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June 1 - June 3, 2002


Monday 3rd June, 2002


Martin Roth posts:


With God on Their Side

In 1989, Chinese students and workers confronted the authorities in Tiananmen Square. The government called in the army, and in a brutal crack-down thousands of demonstrators were killed (the exact number is unknown). The leaders were forced into exile.


Writer Ian Buruma tracked down these leaders, and he made an interesting discovery – a surprising number have become Christians. He devotes two of the 12 chapters in his latest book Bad Elements to the rapid growth of Christianity in China.


In my latest article, “With God on Their Side”, I discuss Buruma’s book. I look at the leaders of the uprising. Is it not intriguing that their initial goal was to change the government; now they are working to change people’s hearts? And I conclude: These people almost overturned the Chinese Communist dynasty on their first go. What might happen now that they have God on their side?


-posted 1:10pm, by Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:



Tim Blair uses his razor sharp wit in his comments about the CD-rom Islamic Fun!


Little Green Footballs has Colin Powell’s comments about the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Israeli MDA.


Midwest Conservative Journal looks at the recent decision regarding internet filters in US libraries. The Editor works in a library and expresses his opinion adroitly.


Are you curious about the salaries of pastors and workers in mega churches? Head over to The Book of Joshua.


As Martin mentioned here on Friday, the Spanish-language Argentinian blog fotos del apocalipsis writes about this site. Here is a translation, using a free on-line translation service.


Martin Roth, New Zealand in Australia, has a weblog with an impressive list of weblogs Christian. Martin is not catholic, but is neither of the ones that are denied to consider "Christian" to the catholic; and thus is that it includes, among many other, the weblogs catholic that I have in my links. In spanish, nothing..

 Charming, isn’t it?




Jewsweek takes a hard look at Jews for Jesus.



O Canada

On going infighting within the federal ruling Liberal party has once again spilled into the public domain. Defense Minister Art Eggleton was booted out of cabinet last week. Canadians are left wondering what else is under this rock.


Canadian media has been hammering away at more corruption accusations for a few weeks. It is only beginning.


And as the G8 summit approaches, the no love lost battle between Finance Minister Paul Martin and Prime Minister Jean Cretian has resulted in Martin's ouster. His replacement is Deputy PM John Manley.


The National Post has a damning article on our refusal to deal with terrorists.


When an opposition leader tells the truth he is roundly vilified.


Canada and Canadians have squandered their right to be taken seriously on the world stage. Oh Canada, straighten up.



Learning History’s Lessons

Victor David Hanson’s piece, Short Term Gain and Long Term Pain is a must read in this weekend’s National Review. Hanson has an encyclopedic knowledge of history and a remarkable ability to apply past lessons to today’s world situation.



Deadly Games

Last Monday I commented on a game that glorifies suicide bombing. Another anti-Semitic game is on being marketed to children as young as five years old. Islamic Fun! is marketed as an educational tool.


Abbas Panjwani, the director of the company Innovative Minds, which produces Islamic Fun! said: "The game does not target any human beings including soldiers, it targets Israeli tanks. From that point of view it's no different from any other war game. It does not target any religious or racial group including the Jewish community. In fact its educational content teaches children the difference between Judaism and Zionism."

This ‘educational game’ has been sold from a home in West Sussex for the past three years. Britain has no law to make this kind of hate tool illegal.



Thinking and Linking

Townhall Magazine now has a blog. This post caught my attention; here it is in its entirety.


Posted by Jon Garthwaite
9:13 AM link

Many in the mainstream media dismiss the screeds of bloggers--people who post their views on their own Web logs--as so much blather. But to this Los Angeles writer, these maverick sites are well worth exploring. By Catherine Seipp (link via IP)

The big media like the New York Times, LA Times, and the TV networks don't like bloggers because they don't understand why someone would choose an average citizen's editorial choices over theirs. They've survived so far by being news distillers, culling through thousands of stories to present "what important to you." Linkers threaten that business.

The online media like Salon, Slate, MSnbc, etc often don't like bloggers because in many cases blogs are direct competition with less overhead. Before Blogger gave a mouthpiece to some pretty decent writers, folks at Slate and Salon cornered the market for online writing. If you wanted sharp commentary on politics, sports, and entertainment there weren't a lot of choices. This is not the case anymore. Thinkers threaten their business.

Hypothesis: Linkers threaten big media. Thinkers threaten online media....and the Thinking/Linking blog is destined for greatness.

Read Catherine Seipp’s balanced look at this phenomenon.


-posted 11:45am, by Bene Diction



Sunday 2nd June, 2002


Bene Diction posts:


The Demise of Zimbabwe

The New Yorker has an in depth look at the destruction of this once growing country. Genocide Watch has placed Zimbabwe at level 7 out of the 8 stages of genocide. Decide for yourself.



Politically Correct

Political corruption and incorrectness kills. Can political correctness kill? National Post columnist Mark Steyn thinks so, and offers recent examples from the US.



It’s Going to Take a Long Time

The Iman of the grand mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan says that the votes of the women delegates to the upcoming Loya Jirga should not carry the same weight as a mans. Will the fledging government be able to stand up against this kind of religious, cultural and political pressure? Link via Rantburg




The International Committee of the Red Cross continues to dance to its own tune in regards to the Israeli MDA. Scroll down for background post of June 1st.




On Tuesday May 28th, I posted the story of the Reuters journalist arrested in the Gaza strip for carrying a hand grenade. Here is the only update I could find. It is not identified as a Reuters release.  This wire copy goes out of its way to ‘discredit’ Israel in typical Reuter’s fashion. At least there is an admission this man is a Reuters employee.



Blog Words

As the growth of blogging captures the attention of the media and the public, words to describe the process are being made up every day. This lexicon is not definitive, but it’s a good start.


-posted 4:35pm by Bene Diction



Martin Roth posts:


A Good Man Dies

Disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje has died. From a distance he appeared to be a good man – a devout Christian - with a good heart. But a man – perhaps an insecure man - who got led astray. He loved money. He sinned badly. His confession, when caught, is a modern classic of repentance.


Here are excerpts:


2. It is time for me to try to repay a part of the enormous debt which I owe to cricket and to try to repair some of the damage which I have caused the game, South Africa, my family and teammates, and the cricketing public.


3. My initial denials of involvement made publicly and to the UCB, were untruthful; my letter of the 11th April was also untruthful in a number of respects; and so too was the subsequent press statement issued on my instructions. I misled the United Cricket Board of South Africa and members of the South African government and those who tried to defend me. I also withheld facts from my legal representatives. I was not honest and I apologise unreservedly,


4. I have also decided to sever my connections with the game and I will not again play cricket at representative level.


5. Words cannot begin to describe the shame, humiliation and pain I feel, in the knowledge that I have afflicted this on others. To my wife, family, and team-mates, in particular, I apologise.


6. The greatest honour which can be bestowed upon any cricketer is to lead his country's national side. I have failed in my moral and professional duties. Hopefully, I can contribute some small measure of redress by placing before the commission the information which follows in this statement. Until now I have not named or implicated any other person, and I fear that the revelations in this statement create serious implications for my personal safety. I have already received death threats.


7. I wish to disclose all the information I have and, in the emotional state in which I find myself, have dredged my memory as best I can in order to place the facts before this commission.


Perhaps his most fashionable church placed too much emphasis on those bits of the Bible which say that God wants Christians to prosper. And not enough on the true message of Jesus – service and love and humility. It even sometimes seemed that having confessed his sin he was back trying to make more money. God knows where he might have ended up if he hadn't died today.


Whatever. I can’t help thinking of him as a good man.




-posted 12:25am, by Martin Roth



Saturday 1st June, 2002


Martin Roth posts:



Now, a Dutch blog. Yesterday I added Hernan’s Spanish-language fotos del apocalipsis blog (from Argentina) to the list. Today it’s Jan’s 2xalt (to exalt) Dutch blog. If anyone knows any other Spanish or Dutch Christian blogs please let me know, so I can pass on details to Hernan and Jan.



Sunday Worship

Thank you to the Christianity Today blog for pointing out the Anglican Media Sydney web pages devoted to the World Cup, which started last night. Initial postings include articles on the dilemma faced by English churches over the fact that England’s game against Sweden kicks off at 10:30am Sunday, British time. Some churches have changed the time of their morning service. Others will screen the match on big screens, in the hope of attracting additional “worshippers”.



Indonesia’s Future at Stake

Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has never been shy to speak his mind. Often he’s worth listening to. Last night he commented on Indonesia:


Mr Lee says Indonesia's system of government has unravelled since President Suharto was removed.

He says militants want to make Indonesia an Islamic state.

"At stake is the future of the new Indonesia," he said.

Mr Lee says the United States must re-engage to help Indonesia's military, saying the army is one institution which can hold the country together.

"The stability of Indonesia is crucial to the future of the region and I may add, the strategic balance in East Asia."



Like a Herpes Virus

Feisty Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell is in trouble. Tomorrow night the local version of 60 Minutes plans to broadcast claims that he tried to bribe victims of child sex abuse, to buy their silence.


Dr Pell has already tried to pre-empt the television programme with a news conference denying the allegations. He is also considering legal moves to halt the broadcast of the programme.


These “archbishop in sex abuse horror sensation cover-up” scandals break out periodically in Australia. After the reheating of old controversies and a period of intense chest beating by the media they blow over. The media-wise Dr Pell will know this.


But he will also know that, like a herpes virus, these scandals lie dormant for a time and can then erupt unexpectedly and inconveniently. According to the “sealed section” (for subscribers only) of the whistle-blowing Crikey website, the Church several years ago was paying a PR company $20,000 a month to manage media coverage of sex abuse allegations. Dr Pell is going to need an awful lot more media management.


-posted 3:45pm, by Martin Roth



Bene Diction posts:



(Memo To Self: Do not try to blog during peak Internet traffic times.)


(Memo to Self: Re: above memo. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22)



Cyber Attacks

The Chinese government vehemently denies this, as would any government. There are more links at the end of this article in WorldNetDaily.



Stop Frisking Crippled Nuns

Mark Steyn takes on airport security.



Top 10

John Hawkins rates the Top Ten Conservative Political Blogs. No big surprises here.



Stupid Isn’t So Bad After All

Dov Fischer of the National Review looks at why people on the left seem so smug about their intelligence. He takes down Robert Scheer, of the Lost Angeles Times, a radical left opinion writer, very neatly and intelligently.



18 Months for the Paperwork?

The International Committee of the Red Cross has finally decided to admit the Israeli branch of the Red Cross (Magen David Adom) into its ranks. There is no press release about this from the ICRC; the story is in the Jerusalem Post. The MDA has to wait 18 months for full membership. After nearly 50 years of refusing the Israeli branch, the International Committee could stretch this out even longer.  The ICRC isn’t very serious about this, are they? There is no announcement. Why does it take 18 months to process the MDA membership?



The Vatican and the Media

A Vatican-sanctioned journal has attacked the U.S. media for "morbid" behavior in its coverage of the priest sex-abuse scandal, and denounced what it called anti-Catholic attitudes that imply priests are monsters.

Abusive priests are monsters.


The article, the journal's second in two weeks on the scandal that has shaken the U.S. Catholic Church to its core, also says Pope John Paul II is concerned that priests accused of abusing minors should not be subjected to "summary trials."

No, they should be subjected to swift criminal trials with all the details and formalities.


The article claims the American media coverage of the sex scandals had been influenced by what it calls an "anti-Catholic and, therefore, anti-Roman and anti-papist" spirit.

We can’t clean house so we’ll shoot the messenger. It doesn’t work this time, gentlemen. The article appears this weekend in the Jesuit Journal Civilta Cattolica.  Link via NY Post.


-posted 9:55am, by Bene Diction