Archive for March, 2005

House Committees

A Kennedy announced that he would not run for Senate against one of the few remaining liberal Republicans in the Senate. He said he could better serve his constituents as a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

He may be right.

A liberal Republican or a John McCain does more good for the liberal cause than any outright liberal Democrat.

But the point of this blog entry is to make clear how important a seat on the House Appropriations Committee is.

In the House of Representatives, a new member must make a critical choice. He can serve on two committees or he can serve on the Appropriations Committee and no other. If he takes a seat on the Appropriations Committee, he must choose one subcommittee he will serve on.


It takes decades for the congressman to become a senior member of that particular subcommittee.

He is on no other committee.

Does this give you some idea of how critical that one seat on one appropriations subcommittee is?

When the chairman of an appropriations subcommittee recommends something, he normally gets his way. When the subcommittee chairman and the ranking minority member agree on something, they ALWAYS get their way.

Except once.

There is a House Appropriations Subcommittee called HUD-Independent Agencies. The “Independent Agencies” includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The chairman and ranking member of the HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee dedicated ALL of their seniority to that one subcommittee.

In 1978 the chairman and ranking Republican were both liberals whose only interest was getting money for HUD – Housing and Urban Development. They did NOT want money spent on space. The Republican wanted HUD money from HUD for his urban district in Pennsylvania.

So the chairman and the ranking member agreed to stop the Hubble Telescope and all of the Jupiter by-flights. They tried to hurry it up so the pro-space community couldn’t rally its supporters.

I stopped them. We beat them on the House floor by a vote of 318-83 after I got a weekend delay so that 400,000 telegrams could be sent by the pro-space grassrooters.

If you know about the House you will never know that that kind of kick in the teeth to the Appropriations subcommittee chairman AND the ranking minority member NEVER happens.

I made it happen.

And I am just a little proud of it.


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The Little Girl Got Buried

It is not important, but the little nine-year-old girl who got raped and murdered by the repeat child molester got buried, and the funeral was very briefly reported on the Fox News Network.

Terri Schiavo dominates the news. Another few hundred children will be raped and some murdered this week.

Who cares?




I have read the Screwtape Letters many, many times. This is a short book. Not only that, but it is divided into short letters from the senior demon Screwtape down in Hell to his nephew Wormwood who was on earth tempting a human being.

I enjoy a writer who makes his points bluntly and quickly.

CS Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters to demonstrate what Jesus was talking about by showing what someone on the opposite side would say.

Like Jesus, Screwtape had only one focus. His only concern was the salvation or damnation of the soul of a single human being. One fascinating thing about the book is that it was written at the beginning of World War II, but Screwtape couldn’t care less which side won.

CS Lewis was writing in World War II England, but he kept saying that that war was not all that important.

In fact Screwtape referred to World War II as “what humans call The War.”

To Screwtape there was only one real War, the one between Hell and Jesus. Again and again he warned Wormwood against worrying about which side should win. Wormwood’s job was to damn a soul.

Jesus kept saying that, over and over: “The poor we have always with us.”

“What profits it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

One of the many things Jesus said that would get him kicked out of most churches was:

“My Kingdom is not of this world.”

But today we are told over and over that Jesus’ Kingdom is dedicated not only to this world, but to a tiny strip of this world, the Holy Land.

Screwtape would certainly approve of THAT.

Screwtape kept telling Wormwood that Christianity was harmless as long as it was what he called “Christianity AND….” If a person could be diverted into worrying about “Christianity AND the Crisis,” his religion would get off of individual salvation. A Christian can be diverted to worshipping the Bible or the Holy Land or Social Justice or worrying about creationism or anything else in THIS world.

Any of those things keeps the person from seeing his faith as a means of salvation. A person can dedicate his entire life to that sort of thing, said Screwtape, and still end up “In Our Father’s House.”

Screwtape’s “Our Father” was Satan.

The road to salvation, said Screwtape, is strait and narrow. All Wormwood had to do was to lead a human off onto a side path.

One thing Screwtape referred to was something every demon-in-training learned: “The standard parade-ground exercise of appearing as an Angel of Light.” The demon used this disguise as he stood on a path which led away from the strait and narrow. He looked like an Angel of Light showing that this way, saving the Holy Land, feeding the poor, fighting creationism, was the Way to Heaven.

If knowing the Old Testament was the key to salvation, Satan would be a saint.

Jesus offered forgiveness with an open hand:

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Did God reply, “No way, Son.”?

Damning a soul is not as easy as most “Christians” think. They hand out damnation with an open hand.

One of the two people Jesus specifically said was damned was the High Priest who had led a completely holy life and who knew the Bible almost as well as Satan did. He was everything today’s “Christians” say a man of the Holy Land should be.

But he was damned. He found a path that was not simply asking for forgiveness. Salvation was a minor concern among all his virtues.

As Screwtape would say, “He is now in Our Father’s House.”

That is not where I want to go, so I don’t want to be in today’s churches.

Any of them.


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I Repeat: Power IS Responsibility

I have never met any other Christian who feels the slightest guilt about how Christians caused so much agony and death by retarding medicine.

I repeat: when Jenner introduced vaccination against smallpox, every preacher in London denounced him. They caused thousands of deaths and, worse, they caused thousands of people to go through life horribly scarred and often crippled by small pox.

Who took Schiavo off of life support? Who put her ON life support?

This is going to make “Christians” furious. No other anti-liberal is going to ask it because asking this question alienates the “Christian” right.

That is the reason Bob Whitaker is here. I will not back down for popularity with ANYBODY.



Comment on Antonio Fini’s Comment

First, I like that pseudonym. It reminds me of one of Bob Twain’s quips on David Duke’s program. He referred to illegal aliens as “Jose and Jos-B.”

Second, Antonio’s comment reminds me of a source I have of how people really think: a comment on a sitcom.

It was on the show “Good Times” about a black family in the ghetto. Their son was living with a white girl, and her Yuppie parents came over to see them. The parents of the white girl were all for it.

The show’s star, the mother of the black boy, said her son and their daughter weren’t married and were living together and she didn’t like that.

They said that was OK by them.

She said her son couldn’t support their daughter.

They said that was OK.

The black mother finally burst out and said, “You don’t care if he’s black. You don’t care if they’re married. You don’t care if he can’t support her. What DO you care about?”

The answer was, of course, that the girl’s parents didn’t care about anything but their Fashionable Opinion that interracial relations were good, that poor people were virtuous, and that they had broken free of all conventional, normal feelings.

Florida didn’t want her boy around people like that and she didn’t want to be patronized.

Nobody respects a white girl who is out with a black guy.

And everybody knows what kind of moral vacuum she came from.