Friday, February 27, 2015

On Holiday

Visitors and regular customers will have found the Tavern Keeper absent these past few days. I shall continue to be absent for a few more days too.

Meanwhile there is plenty of fare here; full barrels; spreads of fine brain and soul foods. I shall be back next week.

May I recommend accessing some of the fine bloggers listed down the right side-wall. They are all fine windows to the outside world of the Hilary's Villagers and sundry demons. Many have antidotes to the plagues that beset the Valley of Tears.

Say  Rosary or two for me. I shall be saying a few for the fine and gallant aviators that will entertain me at the jousts tomorrow (Saturday) at the Avalon Air Show.

May their displays be spectacular and just safe enough.

My thanks and affections have been called upon by two splendid lady-friends on my travels.  They have treated me graciously and generously. Kathy and Wanda, may God smile upon you. Grace is always available for you in my Tavern.

And of course, my great love goes to my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, and his lady Lydia, a fine gal, for their welcoming accommodations for my visit.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Things we Ought Not do at Home

For some things I have to take leave from my Tavern duties and travel across the seas. For one such I will be across the waters in Melbourne at the Avalon Air Show, for this old Knight does like his jousting.

These days the main jousts are in the skies and the Knights of the air are no airy-faeries. They do hairy things that astound in machines which are as breathtaking in their abilities as they are awesome in their designed function. 

The Clash of Arms.

A preview ASTOUNDED the customers on the patio, in the sunshine.

The 'envelope' has been steamed open !!

I must wait.

I must pray they are used only for defeating evil.

The new......

The Old.....

And the coolest....

And yes, he did confirm that he lit the pipe at 30,000ft !

Now I must light mine and go down to change a barrel over.

Yes, this CAN be done at home.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

CherryPie's Tip

The Tavern is a haven for fine people. They take Grace gracefully. When they go home to bed, some even leave a 'tip' for the Tavern Keeper.

CherryPie had been her usual quiet and sweet self all evening and when it came time to wend her way home to bed she left this for me.

I offer it to God and to you.

The bars quietened. 

It is like watching a tankard fill in slow motion. The music swirls and fills the soul.

Our cup runneth over.

I am reminded that among the gloomy matters that so often take the conversations into dark corners, there is beauty to be found, seen, heard, experienced.

The world is a beautiful place. It is for us to open our minds to it. For those who cling to the strange idea that it is all a mindless accident, a result of millions of random accidents that just happened to produce a place not simply fit for human beings but so stunning beyond their imaginings, my heart goes out in sympathy. Poor souls. They need Grace.

No doubt they also think this music 'just happened'.

It is made for us.

Thank the composers.

Sleep well, CherryPie.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Southern Poverty Law centre and Other Liars.

Lying is amongst the first notable actions in Genesis.  We hear quite a few lies bandied about here in the Tavern. After God made the world and everything in it and declared it all 'Good', into it came the Prince of Lies. It has been down-hill ever since and the Liar has a growing following.

It is difficult to avoid, especially as we have elevated it to National (and International) Policy. Everyone and his cat is in on the game of deception and ruination.

I hasten to add that here in the Tavern it is just a matter of observation and interest rather than 'practice'. Lies would make the drink here become bitter and undrinkable and I do not permit that. Nevertheless we are always welcoming to those who would admit their frailty, apologise and buy a round.

I do not expect the staff of the Southern Poverty Law Centre coming here en-masse to offer repentance. They are on a roll. Their actions have become ridiculous, but that will not stop them, nor turn them from the road to perdition.
Under a phony “civil rights” banner, the SPLC has gotten away with murder in its hate labeling. 
But this time, the Southern Poverty Law Center may have finally bitten off more than it can chew. 
As if attacking everyday Christians, small towns, and national organizations like FRC (Family Research Council) weren’t enough, the group has apparently grown over confident under the Obama administration as they attempt to smear the hugely popular surgeon and neonatal pioneer, Dr. Ben Carson.
As a black man, who was raised in poverty by a single mother, Dr. Carson should be a poster child for the minority success the SPLC pretends to advocate. Instead, the organization, which has morphed into nothing but a multi-million dollar homosexual advocacy group, has made the conservative doctor a target for his mainstream marriage views. 
Why? Because he rose from poverty as a minority without the aid of big government? Because of a benevolent mother with moral convictions? 
Or is it because Dr. Carson is a viable candidate with a massive following who refuses to be choked back by political correctness? All of the above?

The absurdity of their hate “watch list” would be comical, if it weren’t dangerous – as FRC’s shooting and the developing story from UNC Chapel Hill prove all too well. Of course, the irony is that rather than expose extremists, SPLC only succeeds in exposing themselves as the 
rabid, anti-Christian radicals they are. 
This is a group that cares not about helping impoverished minorities but instead helping elite homosexual activists impose their views on the country.
Dr. Ben Carson may not fit their false civil rights narrative, but he is a man of character and decency, whose only crime is sharing Americans' Bible-based objections to same-sex “marriage.” 
“When embracing traditional Christian values is equated to hatred, we are approaching the stage where wrong is called right and right is called wrong,” Dr. Carson fired back. 

Now, a word here. Many of you reading this will skip over the video. Please, don't.

Come back to it if you just read on. Run the video.

If you cannot be bothered to read what follows here, or get bored, come back and watch Dr Carson speak. LISTEN to him.

Dr Carson is a Real Inspirational man. A Good man.
It’s a shame that SPLC’s vicious political agenda makes it impossible to practice the “tolerance” they claim to seek, especially when it comes to a man who rose above the circumstances SPLC claims to fight. 
If you’d like to stand with Dr. Carson, sign FRC’s petition and then forward it to your family and friends.
Why, you may wonder, would a supposedly 'moral crusader' organisation target Ben Carson?  I laugh at my own question.  Because....

The SPLC is an Immoral Crusader organisation.

They lie. All the time. They are not alone. Indeed, in what passes for a Political environment 'enjoyed' by so many nations these days, they are par for the course. Obama hisself knows all about 'pars' and golf courses.
Brian Williams, Dan Rather, Fareed Zakaria, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Lena Dunham etc.   
The lies from the Left never stop. 
Add many, many well-known names from many, many countries.  The Prince - and now the Princess - of Lies have many, many followers. These people know the difference between Truth and Lies. 

They choose to Lie.

Victor Davis Hanson had some things to say......
Hillary Clinton may well follow her husband’s trajectory and become president. The Rev. Al Sharpton helped perpetuate the Tawana Brawley hoax; he is now a frequent guest at the White House.
Why do so many of our elites cut corners and embellish their past or steal the work of others?
“NBC Nightly News” anchorman Brian Williams frequently fabricated a dramatic story that he was under enemy attack while reporting from Iraq. NBC is now investigating whether Williams also embellished events in New Orleans during his reporting on Hurricane Katrina.
Williams always plays the hero in his yarns, braving natural and hostile human enemies to deliver us the truth on the evening news.
Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather tried to pass off fake memos as authentic evidence about former President George W. Bush’s supposedly checkered National Guard record.
CNN news host Fareed Zakaria, who recently interviewed President Obama, was caught using the written work of others as if it were his own. He joins a distinguished array of accused plagiarists, from historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to columnist Maureen Dowd.
Usually, plagiarism is excused. Research assistants are blamed or clerical slips are cited – and little happens. In lieu of admitting deliberate dishonesty, our celebrities when caught prefer using the wishy-washy prefix “mis-” to downplay a supposed accident – as in misremembering, misstating or misconstruing.
Politicians are often the worst offenders. Vice President Joe Biden withdrew from the presidential race of 1988 once it was revealed that he had been caught plagiarizing in law school. In that campaign, he gave a speech lifted from British Labor Party candidate Neil Kinnock.
"Hah. Quid Me Anxious Sum? You fools keep voting for my enormous salary"
Hillary Clinton fantasized when she melodramatically claimed she had been under sniper fire when landing in Bosnia. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was more overt in lying under oath in the Monica Lewinsky debacle. Former Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) was caught plagiarizing elements of his master’s thesis.
President Obama has explained that some of the characters in his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” were “composites” or “compressed,” which suggests that in some instances what he described did not exactly happen.
"Am I bovvered?"
What are the consequences of lying about or exaggerating one’s past or stealing the written work of others? It depends.
Punishment is calibrated by the stature of the perpetrator. If the offender is powerful, then misremembering, misstating and misconstruing are considered minor and aberrant transgressions. If not, the sins are called lying and plagiarizing, and deemed a window into a bad soul. Thus a career can be derailed.
Young, upcoming lying reporters like onetime New York Times fabulist Jayson Blair and The New Republic’s past stable of fantasy writers – Stephen Glass, Scott Beauchamp and Ruth Shalit – had their work finally disowned by their publications. Former Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke got her Pulitzer Prize revoked for fabricating a story.
Obscure Sen. Walsh was forced out of his re-election race. Biden, on the other hand, became vice president. It did not matter much that the Obama biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss contradicted many of the details from Obama’s autobiography.
Hillary Clinton may well follow her husband’s trajectory and become president. The Rev. Al Sharpton helped perpetuate the Tawana Brawley hoax; he is now a frequent guest at the White House.
"Do I really have to look at these people?"
Why do so many of our elites cut corners and embellish their past or steal the work of others?
"Is she wearing the same push-up bra as me? Bitch"
For them, such deception may be a small gamble worth taking, with mild consequences if caught. Plagiarism is a shortcut to publishing without all the work of creating new ideas or doing laborious research. Padding a resume or mixing truth with half-truths and composites creates more dramatic personal histories that enhance careers.
Our culture itself has redefined the truth into a relative idea without fault. 
Some academics suggested that Brian Williams may have lied because of “memory distortion” rather than a character defect.
Contemporary postmodern thought sees the “truth” as a construct. 
The social aim of these fantasy narratives is what counts. 
If they serve progressive race, class and gender issues, then why follow the quaint rules of evidence that were established by an ossified and reactionary establishment?
Feminist actress and screenwriter Lena Dunham in her memoir described her alleged rapist as a campus conservative named Barry. After suspicion was cast on one particular man fitting Dunham’s book description, Dunham clarified that she meant to refer to someone else as the perpetrator.
Surely the exonerated Duke University men’s lacrosse players who were accused of sexual assault or the University of Virginia frat boys accused of rape in a magazine article in theory could have been guilty – even if they were proven not to be.
Michael Brown was suspected of committing a strong-arm robbery right before his death. He then walked down the middle of a street, blocking traffic, and rushed a policeman. Autopsy and toxicology reports of gunpowder residuals and the presence of THC suggest that Brown had marijuana in his system and was in close contact to the officer who fired. Do those details matter, if a “gentle giant” can become emblematic of an alleged epidemic of racist, trigger-happy cops who recklessly shoot unarmed youth?
The Greek word for truth was “aletheia” – literally “not forgetting.” 
Yet that ancient idea of eternal differences between truth and myth is now lost in the modern age.
Our lies become accepted as true, but only depending on how powerful and influential we are – or how supposedly noble the cause for which we lie.
If only that were true. We MUST NOT lose it.

I would contend that even at the more common-o-garden end of the social and influential spectrum - you and I - can wreak as much havok in our own arenas as those more 'elavated' persons who occupy the seats of Power and Entertainment Industry.

We must be careful. One lie leads to another. We ditch eternal truths at our peril. We take the 'Good' that God declared 'In the Beginning', water it down, change it, transmorgrify it, dismantle it, slowly, piecemeal.... and what do we get?

Peter Mullen gives it straight.
The (potted) self-destruction of the Church of England. 

Remember, of course, that the C of E is not the solution and never was. It is and was part of the Problem. 
The Times has reported that the Church of England is to rewrite the Catechism “for a secular age.” Impossible. The church leaders have already emptied English Christianity of all Christian content. You think I exaggerate? Well, please read on…
First they ditched all the ancient dogmas which were good enough for St Augustine ....... The Virgin Birth, they said, was based on a misunderstanding of a verse in Isaiah. Besides, for thoroughly paid up scientistic modern types such as Robinson, the Virgin Birth was just one of those things “I can’t believe.” 
Same with the Resurrection: it’s a made up story to express the disciples’ “experience of new life” after Our Lord’s crucifixion. Never mind that there’s no possible accounting for new life if Jesus remained dead. 
Then the miracles went as well. Only “acted parables,” that’s all. The feeding of the five thousand was a lesson on – wait for that drippy, churchy word – “sharing.” A socialist picnic provided by Jesus who was not the Son of God but, as Malcolm Muggeridge once said, only “the Labour party member for Galilee South.” 
Are you looking forward to your reward in heaven? Don’t bother: eternal life is not a continuation of Christian life after death but only “a superior quality of life in the here and now.”......
Doctrine cast aside. The real Bible and the real Prayer Book discarded and dismissed in a protracted fit of contempt for beauty and truth. What remained then for them to destroy? 
Christian morality, that’s what. 
The Ten Commandments were simply “too judgemental” and so they had to be replaced by act utilitarianism, situation ethics, which means that you decide what’s good on the hoof, on the spur of the moment. 
This was excitedly described as “the new morality” when it first appeared in the 1960s. 
It was no new morality, but only the old immorality in a miniskirt. 
So there’s no sin, no devil, nothing to acknowledge, nothing to bewail. There really was no need for the Son of God to come and redeem us then, was there – except to transform us into sentimental egalitarians and diversity mongers?

You cannot lie for a good end. All lies enable evil.

Seek Grace.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Three Heads of State, better than One.

Hot on the heels of the last conversation here  - the four horesemen - a customer at the bar in the US room asked us take a further look at three of them.

I am a man of 'Hope'. It is hope against hope that a significant improvement will occur in the world in the next week but nonetheless the 'people of goodwill' may arise in strange places. Don't look to the White House though.

Joel points out....
Amidst Obama retreat from Mideast, three regional leaders are forming a quiet but fiercely determined alliance against Iran & ISIS. Who are they and will they succeed? 
Something curious is happening in the Middle East.
Amidst President Obama’s repeated moves to withdraw American military power and influence from the Middle East and “pivot” to Asia, three regional leaders in the epicenter are forming a quiet, unexpected but fiercely determined alliance.
Why? To protect their people against two existential threats, one posed by the Shia Radical Islamists of Iran, the other posed by the Sunni Radical Islamists of ISIS.
Who are they?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu;
Jordan’s King Abdullah II; and
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
They are meeting secretly. They are talking regularly by phone, as well as with other leaders in the region from Saudi Arabia to the Gulf. Their senior advisors are also in regular contact, coordinating moves to counter their most serious enemies. They are not waiting for Washington. Indeed, they often see the White House and State Department as less than helpful, and sometimes opposed to — or not truly understanding — their national and shared interests.
As 2014 began, I wrote a series of columns about why we should keep our eye on these three.  As 2015 begins, I hold to this analysis. These men are critically important players who are actively trying to shape the future of the Middle East for the better, and who are trying to work closely with the U.S. despite resistance from the White House.
NETANYAHU — Prime Minister Netanyahu declared war on Hamas last summer amidst a jihadist rampage sweeping the region.  An experienced expert in battling jihad, few leaders have warned about the overall threat of Radical Islam — and specifically about the Iranian nuclear threat — not just to Israel but to the U.S. and the world more clearly or consistently than he.
“To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war,” Netanyahu told leaders at the UN last September. “ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. They share the same fanatical creed….The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith….Militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam….Allowing Iran to reach nuclear capabilities will pose the greatest threat to us all.”
He leads the most faithful and trusted ally America has in the Middle East (and arguably in the world), yet he is persona non grata in the White House, and far closer to his colleagues in Amman and Cairo.
ABDULLAH — King Abdullah II has declared war on ISIS and launch repeated rounds of airstrikes after a Jordanian pilot was burned alive by ISIS. He is pro-Western and has worked closely with the U.S. military and intel community for years.
What’s more, the King and his top advisors are also actively engaged in trying to deconstruct and delegitimize the theology of Radical Islam. In 2005, the King issued the“Amman Message,” a public call for Muslims to reject violent extremism, promote tolerance and moderation, and project innocent human life, based on a “Reformer” interpretation of Islam. 
Since then, some 552 Muslim leaders, scholars and clerics in 84 countries have signed the document in agreement. He has also worked hard to protect Christian minorities in Jordan.
The King, perhaps America’s most trusted and faithful Arab ally, has the best relationship with Obama of the three — yet it is far from what it should be.
The President reportedly was not even planning to meet with His Majesty on his recent trip to Washington, and apparently only changed his plans after learning of the Jordanian pilot’s death. Even then, they met for less than 20 minutes.
El-SISI — President el-Sisi has declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood and other brands of jihad. In the summer of 2013, he and the Egyptian military brought down the Brotherhood that was strangling Egypt and was trying to impose Sharia law. He declared a ferocious war on the lawless jihadists operating in the Sinai desert, shut down many of the smuggling tunnels connecting the Sinai to the Gaza Strip, and committed himself to cutting off the arms and money flowing to the Hamas terror group operating in Gaza.
Most recently, he delivered a major speech in Cairo on January 1, 2015 challenging Muslim leaders to reform Islam and rescue it from the Radicals. “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!” el-Sisi told scholars at Al-Azhar University, the Harvard of Sunni Islam. “We are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting for your next move….I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema (learned men) – Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.”
Yet while el-Sisi has forged excellent working relations with Abdullah and with Netanyahu (especially important during the 2014 war with Hamas), the Obama administration refuses to treat el-Sisi as partner and ally of the United States. Instead, itcondemned removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power and called for Mohammed Morsi to be put back into power. (Morsi is the man who famously said during a campaign speech, “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”)
Meanwhile, the Obama team has refused to dispense more than $500 million in promised aid to Egypt. A top Egyptian official said U.S-Egyptian relations were in“turmoil” in 2013. The situation remained so bad that in the summer of 2014 el-Sisi declined an invitation from President Obama to come to meet him in Washington.
Two U.S. officials told me of a meeting they had with President el-Sisi in Cairo last year. The Egyptian leader told them he had a better working relationship with Netanyahu than with President Obama.
It is notable that we do not see pictures of either of these three leaders on the golf course or taking selfies with a Presidential selfie-stick. They are in a completely different league to Obama. 

True, Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, and signed a separate peace treaty with Jordan in 1994. But that has not always meant the countries worked closely together. Indeed, there have been times of much stress and tension in each of these relationships.
But times are changing. The rise of the Radicals, and the retreat of Mr. Obama, is bringing these three leaders together in unexpected ways.
Each sees his country in grave danger from the forces of Radical Islam.
Each has chosen to boldly and aggressively engage in military action against the Radicals to protect their people, despite widespread criticism at home and abroad.
Each is also increasingly speaking out publicly about the nature of the threat — the poisonous, genocidal theology of the jihadists — and each is calling on the world both to understand the threat and help them first contain and then defeat Radical Islam before it is too late.
Yet to their astonishment, Netanyahu, King Abdullah and el-Sisi have come to realize that President Obama and his administration do not fully appreciate the magnitude of the threat, and that the Obama team is not fully committed to taking decisive action to neutralize the threat.
Will this alliance succeed to stopping Iran, ISIS and other Radicals? Only time will tell. But it’s an important — though very sensitive partnership — and one the U.S. should be assisting, not resisting.
Call me a skeptic (or worse) but I suspect that Obama and his team have quite a sound grasp on the magnitude of the threat and are Hell-bent on making it real.  There is a time for 'Hope' and a time for facing the reality and the evidence. Or lack of it.

Let us drink to their success, even if hamstrung.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Four-Horsemen race

Up here in the Tavern the talk sometimes turns to 'end-times'. Admittedly, my main concern is the end of a barrel and having to send a chap down to the cellars to hook up another to the pump without trying to sneak a peek in the Crypt.

But others are concerned that Armageddon is just around the corner, despite we being here in Tasmania and Meggido being in the Middle-East, some thousands of miles away (and actually west of us). It is a long way for a Knight to ride, no matter how fine a horseman he is, and I am well past that these days.

But the Four Horsemen of  antiquity and enormity seem to be getting closer to affecting us all everyday. So far, only one seems to have found his horse. 

The two most involved, the leaders of Jordan and Israel, are Men's men. They have the most to gain from Peace and the most to lose from war. They are men of Peace who know the value of strength and the preparedness of themselves for fighting for it. 
Both are Warriors.

The Russian interferer is a mafia poseur. He is not a warrior but a worry. The American is a total clown. He, too, is a worry, but even worse. He is a white-ant, a pretender, a turncoat. With friends like these, no-one needs enemies.

Unfortunately both Obama and Putin are 'involved' in the middle east. Both seem to want a nasty, destructive, all-encompassing conflagration. Putin for money and power. Obama for.... what? I suspect with Obama, who seems to be the world's main apologist for Muslim atrocity, it is to destroy Christianity, a creed and a Christ that he gives every impression of Hating with a vengance. He seems to hate America almost as much.

The 'Middle-East Problem' is ridiculous. It is seen as intractable. It is seen as 'complex', but it is not. Nor is it difficult to understand.

Denis gave a concise outline. Not one person in the bar was able to disagree, although quite a few comments were made about how we got to where we are.

 Jordan was mentioned. It has been in the news recently after a young Jordanian  pilot, a Muslim, was shot down and then put to death in a particularly gruesome manner for the world to gawp at. He was burned to death in a cage by Muslim terrorists.

This incensed the King of Jordan. A Muslim.

Jordan, you might recal, had you been educated, was created at the same time as modern Israel. Israel was to be the homeland of the Jews and Jordan to be the homeland of the Palestinians. That didn't work out too well as Denis pointed out. One could say that Jordan reaps what it sowed.

But that 'war' period was under a the current King's dad. This King seems to be a slightly different kebab.

This is a King that Israel can talk to. One who perhaps can understand. He actually recognises Israel's right to exist. He knows the depths of depravity that Muslims harbour. He is prepared to fight it, albeit with weaponry rather than changing the creed itself or .... better.... becoming a Christian himself.

He is tacitly a Muslim, but as with most Top Dogs he is most likely ( I do not pretend to know) not really religious at all. Most kings - unlike me - do not like the idea of a King of Kings ! They will have no God before themselves.

But this chap shows leadership. Heck, I would be inclined to follow him to watch him in action. It is most unusual these days for leaders to put their limbs where their mouths are .... except for feet. Obama certainly would not.  

But they all have to play the diplomatic game.

The simplicity of the middle-east problem requires enormous effort to keep going. The physical effort alone takes much of 'diplomatic' thought and time. The Spiritual barely rates a mention. Yet it is a spiritual war spilled over into the human, material sphere.

But.... let us look at the Great Leader of the Western World.  Obama. Just how he got to where he is, I will leave for many others to explain. It may need a longer view of history to reveal. Meanwhile just the other day Obama declared that there is little difference between Islam and Christianity. ! 

That anyone can be so ignorant defies explanation. He has no excuse there. Is he 'morally confused' or a nasty injection of virus-laden gunk into the body politic

David Limbaugh had a few things to say....
Obama's Morally Confused Prayer Breakfast Lecture

I find it very odd that a president notably lacking in humility and frequently riding his own high horse would lecture American Christians about those subjects -- because they presumably condemn acts of barbarism by Islamists.

Talk about a string of disconnects. While we're at it, let's note one more. Obama, at the National Prayer Breakfast, also exhorted us to "uphold the distinction between our faith and our governments — between church and between state." Last time I checked, it was not Christians, unless you believe that Obama is a Christian, who were using government power to restrict religious liberties of others.

Obama, however, has conspicuously infringed on the conscience rights of Christians in supporting mandates that require religious organizations to pay for contraception and abortifacients.

Indeed, Obama was too busy lecturing Christians about "theocracies that restrict people's choice of faith" — though there are no Christian theocracies in the world — to note that many Muslim nations in the world are theocratic and under Shariah.

Is Obama's moral compass so skewed that he is utterly blind to the rampant theocratic oppression that routinely occurs in Muslim nations in the world? 
This takes moral equivalency to new levels.

But that wasn't even his worst moral distortion of the morning. On the heels of the Islamic State group's burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot, Obama's instinct was not to decry ISIS' depraved murder but to caution us not to judge the religion of Islam. Was anyone doing that, by the way?

As usual, Obama's first impulse to another atrocity committed in the name of Islam was to defend Islam — and attack Christianity and Christians, who Obama apparently believes are holding their noses in the air thinking they don't engage in such behavior in the name of their religion.

Foremost on his mind was to correct the record on Islam, kind of a pre-emptive defense of the religion he holds dear from his childhood, against any attempts to tar it based on thousands of "isolated" incidents. 
Here's where his moral equivalence reared its ugly head again.

He said, "We ... see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon." That was his predicate for chronicling the recent despicable actions of ISIS — an acronym, by the way, that, in his moral bewilderment, he refuses to utter — and then glibly transitioning into certain regrettable actions committed by or with the support of Christians in history.

Of course, he was compelled to invoke the Crusades, which in his view were unprovoked acts of aggression by Christians against Muslims but which in reality were far more complex than that. And of course, he had to mention the Inquisition, as if that is somehow relevant, even microscopically, to what's going on today.

The Crusades of course came as a response to 400 years of Muslim terror across the Mediterranean. No mention that the fact that the Inquisition had strict rules of evidence and meticulous recording of such evidence long before civil courts did. Nor mention that the Inquisition strictly limited torture which was common in civil courts. 
But no blanket condemnation would be complete without Obama's obligatory and habitual denunciation of slavery and Jim Crow, only this time he cited them as examples not of America's evil past but of evils committed in the name of Christianity.
No mention of the fact that it was Christians who fought against it and stopped it. 
As long as we're talking about "wedges" and "weapons," it sure seems to me as if that's precisely how Obama continues to use slavery and Jim Crow. He just will not let these go. It obviously never occurs to him that Christianity was one of the main driving forces in eradicating slavery in this country. 
But we can hardly expect him to give us a fair reading of Christianity's role when he is on a mission to demonize it.
All 'isolated incidents', of course, by 'lone' individuals.

Obama is the one who needs to demonstrate a little humility and dismount his own elevated steed. He needs to put aside the pride that contributes to clouding his judgment about acts of terror committed by Islamists. He needs to recognize that it is nothing short of an act of moral cowardice to suggest that the multitudinous atrocities committed in the name of Islam today, whether or not they are representative of the true religion of Islam, bear any comparison to acts of Christians — today or in the past.

He needs to reset his own bias-riddled perception and open his willfully closed eyes to the fact that we have real enemies today who are killing us in the name of their religion and that, regardless of how representative they are of the faith that fuels their war cry, they see themselves as faith-driven and they are not going to be deterred or pacified by craven denunciations of Christianity or fervent defenses of Islam proper.

This is not about the Islamists' grievances over poverty or injustice or any of the other pet causes with which Obama can identify but about conquering the world for a global caliphate and subjugating or killing everyone who will not submit. There is no appeasing this mindset.

Americans are in greater danger now than we have been in decades because we have a leader who simply will not recognize that our allies and we are under attack around the world by untold numbers of people acting under the banner of Islam. 
No matter how many peaceful Muslims there are in the world, it doesn't change the fact that we're threatened by many who aren't.

If Obama spent one-tenth of the time focusing on these radical enemies as he does apologizing for the religion they claim to represent, Americans would be much safer.
It may need Divine Intervention to sort out, and by all accounts (there are very few) my Supplier will not go lightly when he starts boxing ears. 

Drink deep of Grace. You do not want to be caught without a glass in hand. 


Monday, February 9, 2015

Good Morning Sunshine

Summer at the Tavern is always sunny and warm. Except of course for those days when it is overcast, raining or blowing the roaring 40's gale, which in summer are just 'occasional', to keep us on our toes. 

Everywhere on the good Earth we can see a sunrise every day. Good, eh? 

Our own local sunrise is unique. The cloudscapes and the hills or horizons we have differ everywhere so we get 'special' treats all the time mixed in with the familiar.

Tasmania. Sunrise over The Nut.
But step back, as Dr Ken does, and we see the really spectacular.

Ken Kremer was showing his snaps around in the US Room. There was a fine crowd in there to pass them around. He came a long way. From around the world. In fact hundreds of times around the world !

He is a space doc, you see. And a fine photographer.

This is the sort of sunrise he has become used to.

And this.

Mind you, he does have the best seat outside of the house.

You can see more and follow at:

Or go to visit him directly at:

Meanwhile these are some of the snaps he was passing around.

Not one of Ken's perhaps, but how can I not put it here? 

We are very small. The Earth is large. The Universe is really Big.

But we can see.

We can appreciate the Universe that cannot see, except through OUR eyes.

Grace comes not just or only through wine and fine ales but just and only however the Great Supplier wants to provide it.

Drink up the view. He wants you to see this and marvel at his Creation.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Taverner at Sea

Update: Photos added. And maybe more again soon.

We are blessed here in this almost perfect spot.  Sitting atop a modest mountain which has some civilisation but not too much, we overlook one of the most beautiful water aspects in the World.

Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux 'discovered' this part of the world way back when, and had he planted the Frog flag and claimed it for France nous would avons be parling  le Francais instead of English. But he didn't. Hahaha. He did name a few places after himself, however, hence the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruney Island.  His 'second' ship's Captain also gave his name to the Huon River, the Huon Valley and of course the magnificent Huon Pine. 

From which (the Pine) the very best wooden boats are made.

Huon Pine
As it was he was pipped to the flagpost by a splendid Englishman, but not before writing in his ship's log that this estuary and its environs could 'provide safe anchorage for all the ships of all the fleets in the world'. The British thought so too and so Hobart was established as the second city in Oz after Sydney.  A fine and awful prison, indeed a world-and men-beater was built not far away at Port Arthur for convicts.

But enough of the History.

Annually some of the less callous and criminal of the population of Hilary's Village below the mountain have a celebration of boats. Specifically wooden ones. Much of the rest of the year sees the waters plied by the world-beating modern multi-hull boats made from metals, apart from 'New Year' when everyone and his sea dog sails down here in various races, of which I have mentioned elsewhere. But on this weekend the place explodes with sail. 

So I put away my towel today and mounted my steed to go down to the water. It has been a most beautiful day with high sun and just the sort of light breeze that gentle sailors like. Just right for a land-lubber Knight cum Tavern Keeper.

What follows is a celebration of boats and water, and it is a special tribute to James, a sound customer and first-class mate.

The Tavern-Keeper is an Hairy Man

My Steed du Jour. A Sea Horse.

The Hoi-Poloi

Two Hundred boats of all sizes came up the waters past the beautiful beachside villages that line the Channel.  I was in amongst them with a fine Captain who weaved back and forth, obeying the 'give way to sail' Laws.

Just look at the 'Blue'.

Furrin Boat People take every opportunity to come here.

Nautical phrases.
"Left Hand Down a Bit"
Fore ! Coming through.
Arrived with the Sydney to Hobart Race. Came in 6th. Stayed to play.

Not everyone is a rich man with a world-class Mini-Maxi worth $1.2 million: Some boats are more 'modest.

Here below, the Police boat takes great interest in a local boat from down the coast, manned by 'hippies' who named their boat, 'Heroin'. Hmmmm

A Sea Dog sits at the stern of the fore-water Red Flag boat.  Look closely.

"Avast scurvies. We are coming aboard for your gold, your wine and your men".
Ladies (wo)man the oars. Fine Gals.

They do not stay out at sea, of course. They all come into the lovely harbour that graces the almost-centre of the city. 200 boats joined the 300 already there, of all sizes and shapes.

200,000 people are thronging the wharf over the weekend, which is more than the total city population !!

A sailing man's pleasure place.

But a Tavern has to be manned too. All those folk will need Grace. So I had to return. But the trip was supposed to take us to the Iron Pot - the oldest lighthouse in Oz - so off we went across Storm Bay at full speed. That turned out to be 45 knots, 60mph, 96kmph. !!!

PHEW. We flew !

So, I am back and The Bars are Open again.

Finally, if you are ever in Hobart (to visit the Tavern of course) I thoroughly recommend Pennicott's boat and Wilderness trips.  He is an 'icon' (in the modern misuse sense) in Tasmania. A great chap and a fine tour provider.