While the fortune teller entertains him, he is robbed from behind.

While the fortune teller entertains him, he is robbed from behind. “The Fortune Teller” by Simon Vouet (1590-1649).

When someone claims the ability to predict the future, they claim the ability to do the impossible. Then we have no choice except to suspect their honesty. Therefore, when someone offers to “read” your palm, shuffles a deck of Tarot cards, or puts a crystal ball on the table, we should protect our wallet and back off. Yet fortune tellers always entice some people. Frightened by the unknowable, we all want to believe, and some do. These stay to listen, and the rest of us are apt to smugly call them gullible.

Yet there is a different type of fortune teller who has almost no trouble getting everyone to listen.  Instead of predicting the future, these fortune tellers grandly proclaim as peerless the intelligence of hindsight. These speak with the perfect knowledge of the critic.

Want an example?

In hindsight, was invading Iraq and toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein a mistake? Here is probably the most famous answer to such blabbering critics.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. — Theodore Roosevelt from THE MAN IN THE ARENA

When as a nation, we decided to invade Iraq and end an evil tyrant’s bloodthirsty rule, we did so for many reasons, but we could not do so with perfect knowledge. Until the future becomes the past, except for what our Lord has blessed us to know, we must pray, guess, and hope for the best.

Accurate or not, President George W. Bush correctly used the intelligence given him, and our military forces succeeded in pacifying Iraq. Then the critics took over, and with increasing rapidity the Middle East is descending into chaos. Yet instead of trying to correct President Barack H. Obama’s obvious foolishness, the corporate-owned news media wants to grill Republican presidential candidates as if it were possible to know in the past what we know now. When we know that such perfection is impossible, questions solely based upon knowledge gained in hindsight do nothing but stupidly insult people who have dedicated their lives to serving us.

If you are one who wants to properly contemplate what it means to be a doer of deeds, please consider reading A Memorial Day Devotion for Christians.

Posted in Culture War, Information Warfare, Iraq, National Defense, news media bias, Philosophy, unraveling | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments


Here is what immigration is suppose to look like.

Here is what immigration is supposed to look like.

I need some help with two questions. So I am asking for it.  Please read the following story.

  • Can you explain to me why the illegal immigrants this story is about are not responsible for creating this mess?
  • Perhaps I am being too harsh, but why is The Washington Times, supposedly a Conservative newspaper, peddling this tearjerking nonsense?

Dysfunctional immigration enforcement system tears apart family

In the end, their flights almost overlapped: The 11-year-old boy on his way to the U.S., granted a one-year parole to escape violence in his home of El Salvador, arrived in Dallas just a week after his uncle, Elvin Marroquin Diaz, whose testimony helped earn the boy his parole, was deported back to El Salvador.

Now, just a few weeks later, it’s the boy’s father, Elmer Marroquin Quintanilla, who faces deportation this Thursday after federal immigration officials decided that despite having a family here, including two U.S. citizen children — the 11-year-old boy Alexis and 15-year-old Sylvia, who was raped on her own journey north from El Salvador — he still meets President Obama’s new priorities for being kicked out of the country.

It’s the latest twist in the case of the Marroquin family, which has seen major ups and downs, years where Alexis and Sylvia didn’t see their parents at all, several joyful reunions in the U.S. and now the possibility that two men in the family would be kicked out and shipped home within weeks of each other.

“Why would you separate a family that we just spent almost two years fighting hard and finally got permission to unite? That makes no sense whatsoever,” said Ralph Isenberg, founder of the Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment in Dallas, a help center that has taken on the family’s case.

Mr. Isenberg, who provided the information about the cases over the course of dozens of conversations stretching back more than a year, said he was making a last-ditch plea with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to stay Mr. Marroquin Quintanilla’s deportation, which is scheduled for Thursday.

ICE has already paid for a ticket on a commercial airline to send Mr. Marroquin Quintanilla back to El Salvador on Avianca Flight 441 Thursday afternoon, nonstop from Dallas to Sal Salvador.

The agency says the man is a target for deportation because of his checkered history. He was first caught sneaking into the U.S. in 2005 and issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge — though he was released to await that hearing. Five months later, he didn’t show up for the hearing, and a judge ordered him kicked out in absentia, ICE said. (continued here)

This is also an easy way to write a post.


Posted in Culture War, immigration | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments


There is a metaphor that remains popular. That is the vision of the United States as a “melting pot.” I don’t remember exactly when I first heard of this idea. I just know I was in school, and hearing it got my back up. As I saw it, the melting pot is a metaphor for losing ones individuality, for giving up ones values for the security of belonging to an amorphous mass, the majority.

Why bring this up now? The subject came of in one of comments to DON’T YOU THINK THEY KNEW THAT?.  scatterwisdom disliked Pamela Geller’s and her organization’s ‘Draw the Prophet’ Muhammad contest. Nevertheless, he considered it wise for our government to turn away Muslim immigrants.


May 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm

I look at this incident as a foolish decision made to provoke violence in the USA. In your example of a wolf and lamb, the lamb wandered astray instead of intentionally walking up to the hungry wolf and daring the wolf to eat him. Muslims are devout followers of a religious belief to kill anyone who disagrees with their religious beliefs. That is contrary to our Constitutional beliefs in free speech. and laws not to kill.

We know that and if we want to provoke them to kill us, they will do just that. In my opinion, since we know Muslims do not believe in our laws and morals, it would be wise for our government to not grant citizenship to any Muslims because of their contrary religious beliefs .

Regards and goodwill blogging.

I agree with ‘s belief that we should keep people with beliefs hostile to our nation’s values out of the country. However, Keith DeHavelle argued forcefully for assimilation (here). Therefore, in the following comments  and  had an interesting little discussion.

Ironically, the term assimilation suggests the rest of us are suppose to absorb new immigrants into our nation’s “body.” So I don’t like that metaphor either. As I see it, the United States is suppose to be about God-given rights. Here are each allowed the right to find our own way to God, and we have an obligation to turn away or confine anyone who will not allow others to exercise their rights life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Unfortunately, as a nation, we have no idea what to do about our immigration laws, and we have the definition of the term “rights” so confused that when we talk about “rights” we are all talking about different things. So what do we do? What do we do about the Muslims, the Hispanics, the Asians, and so forth? Where is the place where the descendants of those who came from western Europe will still be allowed to take pride in the accomplishments of those who went before us?

Posted in Culture War, immigration, Philosophy, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments


Here is the winning entry American Freedom Defense Initiative‘s ‘Draw the Prophet’ Muhammad contest.  What’s the problem with this?

H/T to Reformation at Keith DeHavelle. Keith has a great post on this, BTW.

Posted in Culture War, Information Warfare, news media bias, Philosophy, political cartoons, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


I honestly don’t much about Pamela Geller or her organization’s ‘Draw the Prophet’ Muhammad contest.  Since I have been busy I heard about this story, Texas officer saved lives in shooting outside Muhammad cartoon contest, police say, belatedly. So when I finally got around to reading this editorial, “Extremists collide in Texas: Our view (www.usatoday.com),”  I was just barely able to put the controversy in its proper context.

A terrorist slaughter was narrowly averted in Texas on Sunday by a combination of sound planning and blind luck. But the circumstances point to a deeper and sure-to-recur problem — a collision of extremes that can’t be completely controlled in a free society.

On one side in the harrowing incident was the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Muslim group based in New York with a history of provocation. It invited trouble in the most transparent way possible — by staging a high-profile event to draw cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. The group knew, of course, that such cartoons — gravely offensive to most Muslims — have repeatedly caused mayhem in Europe, most notably in the slaughter of 12 people, including cartoonists and journalists, at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. But AFDI went ahead anyway. (continued here)

Perhaps I have not been paying enough attention, but the reaction of some folks puzzled me.

  • Why do journalists equate the “extremism” of drawing pictures of someone who started pushing daisies over a thousand years ago with machine gunning real, live, unarmed citizens?
  • When did the corporate news media start considering it extremist to draw pictures that might antagonize anyone?
  • The point of the contest was to demonstrate that Muslims have no right to suppress free speech. Nevertheless, two Muslims tried to suppress free speech. So why did so many editorials pretend that is not the core of the problem?
  • Instead of linking to American Freedom Defense Initiative‘s website, USA Today linked to the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s hate map. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls organizations who just dare disagree with its policies extremists and hate groups. Why is it okay for that organization to be so provocative?

It use to be that we often spoke of journalistic crusades, but that term, “crusade,” no longer gets much use in the news media. Ostensibly, they don’t want to be insensitive (except to polite folk, who don’t consider it proper to terrorize other people). Are the folks in the corporate news media actually that cowardly? Have we seen the last of the true crusades from the American news media?

Posted in Culture War, Information Warfare, news media bias, unraveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments