Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Reasons For The Season

(Original posted on December 23, 2002)

While Christmas is officially a celebration of the birth of Jesus, for much of the Western world December 25 has come to be a celebration of family and community. No other time of the year is so thoroughly saturated with images pointing to our highest hopes for such relationships - and no other time of the year so effectively highlights the difference between our ideals and the world as it really is. Jesus came to Earth to bridge not only the chasm between humanity and God, but also that rift that separates people from each other. Christmas reminds us that we live in a broken world, and it seeks to encourage us by showing us through religious and even many secular trappings how that brokenness can be fixed.

Best of holiday wishes to all my readers.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brothers Grimm

Google celebrates the 200th anniversary of the publication of the brothers' Children’s and Household Tales.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just In Time For The Mayan Doomsday Prophecy

Coffin with built-in sound system. Who says you can't take it with you?

This is an obvious suggestion for the music lineup.

And of course...

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Adieux, France!

If Gérard Depardieu were a cheese-eating surrender monkey, he'd accept the gargantuan tax hikes and say to the French tax officials "Thank you sir, may I have another?" or something along those lines. But non! He's moving to Switzerland.

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Glen Reynolds Is A Genius

His modest proposal: "Idea for Republican operatives: Create a union — say, the Organization Of Campaign Workers And Volunteers — and send it to “organize” Democratic campaigns. Unlikely to succeed, sure. But fun to watch!"


Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

We know a little about the assailant's background, and it goes without saying that anyone who engages in a mass shooting has deep psychological problems. But investigators may never know the motive behind the shooting that took the lives of 20 children, six school officials, and the one person who could tell us the most about Adam Lanza - his mother.

NRO contributor D. J. Jaffe has suggestions on what Federal and state governments can do to improve policy regarding those with mental disorders.

Every time a mass shooting occurs, a lot of kneejerk reactions turn to the panacea of gun control. The problem is that its effect is the opposite of what is intended. Strict gun control has led to an increase of violent crime in the UK. Strict gun control in Norway did not prevent one of the world's worst mass shootings. Crazy homicidal people do not obey laws, including gun laws. And outright prohibition would only foster black markets, a new source of revenue for organized crime.

Update: John Fund explores the history of mass shootings.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Union Mob

Michelle Malkin reports on the recent union thuggery in Michigan. Anybody remember Kenneth Gladney? Never travel alone to a protest. If possible, bring a martial artist with you. And a first aid kit. And a video camera. There's a cash reward for turning in the guy who assaulted Steve Crowder.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christina Hoff Sommers vs. Mad Magazine

In The Atlantic, she presents this headline: You Can Give a Boy a Doll, but You Can't Make Him Play With It.

Oh yeah?

I remember a Mad Magazine item from some time back in the '80s. In the first frame, an early-elementary-age boy plays with a toy gun, yelling "Bang! Bang! Bang!" Mommy gives him a doll, hoping to breed some pacifism into the boy. But in the final panel he wields the doll yelling "Bang! Bang! Bang!"


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Bono For Congress

He speaks uncommon sense: “Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.”

Of course, we can't campaign for his Congressional career until we first campaign for his American citizenship.


Friday, December 07, 2012

Day Of Infamy, Day Of Hope

A reprint of my original 2002 post,  with specific time references edited, and with a new closing paragraph.


Today is the anniversary of the Japanese strike against Pearl Harbor. After many years, there is still division over that historical event between Japan and the United States and within each of the two countries. Books claiming that FDR intentionally provoked Japan into starting a war and that he had advance knowledge of the attack, notably Robert W. Stinnett's Day of Deceit and John Toland's Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath, have attracted considerable attention. On the other side of the Pacific, Japanese remain divided over their nation's role in the war. (At the moment I am unable to find examples of this on the Internet.)

When I was in hospice training, I was taught that no one ever recovers fully from grief. There will always be times when memories of a loss, whether over someone's death or some other tragic event, will trigger feelings of remorse. What one who has suffered a loss must do is to recover to the point that the loss is manageable, when it no longer interferes with everyday normal life. Pearl Harbor, and WWII in general, provoke strong feelings - and strong disagreements - in both the United States and Japan, even among those who have no conscious memory of December 7, 1941. But this day has scarcely any effect whatsoever on relations between our governments or our citizens. The vast majority of us refuse to blame events of the past on those who weren't there.

Wars do not always end with such peaceful results. In many cases, virulent bitterness is passed from generation to generation. Such lies at the root of the current war we fight against terrorism. Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 were only the beginning. Terrorism will never go away completely, but if we fight this war right we will fight every government that willingly aids and abets our enemies and we will be victorious, and if we do our postwar job right as we did in Japan, today's enemies will be tomorrow's allies.

On December 6, 2002, Kyodo News reported that the Japanese government will consider amending its law to allow its Security-Defense Force to support US troops in Iraq. If only more of our old WWII allies could be so cooperative.

Everybody knows the day of infamy. The day of hope is every December 7 of Japanese-American alliance and friendship. Remember what brought our nations to war, and what we built together after the conclusion of that war.

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Something For All You Christmas Shoppers

One of the advantages of shopping online.


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