : a ceiling shot of 57 : physical model of Hotel, tiny projections of Lucas and band inside windows
9 : facing three people inside the car; with projection
10,23 : back of woman's head, inside car; with projection
12 : film of Lucas heading to train station
13 : Lucas inside station, moving train lights projected onto set
14 : film of moving train
15 : Lucas in train with couple, mirrored, projection of outdoors behind them
16 : outside cab of train, looking at couple; projection reflected on glass
17 : Lucas at restaurant, outside projected onto window
18 : cinema model, with projection of Lucas walking into cinema
19, 21 : in theater, people watching With the Lid Off on screen
20 : camera turns around, Lucas and players in theater seats
22 : outside, with piano; projection on piano face

I will be back soon with more news from the Middle East, but I thought you would enjoy this.


A Mystery

If you put a very large yellow Panama hat on Tony Hadley, the lead singer for the 80's band Spandau Ballet, he would look exactly like The Man in the Yellow Hat from the Curious George books. Very weird. Come to think of it, I have never seen Tony Hadley and The Man in the Yellow Hat together. Could they be the same person???????

Decide for yourself:




I would encourage you to read this blog: http://thejourney2islam-team.blogspot.com/ and visit this website: http://faithfulhanifah.tripod.com//index.html for information about Islam. Many people criticize Islam but have not read the Qur'an. I hold to my belief that Islam is intolerant of "infidels" (i.e. non-Muslims) and that Allah has instructed Muslims to eliminate the infidels, but you should read the Qur'an and decide for yourself.

I also encourage you to read the Bible, especially the New Testament. I do not know of any Christians today who resort to killing non-Christians, but we find this prevalent among Muslims who readily kill non-Muslims. I also dare anyone to find a place in the Bible that says that killing non-Christians gives you automatic entry into Heaven. Unfortunately, Islam says that being a martyr (i.e. murdering non-Muslims) is a ticket to Heaven. Very sad.

Until I find otherwise, I will continue to view Islam by the violent and intolerant fruit it bears. My heart goes out to Muslims, and I pray that they all will see that the religion they have been following lacks the true love that is found in Christ Jesus.


Pasta for Palestine

The Italians are the latest to sound off about Lebanon, promising to rebuild what US "aggression" has torn down. The Italian Foreign Minister says it is time for the EU to take control and restore peace to the region, even promising to do the same for Gaza.

Yes, Italy makes great bikes and olive oil. Yes, it is a beautiful country. But no, it does not have the strength or resolve to work with BOTH sides of the Lebanon/Israel conflict to bring any kind of peace.

On the heels of this, France has all of a sudden decided to send 2,000 troops to Lebanon. Remember that during the France-US Cease Fire Proposal that the Frenchies promised to lead the UN peacekeeping team in Lebanon, should the cease fire be accepted. Then, a day after the cease fire took affect, they backed down and promised only 200 troops. Why the change?

Well, one can assume that this was done to make the US look bad and not supported.

Here's my take: let's get out of the way and let Europe try and restore peace to the Middle East. If they don't like our aggressiveness, then let's see them do it better with their style. Can you imagine? Hezbollah and Hamas would eat them alive. Can you say "retreat"?

So, a radical Muslim group has kidnapped two FOX News reporters and wants to exchange them for ALL of the Muslims imprisoned in the US.

Does anyone smell something unusual here? Yes, Gaza is a breeding ground for Islamic terrorist groups, but the Holy Jihad Brigades is a group that has never been identified before now. Sniff again. Do you smell that? Yes, you're right. It smells like Iran.

Anyway, they want this done within 72 hours, and we all know the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists. So, look for some beheadings this weekend. Remember the beheadings (by knife) in Iraq last year? Ugly. Still want to say Islam is a religion of love? Can you imagine a group of Christians chopping off the head of a Muslim? Need I say more?


Speaking of Islamic love, I watched a program the other night on the history of the Qur'an. Thinking it would be an actual history of the Qur'an, I tuned in, only to turn it off 30 minutes later disgusted, as it was not a history but a defense of Islam.

What really got my blood flowing was the story of the Crusaders taking over Jerusalem from the Muslims. According to their account, the Crusaders were so bloodthirsty during the taking of Jerusalem that the Muslims have never forgotten it. Nice.

Of course, the program glossed over the passages in the Qur'an that call for elimination of all non-Muslims, saying that those passages are misunderstood, and that passages of love far outnumber the "violent" passages.

All of that was not enough to make me turn off the TV until they went into the explanation of Jihad as an "inner struggle" for individual peace. Yeah, right. Click...

As I said last week, Egypt is a tough country to pin down as far as loyalty, and they have just pissed off Syria with their latest statements accusing Syria of everything from massacres in Lebanon (Syria controlled Lebanon for 19 years) and Syria (true), to the Syrian president (an opthomologist by trade) to having no legitimacy. Other comments include taunting the Syrian President's name (which is translated "lion") to reminding Syria that Egypt has bailed it out on numerous occasions.

This attack is in response to Egypt criticizing Hezbollah.

Go Egypt.


Paris in Lebanon

You know, maybe a good idea would be to ask Paris Hilton to negotiate peace between Israel and Lebanon. What could it hurt? Sure, she's a floozy and overrated, but I'll bet she could do better than the UN. Come to think of it, ANYONE could do better than the UN.

UNIFIL=United Nations is Failing in Lebanon

Nothing to Lose

So, if the Arab states (read: all of the Middle East and any Muslim) hate Israel, and if Israel will be criticized however they handle ANY situation, then why should it worry about PR? This shaky cease-fire (read: lull in fighting that gives Hezbollah time to rearm and find more civilian homes to fire missiles from) will certainly end soon enough. That's no big secret. And, Iran and Syria continue to be long-term threats as they stockpile and produce weapons.

If Israel wants to be proactive in preventing more civilian losses, and is truly committed to suppressing radical Islam, then here are the steps they need to take:
  1. Kidnap any Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, etc. leader they can get their hands on and place those abductees in various places around Israel. You need to get the leaders because, while they implore the rank-and-file radicals to sacrifice their lives for Islam, the leaders, as we have seen time and again, are more likely to go into hiding than to risk death. Placing them in custody in small groups around Israel puts the terror groups in a quandary, since they would not know if retaliatory bombing would kill their leaders.
  2. Take over all Islamic organizations, businesses, mosques, etc. in Israel. Relocate all Islamic people from Israel to Gaza, where they can be closely monitored. Freeze all Islamic assets in Israel.
  3. Bomb all major airports (any that can accommodate a military transport plane) in Lebanon and Syria. Concentrate bombing to eliminate military planes and put large holes in runways, rendering them useless.
  4. Pull all Israeli troops 2 miles back from border with Lebanon.
  5. Start air strikes at the Litany River and work south, forcing Hezbollah to flee towards the Blue Line.
  6. When Hezbollah is forced to cross the Blue Line, and are out in the open, start shooting. First using shoulder-launched missiles and mortars, then a huge airstrike.

1,2,&3 should happen simultaneously, and should not take more than 10 days.

4 should happen halfway through Phase 1.

5 should commence at the end of Phase 1.

6 relies on implementation and timeliness of 5.

The entire process should take no longer than 30 days.

Why not? What does Israel have to lose? Arab PR? Who cares? UN disapproval? That doesn't seem to concern other countries (see: Iran, Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan, etc.).

It's time to fish or cut bait, Israel. Stop complaining about the threat and eliminate it, or at least reduce it by showing some tenacity and strategy. Waiting around to respond defensively to the radicals is no way to win a war.


Lost in Translation

For years radical Muslims have been guilty of two media identities. One is the statements they release in English, which the liberal US press eats up, painting a picture of Islam as a tortured entity, fighting for what is rightfully theirs, and representing a religion of love. The other identity is more telling, and can be seen in what appears in Arabic in Middle Eastern media sources. This is the real Islam, who has one sole purpose, which is to eliminate the "infidels", which means kill all non-Muslims.

If you live in the US and do not speak Arabic, then you are shielded from the truth. However, there is an organization dedicated to exposing the deceit and offering in several different languages the translations to statements made in Arabic by Islamic readers, as well as numerous videos you won't see on CNN. The Palestinian Media Watch website is fascinating, and I suggest if you would like to be more informed to check it out: http://www.pmw.org.il/

Israel has threatened to stop by force any imported arms into Lebanon bound for Hezbollah. They are forced to this position by the lack of a mechanism in place by either Lebanon or the woefully inadequate UNIFIL to stop these shipments.

Israel is also predicting the fighting will start again in "weeks or months" if they do not see strong action to disarm Hezbollah.

10 days away from the UN deadline to halt its nuclear program, Iran gave the finger once again to the world today, test-firing 10 surface-to-surface missiles in the dessert, about 150 miles southeast of Tehran. The Saegheh missiles have a range up to 150 miles, although I don't believe they can carry nuclear warheads, as the Shahab-3 missiles can. While the Saegheh would not be able to reach Israel, it would be perfect for bombing US troops in Iraq, or, in the hands of Hezbollah in South Lebanon, would give those terrorists a formidable weapon to use against Israel, compared to the inaccurate Katyusha missiles they currently utilize.

Egypt is an interesting player in the Middle East game. A week ago the police in Cairo clashed with pro-Hezbollah groups as they attempted to march in favor of the terror group. Egypt also backed away from requests by Syria and Jordan to intervene in Lebanon to help defend against Israel, and instead engaged in talks with Israel to send humanitarian aid to Gaza.

On the other hand, the main enforcer of Islamic law in Egypt strongly backs Hezbollah, and other groups in Egypt have warned the Middle East of Israel using chemical warfare, especially in Gaza.

Closing funny note: Lebanon's defense minister, today said that he was sure that Hezbollah would not break the cease-fire.

Home Alone

With the wimpy Europeans backing down on sending troops to Lebanon as part of the new UNIFIL, it is becoming apparent that Israel and the US are alone in fighting the global threat of radical Islam.

So why is that? One would assume the French, given the recent Muslim uprisings in Paris, would want to do what they could to weaken Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc. Actually, why isn't all of Europe banding together as an alliance against terror? The Middle East is much closer in proximity to them than the US, and, despite our weak borders with Canada and Mexico, it is easier to move about the EU than cross the border into the US in Texas, for example.

So maybe that is one answer. Keeping the neighbors happy so they won't lob missiles at them. This, of course, is short-sighted, as no one is innocent to radical Islamics. They will continue to use the non-commital attitude of the EU for their benefit. This is one of the reasons why terror cells are great in number in those countries.

We can see more of the answer to this question in the UK, where Tony Blair is constantly bombarded for leaning hard in the direction of the US regarding the terror battle. There, the population is wary of the US to begin with (see: Revolutionary War) and has never wanted to be seen as an ally. Of course, the US has bent over backwards to involve itself in European matters of security, as in WW1 & 2. Adolph Hitler was a ruthless demon dictator, and, one could argue, without the intervention of US troops, Europe could be German-controlled today. Remember, Hitler, like the current Muslim leadership, wanted to see the entire world ruled over by Germany (or "Germania" as he was going to rename his new kingdom).

And, of course, none of the first-world nations, except the US, have ever truly backed the Jews, and we see that today with Israel. There is little trust of the Jewish population, and, again, we see that documented as early as the Old Testament.

So, the US and Israel fight this battle alone, with Israel on the very front lines. Without the support of the EU, they will continue to fail, and the terrorist groups will continue to strengthen.

There are not many more safe places in the world today.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Quotes

OK, I'm back. Still frustrated and disgusted, but back.

You may be riding the fence on whether or not Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is either a crazed, sadistic lunatic or just someone who is well-meaning but misunderstood (note: this is how Dan Rather saw him in a recent interview). Here are some quotes that may help you understand this man a little better. Remember as you read this that this is the same man who is enriching uranium that could be used in nuclear weapons. Question: do you want this guy to have nuclear capabilities at his fingertips?

On the holocaust

"They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets."

"We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them."

On Israel

"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."

"Israel is a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated in one storm."

"The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

On Relations with the Western Nations

"[There is] no significant need for the United States."

On the UN Resolution, which goes into effect Aug. 30, for Iran to stop enriching Uranium

"Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?"


Deja Vu

So far, this whole cease fire has been a maddening rerun of every other cease fire in the Middle East.

  • Everyone stops fighting, save for a few skirmishes, mostly on or near the Blue Line
  • The UN picks some random countries that will send "peacekeeping" forces (France is promising to send a whopping 200 troops to the region--thanks for the big sacrifice! Bangladesh is sending 2,000 troops for goodness sake!)
  • Israel gives back whatever ground it took
  • Lebanon gladly accepts Israel's retreat ("Whew, lucked out again!")
  • Each side claims victory
  • The shadowy terrorist group gets quiet as they look to the next conflict (AND they get to keep the land they occupy while Israel retreats)

I mean, could something just happen?? Anything? They fight and people die and it is all for nothing. No one gained anything, except Hezbollah, who were able to prove once again that Israel has no stomach for a fight and doesn't have the guts to close the deal. Seriously! It's like that bully on the episode of the Andy Griffith Show. He just keeps on taking Opie's lunch money until Opie stands up for himself and won't budge. Hezbollah is a bully, and while they have some pretty decent weaponry from Iran, pound for pound they are no match for Israel. If Israel would just once take off the kid gloves, put a deaf ear to all the criticism from Arab and liberal (wimpy) countries about civilian casualties, and wipe Hezbollah off the map, we would all be better off.

And so everyone thinks Lebanon--who is putting troops south of the Litany River for the first time in 30 years--is going to help disarm Hezbollah. But guess what, they have already said that the aren't going to touch Hezbollah, anymore than the UN is.

30 years is a pretty long time to virtually ignore a very violent and disputed area. That would be like saying US troops have not deployed south of San Diego in 30 years.

And Iran is celebrating Hezbollah's "victory" over Israel with gusto. Last week a public transportation company in Tehran declared a "free travel day" in celebration. Wheeee!!!

Anyway, I'm disgusted with the whole thing. I'm disgusted that Israel negotiates with countries who willingly harbor terrorists. I'm disgusted that the UN has so much power (we're going to be very sorry about that one day soon). And I'm disgusted that I have to watch this happen again and again.

So, since I'm disgusted, unless something major happens, I am taking a day or two off from Middle east updates. Someone let me know when Iran moves into South Lebanon.


How To Help

As many thousands of Lebanese return to their homes following the cease-fire, many will find that they have no home left.

Unfortunately, Hezbollah is trying to further strengthen its hold on the people of Lebanon by promising to rebuild all the damaged and demolished homes by next year.

There are a number of organizations who will be working in Lebanon to help rebuild. If you want to help, I would suggest that you donate to one of these or one of your choice. It would be great to rebuild and restore without the Lebanese having to rely on terrorists for help.

World Vision

The Alliance

MAP International

Doctors Without Borders

The Devil in The Details

Both sides are claiming victory in the Middle East cease-fire. However, from the looks of it, Israel has not gained anything and actually lost ground, while Hezbollah can claim victory for forcing Israel out, which is what they wanted all along (thanks UN).

Not only have the kidnapped Israeli soldiers not been returned, as required by the accord, but the long-standing issue of Shebba Farms remains unresolved. This region is a virtual no-man's land as both Lebanon and Israel claim the rights to occupy, but the area is actually owned by Syria, who wants no part of it. Why is this important? Well, Shebba Farms is one of the reasons why Hezbollah has been lobbing bombs at Israel for the past year.

To top it all off, Israel is saying now that it may negotiate for the return of the 2 captured Israeli soldiers by releasing 13 Hezbollah prisoners. I'm no negotiation expert, but who do you think is getting the better end of this deal? Hmmmm.......

Two reporters, one an American, were kidnapped yesterday by Palestinian operatives in Gaza. Dude, what is it going to take to get really tough with the Palestinians?

Iran is mouthing off again. Yesterday a top Iranian cleric warned Israel that Iran would bomb Tel Aviv if Israel attacked them. And, Iran has the capabilities, since it has a long-range ground-to-ground missile (Shahab-3) that has a 1,250 mile range, and, as an added bonus, can carry nuclear warheads. Can you say mushroom cloud?

Iran hates Israel. Their dictator-fanatic-lunatic President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. He obviously will not be getting any Bar Mitzvah invitations any time soon.

The French will be leading the UN peacekeeping force, along several other countries, to try and keep peace in Southern Lebanon. Try not to laugh too loud.

The US was opposed to France leading this force at first, but my guess is that the White House, remembering France's opposition to the US in Iraq, sees a great opportunity to "educate" the French on just how much fun trying to keep peace in a Muslim state can be.

Let's see how the Frenchies react when the first French soldier is killed.

France, meet Hezbollah. Hope you enjoy your stay!


Have you ever seen a circle? How about this one:

Lebanon will not put its troops into South Lebanon until Hezbollah is disarmed.

Hezbollah will not stop fighting until Israel leaves South Lebanon.

Israel will not leave South Lebanon completely until there is some sort of Lebanese force in place to subdue Hezbollah.

"What we have here is, failure to communicate."
Civil War
Guns and Roses


Not Good PR

From what I am reading coming out of Israel, the general population is not happy with the US forcing this cease-fire before Israel had the chance to do some real damage to Hezbollah.

Last Call

Hezbollah fired more than 250 missiles at Israel today as the cease-fire deadline grew near. Israel pounded Beirut today and dropped leaflets saying that they would retaliate should they be attacked.

Israel estimates it will take 10 days to withdraw it's troops from Lebanon completely, giving time for the Lebanese army and UNIFIL to advance and set-up in South Lebanon, supposedly to suppress Hezbollah. Yeah, right. Like trying to fight an M-16 with a BB gun.

The cease-fire starts 50 minutes from now.

Lebanon Has an Army? Really??

There's been a lot of talk about the 15,000 army troops that the Lebanese government is promising to send to South Lebanon to help suppress Hezbollah. Here are my top five reasons why this will never work:

5. Lebanese Army underequipped and not modernized. Example: still uses tanks from 1940's. Helicopters inadequate (single engine).

4. Lebanese army weak overall. Syrian forces were in Lebanon until last year (after controlling Lebanon for 19 years). Syria backs Hezbollah and wants it to be as strong as possible. In order to do this, Syria had to be sure Lebanese army was ill-equipped and ill-prepared. They were successful.

3. Hezbollah is too modernized, especially compared to the antiquated Lebanese army, to be defeated. Thank you to Syria and Iran.

2. The Lebanese army's membership is divided by party (and religious) lines. A house divided upon itself will never stand.

1. If the army fails, the police force must take up the flag. Unfortunately, of 20,000 in the police force, only about half even have weapons.

Game over.

This cease-fire is just putting off the next conflict.


UN Resolution/Comments

The UN unanimously passed the cease-fire resolution Friday. Both Hezbollah and Lebanon have agreed to the resolution. Israel has not met to decide. Of course, logic tells us they will accept, or receive worldwide backlash.

Lebanon was pleased with the resolution, noting that "the whole world is behind Lebanon." Interesting comment.

Hezbollah "reluctantly" accepted the resolution, most likely to gain a reputation among it's critics as an organization dedicated to peace. This is absolutely a ruse. Look for Hezbollah terror activities to continue, using Israel as a scapegoat to justify their violence.

The text of the resolution is below. I have added some comments in italics. NOTE: PP means preambular paragraph, basically summing up the history that lead to the resolution. OP means operative paragraph, which tells what the UN is proposing as action.

PP1. Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),

PP2. Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hezbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,
I was pleased that it is noted here that the root of the fighting was Hezbollah's attack on Israel.

PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,
Just a guess, but I'll bet that the US fought hard not to have a prisoner exchange between the Israeli soldiers and Lebanese prisoners. And rightfully so. The Lebanese help in Israel have committed a crime. The Israeli soldiers were abducted at random.

PP5. Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a UN force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon,
Time will tell if Lebanon's seven-point plan will see the light of day. The Lebanese government is so divided and crippled that actually putting legs on any plan will be tough to do.

PP6. Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,

PP7. Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area,
One of the disputed areas between Israel and Lebanon.

PP8. Welcoming the unanimous decision by the government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,

PP9. Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict,

PP10. Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

OP1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;
The word "offensive" here is important. This allows Israel to defend itself using force should they be attacked. Note that Hezbollah was not given the same option.

OP2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from Southern Lebanon in parallel;
UNIFIL (United Nations in Lebanon) is a joke.

OP3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;
Don't see how Lebanon is going to control weapon importation, or if they will even try and do it. And, if they don't, how do you hold them accountable without being more specific?

OP4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;

OP5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;

OP6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;

OP7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;

OP8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:
— full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,
— security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,
— full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,
— no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government,
— no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government,
— provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;

OP9. Invites the Secretary General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;

OP10. Requests the Secretary General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;
If this happens within 30 days I will be extremely surprised. None of the abovementioned accords and resolutions have been able to do this.

OP11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;
d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;
You could send in 1,000,000 UNIFIL troops and they would be impotent. Look for France to be more involved in UNIFIL or a new UN Peacekeeping force. And don't think that their "partnership" with the US in drafting this resolution was some sort of effort at better relations between the two countries. France is trying to better it's reputation with Arab countries, especially in light of the recent Muslim violence in Paris. Instead of fighting radical Islam, they are bowing down to it.

OP12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;
Again, my son's kindergarten class could be more effective than UNIFIL.

OP13. Requests the Secretary General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;

OP14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

OP15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,
(a) the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and
(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above,except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;
Again, Lebanon is so weak and divided that this will never happen.

OP16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;

OP17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;

OP18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

OP19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

It is not comforting to me that the UN remains actively "seized" of the matter. As with any Middle East resolution, this one will follow the same pattern. Dispute over borders will divide Israel and Lebanon, Hezbollah, or another group like it, will rise and cause trouble. And let us not forget that Hamas is still in control of the Palestinian Authority, and that Hamas promotes violence in the elimination of Israel.

So, let me translate this resolution for you in three simple words: "Blah, blah, blah."