Luke 2: 1-14
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2: 1-14
The American Minute for December 25:
American Minute with Bill Federer
In the first six months of the Revolution, the Continental Army was driven back, out of New York, across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania.
The American troops dwindled from a high of nearly 20,000 volunteers down to barely 2000, and half of those were planning on leaving at the end of the year, when their six month enlistment would be over.
In a desperate act, Washington crossed the dangerous ice filled Delaware River in the freezing cold on Christmas Day evening, December 25, 1776, and attacked the Hessian mercenary troops at Trenton, who were not at their highest level of alertness due to the effects of their Christmas celebrations.
General Washington captured nearly a thousand of them, and ten days later captured 3,000 British at Princeton. Washington later wrote:
"The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this (the course of the war) that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations; but it will be time enough for me to turn Preacher when my present appointment ceases."
NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi feels vindicated:
Back in the 1980s, when conservative foreign policy interest was concentrated on forcing Soviet influence out of Latin America, conservative activists had a whole stack of quotes from Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega supporting other totalitarians around the globe. The left tried to laugh us off.
Well, check out this story from The Drudge Report:
Former Nicaraguan President Ortega Offers Support to Saddam Hussein
Fri Dec 19 2003 13:59:52 ET
Managua (dpa) - Former Nicaraguan president and leftist Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega Friday offered his full support to deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, whom he said was still president of Iraq "because he wasn't kicked out by his people but by a foreign intervention."
"We act on principles,'' Ortega said at a news conference. "We have shown solidarity with the people of Iraq and we continue to show solidarity with President Hussein, with whom a barbarity is being committed.''
Local press reports said Ortega, who was president of Nicaragua during the 1980s after the Sandinista rebels overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979, received generous financing from Hussein when he was in power in Iraq.
Ortega denied the reports Hussein gave him money during his trips to the Middle East.
Regarding prosecution of Hussein, Ortega said: "This is a president who has not been kicked out by his people, and in those conditions, it is not legitimate to open judicial proceedings.''
The corrupt Ortega was forced from power by a democratic election. I found him in his own "spider hole" shortly after his downfall when he visited Washington, D.C. The man who once was the darling of the American left (next to Castro, of course) spoke to less than 20 people in the basement of a church just up the street from where the NCPPR's office is now located. And, unknown to Ortega, about a quarter of the crowd consisted of conservative infiltrators!
From our executive director, David Almasi:
Here's just one example of why President Bush is inclined to nominate judges who adhere to a strict interpretation of the law, and why the liberals are opposing him to the degree that they are -- simply denying those nominees a simple up-or-down vote. The Washington Times reported on December 5, 2003 that D.C. City Council member Jack Evans (D) -- whose ward includes the White House -- has given up hope that Congress will allow D.C. to tax the salaries of out-of-staters who work in Washington. Since he believes our elected officials will not do his bidding, he is now placing his hopes for a "commuter tax" on a decision rendered by an appointed (and therefore virtually unaccountable) judge.
By the way, how would D.C. spend commuter tax dollars? Besides building a stadium in the hope of luring the current Montreal Expos baseball club to Washington, the city government recently put itself further into the birth control business by offering free condoms at taxpayer expense.
Thousands of French Muslims have gone to the street to protest Jacques Chirac's ban on head scarves, yarmulkes and crosses in French public schools.
Chirac apparently is afraid that a child in France might accidentally grow up with a conscience.
Based on what we've seen from France, he needn't worry.
The Washington Post report on the matter has this line:
"Chirac said a ban was needed because France's cherished tradition of secularism -- won a century ago when the separation of church and state was enshrined in the constitution -- was now under threat from rising Islamic militancy."
Forced secularism, to the Post, is something that is "won." And no, the sentence was not in an opinion column.
Liberals point to Bush's success with Libya as proof that Bush's foreign policy is a failure.
You're going to have to try harder, guys. Even your mothers won't fall for this line of reasoning.
The Leadership Institute has just completed a study of the giving patterns of business and association PACs for the 2001-02 election cycle. It's worth reading.
Among the very many tidbits contained within it:
Union PACs gave over 90 percent of their funding to Democrats.
Business PACs gave 64.4 percent of their funding to Republicans.
Jacques Chirac really, really hates manifestations of morality. He's now pushing for a law in France barring the wearing of headscarves by Muslims, yarmulkes by Jews and crosses by Christians in public schools.
Chirac believes France is a secular state and this secularism should be forced down the throats of the French populace.
Hey Jacques, why just bar clothing-related manifestations of religion? Why not all kinds? For example, if a student in a French public school respects his teachers and studies hard because his religion teaches him to respect authority, shouldn't he be forced to act up instead? And the children who don't bully other children because their religious instructors told them it's wrong -- why, bully away!
There's nothing special about clothing, after all. If betraying signs of religiosity through clothing choices is wrong, then it's truly wrong to manifest signs of religiosity in other ways as well. And thus, those French students who have been behaving themselves in school because their faith says they should should stop right now.
The U.S. State Department has protested this idiocy, saying it infringes on religious freedom. Good for the State Department.
I'd boycott French products over this, except we already boycotting everything from France for other reasons, so this particular boycott idea will have to get in line.
One thing I will say for Chirac. He's consistent. He didn't care about civil rights for Iraqis, and he doesn't care about them for the French, either. Just like Old Scratch.
The U.S. government is preparing to award $18 billion in contracts to help rebuild Iraq. But there's a catch. Companies based in countries that did not support U.S. liberation efforts - namely Russia, France and Germany - have been barred from bidding.
Horace Cooper, a member of The National Center's African-American leadership network Project 21, represents many other members in pointing out that this is not discriminatory, but rather a legitimate choice that honors those who risked their lives so that others may now be free:
"This is a sound and commonsense policy. It's very balanced and considered. It respects the American taxpayer, the American troops and their coalition partners while leaving an opening for others to play a role in rebuilding Iraq."
"These are American tax dollars we're talking about; our government, just like the governments of every country has always had the right to make the decisions for themselves how their resources will be expended. America and the coalition of the willing have spent blood and treasure to liberate Iraq, and will likely spend much more before we're finished. While no country has done as much as ours, only a few countries actively opposed us. Neither France, Germany - or any of the other countries where fine chocolates are made - have been billed for the cost of peace and security in Iraq, yet they benefit from our efforts."
"President Bush is to be commended for acknowledging that Americans and her allies in Iraq have worked to make the world more free and more secure."
Ed Haislmaier recommends an article in the German press defending Bush’s decision to limit bids on Iraq contracts to allies. The piece begins:
Reconstruction in Iraq has begun in earnest, but many European firms are being left out.It also says:
The United States government's decision to hand Iraqi reconstruction contracts to war allies has irked war opponents in "Old Europe." But they probably would have done the same.
When Europeans hand out development aid, they usually require the recipient to do his shopping with them. "Old Europe" also sulked less than a year ago when the "new Europeans" in Warsaw used EU funds to buy U.S. planes.
Why should Washington do things differently in the case of Iraq?
From our executive director, David Almasi:
I am one of the biggest supporters of private property rights out there, but let's call a Scrooge a Scrooge.
The Hall family owns a piece of property on Main Street in Edgartown, Massachusetts. The plot boasted a theater that burned in 1961, and the Hall family has yet to make good on plans to rebuild it. In the passing decades, people cleaned it up and turned it into park. The city leased the land from the Halls a number of years ago to make the park official. Now, the Halls are stipulating that the prominent 20-foot spruce that's decorated at Christmas must be removed because family patriarch Benjamin Hall, Jr. considers it a "religious icon." (See an article about it here.) If the city doesn't comply, the Halls may not renew the lease. And Hall implies he'll take a saw or an axe to it himself if he must.
As the property's owner, Hall does have the right to do anything he wants with the land. But to demand the removal of the tree -- not just a prohibition on decorating it -- shows the extent that anti-religious zealots will go these days.
First the Pledge of Allegiance. Now the Edgartown spruce. What's next?
Our Ed Haislmaier contributes this link and comment:
The AP Wire has the following (as Andrew Sullivan would call it), "money quote:
"In Tikrit, about 700 people rallied in the center of town Monday chanting 'Saddam is in our hearts, Saddam is in our blood.' U.S. soldiers and Iraqi policemen yelled back: 'Saddam is in our jail.'"
A good piece and wise advice, in my opinion, about how the Bush Administration should react to the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Russia.
The piece, by the Heritage Foundation's Ariel Cohen, concludes: "Russia now has a Duma that is more nationalist and less democratic. While emerging democracy is often a two-steps-forward, one-step-back proposition, it is in everyone's interest that Russia pursue civic society, free markets, and political liberty. The U.S. and the West should not hesitate to remind Moscow of this."
From Time.com, this tidbit from the interrogation of Saddam Hussein: "When offered a glass of water by his interrogators, Saddam replied, 'If I drink water I will have to go to the bathroom and how can I use the bathroom when my people are in bondage?'"
He hasn't been to the bathroom since April?
The Time story ends on this: "The official said it may soon be clear how much command and control over the insurgency Saddam actually had while he was in hiding. 'We can now determine,' he said, 'if [Saddam] is the mastermind of everything or not.' The official elaborated: 'Have we actually cut the head of the snake or is he just an idiot hiding in a hole?'"
Thanks to James Taranto's Best of the Web for pointing out this fascinating story.
It begins: "Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist..."
Words from Project 21 member Darryn “Dutch” Martin:
Cincinnati is afflicted with another case of police brutality/racismitis. This time, events were caught on tape (please see Project 21 member Jerry Brooks' analysis of the racial ramifications). I may sound cold-hearted, but I'll say it anyway: as unfortunate as the incident and subsequent death of Nathaniel Jones was, I have no sympathy for him.
Why? Consider the facts:
1. The guy was high on drugs (cocaine, PCP and methanol in his system), so a big strike against him there;
2. He resisted arrest (strike two); and
3. Given his medical condition -- an enlarged heart -- he should have exercised common sense by not committing the first two blunders.
Nathaniel Jones contributed to his own demise, plain and simple, but you'll never hear that from the police-hating racial mafia who saw this as a golden opportunity to once again stick it to law enforcement. Even worse is the fact that many blacks continue to buy into the lies, deceit and mind games of the modern-day black establishment.
When is the rest of the black community going to realize such self-appointed "leaders" are only concerned with advancing their own selfish political and personal agendas at their expense? Are we collectively that stupid!?