ANOTHER OLD-CALENDAR MIRACLE? I can’t confirm the…

ANOTHER OLD-CALENDAR MIRACLE?

I can’t confirm the date this occurred, but since the Jerusalem Patriarchate is on the Old Calendar, I would presume it was OC Theophany, January 19 of this year:

“The Biblical Miracle Recurs on the Jordan During Theophany, 2006,” from The Orthodox Herald, July 2006, p. 21, col. 3:

As reported in Moscow, on January 24, 2006, on the website Interfax, some five thousand pilgrims from various countries became witnesses to a sign that appeared on the holy river of Jordan on Theophany.

Immediately after Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem performed the rite of the blessing of water, the Jordan boiled up and began to flow back just as it happened after the baptism of Christ, the Zhizn (Life) daily writes.

Right after silver crosses were thrown into its calm waters after the prayer, the river boiled up. A maelstrom developed and the current flowed back for several minutes.

An ecstatic cry of five thousand people resounded over the Jewish desert. {Probably they mean the Judean Desert. -LP} People refused to believe their own eyes, just as they did two thousand years {ago} when the Jordan turned its current after Jesus Christ entered its waters, the newspaper writes.

from “Orthodox Life”

PS: I heartily endorse The Orthodox Herald for homey, informative information about Orthodoxy, without too much politics.

BUSH NOW RULING BY DECREE, APPROPRIATING TAXPAYER …

BUSH NOW RULING BY DECREE, APPROPRIATING TAXPAYER MONEY WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL

If we didn’t have a dictatorship before, we sure do now! But they still keep it secret….

THEY’RE EVEN STEALING LOCAL ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIE…

THEY’RE EVEN STEALING LOCAL ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES NOW!

This news from Main Street Moms:
“Or consider the pollworkers of Dallas County who were called upon again and again by confused voters who saw their straight party ticket vote switch to the other party on touchscreen voting machines. One pollworker there documented the experience, an important part of restoring transparency to this compromised process.”

THE SOLUTION TO THE IMMIGRATION CONTROVERSY is of…

THE SOLUTION TO THE IMMIGRATION CONTROVERSY

is offered by the AFL-CIO.

THE "STACKERS UNION," BURGER KING? Little People,…

THE “STACKERS UNION,” BURGER KING?

Little People, union members and supporters, other working-class people, BK employees in general, in fact, anybody who works for a living, or has arteries, or a colon, should feel supremely insulted by this latest BK development. Both the sandwiches, and the ad campaign.

Here’s what happens when American BK employees really try to unionize….

Let’s make the Stacker Sandwich history!

Then again, maybe it’ll embolden BK workers to organize….

ISRAEL INVADED LEBANON ON SATURDAY? They really a…

ISRAEL INVADED LEBANON ON SATURDAY?

They really are heretics, even to their own faith.

WHAT MSM, BUSH, AND ISRAEL AREN’T TELLING YOU ABOU…

BLACKOUTS Why is it taking so long to restore pow…

BLACKOUTS

Why is it taking so long to restore power to so many places and people hit by storms last week?!?!?! Is it the end of civilization as we know it?

U.S. RE-ARMING ISRAEL This won’t recruit more ant…

U.S. RE-ARMING ISRAEL

This won’t recruit more anti-American terrorists, will it! When it comes to Israel, Washington just really abandons all consideration of U.S. interests, doesn’t it. If that ain’t “treason”….

If Bush really had a moral bone in his body, he’d at least hold-up further arms shipments to Israel. But apparently in America “morality” and “Christian values” only extend to sex, evolution, and Armageddon.

Why don’t we just deliver them directly to central Beirut and save Israel the trouble!

Add “aiding and abetting Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity” to the 700-some laws the Bushies have broken!

HARPER PARROTS BUSH ON ISRAEL-LEBANON Blows Canad…

HARPER PARROTS BUSH ON ISRAEL-LEBANON

Blows Canadian credibility in Mideast, a dramatic change in Canadian foreign policy by a tiny minority government. This surely wasn’t in their platform….

W. CURSES CONSTITUTION Let’s curse him. Impeach …

W. CURSES CONSTITUTION

Let’s curse him. Impeach Bush/Cheney now, give the White House to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

NEW INFORMATION I did not realize that Hezbollah …

NEW INFORMATION

I did not realize that Hezbollah has been lobbing missiles into northern Israel since the Israelis ended their illegal occupation of southern Lebanon; and I did not remember that Hezbollah as a political party is now part of the Lebanese cabinet.

A proportionate, discriminate response by Israel to the missiles and the recent deaths and two prisoners taken from their army by Hezbollah, would have been to send in teams of commandos to round up criminal suspects for trial and rescue the prisoners. Nobody – apparently not even Lebanon – would fault them for doing that, despite the technical violation of Lebanese sovereignty involved. Israel used to have the best commandos in the world: remember Entebbe? They must not anymore, because now they just go after alleged criminals in Gaza, West Bank, and Lebanon with a big club, not caring what innocent parties are killed or unnecessary damage is done to homes, hospitals, government services, local police services, or infrastructure. It’s as if they want to recruit more terrorists, as if they like to suffer. Some people are like that, but it’s a hell of a way to run a country, especially one that claims to be an island of liberal democracy in a sea of Islamic terror.

And this arresting of Palestinian government officials has got to stop. Not even countries at war do that. Doesn’t matter if they’re Hamas, Fatah, or Greens; they are the democratically-elected leaders of the Palestinian people. And the destruction of Palestinian government offices and buildings is barbaric.

But Israel has proven time and again that it is not a responsible international player. I stand by my recommendation that the whole world must step in, in force, to end the Mideast conflict – both sides of it. There may be criminal Palestinians, but Israel is a criminal State.

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON IN IRAQ? Go to page 12 of …

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON IN IRAQ?

Go to page 12 of this PDF for an article that alleges there is NO significant “reconstruction” going on but significant DEstruction, outsider assassinations of Iraqi professionals, massive corruption and looting of the country, construction of huge permanent U.S. bases, an intentionally-divisive civil war myth, outside “mercenaries” provoking artificial Sunni-Shia conflict for the benefit of the U.S. occupation, and the following conclusion:

Today’s conflict is political, not faithbased as the mainstream media are trying to say falsely. This war started with lies, and continued with more lies. The American people have to open their eyes and minds to stop crimes committed in Iraq under the banner of ‘liberation’ of Iraq.

“What is the solution? Let Iraqi leaders sit together, without interference of the American administration, to establish a unity national {sic} government, to train new Iraqi army and police. Create a time schedule to pull out the troops, and at the same time, stop building bases in Iraq. Fix what has been destroyed by paying compensation to Iraqis. We can rebuild our country by our own hands.

“Leave Iraq for Iraqis.”

THE SOLUTION TO THE MIDDLE EAST PROBLEM Israel vs…

THE SOLUTION TO THE MIDDLE EAST PROBLEM

Israel vs. Lebanon. Israel vs. Palestinians. Israel vs. Syria. Israel vs. Iran. Israel vs. the UN.

What’s the common denominator here? ISRAEL!

I think it’s way past time the international community took action to nip in the bud the whole ongoing Middle East crisis lo these 59 years: An international Police Action to push Israel back within its pre-1967, internationally-recognized borders, and end the threat it poses to its neighbors. Israel is an outlaw State. To let it “negotiate” regarding its illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian Territories has been exceedingly generous of the international community. But Israel has not shown good faith in “negotiating.” It’s time for an ultimatum: Withdraw, give up nuclear weapons, and renounce the policy of invading and threatening its neighbors, or face large-scale military action.

I don’t pretend the United States regime will let such an action be approved by the UN Security Council. But forcing a US veto would put the US squarely on the record as a big part of the problem in the Middle East. (As if there were any doubt.) So the action must be proposed. So here is what I propose:

This is clearly something the Arab countries by themselves can’t pull off, or they would have years ago. So it really has to be a Korea-scale, global effort.

The United Nations Middle East Police Force (UNMEPF) – with permission of the countries involved, of course – masses troops in northern Lebanon, southern Syria, western Jordan, and the Egyptian Sinai, with sea and air cover in the Mediterranean and Red Seas. This may require several hundred thousand land troops, prepared to meet any possible resistance posed by Israel or its opponents.

If Israel hasn’t withdrawn by the deadline, air forces implement a no-fly zone over Israel (barring both planes and helicopter gunships), sea forces a blockade to end delivery of weapons and money to Israel, and land forces converge on Israel’s northern and southern borders, the Gaza border with Egypt, the Golan Heights line of control, and the east bank of the Jordan Valley. At the same time, the forces in southern Lebanon disarm all armed groups there, and round-up criminal suspects, with Lebanese assistance, for prosecution.

Then land forces enter the Golan Heights, Gaza, and the West Bank. The Heights should remain an internationally-occupied neutral zone between Israel and Syria, with a permanent UN force there not subject to dismissal by Israel or Syria. Israeli settlers there need to be evicted. In Gaza, UNMEPF disarms all armed groups and rounds-up criminal suspects, with the assistance of the Palestinian National Authority, for prosecution. It also begins what will probably by that point have to be one of the most massive humanitarian aid missions in history. And in the West Bank, UN forces disarm and evict illegal Israeli settlers – including those in illegally-annexed areas – and disarm and arrest Palestinian armed factions for prosecution. All the while safeguarding Jewish, Muslim, and Christian holy sites from all attack. Those parts of the West Bank Wall encroaching on illegally-held territory are dismantled, and UNMEPF takes up positions at the internationally-recognized border, including in the Old City of (East) Jerusalem.

At the same time, UN commandos enter Israel Proper and seek to neutralize Israel’s nuclear threat. UNMEPF should only enter, or project land force into, Israel Proper, in self-defense or in defense of populations falling under Israeli attack.

The Police Action probably shouldn’t include armed forces from Arab or Muslim states, except by Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian, and Egyptian forces up to their own borders. But local tactical and logistic advisors, humanitarian aiders, cultural advisors, and translators will of course be necessary. It also probably shouldn’t be more than half drawn from Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, to avoid the appearance of a Christian “Crusade.” So it will require lots of support from Latin America, North and East Asia, and non-Muslim Africa. (Probably not India, either, because of that country’s Muslim conflicts.)

Like the Korean Police Action, this could all take a very long time for the acreage, and be very destructive. Alot of humanitarian aid will probably also be needed in the West Bank. But the alternative seems to be worldwide Armageddon.

Probably the international community should impose permanent international occupation and control of the Old City of (East) Jerusalem, again, not subject to dismissal by Israel or Palestine. If either country wishes to make it their capital, it should be on a non-exclusive, and non-militarized (by them), basis.

Palestinian freedom of movement between the West Bank and Gaza will need to be secured.

Palestinian refugees should be encouraged to return to the West Bank and Gaza – and emigrants overseas too – and a financial settlement should be exacted from Israel for those not being permitted to return to Israel Proper, in lieu of a Palestinian Right of Return there.

UN forces and humanitarian aiders should remain in the West Bank, Gaza, and south Lebanon, as long as the UN believes it is necessary, not subject to dismissal by the PA or the Lebanese. Though as the PA and Lebanon build up professional, and professionally-run, police and military forces, UN forces may withdraw to the border regions.

The no-fly zone over Israel Proper, and the sea blockade, should remain, with modifications after the cessation of active hostilities, until conditions in Israel warrant their lifting.

And Iran and Syria should be “strongly encouraged” to end support for Palestinian resistance groups, and Iran should be “strongly encouraged” to accept overseas processing of uranium for its nuclear power plants, to prevent it from obtaining the Bomb.

Israel and its neighbors (that haven’t already) should be “strongly encouraged” to – in real good faith – reach final peace settlements guaranteeing each other’s borders, security, and other issues. And Israel and Palestine must guarantee full reasonable access of unarmed pilgrims to Muslim, Jewish, and Christian holy sites remaining under their respective control.

Any demilitarized or neutral zone between Israel and Palestine must take land equally from both, except in Gaza, given the shortage of land there.

DISPROPORTIONATE, INDISCRIMINATE ISRAELI ATTACK ON…

DISPROPORTIONATE, INDISCRIMINATE ISRAELI ATTACK ON GAZA

IOW, immoral and illegal under Western standards.

BTW, Olmert used the word “war.” So do you think the Law of War applies? Olmert is a worthy successor to the Butcher of Sabra and Shatila.

BREAST-IRONING IN CAMEROON Mothers and girls feel…

BREAST-IRONING IN CAMEROON

Mothers and girls feel forced into it by the men and “boys” around them. F*ck “cultural relativism”!

(BTW, as a non-Canadian, I’m not allowed to donate to the New Democratic Party, but U.S.-based Focus on the Family is allowed to employ a multimillion-dollar “war chest” to influence Canadian politics? Where’s the justice in that?)

IS IRAQ UNWINNABLE? Apologists for the war in Ira…

IS IRAQ UNWINNABLE?

Apologists for the war in Iraq continually conflate it with the so-called War on Terrorism, and equate falling short of expectations in Iraq with failure against “Terror.” They also equate opposition to the war in Iraq with opposition to the so-called War on Terror. Let’s be clear about a few things. The so-called War on Terrorism isn’t a war, it’s a metaphor. “Terrorism” isn’t a State, it isn’t a Superstate, it isn’t an Empire, it’s militant action against civilian targets with the purpose of bringing about political change, that is, either a change in policy or a change in policymakers. So the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers were acts of terrorism. Technically the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was only an act of terrorism because it commandeered a civilian airliner; the Pentagon itself was a military target. The allegedly planned 9/11 attack on the Capitol or the White House falls into a grey area: although in our Constitution civilian targets, they sit at the apex of the U.S. military command structure. (Let’s also be clear that seeking to understand terrorism and terrorists as far as they can be understood, is far from endorsing anything they do. I personally oppose all unauthorized violence, and much of the authorized kind too.)

Terrorists are persons, organizations, and arguably, States, that carry out, seriously plan to carry out, or assist terrorism as defined above. (An example of State terrorism is when the State of Israel carries out militant action against innocent Palestinian civilian targets with the purpose of bringing about political change among the Palestinians. But Israel is far from the first terrorist State in world history. Arguably any use of weapons of mass destruction, since by definition they can’t discriminate between military and civilian targets in the affected area, is terrorism, including the World War Two carpet-bombings of cities in Germany and Japan by the Allies, and the “nuculer” attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. In the Western legal tradition no amount of supposed good effect can justify such evil.) The particular terrorists targeted by the so-called War on Terror are militant Islamists and their material supporters suspected in the 9/11 plots and attacks, and subsequent ones, up to the present, against “Western” (properly civilian) targets outside of Iraq, the Persian Gulf region, Israel and its (illegally-) Occupied Territories, especially a loosely-organized but well-funded international movement calling itself al-Qaeda. They are members of an alleged criminal conspiracy. It’s not proper to speak of “war” against criminal persons and organizations, only States. What you do against criminal persons and organizations is act against them in the manner of police, whether the action is done by actual police and criminal investigators, or by the armed forces, of one or more nations, preferably including Arab and Muslim nations. The only aspect of the “War on Terror” that so far has been an actual war is, of course, the international invasion of Afghanistan, the overthrow of its Taliban government, and the ongoing pursuit of alleged al-Qaeda leaders and participants in and near that country. The Taliban earned the opprobrium of the world finally for harboring and appearing to give assistance to the suspected terrorists, and not arresting them and turning them over to the United States as requested under international law as criminal suspects in the 9/11 attacks. Arguably, the war in Afghanistan is a “police action” similar in nature to the Korean War. (This, however, does not justify the rounding-up of thousands of Afghan and pro-Taliban resistance fighters there and their imprisonment in Cuba outside all legal cover and process, or their torture anywhere in the world, both in violation not only of international law but also the U.S. Constitution and law. Remember, attacks on military targets are not terrorism; they’re something else.)

Let’s be clear that almost nobody publicly opposes international police activity as such against terrorist suspects or serious conspirators, including the international presence in Afghanistan, as long as we follow our own rules and international law, and don’t degrade ourselves and the societies we purport to be defending, in so doing. Those who ask uncomfortable questions about 9/11 are asking just that: Did the U.S. and possibly other governments do their jobs, or did they do something else? And those who ask such questions aren’t disloyal, they are the best form of loyal, in that they seek to uphold what we all purport to uphold, even at times such as this when it’s not easy.

The invasion of Iraq, on the other hand, had nothing to do with 9/11, al-Qaeda, or extant Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Iraq posed no threat, imminent or otherwise, to any other country. The world was lied to, especially by the Bush and Blair regimes. The invasion of Iraq was, therefore, a war of aggression, illegal under international law, and immoral, unjust, and unjustifiable in the Western tradition. Evidence even suggests it was a Bush family vendetta against President Hussein personally – “He tried to kill my daddy!” – and that it was planned by the Bush/Cheney campaign even before they were “elected” in 2000. The ouster of President Hussein – guilty prima facie of crimes against humanity – was an illegal coup d’etat, an overthrow by foreign powers just because they didn’t like him. The invasion was also ill-advised, considering the occupation by US and UK forces with matters in Afghanistan, Iraq’s location at or near the heart of the Muslim world, and its status (before the invasion, and more so before Gulf War I) as a fairly modern State. In fact, Iraq has become a cause celebre throughout the Muslim world, a major recruiting tool for would-be terrorists internationally, and an important training ground for them, as al-Qaeda has joined the resistance to the (mainly US and UK) Occupation. The Occupation has also gotten out of control on more than one occasion, witness the torture and abuses of prisoners in Iraq, the kidnapping of resistance suspects’ wives, and the alleged massacres of innocent civilians by enraged Occupation Forces. Since “the liberation of Kuwait has begun,” hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children have died from “collateral damage” (a perfectly traditional moral term describing accidental, unintended death and injury which “the Coalition” made every attempt to avoid), Coalition sloppiness and negligence, economic sanctions (imperfect though they were), torture, abuse, and alleged war crimes.

Be all of that as it may, Iraq has effectively become, as someone else has called it, Terrorist Central. (This nickname must be considered geopolitically, since technically, as we have pointed out, resistance guerilla warfare against Occupation targets does not constitute terrorism, but something else, no matter how many times the U.S. administration likes to use the word.) But the only way to put that down would be to reestablish a police state in Iraq – or transform it into America or Britain – something of which not even the Coalition has proved capable (or desirous), nevermind the new Iraqi leaders themselves. In fact, the current situation in Iraq bears all the characteristics of a (unofficial) three-way civil war among Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. In any case, George W. Bush’s “fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” doctrine is naïve; as if all the world’s Islamist terrorists are being drawn to Iraq – a supposition disproven in recent days in the United States and Canada both (if charges pressed by their respective governments are correct). Even if Iraq were secured, al-Qaeda would simply return to the more amorphous international existence which it possessed before it sought refuge in Afghanistan. So today’s “Terrorist Central” is at best marginal to the so-called War on Terrorism, and such considerations would be irrelevant to calculations of how much longer the Coalition – or the United States, anyway – should or can remain in Iraq.

And that’s where I’m torn. Although the invasion was illegal and immoral, we’ve created a situation in Iraq, and we have a certain moral responsibility to try to fix it, as long as the legitimized government there will have us. The question is, can we fix it? It seems when the Occupation secures one area, resistance flares up elsewhere, and when they redeploy, the secured area flares up again; it’s like the carnival game Whack-a-Mole. Iraq’s own police and military forces are only very slowly forming up, and they may in fact be corrupted by the factionalism that is descending on the country. It seems our purpose in Iraq can only be secured by a dramatic increase of our own forces there, to several times current levels. And given the exhaustion of U.S. Reserve and National Guard forces after multiple tours there, the only alternative may be reinstituting the draft. And while an actual draft may improve in some ways on the Poverty Draft we currently have going on, it seems politically infeasible. In any case, it’s unclear that a drastic increase in American forces would even be welcome by the Iraqi government.

So Bush/Cheney may have bitten off more than we can chew. Iraq may in fact be unwinnable, as Congressman Jack Murtha and other experts have said. But this should have no bearing on our continued pursuit of actual militant Islamist terrorist suspects and serious conspirators elsewhere around the world.

(I keep saying serious conspirators to distinguish them from people on phones and websites and in email who are just, as we Irish say, shooting off their mouths. To prosecute them would be the ultimate in “thought crime”-persecution ordinarily – and ironically – so repugnant to American conservatives.)

Of course, some of the people who conflate the “War on Terror” and the war in Iraq would require us to bow down to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld etc., right or wrong. Some of those people are honestly mistaken, but some are disingenuous, whose number one purpose is that the Dictatorship stand till the end of time. And some of them seek to usher in the end of time through nuclear war, accelerated global warming, exhaustion of hydrocarbon resources, a global “Christian” Crusade against all Islam, even a pro-Israel Battle of Armageddon. But if America is truly to have any future in any recognizable form, Bush and Cheney must be simultaneously impeached, and simultaneously removed from office. The Speaker of the House of Representatives must succeed to the Presidency, and all key officials of the present illegitimate administration must be criminally charged, tried, and imprisoned for violations of domestic law, the Constitution, and international law.

Doing so won’t show weakness, but strength.

THE ALPHABET SONG IS A FRENCH FOLK-TUNE?!! Don’t …

HAPPY CANADA DAY, EH? Although it’s inaccurate to…

HAPPY CANADA DAY, EH?

Although it’s inaccurate to call it that, since Canada as a place pre-dated Confederation, the historic event celebrated today. The old name of Dominion Day was more accurate, since confederation created the Dominion of Canada. They could just as easily call it Confederation Day, but as a Monarchist, I prefer Dominion Day! Dominion Day really says it all, and is the most comprehensive. After all, Canada’s not a republic!

GEORGE THE W = CHARLES THE FIRST? Der Bushenmeist…

GEORGE THE W = CHARLES THE FIRST?

Der Bushenmeisterfuhrer’s totally unconstitutionalsigning statements” often say he’s not going to enforce the laws of Congress that he actually signs into law, or he’s going to selectively enforce them. Such picking-and-choosing cost England’s King Charles I not only his job, but his head! And HE had a more democratic mandate than W!