Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Archive for April 2008

Beat the Drum

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War with Iran is a virtual certainty now.  How do I know?  Because Ahmadinejad’s government has just made the same demand that proved Saddam’s undoing: Iran is requiring oil payments in euros and yen only.


Written by ninepoundhammer

April 30, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Still Thinkin’ Lincoln

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‘And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.’  ~ Daniel 3:6


Update: Dr DiLorenzo (providentially) posted a new commentary on the Lincoln Myth to-day.

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April 29, 2008 at 11:35 am

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Get Shorty

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‘May his days be few; may another take his office!’  ~ Psalm 109:8


It is not so unusual to be angered at a moment when you least expect it.  In fact, it is usually because we are not expecting it that we become angered so easily.  Still, there are moments we are caught unawares with anger resulting.

Such happened to me this afternoon as I prepared to substitute for Kevin at Covenant Kids.  The question for the evening begins the section regarding the Lord’s Prayer, more specifically, the first petition, ‘Hallowed by Thy name.’  [Update: It turns out that we studied the Lord’s Supper but I must have misheard Kevin on the phone.]  For those who know me, it will come as nothing new to learn that I thoroughly enjoy studying the catechisms.  (I am partial to the Westiminster Larger Catechism, but the Shorter and other Reformed catechisms are a joy as well.)  So, you can imagine my surprise when I came across the following commentary on the question and answer:

Let us illustrate [the point]: Shorty stands with silent respect before the great statue of Abraham Lincoln.  Why is this so?  There is a good reason.  He has studied American history.  He has learned much about this man.  The name itself would have no meaning for a child who knew no history.  But it has deep meaning for Shorty.

At this point, I was unsure whether to lose my lunch or cry.  (To be fair, I have no intention of defaming the catechisms.  The bone I have to pick is with G. I. Williamson’s commentary upon this particular question in the Shorter Catechism–which is a significant caveat!)  Forget the implied idolatry involved in revering any statue (much less that of a war criminal).  But the maddening aspect of such an errant example is that any child (or adult) who has studied history–really studied history and not the nonsense which is spoon-fed to most children based on myth and nationalistic agenda–should hold absolutely no reverence for the likes of Abraham Lincoln!

He destroyed the U.S. Constitution, waged an illegal war (against innocent non-combatants as well), and was hardly the Christian he is portrayed as having been.  Oh, yeah–and he did not free a single slave.  In fact, he advocated colonisation–sending all Negroes to Africa.

Sadly, a misplaced reverence for (Dis)Honest Abe is prevalent in our populace.  If folks really studied history–and were honest with the data–they would/ should have a radically different opinion of that man.  (DiLorenzo’s tour de force The Real Lincoln or his most recent treatment of the subject Lincoln Unmasked are great places to begin.)

I issue a challenge: Put forth a reason or reasons Lincoln should receive our approbation, and I will explain why I think the opposite is the case.  It is really not hard to do, actually.


Here is another example of what an errant–or ignorant–understanding of history can do.  ‘Gone With the Wind: The Musical.’  (The fact that they butchered one of the best novels ever written in this manner is a debate for another day.)  I was tempted to give them a bit of a pass; after all, they are Englishmen.  But then I read this miserable excuse for a synopsis from the playbill:

The story is set in 1860’s Atlanta, Georgia, in the period of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Period that followed. 17-year-old Scarlett, on the brink of womanhood, is the eldest of three daughters living a life of luxury on their father’s plantation Tara. President Lincoln demands the end of slavery in the South, and the Civil War begins. Scarlett’s journey through both the war and the following peace is mirrored in her turbulent relationship with Rhett Butler, whose actions always defy prediction.


Written by ninepoundhammer

April 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Old Gimlet Eye

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General Smedley Butler was one of the most decorated marines in the history of the United States Marine Corps, having been awarded the Medal of Honor twice.  (In other words, he knew a thing or two about war.)  I am of the opinion that we can learn a great deal from a man of his experience and wisdom.


Now — you Mothers, particularly! The only way you can resist all this war hysteria and beating of tom-toms is by asserting the love you bear your boys. When you listen to some well-worded, some well-delivered war speech, just remember it’s nothing but sound. No amount of sound can make up to you for the loss of your boy. After you’ve heard one of those speeches and your blood’s all hot and you want to bite somebody like Hitler — go upstairs to where your boy’s asleep…. Look at him. Put your hand on that spot on the back of his neck. The place you used to love to kiss when he was a baby. Just rub it a little. You won’t wake him up. He knows it’s you. Just look at his strong, fine young body because only the best boys are chosen for war. Look at this splendid young creature who’s part of yourself, then close you eyes for a moment and I’ll tell you what can happen…. 


Somewhere — five thousand miles from home. Night. Darkness. Cold. A drizzling rain. The noise is terrific. All Hell has broken loose. A star shell bursts in the air. Its unearthly flare lights up the muddy field. There’s a lot of tangled, rusty barbed wires out there and a boy hanging over them — his stomach ripped out, and he’s feebly calling for help and water. His lips are white and drawn. He’s in agony. 


There’s your boy.


The same boy who’s lying in bed tonight. The same boy who trusts you…. Are you going to run out on him? Are you going to let someone beat a drum or blow a bugle and make him chase after it? Thank God, this is a Democracy and by your voice and your vote you can save your boy. 


~ Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC, author of War Is a Racket in his call for the United States remain neutral in World War II.




Written by ninepoundhammer

April 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Chivalry is Dead–But It Won’t Lie Down

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‘Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.  You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army.’ ~ Numbers 1:2, 3


‘I don’t know what kind of mood you are in to-day or what you have on your plate, but I know that each and every one of us can breathe free because there are about a million-and-a-half men and women in uniform scattered across our country and around the globe, making sure that we are as safe as we can be in a world gone crazy.’


The article excerpted above troubles me greatly.  Of course, part of the reason for that is my objection to our military action in Iraq (and, perhaps, Iran?) and U.S. foreign policy in general.  However, that last paragraph is even more unnerving and, yet, it was written in such a way as to go almost unnoticed; and, sadly, I hear that sentiment mentioned increasingly as if there is nothing wrong with it: ‘our women in uniform.’

I seem to be one of an increasing minority of folks who think there is something wrong with sending women to do our fighting.  Women used to be–and rightly so–treated with deference and chivalry; they were the fairer sex to be held aloft.  (There was a time when a man would find himself on the business end of a knuckle sandwich for cussing in front of a lady).  Now, however, we appear eager to feed them to the War Machine.  Having seen combat, I simply cannot fathom how a society can willingly–yea, enthusiastically–send our women folk into such a terrible situation.  (That men have to wage war upon occasion is terrible enough.)

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) addressed this issue some years ago but, quite frankly, I do not think the denomination’s stand against women serving in such a role was strong enough. 

Be it further resolved that the Presbyterian Church in America supports the decision of any of its members to object to, as a matter of conscience, the conscription of women or the use of women as military combatants. 30th General Assembly of the PCA, 21 June 2001    

If the current war(s) are in fact for our very survival, what does it say about our military-aged men that they send women out to do their fighting?  When I consider sending women into combat, the initial adjective that comes to mind is ‘barbaric.’

For now, the debate is largely academic; the law allows women in the military and, as we have seen in recent times, they discover themselves in combat situations quite frequently.  However, should conscription rear its ugly head again–and, with the never-ending GWOT that seems a very likely eventuality–the issue will take on enormous proportions.

My beautiful daughter(s) as cannon fodder?  Over my dead body.

Written by ninepoundhammer

April 21, 2008 at 9:30 pm

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I’ve Got Worms!

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In our ongoing efforts to participate in and add to the Circle of Life, Ashlee and I have begun our foray into vermicomposting.  To-day I received the 1,000 red wigglers I ordered on-line from South Carolina and we began the Worm Wrangling-o-Rama at Covenanter Ranch. 

Here is how it will work: We will feed our kitchen waste (our lack of garbage disposal means nothing now) to the worms who turn it into castings (OK, worm poop) which is a fantastic–and virtually free–fertiliser.  We will use the castings to fertilise our garden which, due to lack of soil nutrients, has always petered out rather quickly each year.  In addition, because the worms double in population every month, I will have free, protein-rich food to feed to my chickens.  IN TURN, the chickens (at least the Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks) will supply us with eggs that we will 1) eat and 2) sell to our friends.  (Mmmm….farm fresh eggs!)  Likewise, the worms will fatten up the Cornish X Rocks that will become giant, juicy roasters to set our table–and sell some to friends!  AND, to top it all off, the fertilised garden should produce a surplus that will not only feed us fresh vegetables but–again–we should (Lord willing) have enough to sell (cheaply!) to friends.

Voila!  The Circle of Life.  (Ain’t God’s design amazing?!)

Here is a bit of what has gone into this little operation of late:


Cheap (or is it ‘cheep’?) Chicken Coop Step #1: Frame up an old cattle panel using 2×4’s and staples.


Step #2: Put the support boards in place.


Step #3: Gingerly–oh, so gingerly–nail and wire-in the chicken wire.


Step #4-6.5: Frame and hang the door and tie down the tarp to keep the rain out.


Next Step: Frame the Hen Boxes (They gotta lay their eggs somewhere!)



(The bar on top will serve as the roost–where they’ll sleep–and the slat on the bottom should prevent the eggs from rolling out of the box.)


Here are the little chicks getting some sun (which they need to synthesise the all-important Vitamin D).




First, you put in some bedding, which the worms will live in and eventually eat.  In this case, we added some wood shavings and hay.


Then, you add the…worms!


Then, you let them go to work!  (While periodically adding tomato tops, salad leftovers, beans, coffee grounds–and filters–and many other wonderful things you usually throw away.)  I’ll let you know how things proceed in a few weeks or months.



Written by ninepoundhammer

April 17, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Please, Step Aside…

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April 16, 2008 at 10:38 am

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