Mike Cornelison

Letters from the Lunar Outpost

O reputation! dearer far than life, Thou precious balsam, lovely, sweet of smell, Whose cordial drops once spilt by some rash hand, Not all the owner's care, nor the repenting toil Of the rude spiller, ever can collect To its first purity and native sweetness.
- Walter Raleigh, English Statesman and Man of Letters (1552-1618)

I’m just old enough to remember Mike Wallace and the early days of 60 Minutes and his creation of a style of investigative reporting that would come to be known as the “ambush interview”. He and his crew would wait for a subject to emerge from their home or wait for them to return to their car in a parking lot and with camera rolling, Wallace would fire off a couple questions to some sleazeball wrongdoer who’d been doing all they could to lay low and avoid any comment on whatever controversy they had gotten themselves into.

In the finest tradition of the ambush interview, Jason Mattera was able to fire off some great questions to one of the biggest sleazeballs living in America today, the head of the Gestapo unit of the IRS, Lois Lerner.

TRANSCRIPT from after the lead-in:

NARRATOR: Having since retired amidst ongoing IRS corruption, the disgraced bureaucrat Lois Lerner has been hiding out in her ritzy neighborhood outside Washington, D.C. reportedly enjoying a government pension of $100,000 a year.

We caught up with Ms. Lerner and asked if she regretted going after conservative organizations, but she was so desperate not to answer any questions that she actually tried to bust into a neighbor’s home, uninvited!

It seems like somebody doesn’t appreciate being targeted herself.

Ahhh . . .

MATTERA: Chance to apologize Ms. Lerner. You didn’t hesitate to target conservatives but you’re hesitating to speak, why?

You don’t like being targeted, do you?

Any idea where those missing emails are?

Any idea, Ms. Learner where those missing emails are?

LERNER KNOCKS ON NEIGHBOR’S DOOR.

MATTERA: You have two years worth . . . Maybe just an apology? You targeted conservative groups.

NEIGHBOR WILL ONLY OPEN THE DOOR A CRACK, LEARNER PLEADING WITH THE NEIGHBOR TO BE LET IN [MOSTLY INAUDIBLE] NEIGHBOR SHUTS DOOR ON LERNER.

MATTERA: You targeted conservative groups, just an apology? I’m sorry, I used my position as a government official to try to crack down on political dissent?

You don’t feel bad that you were using the government as a weapon to try to crush political dissent? Anything, Ms. Lerner?

LERNER: (Door still closed, trying to talk through the neighbor’s window)
Could you call the police, please? Could you call the police? Thank you.

MATTERA: You don’t like being targeted. Doesn’t feel good. Doesn’t feel good, huh? But you targeted conservatives.

LERNER: (still to a closed door) Please let me in.

MATTERA: Not even an apology.

LERNER: (to the closed door) These guys are the press and they are not leaving me alone, I just want to come in for a second.

MATTERA: Why should we leave you alone? You were trying to use the IRS to crush political dissent. You can see why many individuals think you’re a disgrace to public service, right?

LERNER: I really need to come in for one second.

MALE HOME OWNER: (approaching the home from the street) What are you doing here?

LERNER: These guys are not leaving me alone, they’re from the press, they’re following me, I just want to go in your house for one second, please.

MALE HOME OWNER: WHAT?

LERNER: I was talking to your wife.

MATTERA: She’s trying to get in your house, she doesn’t want to answer questions about –

HOME-OWNER: I don’t want her in the house.

[HA! CLASSIC!]

MATTERA: I wouldn’t blame you, I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t want her in my house either! She might bring the government after you.

LERNER gives up and begins walking back down the street.

MATTERA: Any idea where those missing emails are? Are you hiding them?

Nothing, huh?

Are we going to try another house?

—–

I’m sure somewhere, Mike Wallace is smiling.

Subscribe to his YouTube channel and find him on Facebook.

Subscribe to MikeCornelison.com and never miss another post!
               

If you had to rank the two greatest smells of the morning, there’s coffee brewing and there’s bacon sizzling. Nothing even ranks a distant third. The funny thing about coffee brewing, is that even the best cup of coffee never tastes as good as it smells. I like mine black, some people like to turn coffee into something creamy and sugary, but either way, there’s something about coffee, it’ll give you a nice kickstart to your morning, but at least to me, the taste never seems to match the smell of it brewing.

Bacon though, not only is that smell of sizzling bacon just about the most wonderful thing you can possibly smell, but with bacon, the taste is just as delicious as the smell!

Ah, bacon! Nothing can match bacon in the morning, but even when it comes to lunch or dinner, nothing can turn a bland dish of mac and cheese into something delectable like a couple cups of chopped ham. If you’re hungry for a burger and the calories be damned, there are three distinct levels of hamburger bliss, there’s the hamburger, then there’s the cheeseburger and then there’s the penultimate – the bacon cheeseburger.

So as a recent convert to Islam, how am I supposed to abstain from pork in general and above all, bacon, that most delectable of all delights?

As a Muslim, the only way you can deny yourself the deliciousness of bacon is to understand the teachings behind why we as Muslims should abstain from pork.

The Old Testament says it quite clearly, first in Leviticus:

Leviticus 11:1-8: … these shall ye not eat … the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

and again in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 14:3-8: Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing … the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.

So how does a self-respecting Christian justify feasting on swine?

For Christians, two verses in the New Testament suggest that with the coming of the new Messiah, a New Covenant superseded the Old Covenant:

Hebrews 8:6: But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

Hebrews 8:13: By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Oh you lucky brothers and sisters of the Christian faith, how amazing is that? With just a couple letters from one of Jesus’ apostles, how conveniently you were allowed to wipe away not only the Old Testament’s commandments against bacon and pork, but to open the gates for feasting on shrimp, oysters and lobster as well.

Interestingly enough though, in Paul’s letters to the Romans, he also makes it very clear that for those whose faith compels them to continue to adhere to the Old Covenant, thou shall not mock or besmirch their beliefs:

Romans 14:14-15: I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.”

To my Christian friends, I would say then, for those of us whose faith compells us to abstain from eating pig, please do not try to tease or tempt us with pictures and videos of tasty, delicious bacon. And if we are truly a tolerant nation, out of respect for the gloriousness of our multiculturalism, shouldn’t we should ban all commercials with their mouth-watering examples of bacon or pork?

Life without Bacon

Subscribe to MikeCornelison.com and never miss another post!
               

So in speaking with the Imam from our local mosque, I was told one of the first things we have to do is remove the dogs from the house.

This is our cat, Charley Brown. I have been told Charley is safe for the house . . .

charley-brown

These are our dogs, Skittles and Spot. As dogs, I am told they are unclean and thus must be kept outside . . .

Skittles and Spot

So I’m trying to wrap my head around this whole concept of the dogs being unclean and unfit to share our home with us, and I’ll admit, dogs do have some pretty nasty habits. Thankfully, Spot and Skittles don’t do it, but I’ve seen a dog or two occasionally eating their own feces. (What could be grosser than that???) And they all seem to enjoy liking their genitals – I heard a comedian once say, “Why do dogs lick their balls? Because they can.” Well, if I could lick my balls, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t try it more than once.

How is that any different than what Charlie does, though? Our cat is licking himself all day long, and while it’s their way of primping and bathing themselves, I can tell you, Charlie doesn’t avoiding spend a good bit of that time licking himself between the legs, so he’s right there with the dogs in being a little ball-licker himself.

Maybe the most striking argument for keeping the dogs outside the home comes from the hadith of Sahih Al-Bukhari 3:515, narrated by Abu Huraira:

I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).”

I don’t even know where to get started with removing all the pictures of friends and family in the house, but we’re taking baby steps here, so we’ll have to start with the dogs. The problem is, if you try to put little Skittles and Spot outside for even a single night, they will scratch the sliding glass doors like crazy and wail and whine until everyone in the neighborhood will be hating us.

So we need to find a new home for Skittles and Spot.

If you’re in the So. Cal. area and can provide a loving home, and don’t mind chasing the angels out of your house, please contact me and I’ll be happy to bring you two sweet, loving and unclean animals.

Subscribe to MikeCornelison.com and never miss another post!
               

My conversion to Islam and my choice to share it with the world started with a post on Facebook. I’m including that post here now, as I think it will make a compelling series here to take account of my first baby steps following in the path of Allah:

I have some glorious and wonderful news I would like to share with all of the people I know on Facebook. This very evening, I was down on my knees with my head to the ground, with an open heart and in complete humility and submission.

The truth spoke to me loudly and clearly. I was struck with a revelation, it was like a bolt of lightning that electrified me to my very soul and suddenly, I had a deep and spiritual connection with the one true God, and his name is Allah.

There is one true God. His name is Allah and his messenger is Mohammed, PBUH.

Praying to Allah

Praying to Allah

Note: while I did get an app that has helped me point myself in the direction of Mecca, I still need to get myself a prayer rug, so for now, this photo of a fellow Muslim in prayer.

Subscribe to MikeCornelison.com and never miss another post!
               

Imagine if you will a nation where intelligence failure means the president failed to read it.

Imagine this, from our Obama-lovin’ friends at The Daily Beast:

In an interview that aired Sunday evening, the president told 60 Minutes that the rise of the group now proclaiming itself a caliphate in territory between Syria and Iraq caught the U.S. intelligence community off guard. Obama specifically blamed James Clapper, the current director of national intelligence: “Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that, I think, they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” he said.

Reached by The Daily Beast after Obama’s interview aired, one former senior Pentagon official who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq was flabbergasted. “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” the former official said.

source: The Daily Beast

Granted, it’s an unnamed source, but coming from The Daily Beast, at least you know the writer’s motivation was not to damage the president. Senator John McCain also spoke of reaction in the intelligence community after Obama’s interview:

“His intelligence comments — the intelligence people are pushing back hard. We predicted this and watched it, it was like watching a train wreck, and warning every step of the way that this was happening.” McCain argued that not only did the intelligence community understand the threat that ISIL posed, but that the current situation the U.S. faces is “a direct result of [Obama’s] failure to leave a residual force behind” in Iraq.

source: Politico

I’m starting to see a clearer picture now of what might really be going on:

Obama reading the intelligence briefing.

Subscribe to MikeCornelison.com and never miss another post!
               
1 2 3 97

Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin