Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Putting 2,000 American Deaths Into Perspective

One of the many War Cemeteries of Normandy

Today the left is making much of the fact that American Deaths in Iraq, since 2003 have reach the 2,000 mark. This is proof that we are losing the war, they say.

Here are a few figures from World War II to put that into perspective:

The following figures do not include the wounded or the missing:

The Battle of Stalingrad: 1,100,000 Soviets Killed -- 800,000 Axis Killed

Battle of Berlin: 50,000 Soviets Killed -- 90,000 Germans Killed

The Rape of Nanking: 300,000 Chinese killed

The D-Day Invasion: 37,000 Allies Killed -- at least 78,000 Germans Killed

The Battle of the Bulge: 16,000 Americans Killed -- 19,000 Germans Killed

The Battle of Okinawa: 12,000 Americans Killed -- 100,000 Japanese Killed

The Battle of Iwo Jima: 6,800 Americans killed -- 21,000 Japanese Killed

The Battle of Anzio: 4,400 Allies killed -- 5,500 Germans Killed

The Bataan Death March: 10,000 Americans Killed

Good things these leftist wusses weren't raising the white flag then, don't you think?

Oh... and one other figure to keep in mind: 3,000 Americans killed on 9-11-2001.

Updates: Privatizing Welfare in Texas

1) Carlos Guerra of the San Antonio Express: Hurricanes hit social services amid cloud over welfare reform

This article discusses where things stand in terms of the privatization process, and the impact we are already begining to see in terms of dropping enrollments, despite the influx of Katrina refugees in Texas.

2) Bob Campbell of the Midland Reporter-Telegram: Midland's HHSC call center opening on schedule in November and January

Entry level jobs in the call center will start at a whopping $8.50 an hour. We had problems with internal fraud when staff were starting at $1800 a month... just wait and see how this goes.

3) Michael King of the Austin Chronicle: Jobs to Go

This article discusses how those who work at the new call centers will qualify for the benefits that they will be administering.

4) Ethan Butterfield of Washington Technology: Texas auditor blasts HR project

This article discusses how the privatization of Texas' Health and Human Services Commission's HR department is failing to realizing the savings promised, and is under-delivering services.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Translation of the Septuagint is on the way

Fr. Deacon Michael Hyatt, who was recently elected CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publisher in the world, was recently featured on the Internet/Radio broadcast of "Come Receive The Light". You can hear that show by clicking here. Thomas Nelson is the publisher of the New King James Version, which is the best contemporary English translation of the Bible (which is based on the traditional Received (aka Byzantine, aka Majority) Greek Text of the New Testament. The Orthodox consider the Septuagint Greek text of the Old Testament to be the more reliable than the Masoretic Hebrew Text, and to date there has only been a somewhat awkward translation into English of the full Septuagint text. However, Thomas Nelson, which has already published the New Testament Orthodox Study Bible, is going to publish a complete Bible that will use the New King James New Testament text, and a new translation of the Septuagint, that will follow the style of the New King James. Previous press releases had indicated it would be out this year, but Fr. Michael Hyatt answered the question of when this text would be out as follows:

"...we're probably still about a year and a half away.. we've got the full manuscript in house now, thank God, but now it begins its scholarly review...."

In many ways this is good news, because that means this will not be a half baked job, but will be something of the highest quality. I am looking forward to seeing the final product.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Arnold Winkelried

Monument to Winkelried at the site of the Battle of Sempach. The inscription reads: "Here Winkelried made a path for his comrades 1386"

Christ taught "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

We see this vividly illustrated in the life of the Swiss hero, Arnold Winkelried. The Swiss are thought of a peaceful people today, and they are famous for remaining neutral and staying out of wars that do not concern them. However, their independence did not come to them so easily. Most people have heard of William Tell, who was a famous Swiss patriot, but here is the story of another man whose death is in many ways an image of the victory of the Cross of Christ:

[The Austrians] were drawn up in a solid compact body, presenting an unbroken line of spears, projecting beyond the wall of gay shields and polished impenetrable armour.

The Swiss were not only few in number, but armour was scarce among them; some had only boards fastened on their arms by way of shields, some had halberts, which had been used by their fathers at the battle of Morgarten, others two-handed swords and battleaxes. They drew themselves up in the form of a wedge and

"The gallant Swiss confederates then
They prayed to God aloud,
And He displayed His rainbow fair,
Against a swarthy cloud."
Then they rushed upon the serried spears, but in vain. "The game was nothing sweet ".

The banner of Lucerne was in the utmost danger, the Landamman was slain, and sixty of his men, and not an Austrian had been wounded. The flanks of the Austrian host began to advance so as to enclose the small peasant force, and involve it in irremediable destruction. A moment of dismay and stillness ensued. Then Arnold von Winkelried of Unterwalden, with an eagle glance saw the only means of saving his country, and, with the decision of a man who dares by dying to do all things, shouted aloud: "I will open a passage."

"'I have a virtuous wife at home,
A wife and infant son:
I leave them to my country's care,
The field shall yet be won!'
He rushed against the Austrian band
In desperate career,
And with his body, breast, and hand,
Bore down each hostile spear;
Four lances splintered on his crest,
Six shivered in his side,
Still on the serried files he pressed,
He broke their ranks and died!"

The very weight of the desperate charge of this self-devoted man opened a breach in the line of spears. In rushed the Swiss wedge, and the weight of the nobles' armour and length of their spears was only encumbering. They began to fall before the Swiss blows, and Duke Leopold was urged to fly. "I had rather die honourably than live with dishonour," he said. He saw his standard bearer struck to the ground, and seizing his banner from his hand, waved it over his head, and threw himself among the thickest of the foe. His corpse was found amid a heap of slain, and no less then 2000 of his companions perished with him, of whom a third are said to have been counts, barons and knights.

"Then lost was banner, spear and shield
At Sempach in the flight;
The cloister vaults at Konigsfeldt
Hold many an Austrian knight."

The Swiss only lost 200; but, as they were spent with the excessive heat of the July sun, they did not pursue their enemies. They gave thanks on the battlefield to the God of victories, and the next day buried the dead, carrying Duke Leopold and twenty-seven of his most illustrious companions to the Abbey of Konigsfeldt, where they buried him in the old tomb of his forefathers, the lords of Aargau, who had been laid there in the good old times, before the house of Hapsburg had grown arrogant with success.

As to the master-singer, he tells us of himself that

"A merry man was he, I wot,
The night he made the lay,
Returning from the bloody spot,
Where God had judged the day."

On every 9th of July subsequently, the people of the country have been wont to assemble on the battlefield, around four stone crosses which mark the spot. A priest from a pulpit in the open air gives a thanksgiving sermon on the victory that ensured the freedom of Switzerland, and another reads the narrative of the battle, and the roll of the brave 200, who, after Winkelried's example, gave their lives in the cause. All this is in the face of the mountains and the lake now lying in summer stillness, and the harvest fields whose crops are secure from marauders, and the congregation then proceed to the small chapel, the walls of which are painted with the deed of Arnold von Winkelried, and the other distinguished achievements of the confederates, and masses are sung for the souls of those who were slain. No wonder that men thus nurtured in the memory of such actions were, even to the fall of the French monarchy, among the most trustworthy soldiery of Europe.

Click here for more information on the battel of Sempach.

Click here to see a painting of Arnold Winkelried's heroic death at the battle of Sempach.