Religion, God, Judgement, Armor, Alito

Only have time for a quick glance around the internet (I hate when real life interferes with my reading!) but thought I’d pass these nuggets on -

Religion is bothering a lot of the secularists, lately, as Alexandra points out in her excellent piece, but it’s not bothering the Russians, who are all too familiar with the socialist-secularist ideal. they are re-embracing church and bringing their icons up in space with them.

James Gannon discovers the link between God and Demographics in Europe, about which Pope Benedict XVI recently said:

“Europe is infected by a strange lack of desire for the future. Children, our future, are perceived as a threat to the present, as though they were taking something away from our lives. Children are seen – at least by some people – as a liability rather than as a source of hope. Here it is obligatory to compare today’s situation with the decline of the Roman Empire.”

Possibly the Culture of Death has something to do with it.

Speaking of death, there is still some question over who is serious about defeating terrorism and who is not. Mark Steyn is the must-read on it, and this piece from Ralph Peters is a take-no-prisoners look at exactly which side some folks are on.

The pope, who has clearly been busy, calls terrorism a moral perversion, btw.

Midwest Conservative makes note of what is happening to the churches which over-embrace the times.

I note that Sen. Clinton, who has had nothing, nothing at all to say about any issue which might not be deemed “safe” – like for instance Able Danger, or the NSA security leaks, or the fact that CIA spyjails were opened up (and it was a good thing) under her husband’s watch, has found something she can comment on with some assurance that it carries no risks – she’s using “feelings rhetoric” about body armor. The body armor situation with our military is “unforgivable…” not “troubling,” she moves right into the absolute-moral-authority-God-language: unforgivable!. God might have mercy, but Hillary Clinton does not.

“This is Bush/Cheney policy. … I’ve been one of the leading critics pointing out all the failures, the incompetencies,” Clinton said. “I am just bewildered as to how this president and this vice president continue to isolate themselves from different point of views. He’s [President Bush has] got three more years in office. Some of us wish this wasn’t the case.”

That’s our girl! What a statesman! That’s really a centrist statement, too!

Hindsight is always useful, so is couldawouldashouldaing. I imagine our sailors on the USS Cole would have been a lot safer if intelligence about dangers in Yemen had been heeded, too, Mrs. Clinton. It’s an imperfect world. The Cole sailors, and many embassy workers, died while we were wallowing in Clintonian “peace and prosperity.” If only we’d put on a “war” mentality when AlQ was attacking our interests every 20 months or so…maybe things would be very different – everywhere – today. Ah, well. All we can do is look back in anger and point all of our fingers and toes at President Bush.

Not that Sen. Clinton or her press would notice, or care, but the soldiers IN THE FIELD (who were not polled in the “secret” pentagon study” are are questioning the use and need for more armor.

U.S. soldiers in the field were not all supportive of a Pentagon study that found improved body armor saves lives, with some troops arguing Saturday that more armor would hinder combat effectiveness.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade “Rakkasans” are required to wear an array of protective clothing they refer to as their “happy gear,” ranging from Kevlar drapes over their shoulders and sides, to knee pads and fire-resistant uniforms.

But many soldiers say they feel encumbered by the weight and restricted by fabric that does not move as they do. They frequently joke as they strap on their equipment before a patrol, and express relief when they return and peel it off.

Second Lt. Josh Suthoff, 23, of Jefferson City, Miss., said he already sacrifices enough movement when he wears the equipment. More armor would only increase his chances of getting killed, he said.

“You can slap body armor on all you want, but it’s not going to help anything. When it’s your time, it’s your time,” said Suthoff, a platoon leader in the brigade’s 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment. “I’d go out with less body armor if I could.”

Well, Lt. Suthoff, we thank you for your service, and admire your mettle, but we’d just as soon have you wear what’s required, if it’s allt he same. Every loss of life is tragic and we’d like as many of you guys to live as possible. But…yes, we can understand why you might not want to try to do your job decked out like this.

Overall, I’ll take the assessment of a man on the ground in battle over the assessment of anyone sitting around trying to play politics with any issue they can find.

And also, again not that Mrs. Clinton or her press (which GAVE her this issue, btw) would care, but Confederate Yankee gave the definitive smackdown to the armor-anger which Mrs. Clinton is trying to now spin.

Interceptor armor is relatively new, first being deployed in 1999 as a two-part system, made up of a flexible tactical vest and armor plate inserts. The vest itself is a tactical weave that will stop much shrapnel and pistol bullets up to 9mm on its own, but it will not stop any rifle bullet, nor some shrapnel. The second component of the Interceptor system is a hard 10″x12″ ceramic armor plate known as Small Arms Protective Inserts (SAPIs) that can withstand multiple strikes from most, but no all rifle cartridges encountered on the modern battlefield.

The Interceptor system used by the Marines (details here) is a marked improvement over the previous PASGT vest, and is available in five sizes. The upgraded version of the Interceptor, which started being deployed in March of 2005, increased the protection with the addition of some side and upper arm protection and can be viewed here (PDF).

He has more, and lots of interesting comments, too.

This soldier doesn’t think much of all the hoo-ha about armor.

Meanwhile, some troops in Africa are fighting AlQaeda in a different way, altogether.

Kobayshi Maru has a long and passionate piece on Saddam and AlQaeda that you’ll want to read. Then you’ll want to read Sigmund expound on it.

Speaking of war, Julie at Happy Catholic has a blurb up about what sounds like a really interesting old book: Game of Fox and Lion, published in 1986, and now apparently out-of-print.

Game of Fox and Lion
by Robert Chase

Benedict paused as if contemplating the full extent of the scene he had described. “Nobody wanted war. All were acting in what they perceived to be their best interests. Yet their perceptions were so warped by their sins — you don’t like that word, Chiang. Most of us don’t. Perhaps I should date my conversion from the instant I realized that moral theology gave a more accurate account of human conduct than any school of psychology, because it understood that the basis of evil is intentional self-delusion.”


Not exactly the sort of statement that we are used to reading in science fiction, is it? However, this riveting book has the Church and Catholic teachings in the background the entire time, although they are rarely expounded upon as in the above excerpt.

Jon Lei Chiang, a powerful leader, kidnaps the last of the specially enhanced Multi-Neural Capacitants, Paul Niccolo Renard. Renard had joined an order of terraforming monks as Brother Benedict which is the first of the unexpected twists that Chiang experiences. In indenture to Chiang, Benedict must help him win a war against both his political enemies and also against the Bestials who are warring with human civilization. The Bestials also are “enhanced” humans who have been changed so much that there is much argument over whether they can be considered to be human or not.

When Julie makes a book recommendation, I listen! And this one can be bought used, for a penny, via Amazon (see my sidebar). I’m happy to see that Julie is also enjoying another sadly-out-of-print book (this time on my recommendation) Leo Rosten’s gem-like collection of essays, People I Have Loved, Known or Admired. Also available for a penny…and it’s a treasure trove at any price.

On the Alito front, Bernard Higgins has a yummy and fun round-up of the goings on! Great stuff. Powerline also has one good piece after another so keep scrolling. Maxed Out Mama is appalled at the ignorance – or slyness of Dick Durbin:

Durbin is either a fool or a liar. He may be both. That does not mean that we must accept this nonsense or must be respectful of it. He is misusing his high office, and as a people, we deserve better than this.

She’s right, we do. Unfortunately, there are lots of folks on the left who are quite happy to live in this strange make-believe land where history does not matter.

Also, supposedly even reporters are no longer taking Ted Kennedy seriously. Well…that only took, what…thirty years?

Gateway Pundit writes that after one month of attack ads, America likes Sam even more. He also has pieces on Iran and Education, so you’ll want to scroll down, there, as well.

Michelle Malkin – as ever – has the definitive round-up of Alito pieces you might not see linked to elsewhere. I like this piece by Baseball Crank a lot.

Finally, Desperate Irish Housewife Meets some extraordinary folks talking about The DaVinci Code.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://benedictinesisters.org tmt

    Over at Biglizardblog he had described Kennedy as Ted Kennedy (D-Margaritaville)and, for some reason, I’m still smiling at that one.


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