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A Farewell to Hitchens

Good News! Christopher Hitchens finally believes in God!

Did he repent? Oh my, no. But the cantankerous buzzard is dead now, so like Charles Darwin and Carl Sagan before him and (unless things change soon) Richard Dawkins and Rob Bell to follow him, Hitchens has slipped the surly bonds of life and spat in the face of God.

He probably was just choking on his own disbelief. Hard to know. But the fact remains, a man who dedicated much of his life to scolding and slandering the faithful is receiving his eternal reward. All is right in the universe.

This probably comes off as offensive and glib to many of you. When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. If atheists are going to be cruel and slanderous to me in their lives, that’s fine. I’ll take the final word and be joyful and truthful in their deaths. I’m not going to write a flowery a eulogy for a man who went so brashly to Hell. There is no rule in Christianity that says we must wait until Judgement Day for all accounts to be settled. When God brings his terrible righteous judgement to bear before the end of the world (read: the death of the wicked), we should be glad that God is vindicating His own truth. The Truth that we as believers cling to. In other words, all of us who have been slandered by this eager apostate have now been vindicated. Not before the whole world–yet–but to Hitchens, himself. This is good news.

Yes, it would have been better for Hitchens if we had been vindicated during his life through a conversion out of atheism and into orthodox Christianity. It certainly was better for me when God opened my eyes to His truth in this life. But ultimately the same justice has been done. Wrongs have been righted. Is that not worthy of celebration?

Did no one reading this find anything worth celebrating when Osama bin Laden died of acute lead poisoning? Or looking back at the deaths of Hitler, Stalin and Mao, all of whom killed millions, is it not good that they now understand fully the depth of their sin and are reaping what they’ve sewn?

Are we so delicate around the matter of Hell that we convince ourselves that those who gladly jump into it rather than bow before God in humility somehow don’t really understand what’s going on when they arrive? Or look back at their life with regret? I firmly believe that while those in Hell hate it and would rather be in Heaven, the nature of their hearts does not change. They still hate God, they just believe in Him now. They hate Him for what he genuinely is, not for the misperceptions they had during life. Anyone who sees God as He truly is and still hates Him deserves eternity in Hell. Obviously, that is every single human being apart from the saving grace of God, but that doesn’t change the fact.

We should be more grateful to the salvation we have, and grateful that God is willing to execute the perfect justice that vindicates us and honors Himself.

Now, full disclosure. Like many of the wicked, Hitchens had admirable traits. He did have a certain intellectual honesty about him. He took stances against the evils of Islam and the Clintons, and even argued that life begins at conception. However, he was still an anti-Christian Marxist pro-choicer. His wit was mighty, and his intellect was keen, and he would not bow before the altar of self-censorship known as Political Correctness. He was malignant and arrogant, as well as fiercely loyal and productive. On one hand, he would have been a great guest at a dinner party. On the other hand, all this was wasted in a life devoid of ultimate purpose. Even at the end, Hitchens wished he could go out fighting a great struggle, or giving his life for some cause, not to wither away from cancer. He lacked ultimate meaning and he knew it. The only cause he served was written about so eloquently by Jonathan Edwards some 300 years ago. “Wicked Men Useful in Their Destruction Only.”

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Cain Pauses to Consider Lybia

Herman Cain’s response to a question on Libya in a sit down with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is buzzing around the webs with zeal this eve. Particularly the profoundly long pause at the outset of his answer. Watch below…

Obviously you don’t see this kind of thing very often from a would be President! Complete with what Hillary Clinton might term an effort to apply a sort of reset button! I guess this is the week for rather epic moments

Now this isn’t an easy thing the candidates go through subjecting themselves to tough and detailed questions from ambitious and prickly reporters and interviewers day after day – many of whom would love nothing more than to create an embarrassing You Tube clip for you. But Mr. Cain looks pretty rough here. He very much reminds me of a high school speech contestant struggling to throw together something that might sound credible.

Setting aside the beginning interlude – what I found particularly interesting in Cain’s response was his refusal to take much of a position at all. If this was Mitt Romney saying he wasn’t criticizing President Obama specifically right then and there – there’d be like 83 bloggers from Hot Air to the Daily Caller writing whole novels on his lack of Conservative fervor because he wouldn’t take a position. But I guess we’re good with Herman’s refusal to do so? Eh Roger Ailes?!

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Gov Huck Defends Mitt Against DNC Hit on Abortion

After an epic battle for the Iowa Caucuses and beyond, a struggle that encompassed numerous angsty outbursts and widespread reports of mutual bad blood, it would appear that Gov Mike Huckabee is experiencing a sort of detente towards Gov Mitt Romney. That curious trend continued today as Huck took on the Obama-ites attack on Romney’s abortion record…

Of all the downright peachy news items from Gov Romney’s perspective that have been littering the news cycle of late, perhaps no development is as potentially beneficial than the prospect of Huckabee’s support. Or, at the least, Huckabee’s occasional kind comments coupled with his continued negative volleys toward Gov Rick Perry.

Iowa Caucus eh?!

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Fall TV part 3: The Dudes and the Fairy Tales

On this, likely my final TV preview of the season (at least until mid-season replacements!), I’m tackling four shows, split into two categories: ABC’s hour-long, two-show block of “manly” television and the two hour-long fairy tale shows that debuted last week. All times are central.

Last Man Standing

Network: ABC – Time Slot: 7 p.m. Tuesday – Would Watch Again: Yes

This one’s been on for a few weeks now, but better late than never, right?

“Last Man Standing” is Tim Allen’s return to TV comedy, a response to the nostalgia that viewers – or at least ABC – had for his wildly successful run on “Home Improvement.” This time, however, Tim Allen’s character (his name is Mike, but I had to look that up) is relegated to a home with three daughters instead of three sons, and the crush of femininity causes him to frequently ruminate on rambling webcamera videos about the emasculation of the modern man. Also, he works for an outdoors supply company instead of a tool company. And there’s no Wilson.

My cynical description of the show notwithstanding, there’s a lot to like here. The pilot was much, much cleverer than I had anticipated, and it managed to reawaken my dormant “Home Improvement”-based Tim Allen feelings while glossing over my “virtually everything else he’s ever done”-based Tim Allen feelings. Turns out, he was good on TV where he failed in movies largely because he’s just really good at the multi-camera sitcom format. Metatextual script contributions from former “30 Rock” scribe and show creator Jack Burditt also liven up the proceedings with humor you don’t usually see in this kind of show (a Buzz Lightyear-related crack in the pilot comes to mind).

That being said, there is the underlying question of whether anyone needs a show like this, with Mike lamenting the downfall of the manly man while at the same time lowering himself to every ugly male stereotype in the book. Whether the show can rise above its concept and continue to operate as a typical, but funnier, family sitcom (and whether it can avoid the slide of diminishing returns it’s suffered since its first week) may be what keeps it on the air or shuts it down. That being said, it definitely has a better chance than the next show on the list.

Man Up!

Network: ABC – Time Slot: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday – Would Watch Again: No

Apparently deciding that “Last Man Standing” wasn’t enough, ABC decided to run “Man Up!” immediately following. There are a few differences – “Man Up!” has a collection of bros compared to Allen’s lone wolf status, and “Last Man” has a laugh track where “Man Up!” rather unwisely decided to rely on home viewers’ mirth – but at the root of each show is the idea that men just aren’t what they used to be.

“Man Up!” follows the lives of family man Will (Mather Zickel), sensitive single guy Craig (Christopher Moynihan) and clueless misogynist Kenny (Dan Fogler) as they wander through various misadventures wondering how they can be “real men” in these modern, toned-down times. In the pilot, this consists of Will wondering what to get for his son’s 13th birthday while Kenny deals awkwardly with his shrewish ex-wife and Craig considers crashing his ex-girlfriend’s wedding.

This is all pretty joyless, with only Kenny’s subplot earning even a slight smile (even those small joys must be taken with a grain of salt, as Fogler is clearly doing his level best to mimic Zach Galifianakis’s

character from the “Hangover” films). And, while “Last Man” might eventually settle into a successful, if not traditional, zany family sitcom, the “Man Up!” creators are too tied to their underlying concept, and they’re unlikely to find much sympathy with such unsympathetic and unfunny leads.

Once Upon A Time

Network: ABC – Time Slot: 7 p.m. Sunday – Would Watch Again: No

Next on the list of creators who are too enamored by their show’s high concept are Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, creators of “Once Upon A Time.” Perhaps inspired by their participation in the seemingly heady (but ultimately airheaded) “Lost,” the two have created a show that merges the real world with the world of fairy tales in a way that is so esoteric that it almost defies a sensical description.

In one way, “Once Upon A Time’s” pilot uses a storytelling device similar to “Lost’s” sixth season, flashing between the realities of the fairy tale world (where all fairy tales reside in a collective kingdom, similar to the “Shrek” films) and our world. Many of the characters in the fairy tale world also exist in the real world, but most of them appear to be unaware of their fairy tale lives. The story hinges on the decisions of Emma (Jennifer Morrison), the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), as she is made aware of these other characters’ connections with the fairy tale world.

You see, it seems that the evil queen from Snow White’s tale cursed the rest of the kingdom to be without happiness, but the good guys managed to save Emma by putting her in a magic wardrobe, and for some reason Emma is 28 in the real world while none of the other characters seemed to have aged, and, and, and… Frankly, it’s exhausting, and it’s muddled, and none of the performances made me care enough to keep watching.

Grimm

Network: NBC – Time Slot: 8 p.m. Friday – Would Watch Again: Maybe

I’m in the minority on this one. From my perusal of critical consensus, it looks like “Once Upon A Time” is getting better reviews than “Grimm.” While your mileage may vary when it comes to execution, “Grimm” does have the one-up on “Once” by virtue of having an easily-explainable premise.

The show follows Nick (David Giuntoli), a homicide detective who starts seeing people temporarily transformed into monsters. After a particularly harrowing run-in with one of them, he learns that he is one of the last surviving descendants of the Brothers Grimm, able to see – and fight – all of the storybook monsters the macabre siblings wrote about.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for genre mashups, but the idea of a cop procedural/modernized fairytale show intrigues me, and the acting and writing was all right, for a pilot. My main question is how seriously the show is taking itself. The opening murder scene actually made me laugh out loud harder than I’ve laughed at most of this year’s new comedies, and then there’s the intentionally comedic bit later on when a Big Bad Wolf (yep) says that he keeps his bloodlust in check with the help of Pilates. At this stage in the game, it’s hard to know whether the show is playing its premise straight or with its tongue firmly planted in cheek. Expect its hand to be tipped within a week or two.

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Rick Perry – Mr. 3%

I just couldn’t resist posting this nugget from Insider Advantage’s  most recent poll of Florida GOP voters.

Just last month Rick Perry led Mitt Romney in this poll by nine points, 29 to 20 percent. Well this month it’s a little different — Perry trails Old Mitt. By 30 points.

And what’s Perry’s percentage of support in Florida you might ask? 2.9%!!!

Wowzer.

The other big story is Herman Cain – or Herb Cain as Governor Palin calls him. Old Herb has shot to 2nd place, 3 points behind Mitt.

Has there ever been a Presidential candidate with so much hope invested in him that flamed out this fast and this totally?

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Rush Flip Flops on Romney

The great Rush Limbaugh has been making me sad this week. As Mitt Romney’s position strengthened with another dominant debate & the Chris Christie endorsement, the Maha Rushie markedly increased his angst towards the lad and actively questioned the validity of his claims to Conservatism.

Rush & I go way back. Back to the tractor cab in Eastern Montana where I would make round after round across the fields of my family’s farm with his voice providing the soundtrack. His epic statements on Clinton, Daschle & Gore were just a blast — The 90′s were truly the golden era of Rush. He had this great mirth and wit to go along with his spot on analysis. His grandeur, along with John Gordon’s voice on Twins broadcasts, played a big role in my desire to go into radio. And his analysis helped kindle my own political views.

From his formidable radio perch there’s no question that Rush can do Mitt damage. But truthfully this is only the culmination of the cold shoulder that Limbaugh has begun turning to him in the past couple years. Obviously I believe he’s wrong. Not only that…  just three short years ago, Rush was saying precisely the opposite. On his program on the 5th of February 2008, El Rushbo said the following

RUSH: I think now, based on the way the campaign has shaken out, that there probably is a candidate on our side who does embody all three legs of the conservative stool, and that’s Romney. The three stools or the three legs of the stool are national security/foreign policy, the social conservatives, and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives are the cultural people. The fiscal conservatives are the economic crowd: low taxes, smaller government, get out of the way.

Of course, the foreign policy crowd is obviously what it is. I don’t think there’s anybody on our side who doesn’t care about national security, which is why I found it amazing that McCain gets the bulk of those, because the idea that Romney or Huckabee are going to punt national security? In Huckabee’s case, you might just say the things he’s saying about it represent an ignorance born of inexperience in the subject. I don’t think Huckabee has any deleterious intentions about the country. When it comes to the fiscal side, you cannot say — you just cannot say — that John McCain is interested. He’s even admitted he’s not interested in the social side. He’s not interested in the economic side. He said this, and when he has spoken up about it, he sides more often with liberal Democrats on fiscal issues than he does with his own side. That’s problematic. This is why I think — and why I have said — that the Republican Party, not conservatism, but the Republican Party is in big trouble if it is empowered and gets elected by attracting people who also hold liberal Democrat views simply because they like McCain because of his character, his honor, his prisoner of war story, and they don’t like Hillary or Obama.

Rush likes to remind folks that he doesn’t bend to the winds of public opinion, citing his decision to support G H W Bush in 1992 over Ross Perot as an example. But, if that’s true, how else can one possibly explain Rush’s changeability here? Romneycare passed 2 years before Rush endorsed Mitt in 2008 – how can he have been the embodiment of Reagan’s Conservative stool then & now not be a Conservative at all? Rush believes his audience moved, and so he moved with them. A very disappointing evolution indeed.

Christie Endorses Romney

Chris Christie Throws in with Old Mitt

“Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead America, and we need him now…”

O cmon! Don’t act like you’re surprised. You had to know I was going to gloat with glee over this one!

The pugnacious Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, endorsed old Mitt Romney in New Hampshire this afternoon before the Bloomberg Debate late this evening. It was a move kept secret till mid-today, but apparently Romney knew on Saturday when Christie informed him while the two were shooting the breeze with their wives.

Governor Perry & incidentally President Obama (!!!) badly wanted the storyline this week to be about RomneyCare. Instead this news and another strong debate performance from Mitt blow that ooot of the proverbial water. Although the Perry camp attempted to brand the news as just two Northeastern Republicans hanging together and folks like the HotAir boys acted as though this were expected all along (so bitter, friends!), most of the news represented the truth of the mattter – that this is quite possibly the biggest endorsement of the cycle & certainly the most significant endorsement to this point.

Below lies the Romney / Christie announcement and presser in video form…

As I tweeted upon seeing the news flash across the tweet realms earlier today – God bless you Chris Christie.