Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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Location: Virginia

I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

Free Kareem

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Illegal to Fire Illegal Immigrants

The next chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has opened a window to the absurd lengths the Democrats will go to protect their newest constituency, illegal immigrants. Cintas Corp. which has 32.000 employees, has issued a warning that it will suspend anyone who has an incorrect social security number that cannot be verified in 60 days. According to the law companies that knowingly employ people with incorrect SSNs are liable to stiff penalties. Mississippi Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson wishes to prevent Cintas from complying with the law by threatening them with violations of other unspecified laws.

Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a letter to Cintas Corp. it could be charged with "illegal activities in violation of state and federal law" if any of its 32,000 employees are terminated because they gave incorrect Social Security numbers to be hired.

"I am deeply troubled by Cintas' recent policy change regarding the Social Security Administration's 'no match' letters," Mr. Thompson said in the Nov. 2 letter. "It is my understanding that hundreds of Cintas' immigrant workers have received these letters. I am extremely concerned about any potentially discriminatory actions targeting this community."

He should be deeply troubled about is inability to think logically. Then logically he is just protecting what he sees as the next big voting block. That is also why he wants to "revisit" the 400 mile fence on the Mexican border. Representative my eye. He does not represent the citizens of his district if he is so hot to curry favor of people who are here illegally.




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Monday, November 27, 2006

My Workout

This not a picture of me.
In my Thanksgiving post I mentioned how grateful I am for having learned how to workout. A friend has asked what that is. It amounts to having a philosophy, a goal and a plan. By reading many sources I have formed a workout that is baring fruit. The three that have most influenced me are Gym Jones, Dan John and Alwyn Cosgrove.

Gym Jones is a site full of articles on building strength for a purpose. There is little there to give one an idea about what is right for them, but it will inspire one to realize that one can find out.

Alwyn Cosgrove has taken a very practical approach using the data he has gleaned from training many clients at his gym in California. One article that should be read by anyone who is looking to start out is his Developing a Training Philosophy at T-Nation.

I'll throw out some theoretical numbers here. Probably around 80-90% of the population, 80-90% of the time, will respond best to total body workouts. And I'd say that maybe 90-95% of the population, 90-95% of the time, will respond best to either total body or an upper and lower split.

This is a significant statement. It fits well with the very direct information from Dan John. His site is a wealth of articels on simply getting stronger. Lots of stuff for a beginner such as myself. His mission is simple.

1. The body is one piece
2. There are three kinds of strength training
  • Putting weight overhead
  • Picking it off the ground
  • Carrying it for time and distance.
3. All training is complimentary.

From his site I chose a workout that gave me a place to start with a built in method for determining when to add weight to the bar. It goes like this:

I do a clean then from that position I do a military press. With the bar back at my chest I do a front squat. Three exercises in one. I repeat this in three sets. The first has 8 reps, the second six and the last 4. All reps must be with good form. When I can do every rep in good form at the current weight I add ten pounds the next time I do the workout. In a short ten minute workout I have done my full body and I'm very tired.

My philosophy is lift heavy but not so much that form suffers.

My goal is to get stronger. To be able to overhead squat my body weight. Look it up. It's not going to happen for a long time to come. I want to still be able to do so when I am 80.

My plan is to do a little, often, for a long time. A few exercises done properly, adding weight when necessary, over the long haul to produce regular results.

It is essential to keep a log of each workout. Here is a sample from mine:

September 27, 2006

Weight 226

8-6-4 105# Clean/Press/Front squat

2 X 10 Kettle bell swings 45#

Several Squats were bad, generally went good had strong finish. Did 10 squats at 15# to check form. Need to do some light work to fix form.

Volume 2790

One can't be sure of progress without a log.

If one has no weights, find something heavy, a bag of sand, a bucket of gravel or a rock. Pick it up, put it over your head, carry it for time or distance. The important thing is to do a little often for a long time.

I hope this answers the question but also raises others.

In four months I am overhead Squatting half my body weight.




Saturday, November 25, 2006

Too Big for California

One has to wonder how many times this story is repeated in California and other states that mandate generous benefits for employees.

Ray Comfort said "Up until about the year 2000, Living Waters Publications consisted of my wife, Sue, myself, Daniel and Jacob (our two sons) working out of our garage. About that time, we moved into a much-needed and larger building. We soon outgrew that, and last year we moved into another premises that was five times larger, with a workforce also fives [sic] times as large.

"The new building was perfect . . . for about a year. Then there was talk about having to make another move. That made me nervous. With our present growth rate, it was unrealistic to think of purchasing anything less than a building three times the size of what we have. In California, that would cost upward of ten million dollars, and because of California's Worker's Compensation laws (we pay $6,000 a month, just in case one of the computers attacks a worker) and other financial pressures, it was unthinkable."

They pay $6,000 per month for 20 employees. The "other financial pressures" are likely taxes and mandated benefits.

The legislature can mandate all manner of benefits but they can't keep a successful business from leaving for a more favorable situation. What is impossible to quantify is the number of individuals who decided to limit growth or not start a business to begin with. The really amazing reaction to this kind of flight by business is legislator's will then offer incentives to attract business from outside. How mush simpler it would be to just start with and maintain reasonable regulations and taxes so business would not want to leave in the first place.



Thursday, November 23, 2006

Winchester's Champion

It's rare indeed to receive a response from a subject in a blog post. Today I got this e-mail from the man I wrote about back in June who was organizing the effort to find a buyer for the Winchester Arms Co..


In looking back at this year and the things I am thankful for, I have to say the chance to save Winchester is foremost among them. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to accomplish this task. In reviewing the effort today, it looks like you wrote a blog about it. While I wasn't able to access the blog, I just wanted to say thank you for helping to spread the word.

Thanks again,


Michael H Blank

President & CEO

MHB Enterprises



118 N. 2nd Street, 208

Saint Charles, MO 63301

I don't know how many blogs posted in that story, I' sure it was quite a few. For him to bother acknowledge even one as small as mine merits a post of its own.


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Family from Korea is Thankful

Hat tip to f22strike over at United Conservatives of Virginia.

There is a story that I have heard that I don't know if it is anecdotal or not that goes as such.

A collage graduate came home to help his father with the family business. Under the cash register he found two boxes. One had bills in it, the other receipts. After inquiry he discovered that his father was using an archaic accounting system.

"Dad, how can you tell if you are making a profit with this system?" He asked.

"Well son, when I came to this country with your other I had a shirt, two pairs of pants and five dollars. I have this business, a house here in town and one in the country, your sister is a doctor and you have just graduated from business school. Subtract the shirt, two pairs of pants and five dollars and that is my profit."

In Richmond, VA, Sung Do Kim is living out this very story.

"Thanks for God, America, the Pilgrim Fathers -- and all Indians," said family patriarch Sung Do Kim, smiling.

Sung Do Kim and his wife, Sang Soon Ro Kim, came to the U.S. from Korea in 1998, seeking better education for their two children.

"My dad always tells me this is an opportunity land," said their daughter, Bong Sun. "Work hard to achieve whatever I plan to do."...

... The story of the Kims' struggle to make their way in a strange land underlines the social power of strong family and strong faith in a tough world.

"I believe God really exists," said 21-year-old Bong Sun, "because we started out with not even a penny. We had nothing, and now we have a store."

Bong Sun is a student at Bon Secours' nursing school, while her 23-year-old brother, Hyung Joo, is a biology student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

I usually go through the Times-Dispatch but somehow missed this article.

This nation's dynamic strength stems directly from the immigrants who come here to exercise the freedom unavailable elsewhere. They came to be Americans not just take what America had to offer.

Today there are those who see no difference in legal and illegal immigration. They wish to allow anyone who chooses to do so to come and live and enjoy the full benefits of America without the obligation or responsibility of citizenship. Even more curious is their willingness to offer citizenship in spite of their first act in coming here was to break our law. Just coming to work is not enough, but like the Kim's, respect for the law of the adopted nation is the beginning becoming part of that nation. They have the promise of America because they earned it.


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No Arms, No Problem

While the Church of England and its' counterpart in the US, the Episcopal Church give cover to those who think handicapped babies should not live, people such as George Dennehy demonstrate how short sighted they are.

George Dennehy has many reasons to be thankful. He has a loving family, a strong faith in God and an ability to play beautiful music with his toes. George Dennehy sits first chair in the cello section of the string orchestra at Oak Knoll Middle School in Hanover County.

Born without arms George has learned to use his feet to do most tasks. This is not unusual. People adapt to their circumstances all the time. What George has that the Church of England does not is faith that God has a purpose for him.

Hebrews 11:6 is his favorite Bible verse, and he easily recites it from memory: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."..

...He's curious about where he will go in life. When he was younger, he said he used to wonder why God chose him to go through life without arms.

But he doesn't think like that much anymore.

"There's some plan for me that God has, so I just . . . accept it and then work with it."

Bishop Butler are you listening?



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Happy Thanksgiving

We chose as the motto for our farm "In all things give thanks." This year this has been more than just a part of the logo on the side of the truck. As those of you who know me personally, we entered into a business partnership with people who were opening a gym. The long and short of it is we have had to resort to litigation to solve the problems that we encountered in that endeavor. Regardless of the outcome I can say that both my wife and I have gained from the experience something that will benefit us for the rest of our lives.

I have always been strong and healthy. Not that I've never suffered injury or illness, it's just that those were interludes. When I got into my mid forties however I found I was not recovering from those interludes quite as well as in the past. It was to the point that I began to accept that I would be fat and tired from this day forward.

Along came Ruthless Training. In the course of trying to make it a viable concern I learned how to workout. I found at 50 that proper weight training was restoring the vigorous health that I thought was lost. Now we lift together every other day. My wife has even jumped bareback, no small task. She had stopped jumping altogether because she lost confidence in her strength and balance. I am shoeing more horses yet have little back pain afterwards. The key is I learned how to workout.

Other events have worked to change our lives. The important thing to remember is whatever the circumstance God will tuck a blessing in there somewhere. We chose the motto we have because experience has taught us to look for those blessings as we go through the inevitable troubles of life.

Basil's Blog has a Thanksgiving collection of blog posts.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Websites not Liable in Third-party Postings

As much as I rely on the internet for information and as valuable a tool that it is I still have to make sure of the information is accurate. The internet is the ultimate gossip medium. Anyone with computer skill and a connection can say anything about anybody at anytime for any reason. The fake National Guard discharge document used against George Bush in 2004 is a perfect example.
Even the most careful can make a mistake which is why this ruling from the California Supreme Court is important.

Websites that publish inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday...

...In reversing an appellate court's decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides broad immunity from defamation lawsuits for people who publish information on the Internet that was gathered from another source.

"The prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications," Associate Justice Carol Corrigan wrote in the majority opinion. "Nevertheless ... statutory immunity serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation, as Congress intended."

The person responsible for the original libelous statement is still open for a lawsuit as should be the case. Simply repeating that statement does not place one in danger of such a suit which is also as it should be. Repeating such nonsense without verification may seem like a good idea at the time but eventually the truth will out and those with sloppy fact checking such as the NYT will just look foolish. As it should be.

So the tinfoil hat crowd is safe, the rest of us must strive to make every effort to know the facts and if one finds one has made a mistake one should be quick to admit it and set the record straight.


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Obama Calls forWwithdrawal in 4-6 Months

It was only six days ago that Gen. John Abizaid spoke to the Senate Armed Services Committee. In a previous post I made the point that the Democrats will jump on the General's reply to the question from Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., about how much time the U.S. and Iraqi government have to reduce the violence in Baghdad before it spirals beyond control where he said, "Four to six months." and make that a concrete time table forgetting the qualifier "to reduce the violence in Baghdad before it spirals beyond control." Now Sen. Barack Obama D-Il has done just that.

In a speech sure to draw political fire, the Democrat told attendees of a Chicago Council on Global Affairs event downtown that withdrawal should begin in the next four to six months and that those soldiers should be moved to Afghanistan to focus on terrorist groups again gaining strength in that country.
emphasis mine.

He wants to send more troops to Afghanistan? I thought we just turned that situation over to NATO. Maybe Sen. Obama should give them a call to see if they need us there or not. That was not the only bit of nonsense however.

Obama, who is considering a run for president in 2008, also advocated negotiating Iraq's future with neighboring Iran and Syria, an option President George Bush has rejected as he blames both countries for meddling in the U.S. effort to install a democratic government.

"We know these countries want us to fail and we should remain steadfast in our opposition to their support of terrorism and Iran's nuclear ambitions," Obama said. "But neither Iran nor Syria want to see a security vacuum in Iraq filled with chaos, terrorism, refugees and violence as it could have a destabilizing effect on the entire region and within Iran and Syria themselves "

Uh... Does he not recall that Syria has held Lebanon as an occupied satellite since 1982? Any vacuum of leadership left in Iraq would be gladly filled by Syria. The only problem is the Iranians would love to fill that vacuum also. Since the Syrians are Sunni Moslems and the Iranians are Shiite Moslems the resulting struggle would make most people long for the good old days of the present situation in Iraq. A "destabilizing effect" for sure.

I expect that the mantra of "four to six months" will become so ubiquitous that I'll have to turn to the Food Network channel to escape from it.


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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Welcome to My Nightmare

One hour and I can say I made it through today. This morning as I was dressing I saw a skunk coming across the neighbor's field. I watched it to see if might come into the fenced part around the house where the dogs are. We had one get skunked about two years ago and it took for ever before she stopped stinking. It meandered off into the woods so I went on down stairs and got breakfast. I found a good story to blog about but while preparing to write I looked out to see the dogs barking at the skunk who had circled around to the barn. Rats! Just what I need two skunked dogs just two days after we put the farm on the market.

I ran out yelling at the dog to get away hoping that I would not have to get any closer to no avail. Finally in desperation I charged at the dogs yelling at them and they backed off just enough for me to see that the skunk was mauling a cat. Great a rabid skunk! My wife heard the commotion and brought me a gun. Carefully trying not to kill the cat. I managed to whack the skunk without whacking the cat. Bagged him and dragged him for the animal control to pick up, stuffed the cat in a carrier and off to the vet. One less cat in the world.

We picked up the car from the shop and I went home to bury the cat. The stench from the skunk was by now turning my stomach pretty bad but no time for that. While I'm walking back from the grave detail I see the dogs have breached the fence. Grab the bad one and drag them back to the house. He horses are crazy from the upheaval in the normal routine and feeding time is a chore. Finally it's off to the hospital for the rabies shots. Yeah! Missed two opportunities to total the car on the way because of deer running out into the road. Two hours and six shots in the butt later for both of us and three opportunities to total the car on the way home and it's 11:00 PM. By the grace of God all is quiet. My wife's sore butt has to drive six hours tomorrow but that's another day.



Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dems Ditch Murtha

Hoyer, who represents Maryland, beat Murtha, from western Pennsylvania, in a 149-86 vote. The vote followed the unanimous choice of Pelosi as the first woman speaker in the United States.

Not that I'm any fan of Hoyer, but he's a far cry better than Murtha.

Church Defends Bishops Support for Killing Disabled

The Church of England has come out to defend the statement of the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Tom Butler, that supports the position that disabled infants be left to die. The Church falls back on the popular defense that his statement was taken out of context or was misunderstood. So let's look at the statement and the Church's defense.

"The foetus and neonate are unique individuals under God. We cannot therefore accept as a justification for killing them the argument that their lives are not worth living.

"This is not incompatible with accepting that it may in some circumstances be right to choose to withhold or withdraw treatment, knowing that it will possibly, probably or even certainly result in death," said Bishop Butler, who is also the vice chair of public affairs of the Mission and Public Affairs Council.

Bishop Butler went on to say that, in making that decision, there would have to be "very strong proportionate reasons for overriding the presupposition that life should be maintained" and that "all reasonable alternatives would have to be fully considered so that the possibly lethal act would only be performed with manifest reluctance".

I don't see much ambiguity here but here is the defense:

"The Church of England's submission to the Nuffield Inquiry is entirely in keeping with the Church's policy on treatment at the beginning and end of life," said the spokesman.

"The submission stated that fetuses and newborns should only have treatment withheld or withdrawn if treatment is futile."...

... "Let's be quite clear about this. The Church of England has not changed its position on euthanasia. It has always been opposed to euthanasia and still is," said CMF General Secretary Dr Peter Saunders.

"The media hype surrounding the church's stance on this issue simply results from some broad sheet journalists failing to understand the clear distinction between euthanasia, which is the deliberate ending of someone's life, and the withdrawal of ineffective and burdensome treatment from a dying baby."

Nice try but Bishop Butlet did not come close to restricting the option of terminating treatment to the "dying ". He very clearly opened the door to considering the economic and social cost as factors in the decision to withhold treatment that "possibly, probably or even certainly result in death,."

Even more convoluted is the distinction the Church is trying to make between withholding treatment and euthanasia. If one's actions knowingly result in the death of another it is either murder euthanasia or execution. By passively not offering life sustaining aid such as food, water, medicine or medical treatment when one knows such non action will result in the death of the one deprived, it is no different than an overt act of injecting some lethal substance such as blue juice or a lead bullet. It is in fact an act of self deception to not call it what it is. The fact remains that a person is dead because of the decision of another.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gen. Abizaid Hands Sen. Levin the Keys

Gen. John Abizaid spoke to the Senate Armed Services Committee today and spelled out the need for the US to not get tied down to some timetable for withdrawal. As can be expected no one on the other side of the room was listening. Like children, the Senators were only waiting to hear what they wanted. Unfortunately the General gave Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich what he wanted.

Pressed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., on how much time the U.S. and Iraqi government have to reduce the violence in Baghdad before it spirals beyond control, Abizaid said, "Four to six months."

From now until it happens the 4-6 months mantra will be all we hear from the Democrats and RINOs such as Sen. John Warner, R-VA. They will claim that any violence in Iraq after March 2007 is a sign that we have failed and we must leave. This is how they pulled the rug out from under the South Vietnamese. Constantly accelerating the time of withdrawal with all kinds of promises of help in the future if needed, only to turn away when that help is called on. Giving the likes of Carl Levin a quote from a General that we must "reduce the violence in Baghdad" in "Four to six months." is the nail in the coffin


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Whose Country is It?

Illegal immigrant activists are all in a tither over the changes proposed to the exam offered to those seeking to become naturalized citizens.

"We want to focus more on the building blocks of democracy, rather than the colors of the flag" or questions about the name of the form used to apply for naturalized citizenship, which are on the current test for citizenship, said Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which is making the change. USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Bentley said USCIS officials want a new test that can ensure that those seeking to become American citizens know about "freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion."

It seems reasonable to me. Without having read either of the tests to make an informed comparison I see merit in Mr. Bentley's description. The illegal immigration lobby is just appalled by these changes because it "will make it harder for 'poorer legal immigrants with less English and less education' to win U.S. Citizenship." Well, yes it would but who's country is it and aren't we entitled to choose what kind of immigrants we wish to welcome? If we were to make it easy from the ignorant and unskilled to waltz in here unfettered why bother with a naturalization process?

Now that the Democrats control the Federal government we can hardly expect that the issue of illegal immigration will be addressed in a manner favorable toward the interests of American citizens. This does not however preclude those same citizens from taking up the matter in their local jurisdictions. Recently two have done so.

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas -- City Council members Monday night unanimously passed ordinances they hope will curtail illegal aliens, but said they expected the new laws to be fought in court...

... Specifically, the 6-0 votes authorized fines for property owners who rent to illegal aliens and designated English as the official language -- a move designed to end printing and the conduct of city business in both English and Spanish.

Also passed was an ordinance authorizing city police to enter into an agreement with federal immigration officials to target criminal aliens. Opponents, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), vowed to file a lawsuit.

Obviously the courts will be the battleground for this effort. Politicians in Washington who have given up on, or embraced the flow of illegals are too afraid that they will lose any political advantage they could gain from pandering to them to offer any support to locals being overrun by the invaders.

TANEYTOWN, Md. (AP) -- English is now the official language of this central Maryland town of 5,000.

The Taneytown City Council has approved a nonbinding resolution, deciding against a charter change that drew complaints from civil rights groups and residents.

"This issue is not, I repeat, not about giving up your native tongue," said council member Paul Chamberlain Jr., the resolution's sponsor, after today's vote. "All we're asking is if you become a U.S. citizen, please speak English. There are two reasons: One, you can have greater opportunities to realize the American dream, and two, so that we can communicate."

Here we have simple logic expressed by a town that is taking proactive steps toward stemming a problem that should not exist if our more "experienced" leaders in congress would spend even a little time away from fighting over who gets the big office and pork barrel perks to actually address the interests of the citizens they "serve." Local politicians who aspire to be useless members of Congress must first impress the locals that they are willing to solve the problems they face. Once they reach the halls of power the citizens become less important as the currying of favor of large contributors replaces the service of constituents. So take advantage of them while they are still listening until the big guys in Washington can't ignore the direction of the voters and run out in front of the parade to claim they are leading the way.

A Phil Geffen at What a World says Farmers Branch was tired of Spanish signs


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Republicans Signal the End to Border Security

Who an organization chooses as its leader says volumes about that group's goals and the philosophy behind them. After the electoral spanking received by the Republican Party one could assume the choice of chairman of the Republican National Committee has been carefully considered. In light of this I am disturbed by the choice of Sen. Mel Martinez. By elevating him to the chairmanship the Party is demonstrating its preference for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Now there are some who say it was because of the immigration issue that Republicans lost. I happen to believe that is true except not for the reason that the pundits claim. It was not that Republicans were in favor of controlling illegal immigration that people did not support their reelection. If that were so the Republican congress and President would have to have done something about it. It was because all we received from them was lip service that the issue was held against them. To consolidate the loss of support the Party has placed a pro illegal immigrant amnesty Senator in charge of the Party.

I was once an active member of the Republican Party. Not just a card carrying voter, but directly involved in campaigns. I Left because it became nearly impossible to find a candidate that actually believed in something much less was conservative. I see that things have changed somewhat. They are putting up people who believe nonsense such as Sen. Martinez.

We have a choice between two parties, one is a bunch of leftist kooks, the other weak kneed liberals pretending to be conservative. Where are the true libertarians? Not the goofy anarchists that are called the Libertarian Party, but people who believe that freedom and liberty include the responsibility that comes from personal choice. That properly tempered by simple laws individuals will use such liberty to create a dynamic society, but picking the people's pockets to give their wealth to others who did not earn it is theft plain and simple.

I could go on but you probably get my drift. The existing parties are running us into self-destruct mode.


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Church Backs Calls for Severely Disabled Babies to be Killed at Birth

The Church of England, parent to the Anglican and Episcopal churches, has a Bishop advocating the euthanasia of disabled children at birth. The cost of saving them is apparently too great. Besides, families of disabled children will be so much better off without having to deal with such inconveniences. Not surprisingly the UK Disabled People's Council is up in arms.

"How can the Church of England say that Christian compassion includes killing of disabled babies either through the withdrawing or withholding of treatment or by active euthanasia?

"It is not for doctors or indeed anyone else to determine whether a baby's life is worthwhile simply on the grounds of impairment or health condition."

Hey, the cost is the issue. One must justify one's worth to society to not be considered subhuman and the medical ethics people are just the best choice for determining who should get the bullet in the head for the sake of us all.

"Great caution should be exercised in brining questions of cost into the equation when considering what treatment might be provided," he wrote.

"The principle of justice inevitably means that the potential cost of treatment itself, the longer term costs of health care and education and opportunity cost to the NHS in terms of saving other lives have to be considered."

Who pays the piper calls the tune and euthanasia follows socialized medicine like poverty follows drug addiction and ethics trumps morality when the Church abandons the teaching of scripture.

The article gives the anecdotal evidence of a premature baby surviving only to have the parents divorce years later and being unable to care for the child. Conversely I offer Team Hoyt, the father and son marathon team.

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they're not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.

It's a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.

Although Rick was born severely disabled the resulting sporting activity that his father engaged in because of him actually extended the father's life some 15 years by delaying effects of heart disease as a result of his athletic activity. Activity he would not have participated in had Rick not come home from the hospital. If doctors and ethics professionals are to determine our fates by our economic value we are just no different than the Ubermenchen of the Nationalist Socialist Party that gassed millions of useless individuals last century.

tracked at Basil's Blog topix

Disability Blog Carnival #4 at Diary of a Goldfish
See the church's defence here.


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Pelosi Bait and Switch

How many of you voted for a "moderate Democrat" and are shocked that Nancy Pelosi and her leftist friends have no intention of rewarding moderates with any leadership positions? The left has a long history of the bait and switch. The most egregious example in recent history is the election of Hugo Chavez as President of Venezuela. He had a clear past as a Communist, yet convinced the electorate that he had changed only to begin the destruction of any opposition parties to consolidate his power before nationalizing the oil industry. Nancy went into hiding during the election so the moderate candidates would not be tainted by her San Francisco kook leftism. Now that the strategy has worked to give her the position of power she was seeking, the moderates are all just brushed aside.

As with Vietnam the left has pressed for an agreement to begin troop withdrawals with all the assurances that the security of Iraq and the stability of its government will be taken into consideration. All that is coming out to be the bunk that it is. They are already pressing for time tables while any concession will only embolden them to call for the acceleration of any withdrawal. Just witness the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group to engage Syria and Iran to help solve the Iraq problem. One might as well ask the Mexicans to help with the illegal immigrant problem. They can't possibly believe that the countries that are feeding the insurgency will not do to Iraq as Syria did to Lebanon? Well that may be a stupid question.


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Saturday, November 11, 2006

U.K. Ministry of Defence Warns Ailiens are Coming

It was just about a year ago that Former Canadian Defense Minister, Paul Hellyer gave a speech at the University of Toronto telling all attending, "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."

Now former head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick Pope is warning us that the U.K. could be attacked by extraterrestrials at any time.

During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth and, more specifically, Britain.

His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.

And he complains that the project he once ran is now "virtually closed" down, leaving the country "wide open" to aliens.

Mr Pope decided to speak out about his worries after resigning from his post at the Directorate of Defence Security at the MoD this week.

"The consequences of getting this one wrong could be huge," he said.

"If you reported a UFO sighting now, I am absolutely sure that you would just get back a standard letter telling you not to worry. ''Frankly we are wide open - if something does not behave like a conventional aircraft now, it will be ignored.

"The X-Files have been closed down." If these words had come from a sci-fi fanatic, they could be easily dismissed by cynics.

Kinda makes me want to don a tin foil hat to keep my brain safe from alien interference..


Friday, November 10, 2006

Body Counts

Following is a letter to the editor by a man who knows of what he speaks. He was directly involved in assessing the situation of the South Vietnamese army during the war there.

10 November 2006

Dear Editors and Members of Congress

Once again we are reporting body counts. In the Vietnam War we counted enemy dead. In the Iraq war we count live Iraqi military and paramilitary bodies in units "stood up" - that is, organized, equipped and trained. Our experience in both cases proves the location of the bodies is more important than their number. Local forces operating on home turf are key to pacification. This pertains to villages, cities, governorates, the country as a whole and the national seat of government

The following illustrates the importance of forces location: The two Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) divisions we rated least effective when I was there were the 5th and 18th ARVN. Major General Thuan's 5th Division, positioned near Phuoc Vinh a short distance north of Saigon, had deployed across the road to the capitol to block the advance of airborne and marine units bent on executing a coup to topple President Nguyen Van Thieu. Thuan's military mission was security for the president; and its blocking location provided commercial opportunities - transporting Honda motor-bikes and rubber. Brigadier General Giai's 18th Division was hollow. Much of its personnel roster was filled with absentees, many of whom had never been present in the division. Located in the remote area around Xuan Loc, many of the older members hadn't seen their families in years, and when granted leave they found the transportation system so difficult they had used up their authorized absence just getting home. So, many never came back.

Meanwhile, U.S. General Abrams, overall commander, had been rethinking the "search and destroy" body-counting approach of his predecessor. He directed the equipment and training upgrading of the regional, provincial and village security forces. Well aware of the ancient, viciously disparate ethnic groupings in South Vietnam, his approach to Vietnamization of the war included locating the soldiers close to their homes, thereby improving intelligence collection while boosting morale.

Today in Iraq we find it necessary to work with Prime Minister Malaki who has ties to Syria, Hesbollah and Iran, and for survival depends upon Muqtada al Sadr and his militia ("Sadr's Army.") And we continue to count the number of Iraqi battalions we are standing up.

Our counter-insurgency experience in Vietnam indicates that we should support the deployment in Iraq of indigenous forces close to their homes to protect the leadership and pacify the nation.

Very Respectfully,

Francis Baker, POMIL Research Analyst



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Happy Veteran's Day Project Hero

This is the observed Veteran's Day with tomorrow being the actual so tonight I'll use this time to bring up to date the Project hero posts I've been tracking from Q&O. Many have served with distinction and many more will for some time to come. Never must we forget that these people are volunteers and deserve our ending gratitude. Their extraordinary service is, as many of those highlighted in Project hero will say, simply showing up for work each day. So here they are the updates to Project Hero.

From September 16 at Q&O is 1LT Neil Prakash, Silver Star

Although born in India and maintaining strong ties to the Indian community, Prakash was raised in Syracuse, New York, in what he called a very patriotic American household...

... As they advanced toward their objective, they began receiving reports of enemy activity in the city. Four-man RPG teams had been spotted on rooftops, as well as dismounted enemy infantry in alleyways. They were told to expect IED and RPG ambushes by a well-trained enemy who meant to stand and fight.

"This was the first time I even got a little bit nervous. I mean, ever, since I got here," said Prakash. "I just got this weird feeling. Everything was silent, there was no movement. And then all of the sudden something blew up behind me."

It took the crew about one hour to fight their way through the next one kilometer stretch of road. Official battle reports count 23 IEDs and 20-25 RPG teams in that short distance, as well as multiple machine-gun nests, and enemy dismounts armed with small arms and hand grenades.

Because enemy dismounts were attempting to throw hand grenades into the tank's open hatches, Prakash ordered the tanks to open protected mode – bringing the hatches down, leaving them open only a crack.

As the lead vehicle, Prakash's tank took the brunt of the attack, sustaining blasts from multiple IEDs and at least seven standard and armor piercing RPGs. The enemy fired mainly at the lead tanks, aiming for the few vulnerable spots. One round blew the navigation system completely off of the vehicle, while another well-aimed blast disabled his turret.

Although unable to rotate the turret, Prakash continued in the lead, navigating with a map and maneuvering his tank in order to continue engaging the enemy with the main weapon system and his .50 caliber machine-gun. He watched as men on rooftops sprayed down at his tank with machine-guns and small arms.

"I just remember thinking, 'I hope these bullets don't go in this one inch of space,'" said Prakash. "Looking out the hatch, I'm spraying guys and they're just falling. They would just drop - no blood, no nothing. We just kept rolling, getting shot at from everywhere."

The platoon was finally ordered to turn around and head back north in order to maintain contact with the enemy and to establish a defensive perimeter, allowing a recovery team to retrieve a downed vehicle.

1st Lt. Neil Prakash from Syracuse, New York, a tank platoon leader with the 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment is presented the Silver Star Medal - one of the military's highest decorations - by 1st Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste for his actions under fire in Ba'qubah June 24. (Photo by Sgt. Kimberly Snow, 196th MPAD)
1st Lt. Neil Prakash from Syracuse, New York, a tank platoon leader with the 2nd Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment is presented the Silver Star Medal - one of the military's highest decorations - by 1st Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste for his actions under fire in Ba'qubah June 24. (Photo by Sgt. Kimberly Snow, 196th MPAD)

Prakash took the opportunity to move his tank back to FOB Scunion for repairs and provide escort for medical evacuations. After assisting with repairs, he and his crew immediately moved back into position and requested to resume the lead.

Moving south back through the city, they encountered no resistance. Once they neared their objective, however, Prakash identified and engaged an enemy re-supply truck, destroying the vehicle and its contents.

"We blasted it with a main round from about 100 meters away. The thing just blew to shreds," he said. "You could see the tubes from the launchers go flying in the air."

The men encountered no further resistance as they moved to the objective, where they established a blocking position until they were relieved the following morning.

By battle's end, the platoon was responsible for 25 confirmed destroyed enemy and an estimated 50 to 60 additional destroyed enemy personnel. Prakash was personally credited with the destruction of eight enemy strong-points, one enemy re-supply vehicle, and multiple enemy dismounts

Then on September 23 we get SFC Gerald Wolford, Silver Star


In the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, SFC Wolford led Soldiers as part of a ground attack convoy north from Kuwait to Tallil Airfield, southeast of Baghdad. From that point, the Euphrates River remained the dominant obstacle at which the enemy could block the liberation of Baghdad. Since bridge crossings operations under fire present an exceptionally challenging military mission, units of the elite 82d Airborne Division were chosen for the mission.

Today, Wolford recounts

Our mission was to secure bridges across the Euphrates River in As-Samawah. There was a series that we were told to secure and, because we were mounted in HMMWVs, the Battalion Commander ordered us to secure the route and do a reconnaissance of the route for the follow-on dismounted units.

Wolford's section completed its reconnaissance and covered the movement of the dismounted units. "When they were at the first of the bridges," he says, "I told them to hold up and my gunner identified an enemy vehicle."


The enemy vehicle was a pickup truck outfitted with a machine gun on the back. It was positioned on the far side of the Euphrates, about 200 meters away. Wolford recounts

I confirmed it was the enemy and gave him the order to fire ...for our battalion they were the first shots of the war.

The initial burst of gunfire took out the machine gun in the back of the pickup, and a second burst from a .50 caliber machine gun disabled the vehicle completely.

"Once the vehicle was disabled," he says, "we saw other insurgents popping out of the buildings."

The enemy were positioned in foxholes and had the buildings fortified with sandbags. "They were determined to take a stand on the far side of the river," says Wolford.

As his unit came under machinegun fire, Wolford recognized that the American rifle fire was having no impact on enemy forces in their reinforced positions. Therefore, he decided to bring heavier firepower to bear. Wolford recalls

We had AT-4s, which are 74mm anti-tank missiles that are shoulder-fired. This was a good tactical opportunity to shoot a missile. So I fired one of those into the house and the whole hut just collapsed.

The missile silenced the enemy machinegun fire, putting the heaviest weapon the enemy had on that side of the river out of action.

Almost immediately, Wolford's team came under fire from a different quarter - a reinforced foxhole that was effectively shielding the enemy within from the Americans' Mark-19 grenade launcher. According to Wolford

That gave us another chance to fire an AT-4. I readied another one to fire and then that position was silenced.


Wolford's team then began its advance by HMMWV to the second bridge, focusing their attention to the far side of the river, from which most enemy fire was coming. As they moved forward, they came under fire from an enemy mortar position. With well placed fire, they silenced the mortar fire. Approaching the second bridge, they crossed from open rural terrain into an increasingly built-up urban area. As a result, accompanying dismounted forces had to take care to clear buildings as they went, thus ensuring the Americans didn't come under fire from by-passed hostile forces.

As his team neared the second bridge, Wolford noticed a friendly unit taking heavy enemy fire and waving for assistance. He recalls

I dismounted, moved to their position, and asked them what they wanted to do. They said they needed to move forward but they were pinned down. They identified to me the location of the enemy gunner pinning them down. They had been receiving heavy machinegun fire, and they'd been hit with rocket-propelled grenades from a building.

Wolford quickly took stock of the situation and determined that the best course of action was to move up below the second bridge and position his HMMWV between the pinned down men and the enemy. He recalls that

The road was dipping down and we were right underneath the second bridge, so they couldn't hit us with any kind of artillery.

This position was also flanked by buildings, affording good cover from direct fire, so that the only part of Wolford's vehicle that was exposed was the machine-gunner on top.

However, once in position, Wolford's team came under rocket propelled grenade fire. He recalls that

My gunner and I both saw an RPG fired at our position, and I had time to turn and yell "RPG!" so the two other men had time to get down.

The RPG hit the bridge right above the HMMWV, wounding two of Wolford's men. Wolford was knocked down by the blast, but quickly got back to his feet and checked on his men. Both were responsive, so he helped them up. In the meantime, his machine-gunner had returned fire, silencing the position from which the RPG had been launched.

Since his HMMWV had only suffered minor damage from the RPG blast, Wolford used it to shield his wounded Soldiers as he moved them to the casualty collection point and into the care of the medics.

Refusing medical care for his injuries, Wolford moved forward once again, so as to provide his men with cover.

On we learned of September 30 SGT Tommy Rieman, Silver Star

In a fight, two against one is bad odds Ten against one is a recipe for disaster. Yet those were the odds Sgt. Tommy Rieman and his squad faced and beat when they were ambushed by more than 50 anti-American insurgents near Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq in December 2003.

"The thing I remember most was the sound of the explosion. It was so loud," said Rieman.
They were hit by three RPGs and a barrage of small arms fire coming from 10 dug-in enemy fighting positions. Staying in the kill zone meant certain death, so the vehicles never stopped moving. Rieman knew he had to return fire. Bullets whizzed after them as the vehicles sped away from the ambush and the soldiers found themselves caught in another ambush.

There were maybe 50 enemy attackers blasting away at him with small arms fire from a grove of palm trees nearby. Injuries to his men were beginning to pile up. Out of his squad, Sgt. Bruce Robinson had lost his right leg in the RPG attack and Spc. Robert Macallister had been shot in the buttocks. Rieman himself had been shot in the right arm and chest, and had shrapnel wounds to his chest, stomach and ear. Worst of all, they were almost out of ammo.

He began firing away with his M203 grenade launcher, raining round after round down on the attackers. After being battered by 15 of Rieman's 40mm grenades, the enemy's guns were silent.

Wow, and then on October 07 we get SSG Matthew Zedwick, Silver Star

A member of B Co., 2nd Bn., 162nd Inf. Regt., 41st Brigade Combat Team (Oregon National Guard), Zedwick was attached to the 2nd Bn., 7th Cav, 1st Cavalry Div., on June 13, 2004, when he was hit during a convoy operation.

Driving the third vehicle among four north of Camp Taji, Zedwick had his vehicle destroyed by a car bomb. In the process, the gunner was killed and commander severely wounded. Despite taking 13 pieces of shrapnel, Zedwick managed to save the commander.

Running back to the burning Humvee to rescue the gunner, Zedwick could only retrieve weapons and a radio before it exploded. He defended his position against enemy fire until relieved.

Which brings us to October 14 and LCPL Christopher Adlesperger, nominee Medal of Honor

On Nov. 10, 2004, in 30 minutes of close combat, Marine Pfc. Christopher Adlesperger, a soft-spoken, religious young man who loved poetry and art, attacked an enemy stronghold in Fallouja, Iraq, and killed at least 11 insurgents.

He killed insurgents who were heavily armed and probably high on drugs — and who had just killed his close friend, Lance Cpl. Erick Hodges.

He protected two wounded squad members from attack and saved innumerable Marines.

When it was over, Adlesperger's face had been bloodied by shrapnel and he had bullet holes in the sleeve and collar of his uniform. He refused to be evacuated until Hodges' body was recovered.

Semper Fi is serious business

On toOctober 21 with SGT Joshua Szott, Silver Star

In heavy fighting during an enemy ambush. Szott helped carry four wounded comrades to safety even though he was shot in the left leg and took shrapnel in his right leg during the fight. He also forced the retreat of more than 20 enemy guerillas from their dug-in positions, which ultimately led to the defeat and capture of those responsible for the attack

"This Soldier exemplifies the Warrior Ethos." added Thurman. "He refused to be evacuated out of the country after he was injured. He represents what our Army is all about."

Even though Szott was offered convalescent leave to heal from his injuries, the dedicated Soldier turned down the rest time and went back to his unit to help with patrols. "Battles are not won by machines, but by Soldiers." said Col. James Hickey, commander of the 1st BCT. "Sgt. Szott is one of them. He is one of our gallant Soldiers. and I believe he epitomizes what we all aspire to be."

Just get a load of SPC Richard Ghent, Silver Star from October 28

A New Hampshire Army National Guard soldier is winning the Silver Star for bravery in battle in Iraq. Richard Ghent of Rochester charged enemy insurgents after being blown out of his Humvee in an attack that killed one guardsman and seriously wounded another.

Ghent says he was just doing what he was taught to do.

It happened in March when a grenade landed in the Humvee carrying Ghent, Vermont guardsman Christopher Merchant and New Hampshire guardsman Jose Pequeno. Merchant was killed and Pequeno
seriously wounded.

Ghent charged the insurgents, armed only with a pistol, and drove them back before more soldiers arrived. He was shot in the back and suffered shrapnel wounds.

Another just doing his job from November 04 is CPL Mark Camp, Silver Star

Camp was wounded in early May during an intense campaign with Lima Company of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines. The company, fighting insurgents in western Iraq as part of Operation Matador, lost 23 soldiers.

The former Maine resident and son of a Westbrook car dealer told The Columbus Dispatch newspaper that he was positioned at the top hatch of an amphibious assault vehicle while on patrol when a roadside bomb launched the vehicle into the air and sent shrapnel flying.

The explosion burned Camp's hands and face, but he still attempted to rescue one of his comrades trapped inside the vehicle after the blast, the newspaper reported. He continued his rescue effort despite another explosion that knocked him out of the vehicle and set his hands on fire again.

Camp was taken from the battlefield in a helicopter and flown to a hospital in Germany with shrapnel in his legs and abdomen, according to his family. He was later transferred to Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio and has since returned to Ohio.

Camp, who went back into the vehicle in an effort to rescue another Marine who died in the attack, told the Dispatch that the blast scorched his hands.

Take inspiration from these men and give thanks for their willingness to serve.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Terrorists Have Won

The Left has succeeded in doing to Iraq as it did to South Vietnam. Obsessing over body counts and ignoring the victories they carped about turning over the county's defense to the domestic government forces before they were ready. Sound familiar already? We pulled our troops out with a promise to resume air support and return if necessary if the North Vietnamese did not honor the treaty. The North never made any attempt to fulfill its half of the treaty yet we did nothing and let the country fall with devastating results to the whole region. Having learned this the terrorists have played the Left like a fiddle and won. The difference is the whole world will suffer for it.

In the meantime we can all kiss border security good by. The liberals will sell our sovereignty off to the UN or some other international organization and the Southwest will be fully colonized by Mexico. Yeah, the Republicans and the President had a chance to do something about it but didn't.. Just like they had an opportunity to put decent judges into our legal system but didn't. It didn't happen because the President is so lame on the border and so many RINOs had been let in that they couldn't stand up to the Democrat obstructions of judicial nominations. Just dealing with the border would have been sufficient to brush the Democrats aside but the temptation to buy votes was too great..

The political leadership of this nation on all sides ranges from uninspired to less than useless. Not a single issue of importance was debated. Sure there was the Iraq war clicheés batted about but even that was juvenile and inept. I signed on as a Blogger for Allen, but found no issue to get behind. Unless a new crop of politicians come up that understand and believe in the principles that made this a great nation we will descend into being a warmer version of Canada. Next year I'll probably have to post in both English and Spanish. That is if we aren't blown up by then.

Rick Moran over at the Right Wing Nuthouse is a bit more optimistic. While Kim Priestap at Wizbang is not.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Foley, Haggard and the Evangelical Voter

The accusations of gay sex and drug use by Pastor Ted Haggard are the latest in a concerted effort to influence Christian's voting. Just as with the Mark Foley situation the media has mused as to how this will discourage or demoralize the Evangelical vote. This kind of strategy will fail simply because it does not address what motivates the Christian voter. This is one voting block that the left cannot appropriate simply because they do not understand the principles that drive it.

The assumption is Christians, especially Evangelicals, are mind numbed robots that simply follow whatever they are told by their leaders. There are groups who fit this description such as the nit wits who follow Pastor Fred Phelps, of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kansas who are best known for their protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers. This is a small cult that would in fact disappear if their leader turned out to be more screwy in private that he is in public. Yet these people who are rejected by Evangelicals are the model that the left is using in their effort to minimize the Christian vote. People such as Howard Dean are mystified by the ineffectiveness of their "God talk" and expression of "values" in attracting Christian support. A look at how the New Life Church and the National Association of Evangelicals handled the fall of Ted Haggard opens a window to the mystery.

In the hush of a Sunday morning, believers grieved, struggled and forgave as their pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, confessed his sins.

"I am a deceiver and a liar," Haggard told 9,000 of his followers in a letter read from the pulpit of New Life Church by one of his spiritual mentors. "There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life."...

... Having resigned the presidency of the National Assn. of Evangelicals and been dismissed as senior pastor of New Life, Haggard said he and his wife, Gayle, "need to be gone for a while." He pledged to put himself under the guidance of several pastors who will help him work toward restoration.

"Please forgive me," he wrote. "I am so embarrassed and ashamed…. I am a sinner. I have fallen."

Much different from the "apologies" that come from our more secular politicians who want to blame someone else for their own shortcomings. Foley's claim of sexual abuse, Kerry's complaint about being misunderstood and Bill Clinton's outright denials are just the ones that immediately come to mind. All "victims" and all clueless. So what separates them from the fallen Christian? Ted Laggard's statement is a true confession. The reaction of his congregation opens a window to what the God stuff is all about.

...Some were angry at Ted Haggard; many were bewildered. But all said that their faith was not shaken; it was renewed. They would hold fast to all Haggard had taught them over the years, including his preaching that homosexual behavior is an affront to God.

"He believes that what he taught us is true," said Carol Groesbeck, 61.

"I don't think there's anything that needs to be reevaluated," said her husband, Jim, 61, an elder at New Life Church. "We know what we believe, but it's difficult to live that out. That's not just Ted's struggle. It's our struggle."

Michelle Gatson, 37, said she felt reinvigorated by the service after a week that left her so spent, all she wanted to do was "be lying on the floor at home, crying." A member of the choir, she said she found healing in the songs of praise — praise not for any man, but for God. "I love my pastor," she said. "But I'm glad I didn't put my faith in him. He's human."

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