The Alpha and Omega is Born! OPEN THREAD

Luke 2 King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village as the child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in another obscure village.

He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never owned a home.

He never had a family.

He never went to college.

[Excepting Jerusalem] He never put his foot inside a big city.

He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born.

He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials but himself…

While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him.

His friends ran away.

One of them denied him.

Another betrayed him.

He was turned over to his enemies.

He went through the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed upon the cross between two thieves.

His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he was

dying, and that was his coat.

When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today he is the center of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life.

Democrat Doublespeak
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of December 22, 2017
  • Scalia

    Sessions orders DOJ review after report Obama administration gave Hezbollah a pass:

    EXCLUSIVE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is launching a review of a law enforcement initiative called Project Cassandra after an investigative report was published this week claiming the Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track.

    The Justice Department said in a statement to Fox News that Sessions on Friday directed a review of prior Drug Enforcement Administration investigations “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”

    “While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans,” Sessions said in a written statement. “We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.”

    According to a bombshell exposé in Politico on Sunday, an elaborate campaign led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, known as Project Cassandra, targeted the Lebanese militant group’s criminal activities.

    But when Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Obama Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, according to Politico.

    “Protecting our citizens from terrorist organizations and combatting the devastating drug crisis gripping our nation are two of the Justice Department’s top priorities,” Sessions said. “Operations designed to investigate and prosecute terrorist organizations that are also fueling that drug crisis must be paramount in this administration.”

    • pennywit

      Still weighing this. I’m less concerned about whether the Obama administration stopped the Hezbollah investigation and more concerned about whether we got something useful in exchange for that forbearance.

      • jim_m

        Answer: NO. The Iran Nuclear deal is a sham and we got nothing from that and will get nothing from it. Iran will have nukes and will almost certainly use them, either directly or through a proxy, against Israel.

        I honestly believe that most people on the left understand this and that is why they support the deal so fanatically.

      • No matter how much effort you put into it that sow’s ear will not be made into a silk purse.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        We will get what we have attained with all of out diplomatic gymnastics with North Korea.

  • Scalia

    Judge blocks Trump refugee order

    A federal judge has partially blocked an order President Donald Trump issued in October suspending admission of refugees from 11 countries, most of which are majority Muslim.

    U.S. District Court Judge James Robart issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Saturday afternoon that prevents the administration from halting or diverting resources from refugee applications brought on behalf of family members of immigrants already in the U.S.

    The injunction does not provide relief for refugees who lack a “bona fide relationship” with individuals, businesses or schools in the U.S.

    The Seattle-based judge, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, said Trump’s October order violated provisions in immigration laws passed by Congress governing criteria and procedures for admission of refugees.

    “Congress set forth the specific statutory elements that individuals must satisfy to be admitted as a refugee,” Robart wrote in his 65-page order. “Congress also specified criteria as to who would be excluded from the definition … By either prohibiting refugees from [the selected] countries from participating in [the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program] or by grafting on the additional requirement that refugees from [those] countries must also ‘fulfill critical foreign policy interests’ to qualify, the agencies impermissibly redefine the term ‘refugee.'”

    The president’s clearly established prerogative to regulate who comes into this country cannot be reduced by Congress. Robart is out of control.

    • And the Supreme Court has already directed the lower courts stop this. I’d like to see this judge removed from the bench for cause.

  • Scalia

    Nikki Haley speaks to the United Nations:

  • Scalia

    Georgia regulators say nuclear reactors, nation’s first since 1978, will be finished

    In a decision that could help shape the future of American nuclear power, Georgia regulators on Thursday said a troubled $25 billion reactor project that’s over budget and years behind schedule can continue — though state electricity customers will have to foot less of the bill moving forward.

    The unanimous vote of the five-member Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) will have reverberations across the nation and the energy sector; if the panel had stopped the expansion of the Plant Vogtle facility, it would have cast serious doubt on whether it’s commercially feasible to build a new nuclear reactor in the U.S.

    The two new reactors at the Vogtle site, located just south of Augusta, would be the first such new facilities put into operation nationwide since 1978.

    “Today’s decision may or may not be the most important decision ever made by this body,” said PSC Chairman Stan Wise before the vote.

    • stan25

      The anti- nuke people are not happy about this decision. They wanted it shut down.

    • Good news indeed…

  • Scalia

    Defying Trump again, Jerry Brown pardons immigrants about to be deported

    Escalating the state’s showdown with the Trump administration over illegal immigration, California Gov. Jerry Brown used a Christmas holiday tradition to grant pardons Saturday to two men who were on the verge of being deported for committing crimes while in the U.S.

    Brown, pairing his state’s combative approach to federal immigration authorities with his belief in the power of redemption, characterized the pardons as acts of mercy.

    The Democratic governor moved as federal officials in recent months have detained and deported immigrants with felony convictions that resulted in the loss of their legal residency status, including many with nonviolent offenses that occurred years ago.

    With the pardons, the reason for applicants’ deportations may be eliminated, said attorney Kevin Lo of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, which represented some of the men in a recent class-action lawsuit.

    • Deport them. The Federal Goverment need take no notice of California’s actions.

  • Scalia

    Ohio Gov. Kasich signs bill banning Down Syndrome abortions

    COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) – Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a bill banning abortions on an unborn child that has or may have Down Syndrome.

    Kasich signed House Bill 214 Friday which “Prohibits a person from performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion because an unborn child has or may have Down Syndrome.”

    The measure was voted out of both chambers in recent weeks, and in both cases, the bills were fast-tracked through the committees in opposing chambers.

    The bill passed virtually along party lines earlier this month on the Senate floor.

    The House Bill is the identical twin to a Senate bill put forward by Senator Frank LaRose.

    • pennywit

      I don’t have the knowledge in this area, but allow me to ask:

      1) Does Ohio have a robust safety net to support children born with Down’s syndrome and their parents; and,

      2) If Ohio does not, then does this bill establish that robust safety net?

      • jim_m

        1) Probably not.

        2) Probably not

        More importantly, why should it matter? Is it Ohio’s responsibility to take physical and financial care of each and every child born in that state?

        Answer (because you are too much a lefty to get this one correctly): NO! It is not the state’s responsibility to act in the place of parents. Children DO belong to their parents and not the state, contrary to liberal thinking.

        Now consider this: If I can abort children because they are Down’s, is it OK to systematically abort girls? Sex selective abortion is practiced in some parts of the world. Do you object to this? If so why? If not why?

        If a genetic link were found to homosexuality would you support the selective abortion of children carrying that gene? If not why not?

      • Scalia

        There is disability assistance for low-income families in Ohio. That said, I agree with Jim that current SCOTUS jurisprudence all but guarantees that this law will be struck down.

        • pennywit

          I ask about disability assistance because I could see a family making a decision for economic reasons. If a family legitimately can’t afford to see to the child’s needs, then I think that if the state is going to require the birth, then the state should step up and provide the support needed to take crae of the child.

          • Scalia

            I knew why you asked the question, but to me it’s irrelevant. Preventing parents from killing their child does not obligate the state to support that child.

          • pennywit

            Quick question: Let’s say Roe does get thrown out somewhere down the line. What would you want to do then? Would you want a federal constitutional amendment outlawing abortion? Would you want states to regulate/outlaw abortion through their legislatures? Would you want state courts adjudicating based on existing state laws and state constitutions? Would you want SCOTUS to rule the Constitution prohibits abortion under some form of equal protection or due process rationale?

            I’m not going to argue with you. I’m just curious.

          • Scalia

            I don’t mind arguing the issue. If you’d rather not, no problem.

            Abortion is murder, so it logically follows that I would prohibit it via constitutional amendment.

            As an original matter, questions of this sort were left to the several states. Regulating abortion is not within the specified powers of the federal government, and abortion is not a right recognized by our Constitution. Pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, the only legal entities empowered to address the matter are the legislatures of the states comprising our union.

            That said, our Constitution was amended to prohibit slavery, and since abortion is much worse than slavery, it follows that it should be equally prohibited.

          • pennywit

            Thanks for your perspective. I generally find abortion arguments unproductive — the lines are are drawn, and people are unlikely to convince each other of anything. But I was curious where you, personally, would go if you caught the car.

            I suspect if Roe falls, it will be something of a wake-up call for liberals, especially those who live in conservative-leaning states but seldom vote. I would be quite happy if such liberals re-engage with the democratic process rather than push issues to the judiciary.

          • Scalia

            If Roe falls, I don’t think we’ll get a constitutional amendment anytime soon. We’ll get a patchwork of laws with greater or lesser restrictions depending on the state. However, liberals will not surrender to the courts. They will do everything they can to install liberal judges and reimpose their will onto the nation, or they will likewise scream for an amendment to explicitly enshrine abortion…uh…choice as an inalienable right.

          • Scalia

            Perhaps you can explain something to me. I just don’t understand what the big deal is with abortion and men. I get it that some promiscuous men don’t want to pay child support, so they’d like a kill option. But that doesn’t sound like THE reason for most men (maybe I’m wrong).

            I know liberal men argue that it’s simply a matter of reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity, but none of that is relevant if we’re talking about a human being. The bottom line is always whether the unborn child is or should be a person under the law. I get it that there can be an intellectual back-and-forth, but I don’t get the almost rabid support of abortion-rights among men. Why would Roe’s fall signal a wake-up call for liberals, particularly men? It’s one thing to academically argue the matter; it’s another to make that the sine qua non of political involvement. Please explain.

          • pennywit

            I can’t speak to the more general rational of liberal men. But I think Roe‘s fall will be a wake-up call in the sense that I think a lot of liberals have grown complacent about politics. LIberals, especially young liberals, have a horrid turnout record during midterm elections and municipal elections. I think that liberals don’t turn out because they figure the courts will keep things moving in a generally leftward direction. If Roe falls, that will signal liberals to get off their asses and participate in democracy again.

          • Scalia

            But that still doesn’t get to the heart of my question. Of course, your first sentence probably means that you simply do not know, but if that’s the case, why would abortion motivate young liberal males to vote? If you think the felling of Roe will do the trick, then you must have some idea why.

          • pennywit

            I don’t know, really.

            But I don’t think Roe‘s death will motivate young liberal males in particular — I think it would motivate young liberals in general. Not so much because of abortion, per se, but because Roe symbolizes one of liberals’ important victories in courts, one they thought was safe from conservatives. If Roe falls, that means all manner of other things are vulnerable.

          • Scalia

            But once blue state liberals find out that their abortion laws will remain unchanged, shouldn’t that take the steam out of any sky-is-falling reaction?

            Are there really enough red state liberals to make a difference, especially if abortion is the rallying cry? The debate will begin anew, and liberals will be forced to defend the absolutist position they’ve also taken for granted. To maintain credibility, they’ll have to concede significant restrictions or else be the ones marginalized as kooks.

            All that aside, the leftward march of our society cannot be stopped unless conservatives are as aggressive with the education system as liberals have been. Our youth are being fed a steady diet of liberalism in school. That gives the Left a huge advantage over time.

          • pennywit

            I don’t think it will take it away. Remember — Roe at this point isn’t just about abortion. It’s a symbol of liberalism’s progress. Take Roe away, and, the thinking goes, any number of other gains might be wiped out. A good demagogue would spin it into an army of Donald Trumps coming for your uterus.

          • pennywit

            I recall reading somewhere that the most passionate pro-lifers are conservative women, while the most passionate pro-choicers are liberal women. Do you know if there is any data that supports that?

          • Scalia

            No. I too recall reading something along that line a long time ago, but I’ve got nothing solid. There are a lot of polls on the topic, and the results appear to be influence by the way the questions are asked.

    • Par4Course

      My guess is this law will quickly be struck down. If there is a constitutional right to kill your unborn child, as the Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade, why should the reason for the abortion be relevant? It’s like states that allow people to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms only if they can establish a special reason they need to do so. If it’s a right, it should only by abridged as a punishment for wrong-doing – committing a serious crime, etc. Many women choose abortion because they feel incapable with dealing with and rearing a child, let alone one with a serious handicap.

      And Why is Down Syndrome singled out? There have got to be a lot of less-than-satisfactory reasons for an abortion – assuming all reasons aren’t unsatisfactory. Can a woman abort her child because she would prefer an offspring of the other sex? (Assuming Ohio only recognizes two sexes; otherwise rewrite that question to say “another sex.”). Can she abort a child because its likely to have Tay-Sachs Disease or another serious genetic disorder? This law seems well meaning but ill conceived.

      • jim_m

        Agreed. The spirit of the law is nice, but it isn’t constitutional under the current jurisprudence.

        But this lays open the basic hypocrisy of the left. They would have no problem aborting babies for some reasons but will fight tooth and nail if you want to abort them over others.

      • Scalia

        Yes, I don’t think it’ll survive an appeal, but I think it gives the pro-life movement a tactical and strategic advantage. Pro-abortion advocates are forced to defend the singling out of babies with Down’s Syndrome which, of course, will force them to defend gay terminations, female terminations, etc.

        Consider France’s banning of an advertisement showing happy Down’s Syndrome children. The sponsors wanted to comfort women who received a prenatal diagnosis, but the French Gestapo felt that it would make women who murdered their babies uncomfortable. Methinks the pro-abortion crowd doesn’t want to talk about this and would rather speak their usual your-ice-cream-shop-your-choice pablum. If so, a public debate on the topic will highlight how bizarre the pro-abortion position is. That kind of debate can only help unborn children in the long run.

        • Par4Course

          Yes, the last thing the pro-abortion people want is debate. Before Roe, states were slowly relaxing the ban on abortion. That process would have made pregnancy termination legal under reasonable restrictions. But with Roe, they had a trump card – a newly discovered “constitutional right” that could not be even slightly “abridged.” Thus, the states now can’t even outlaw the abominable practice of partial-birth abortion without federal court interference.

          • pennywit

            Would you believe I concur, to an extent, with that critique? I do think a consensus was slowly emerging, but Roe short-circuited the democratic process … and created a windmill that antiabortion activists tilt at every year.

  • Scalia

    Holiday tips for arguing politics:

    • pennywit

      When it comes to family dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have one rule: Don’t. Nobody needs their holiday dinner ruined because Uncle Joe and Nephew Bob got in an argument about Donald Trump.

  • Rdm42

    Hark! Awake this Christmas morn, on this day the child was born. On the morn so quiet and dark – split by child’s cry as sweet as lark.

    Celebrate this Christmas morn – awake and live and love.

  • pennywit

    Skins beat the Broncos yesterday. With the team out of playoff contention, it was a garbage game, but the Skins played pretty well.

    Meanwhile, the 49ers have shown us how much difference a good QB can make.

    In other news, the Browns are almost at a perfect season.

    • Scalia

      Yes, a good QB makes all the difference. I really thought the Jags would bring the Niners back to reality, but there’s now no doubt that Garoppolo is the real deal.

      It kinda makes me second-guess the Lions’ decision to stake their future on Stafford. The Lions can offer the same blather of excuses they’ve slung around for 60 years, but the Niners were in competition for the first draft pick (meaning, of course, that they have a lousy team). Their defense is still on the rocks, but they now have a QB who can do something with a punchless offense. Stafford, on the other hand, is very talented, but he can’t get the job done when money is on the line. They complain that they’re missing three starters on the o-line, but even when they were healthy, the Lion offense couldn’t get started until late in the game. Perhaps they need a new signal caller.

      Kudos to the Redskins for the win, although IMO, they looked spotty. Cousins threw that awful INT in the end zone, but he made up for it afterwards. The Skins’ DL had a field day in the sack department.

      Looks like the Browns are all but guaranteed to tie the Lions in the winless department. Walter, if you’re reading this, I know the feeling.

      • pennywit

        Cousins does run hot and cold sometimes. The consensus seems to be that Cousins is a good QB, possibly a very good QB, but not a great or elite QB. But if Cousins is a free agent this offseason, he will be the best QB available.

  • Wild_Willie

    A lot of meat to discuss but I have to say the bible verse is one of my fav’s I use year round to test all things. “…fear not for I bring you good news.” Everything about Jesus’ is good news. So to be Christlike it is incumbent on me to make sure I respect people of all stripes. Before I retired, I had the responsibility of many subordinates. I made it a daily goal of mine to make sure my staff did not ever say “I have a great job except for my boss”.

    I have had the honor of being on Wizbang for more then two decades. I look forward to hearing all the opinions and banter that flows along. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to a great 2018.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Well said.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Wonderful post. Thank you – and – Merry Christmas.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Other good news:

    “A post-ISIS Christmas: Christians in Mosul celebrate Christmas for the first time in four years”×720.jpg

  • Olsoljer

    Scalia. Amen, and thank you.

  • Mary Gehman

    AMEN! Can I get an ‘ALLELUIA’!?!? Thanks for an uplifting message! (I just can’t help but marvel about so much mention of “taxes” even back then, even in the Bible! It seems that “taxes”, almost as much as God, decided where Jesus was to be born! I guess there is no escaping them even if you are the Son of God. If He can’t avoid them, what makes us think we can…or even should?) 🙂