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April 12, 2009

Easter miracle

Captain Richard Phillips is free. Thanks be to God. (H/T Some Have Hats)

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This miracle brought to you in large part by the US Navy, and oh yeah, the President that the right has already decided is Jimmy Carter II.

Gina Dalfonzo

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Andy. ;-) President Obama made the right call on this one. Good for him.


Andy, Andy, Andy - I have probably the highest respect for Navy SEALs of anyone at The Point, but consider: the snipers were firing from a ship which, if I remember correctly, goes up and down and rocks side to side with the waves. (This was true to some degree even on the aircraft carrier on which my father was stationed.) They were firing *at* a boat, which reacts to even smaller motions. The chance of missing was rather high, and that would certainly have doomed the captain. I know the SEALs train for this, but still.

And as usual, Gina is more sly with her title than she lets on; the Left is applauding the use of deadly force instead of incessant negotiation, and *that* is certainly a miracle. :-/ Plus, three pirates are dead and no one has yet (to my knowledge) interviewed Johnny Depp.


Hey, Lee. You have fallen for a Limbaugh-Hannity canard about us folks on the other side. We are fine with deadly force in the appropriate circumstances, of which this was certainly one.

As an aside, it always amazes me that the first ones to scream "kill 'em" in this country also are the ones who claim they follow the Prince of Peace. But I do imagine that you are praying for the immortal souls of the dead pirates, right? (I expect you Christians will pick up my slack on this one.)

And it's nice to see that Gina gives Obama the possibility of being right at least twice a day...

Gina Dalfonzo

Not nearly that often. It was purely a figure of speech.

Jason Taylor

Andy, we simply acknowledge a loyalty to the City of Man as well as the City of God even though the later comes first. St Augustine would have felt no contradiction between desireing the Emperor's victory and desireing salvation for the Barbarians.

Jason Taylor

In any case Andy the Bible gives no indication that the Prince of Peace is thereby the Prince of Pacifism and such verses that refer to the future time when He is to take over direct physical rule as a Prince on Earth suggest the opposite.
The term "Peace" has several different connotations and interpretations, which is why it is not contradictory to have a Sherriff called a "peace officer".

But yes, we are supposed to pray for the souls of the dead pirates. Which presumably someone will get around to.


(Gina, for obvious reasons I'm trying to not use the word "hijack" to describe the act of taking the subject of your post into territory you didn't necessarily intend. But my thesaurus fails... Anyway, apologies for the redirection, and I'll stop if you say so.)

Andy, I don't listen to Rush or Sean but I have read my local newspaper, which has consistently decried the use of deadly force even with those who are decidedly irrational. Several local policemen have been publicly pilloried for shooting people who threaten them, when the victims are then found to have been mentally unstable. Similar attitudes are expressed here about attacking versus negotiating, even when hostages have been beheaded.

With respect to screaming "kill 'em", we're not the first. However, we do generally recognize that mankind has a sin nature, and that hardening of the heart can occur to the point that dialog and reasoning become futile. Chuck Colson has some brilliant exposition on the dramatic tension evoked by the difficult choice faced by Christians when confronted with the need for deadly force.

Note that praying for the souls of the deceased is confined to only a portion (albeit a large portion) of Christian believers. In my view and the view of probably half of those at The Point, praying for someone's soul after they've died is futile. But I do admit that other Christians would say it's worthwhile.

Finally, what do atheists say about the fate of these pirates? I grappled with that when I was an unbeliever. Seems to me the appropriate response is "Eh." Survival of the fittest says that piracy renders one unfit to swim in the gene pool, so no one should shed a tear - or hesitate to use deadly force. And the argument that one can't know the person's potential future contributions to humanity is a weak one, in view of the Law of Large Numbers; sooner or later someone else will most likely contribute in the same way. So how about it, Andy? Do you feel anything for these dead Somalis? Does it bother you that they would have caused starvation (and therefore death) among their own people? Or do you say that only the strong survive, so Navy SEALs should reproduce and their descendants should consume the resources left behind by the Somalis? (This brings into question the whole logic of humanitarian aid, if there is no God.)

Jason Taylor

Well the assumption that praying for someone's deceased soul is futile does not only rest on the assumption that there is no Purgatory or Limbo, or similar such "Papist" notions(which are speculative ultimatly but no more so then the Age of Accountability). It also rests on the assumption that God never forehears people's prayers, is not Master of Time, and does not dwell in Eternity, all of which is contrary to Protestantism as well as Catholicism.


Jason, my old dear friend, you are free to believe as you wish and you'll still remain my friend. But don't try to convert me from my position or I'll sic yonder teddy bear on you - the one in the Inquisitor's mask, with the torch for the flames. He's studied what Calvin did to Servetus, maybe even in the same country, and is relatively willing to revive the practice.

Ben W

Eh, the Left is about as pacifist as the Right is war-mongering - not much, in either case, aside from the over-publicized fringes.

LQ, the Left got the U.S. involved in Vietnam - is that deadly force enough for ya? :p

Jason Taylor

LeeQuod, my old dear friend, those were barbaric times when my ancestors would have nailed pirates to their Church door.


Ben W wrote: "LQ, the Left got the U.S. involved in Vietnam - is that deadly force enough for ya? :p"

My older sister was terrified that I'd get drafted and be sent over, as many of *her* classmates had, but the war ended before I was eligible. I do remember seeing "Hey, hey, LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?" being chanted by protesters, on the nightly news. One of the great things about being a hippie (which I was not, myself) was that you could protest without voting. Gotta love the consistency.


Jason Taylor wrote: "LeeQuod, my old dear friend, those were barbaric times [...]"

(sarcasm alert) Ah, well, I'm delighted to live in such civilized times as these, when "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum" is a quaint phrase hearkening back to a long-vanquished practice, and there's even an "International Talk Like A Pirate Day." Arrr...

Gina Dalfonzo

Ben, I've often thought that must have been a very odd time -- there were lefties running the war and lefties protesting it! (Something that reflected that oddness was the TV version of "M*A*S*H" -- a great favorite of my family's -- because although it was set in the Korean War, everyone always says it was meant to reflect Vietnam. And you ended up with pretty much the same situation, politically. Every time Hawkeye & Co. would lambast Republicans, I'd always think, "But it's a Democrat who got you into this war you hate so much!")

Jason Taylor

Well, you see LeeQuod, my old dear friend times have changed and we have progressed beyond such crude unpleasantness. This of course makes us tremendously competant to deal with traditional, indigeonous peoples who have not, in fact, progressed beyond such crude unpleasantness.

Gina Dalfonzo

Good grief. Next thing we know, you two old dear friends will be strolling off to the library for brandy and cigars. :-)


(splutter, kaff) This club admits *women* now? Egad. Jason, we must retire immediately to less... *open* quarters. I'll meet you in our usual seats under the boar's head, once I've had a moment to myself to recover. Admitting women... *hmpf*!!

Jason Taylor

Well you see, LeeQuod, it's all the fault of Suzy B and her evil plot to make dollar coins that look like quarters.


Oh, and speaking of pirates and those who foolishly love them (Elizabeth:"It would never have worked out between us." Jack:"Keep telling yourself that, darlin'."): http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hspvgQydv-el2qT9uJIKl2ElgILAD97KVRAO1

In this day and age of immediate guilt by association, I'm amazed that anyone would even humorously or ironically align themselves with piracy, or maintain such an alignment.

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