Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Wash Away Your Sins

I enjoy going out to eat except when I’m done I don’t want to have the scent of whatever I just ate to remain on my hands. The waiter will bring me a couple of those moist towelette packages or, if those aren’t available, a squeeze of lemon and a little dip of water from my glass will also do the trick.

I had to use my daughter’s computer upstairs a while ago; the program she has for duplicating CD’s is so much faster
than the one on mine. I happened to notice she had one of those towelette packages sitting on her desk; except hers was a little different than the ones I’d used. Instead of wiping away food residue these were intended to wipe away sins; that’s right, just wipe away those sins and toss them in the trash.

I laughed about that for a minute or two as I continued to copy CD after CD for some project that Lucy needed. Wouldn’t it be a neat trick if that’s all you had to do, open up a fresh moist towelette package and “whoosh”, there went the sins you had been carrying around all week. There would be no need to be remorseful, just toss the used towelette in the trash and start over.

What’s even more comical, although comical falls short of the word I was looking for, maybe tragic would fit better; is that getting rid of your sins is even easier than that. All you have to do is walk away and leave them, never to return to them and they are removed as if by magic. In the scriptures it’s called the Atonement; but if you want to go and buy some you’re out of luck, that was paid for a long time ago and all you need do is accept it.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tennis Ball Olympics - Family Version

Here are some tips for the less active who wish to participate in competitive events, events that may never make it into the real Olympics. The up front investment is nearly insignificant which will make it easier for the Third World counties to train and then participate. So far there are only 2 Tennis Ball events; no doubt there are others which will surface once word gets around.

The first Tennis Ball Olympic event requires the purchase of one canister of tennis balls; that’s takes into consideration that most people already own a sofa, loveseat, couch or an arm chair. This is an indoor event requiring limited preparation. Empty all three tennis balls from the canister, place the empty canister in the crook of a chair with the open end up at approximately 45 degrees, step off a set distance to the other side of the room where all contestants are able to gently toss the tennis balls in an arch with the goal of having it land inside the now empty canister. Sounds simple enough; however, there are various levels of competition from “beginner” to “journeyman” depending on how much of the canister has been submerged into the seat cushion. Oddly enough, the three tennis balls which came out of the canister are exactly the number of tennis balls used for each round of competition.

The second Tennis Ball Olympic event is an outdoor competition requiring a two story house with obstructions such as a chimney or other similar object, a dog’s water bowl and, needless to say, at least one tennis ball. Fill the dog’s bowl with water, step off a distance to create a difficult bank shot off of the second floor roof or wall necessitating a blind portion where the ball goes behind an obstruction such as a chimney and then permits a perfect shot to land in the bowl. Half a point is awarded if the ball bounces on the ground and then into the bowl, a full point for catching only “air” and a bonus point is awarded if some innocent bystander happens to get splashed while walking past; but only if that person looks up and asks, “Hey, what are you guys doing?”, as the ball lands in the water.

I’m sure that there are many variations which will accommodate most any setting; the point is it shouldn’t cost a fortune to have some mindless entertainment and competition. Think of it, thousands of folks standing in line waiting for a chance to purchase one of those new X-Box 360’s and all they really need is a canister of tennis balls. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

No Tribble at all

After having enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner I got out the camera and took this group shot of my kids. I guess I would have to say thank you to those responsible for bringing the digital camera into everyday use. From left to right: Jennifer, Justin holding Jocelyne, Bonnie holding JJ and William ( aka: Harcourt Fenton Mudd ). You’d have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy that mild attempt at humor.

I did work up the courage to make a few adjustments to my Blogger Template; most notable would be the restoration of the HCBA blog roll along with adding to the blog roll Lucy’s business homepage along with Jennifer’s blogsite. It all works so I must have pulled it off; “ ‘twas no tribble at all”, as Scotty would have said.
 Posted by Picasa

Splog This

I finally got tired of all the computer generated comments that were inserting themselves to my alternative blogsite, Stern’s Stories. I had used that to separate my rants from my breaks with reality; maybe a visit to the “shrink” would discover that the two are the same.

In any event, I changed the template and hid all the previous comments so that the owners of those blogs who thought it would be nice to advertise Flowers, Antique Jewelry, Satellite TV, Tropical fish or Massage Services will have to go somewhere else. It was interesting that I had over 100 comments to an entry I hadn’t done anything with in months; each day two or three more automated advertisements would tack on.

It’s a shame to close down the comment section since every now and then someone would actually read one of my stories and leave a real comment. Should you desire to tell me that I should keep my day job, work harder, or just say that you enjoyed the story; drop me an email. That will have to do for now.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Broken Nutcracker Ornament

I used to think that the story I am going to share was a Christmas story. The more I think about it, maybe it belongs with Thanksgiving as it deals with being humbled and being able to appreciate that which has been given. In either case, please enjoy these thoughts I wrote down many years ago, long before internet and this thing we call blogging existed.

The Broken Nutcracker Ornament

I thought I would share a Christmas story with you. It requires a bit of historical background for it to put it in perspective. Starting out as a young couple, my wife and I had only a few ornaments to put on our Christmas tree. My folks took that as an opportunity to start a new tradition; giving us an ornament the week before Christmas. That tradition continued for many years and we now have a wonderful collection of ornaments, some that were given and others that we have acquired on our own.

Houston has a tendency to flood every once in a while and my folks lost all their Christmas ornaments that had been stored below ground level in their town home garage. It was a chance for us to return the favor and continue a wonderful tradition. We began to give them an ornament; presenting it about a week before Christmas.

My folks had given us a special treat, tickets to see the Nutcracker at Jones Hall. We had a great time and enjoyed the performance with its traditional music and dance. On the way out of the hall we picked up a small porcelain Christmas tree ornament, a hand painted nutcracker soldier. It would look very nice on my folk’s tree and we were to have dinner with them the next evening.

We entered my folk’s home for dinner and with hugs and thanks for the evening they had given us the night before and handed my mother the wrapped gift. Gifts are more than packages and wrapping paper; they are a thought process, a process that attempts to touch each other’s soul. That having been said, my mother opened the carefully wrapped ornament. Somehow her hands, normally a study in control and precision, skilled as an operating room nurse, one who hands sharp scalpels hand over hand; became clumsy and unable to hold the ornament. It fell to the floor and hit the dark brown tile so as to break, make that disintegrate, the small porcelain nutcracker ornament. There was a moment of silence as we all looked at the mess. I quickly explained that it hadn’t been too expensive and that I would replace it. My mother swept up the fragments; mostly dust particles, and took them to the kitchen. We had dinner, occasionally marked with outpourings tears and apologies for having destroyed the thoughtful gift.

That next week while shopping at the mall we found a replacement nutcracker ornament, very similar except that it was made of wood. There would be a reduced breakage factored in since it was wood. To be on the safe side I took a linen handkerchief and fashioned a parachute, the four corners being tied with kite string to the nutcracker soldier as a mild joke. I thought of my self as clever and felt good about going to my folks on Christmas Day.

Christmas at my folk’s home was already filled with eager anticipation. As soon as the door opened I had the small gift, separated from the rest we planned to exchange when the time came. Mom was in the kitchen putting the final touches on dinner. I could hardly contain myself as I went to greet her, my hand holding the little nutcracker soldier all wrapped up. I noticed a few tears forming in her eyes as she tucked her hand under her apron, expecting her to withdraw something to wipe away those tears. Instead she had pulled out something small hidden in her hand. No words could be exchanged as she handed me the small porcelain nutcracker ornament; the same one that had been pulverized on the tile floor the week before. She had used all her talents and persistence to reassemble the fragments and make it whole. It was the most precious gift exchange I have ever had the privilege to be a part of as I handed her the silly wooden soldier wearing a handkerchief parachute.

The importance of how a gift is received far out weighs how much it might be worth in the market place. Those two nutcracker ornaments are beyond earthly value and represent a piece of our worth as souls. The Lord requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit to receive all that he has for us. May we provide him with those most noble of all human qualities that we may come to understand and appreciate His gift to us is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Having an Attitude of Gratitude

It’s a National Holiday, Thanksgiving Day, with a paid day off for hourly wage earners, parades with bobbing balloon floats and the traditional turkey dinner all across the fruited plain. I’ve heard some demean this truly American holiday by calling it “turkey day”, which may well be the reason I decided to write my thoughts about having an attitude of gratitude.

George Washington shared some of his thoughts as he dedicated Thanksgiving as a day for us all to take a moment to thank God for everything we enjoy. I linked with Rush Limbaugh's site ( via the title bar ) because he had the transcript in its entirety; the first line I have included here.

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor -- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by
acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."”

Then there is the declaration given by Abraham Lincoln as he expressed his thoughts regarding Thanksgiving; also found linked in its entirety on the same page with that of George Washington, I have included one line only.

“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”
Time has blurred many American's memory of the values associated with Thanksgiving Day, even as Ronald Reagan gave his dedication speech in 1981 I noticed only a couple of references to God, and yet these important reminders are there.

“Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.” (emphasis added)
Some of us have heavy burdens that weigh in as we contemplate the day; asking aloud, “What have I got to be thankful for?” as if to forget the many blessings we constantly enjoy, those which many of us take for granted. We have the breath of life; but you may say, “My child died leaving me alone each day as I grieve.” or “My son was killed in action and I don’t even know why we’re in that war to begin with” or I lost my house and all my possessions in the storm” and the list of hardships is endless as we travel through life. “What have we to be thankful for?”

I have a friend who lost her baby, a baby she didn’t really want because she wanted time to be a young married couple and wait a year or so before starting a family. The baby was not aborted; rather it was not strong enough to make it to full term and died just prior to taking a first breath. Many years later and several children in her family, all healthy and growing in leaps and bounds, I heard the emotions overflow as tears and sobs erupted from the many years of holding a general feeling of guilt for having wished not to have that first baby. She prayed that her Father in Heaven would take away those memories of ingratitude, something which I believe have made her all the more humbled and thankful for the gift of life.

What is dear enough or important enough that we will curse God for its loss? I have many friends, some I am only aware of as they stop by and visit my articles and leave a comment and a thought; one such friend I know only as Curious Servant. I think he has the right attitude as he reminded me of the trials that Job went through and how he never forgot to thank God for each breath he took regardless of all his many hardships.

Take a while to count your blessings and then send thanks to Heavenly Father for everything which has come your way; the happy and the sad, the steak dinners you’ve enjoyed as well as those times you had a burning hole and had to wait for payday. Those loved ones who sit at your dinner table today as well as those who have departed and have left you with only a memory of those times together. A church hymn comes to mind:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. …

Here's the link to Curious Servant that I could not hide:

Last moment add on:

I was about to complain because some of the Blogger tools seem to have a mind of their own, not being able to hide a URL, changing fonts on me at will and then it dawned on me, Be thankful that such a wonderful tool even exists for my benefit and use. Kind of like Professor Higgins tossing all of his loose change into Eliza's basket when the clock strikes off the hours at the beginning of My Fair Lady. "A reminder!"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Don't Mess With Grandmas From Texas

I won't even try to explain this one. Click on the title bar link and have your speakers on.

This is rated PG-13 ( violence and uncontrolable laughter for extended periods. )

A tip of the hat to our friend Carol Garvey for sending this our way.

Can’t put my finger on it just yet

I was reading a story on CNN’s web site ( linked via title bar) about Citco Oil distributing heating oil at a reduced rate to certain citizens in Massachusetts. The deal was brokered by two groups I’ve never heard of, Citizens Energy Corp. and the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance. The story sounds like a worthwhile project as it explains how the lower income people in that area will receive that heating oil at 40% off of normal retail.

I’m not quite sure why, just a little red flag started waving in the back of my head alerting me, “Hey, something is not quite right here, something smells a bit fishy”; the part that concerns me is, quoting directly from the article:

“The agreement gives President Hugo Chavez's government standing as a provider of heating assistance to poor U.S. residents at a time when U.S. oil companies have been reluctant to do so and Congress has failed to expand aid in response to rising oil prices.

U.S. Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts, a Democrat, met with Chavez in August and helped broker the deal.”

Isn’t this the same Hugo Chavez, the Fidel Castro “wannabe”, who stated in fairly clear and understandable language that he can’t stand the United States of America, our way of life, our free market system and that he would do almost anything to destroy it.; that Hugo Chavez. Or, was it, as the left leaning press would have it, a case of “it’s all President Bush and his administrations fault”? Maybe this is a case of “our socialists haven’t enough power to get it done so let’s go out and get one who can”, or is that an over simplification?

The CNN article was quick to point out that the “agreement signed Tuesday with Venezuela, whose government is a political adversary of the Bush administration.”, as part of the lead headline. Maybe this has something to do with the red flags that are waving back and forth. The Bush administration, after all, is to blame for the high cost of heating oil, one of his opponents is willing to “help” and by doing so undermines the capitalistic system which the Bush administration represents. That would mean that the folks in Massachusetts are willing to accept a handout from a pro-communist leader of government. I keep forgetting , the same state where they continue to elect “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy and “I threw my medals over the fence” Kerry to the Senate. We need government health care, government this and government that or we can't survive, that Massachusettes?

Woa, hold the presses, a light bulb went off just now. I was reading a great article yesterday on Liberty Papers, that new blogsite in the LLP group. It had a funky title, “TANSTAAFL”, ( Blogger wouldn't let me hide link: http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/tanstaafl/ ),which stands for, ““There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”. It could be that I’m over simplifying the situation; the socialist movement desperately needs to win over some voters and this is an opportunity to show the “masses” how much better socialism is over capitalism; after all those nasty horrible oil companies are making huge windfall profits off of the poor folks and our free market system, aka: George Bush, and the Republican way of life won’t give them the help they need and deserve, then the knight on a white horse, that beacon of hope for the impoverished world, the socialistic form of government to the south will save the day.

I can hear the Mighty Mouse theme song playing in the background, “Here I come to save the day, Mighty Mouse is on his way!”, except it’s Hugo Chavez under the cloak of communism infiltrating the weak minded saps who would take a hand out from Satan himself, sell their souls to him to save a buck.

The bottom line is that you really can’t get something for nothing, altering the line to suit my own way of saying the same thing. The “poor” folks in Massachusetts, and that alone is a topic worthy of discussion. What exactly determines the level of “poor”; is it not being self reliant to the point of requesting or requiring a hand out from someone else or is it that “priorities” got shifted out of balance and the money was spent on something else? What is the price paid for those who do accept such a hand out and what are the long term effects to the economy, the social structure and the individual after having taken the hand outs? All of those factors determine what kind of strength, or in this case, lack of strength supports our country. I can sum it up, “I sold my soul to the company store.”, seems like I heard a song about that, Tennessee Ernie Ford, right?

The worrisome thought that enters my mind is that I have seen a steady drift toward a totally dependant society, one in which the individual has been portrayed, real or not, as a broken insignificant bumpkin who couldn’t exist without the help of an omnipresent local, state and federal government each and every day. This is in sharp contrast to the highly charged individuals who considered their situation and then broke away from tyrannical rule back in 1776 and started a fresh unrestrained form of life with minimal government. I find it even more interesting that Massachusetts, a leader of individual thought way back then, has become the toilet of socialism in this day and time.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Interesting Thought for the day: - Gotta love the logic.

If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths. That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington D.C. (among others) is 80.6 per 100,000.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our Nation's Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of Washington D.C.

A tip of the hat to my friend Richard Sutton for this thought.

Is this a Polish joke?

Come on now, you can level with me, this is a joke, right? This story (linked via title bar) comes via Brisbane, Australia courtesy of the AP.

“A French woman who is terrified of flying admitted in an Australian court Monday that she drunkenly tried to open an airplane door mid-flight to smoke a cigarette.”

This might be a chance for the Statler Brothers to make a come back, “ . . . smoking cigarettes and watchin’… Captain… Kan-ga-roo, now don’t tell me…I’ve nothin’ ta’ do…”

Watch that first step, mate!

Is this the Beginning of the End?

“GM to Close Nine Plants, Lay Off 30,000” is one of the headlines on Fox’s website this morning. (Complete story linked via title bar) GM has been loosing money by the Billions each year for so long they think that’s the way everyone does business. The fellow who was holding the profit growth chart was new and during a board meeting he had the damn thing upside down; let’s blame it all on him.

“GM has been crippled by falling U.S. market share, high labor and health-care costs and other issues. It lost nearly $4 billion in the first nine months of this year.”

Let me put that last line into perspective, let’s say that a one horse operation such as a locksmith who specializes in a mobile automotive service business lost money every year, how long would it take for the rest of the business community to call his ticket? Take it in the other direction, how long would it take for that one horse locksmith to figure out that maybe he was doing something that needed immediate correction, pricing his services too high, doing less than superior work, poor attitude in public, purchasing a benefits package that was too expensive; lastly, that he might be in the wrong business and it was time to fold up the tent and find employment elsewhere to support his needs?

There is a secondary issue, more important than whether or not GM can figure out how to turn a profit and stay in business as a viable entity and that is the fact that because GM is so large, they also have a serious chunk of the nation’s economy. Think about the impact to everyone, regardless of owning GM stock or owning a GM product; how many related companies rely on GM opening its doors for business each day? How much of the inflated market would be destroyed, much as the market was damaged when Enron did a swan dive into the drowning pool?

I don’t even want to think about such a mess, especially as I go over the book of Revelations as it explains the "signs" just prior to the apocalypse. For all I know some of those hard to understand passages are direct reference to the fall of GM.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Is this a “Connect the Dots” or a “Bush Lied” story?

Remember after the World Trade Center was taken out by terrorists, remember how President Bush’s opponents kept referring to his inability to “connect the dots”? There were not enough hours in the day for all the Monday Morning quarterbacks to point out all the red flags that could have been seen, should have been seen and what a weak intelligence agency we must have.

Then, of course, there is the 911 Commission which appears to have intentionally tossed out the information given to them regarding an intelligence operation known as Abel Danger. The information was quashed from reaching the FBI, information which might have enabled our own government to snuff the terrorists out before it ever happened.

This morning on the Fox website ( linked via title bar) I read about a situation over in Iran, those lovely folks who keep forgetting where the border is between their land of tyranny and that of Iraq, a country determined to obtain a Democratic form of government. It has been documented for several years that Iran has been working toward having military style Enriched Uranium as a means toward becoming a nuclear threat to their neighbors and the rest of the world. Isn’t it bad enough having these “towel heads” strapping conventional explosives to their bodies as they take out those who disagree with their radical Muslim Jihad; no, let’s wait until they have some nuclear weapons.

“VIENNA, Austria — Iran obtained detailed instructions on how to set up the complicated process of enriching uranium which can (be) used to make nuclear arms, from the black market network run by a Pakistani scientist, the U.N. atomic monitoring agency said Friday.”, according to the AP release.

Is this new information, the information gathered and distributed by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency part of the next “Why didn’t the Bush Administration Connect the dots?” strategy or is it to be lumped in with the other claims that Bush Lied, there never were Weapons of Mass Destruction, it was all made up to get us into a war with Iraq.

The UN has issued no sanctions or pushed to have these sites opened for inspection. Maybe they are waiting for President Bush to save the world again, get tangled up in the mess the UN is unable to take care of.

“The report said the key outstanding issues concerning Iran's nuclear program include whether the military was involved in enrichment, access to the military site where the "dual use" equipment was believed held and greater access to individuals involved in the enrichment program.”

Picture Jay Leno doing his monologue, pandering for another laugh as he covers the news events of the week.

“Just what would the key outstanding issue be? Maybe Iran’s public school system was in those secret buildings enriching uranium, that’s it. That high security building is off limits while the children attempt to unlock the secrets of the universe. “It’s my science project Rahsheed, what are you doing for your project?” Meanwhile the military has no desire to obstruct the educational values of enriching uranium, their only concern is for the safety of the children working on it; yea, right?” Spontaneous applause and laughter as Jay goes to the next joke.

The leaders speaking for the Democratic Party would have us all believe that Bush Lied; repeating it over and over with the help of the major news media outlets until the public simply accepts that version. What’s the old adage, a lie told often enough becomes the truth? Well, it just ain’t so; go back and read the facts. The only ones proven to be Liars so far are those Democrats who are attempting to re-write history.

So, is this story out of the UN a tease, something that most folks will blow off, having been lied to so many times, regardless of who was telling those lies or will the spineless UN actually follow through with sanctions which they cannot enforce with out the United States providing the military might to accomplish those sanctions?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Substitute Friday Quickies

Tony over at Red Mind in a Blue State has been avoiding his duties by not putting up enough blogs, especially my favorite, Friday Quickies. I’m thinking of cutting the huge salary and maybe even some of those benefits. There were so many issues during the past few days that caught my interest; where to begin?

President Bush finally decided that the facts about the War on Terror needed to be restated since the so called “loyal opposition” has distorted the truth for so long, culminating in their latest push in congress to demand a time table for leaving Iraq.

I wrote my comments when asked whether the big news media could be considered as Patriots and while doing so, I included my belief that almost half the Congress and Senate are in the same boat as big media; not only are they not Patriots, they appear to be guilty of Sedition or possibly even Treason. I’ve included a link to Eric Cowperthwaite’s article (linked via title bar), “What Haven't You Been Told?”, pointing to the need for putting pressure on big media to mention the real facts every once in a while, rather than the constant barage of Anti-Bush, Anti-War, Anti-American self defeating dribble. Without the individuals in the Blogosphere constantly reminding big media that, yes, there are alternative information sources, sources that shed the truth and really do have an impact on the way the world is informed, that big media doesn’t have a strangle hold on the disemination of the news as it once did and that big media had better get its act together and report the truth, or at least make it look a little more balanced than the propganda they’ve been spreading, much like the propaganda I put in my garden to help the plants grow.

Moving right along, there are several individual bloggers, sharp witted and intelligent from reading their articles, bloggers who have a great deal of sarcasm and annimosity directed toward religion and those who have faith based explanations as to the creation of the universe, ID or anything which they feel encroaches on their narrow view of the sciences. Rather than attempt my own explanation, one which takes in many aspects of reason to include scientific principle and faith in that which cannot be proven by scientific observation; instead I will refer to an article written by John Pratt, a well respected scientist in his own right. John clearly brings up aspects of the sciences I had not considered, and yet would tend to be relavant in this day of discounting religionists as kooks; it may well be that a large portion of the so called scientific community is more afraid of the truths they are unable to explain, please take the time to read, “Has Satan Hijacked Science?”. ( Blogger is not cooperating today and refuses to let me hide links)


Before I close, I am reminded that Tony always has some thought provoking quote from Theodore Roosevelt. This will have to do since I’m substituting in his absence; I leave you with these words of encouragement spoken by the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Gordon B. Hinkley. It makes a “good fit” with the two topics I placed before you.

"Let us be a people of honesty and integrity, doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances. "

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What Say Ye to This?

John Adams ( credit for photo linked via title bar)

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
- John Adams - October 11, 1798

A tip of the hat to my friend Richard Sutton for sharing this with me.
 Posted by Picasa

Waiting Waiting for my Trophy

If you’re looking for a serious article about politics, war, taxes or the “main stream” pundit blog; you won’t find it as I ramble on about an award I received this past week.
I’d visited one of my regular stomping grounds, Old Whig’s Brain Dump, and left a silly comment of nearly no social redeeming value to let him know I’d visited. It turns out that there is some kind of glitch in the software that records the URL; extending and adding characters into the address, mine having a “double http://”.

I guess there are many things that he could have considered; however, nominating me for an award was not on my list as I read that I had received the “Boner Award”. I immediately called my mom to let her know that I’d won another trophy to put on the shelf. I don’t get too many trophies so almost anything is worthy of being placed on the trophy shelf; lost buttons from my shirt that get picked up, a can of Office Depot Duster to keep my keyboard clean or my replacement ink for the printer.

I’ve written on the subject of Trophies before and acknowledged that some have much more meaning than others. If you have a chance use the link and read my short story, Looking for an old photograph, that I wrote back in January, one of my personal favorite pieces.

I once received the “Chili Cook Off Boot Trophy”. I was to represent the Sunday School organization at our yearly Go Texan social. I wore my cowboy boots; something reserved for that one day a year because they make my feet sore, along with a pair of starched and pressed cowboy cut blue jeans. I did spend a few minutes in the kitchen with a can opener to take the lids off some chili cans preparing my “entry”.

Technically I had a part in the making of that chili since it came from the Church Cannery where Lucy and I had been line workers during its production. Lucy had purchased the top sirloin meat at a market down on Shepherd which would make it superior to the store bought stuff; she was right, great tasting chili. How could I go wrong, put the canned chili in a large cooking pot, warm it up and “Wa-ha, parder!”. In case you missed it, that was my John Wayne sound effects; oh shut up, it did too sound like him.

I left the kitchen for only a few minutes, enough for Lucy to ask, “What’s burning?” and returned to find that I had set the heating element under my pot a tad too high. I quickly turned it down, stirred the stuff around so that the burned part would be evenly mixed. I thought it made it taste more “authentic”, kind of a smoky over the open fire touch. I never thought it would win an award. Several folks who’d eaten it complained that they didn’t feel so good, not a good thing when you’re going for the “gold”.

Posted by Picasa

I keep my Boot trophy on the shelf, right there with my hard copy edition of Collier’s Encyclopedia. For you younger folks, think of it as the version that works with Windows 1950. Lucy says we should get rid of them and use that space for something else; but, that would be like throwing away a piece of history.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is the Main Stream Media Patriotic?

Ogre’s Politics and Views posed the question as a challenge ( link via title bar ) to anyone stopping by. My gut reaction would be to say, “Not just no, but Hell No!” Okay, so now I have to back up that statement with some kind of structured thought, a fact or two wouldn’t hurt and then have it sound like one of the major bloggers had said it first and that all I was doing was regurgitating as a means of gaining more readership to my own blog.

I’ve already surpassed my wildest dreams as far as the number of folks who visit, read, comment or link to some of my articles so anything more would only be icing on the cake. Being the "Marauding Marsupial" that I am with my part time writing I get a chance to read other news stories and article on the internet for only a short while each day.

I have observed the largest media outlets, notice I didn’t refer to them as mainstream since they hardly reflect what has been called the “fly over states” and pander strictly to the elite crowded metropolis cities on the coasts where their liberal constituency market lauds them as media stars worthy of our constant praise, anyway, these huge media outlets have painted the United States as morally lacking, liars of the first order when referring to the President and his entire administrative unit, our military as incompetent murderers of innocent civilians incapable of understanding the rest of the world's contempt for their deployment around the world and more specifically, in the Middle East where, according to that all knowing media, we have no real interest or business being. I have read the major magazines such as Time, not to forget that they have a separate version that is printed for the ignorant saps here in America and then yet another version for the more sophisticated and intelligent European crowd, one which paints a deplorable picture not seen by their American base as a means of sucking up to the Socialists in EU.

I have noticed a general trend to destroy the will of the American people to succeed as individuals, that they should be more open to the liberal agenda of socialism, that the old ideas of capitalism, making a profit that belongs to either the corporation that invested, marketed and created the wealth via hard work and production, or the individual who has enough stamina to work harder, longer and smarter than the average hourly worker, that those shameful acts of selfishness are the reason the rest of the world hates America.

Maybe the word “seditious” would apply to the large media as they seem to be more concerned with aiding and comforting those who would destroy our country, it’s standard of living and our basic ideals as pertain to our historic documents and, let’s not forget, the steady attacks on core beliefs held sacred by “fly over America”; to include religion, integrity, honesty in dealings with others, did I forget to mention actual reporting of news instead of journalistic license to opinions that they would prefer we hear rather than facts?

Since almost half of the Congress and Senate seem to go along with what is being hurled at us via the large news media, maybe we could include them when contemplating whether or not they are Patriotic, or down right S
editious. Having no concern for our own military units involved with fighting terrorism in its many and various forms, a goodly portion of our Congressmen and Senators have forgotten their primary allegiance is to protect the American public and to provide for a continuation of the promise of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as unalienable rights, not to be confused with inalienable rights. The news media has taken the stance that those antiquated ideas that flowed from the likes of Jefferson, Madison and Washington are nothing more than a starting point in an ever changing world that has shown us that we should no longer value life from its onset in the womb or as it becomes closer to "used up" in old age, that the rest of the world has a different standard, so much more “progressive” as to make us look backward in our thinking. Our out dated free market principles, while they have established our nation as wealthy, enough to share with the rest of the world so that they would not starve, to share when catastrophe strikes on a regular basis, to share our military might so that the oppressed might avoid total annialiation; those achievements are held as naught, opting instead for the large media concept of, “let’s just get along”, regardless of asking liars to hold to promises, murderers to stop murdering and terrorists to conduct themselves in a civilized manner as if by wishing it were so it would be.

No, and Hell No, these malcontent forked tongued hypocrites are not Patriots as they constantly attack the foundations of our country, our liberties and our freedoms; their actions are nothing short of Treason. Let’s hang the rotten scoundrels and be done with it.

Interesting Information from Iraq

I got an email from a friend which directed me to visit a website written by Tractorman. ( linked via title bar ). The posted article was all about how soldiers rated the various weapons being used in Iraq. That may be of great interest to some of you; having served in the Army and qualified with both the M-16 and the M-14, my leaning would be toward the M-14 for reliability in less than perfect conditions and for its knock down ability over the newer and lighter weapon and cartridge; apparently these folks agree.

Further down in the article there was a section which he called, “Who are the bad guys?”. Earlier today I posted, “Falluja Should Have Been Leveled” and I stand by that opinion, especially after reading the information that Tractorman has from those who are in country and really do know; as opposed to the media outlets and their BS. I don’t care how they spell it, Falluja or Fallujah, the place needs to be turned into a sand dune. Go read the entire article; I will only show a small portion, none of which is classified information.

Who are the bad guys?

“Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly foreigners, non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.) , and then travel down the at line which is the
trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we’ve been hitting hard for the last few months. Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in sacrifice squads. Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.) These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. (they have been fighting the Russians for years). In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt., the police forces and the Army. The have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80s. Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.”

The fact remains that it is too easy for these terrorists to cross the border into Falluja where it is easy to hide and plan attacks on our service men. Level that area and make it harder for the “insurgents”, more correctly, make it harder for the terrorists to set up shop.

Falluja Should Have Been Leveled

I read where there’s a serious investigation going on in Washington regarding reports that the United States Military used White Phosphorus (WP) as a weapon against the enemy in Falluja. According to earlier reports by the Pentagon “WP” had only been used to illuminate targets. In this latest acknowledgment there has been evidence that it was also used to flush out enemy troops that were heavily entrenched or those who would not respond to high explosives while hidden in “spider holes”.

“The battle for Falluja was the most intense and deadly fight of the war, after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. The city, about 35 miles west of Baghdad on the Euphrates River, was a critical insurgent stronghold. The authors of the "after action" report said they encountered few civilians in their area of operations.”
Given the manner in which this was reported by CNN ( linked via title bar ) there was a question in my mind, not being familiar with the rules of conduct as to the use of White Phosphorus in war time against the enemy; had our forces stepped over the line and used some illegal or banned weapon. I recall the use of Mustard Gas and other biological weapons having been used by Saddam Hussein against his own people, something which may have been forgotten by those critics of US involvement that led to the overthrow of that regime. I had to go to the end of the CNN article to find that WP is not on the list of inhumane or banned weapons; so then, why is this even news worthy?

“Venable, (Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman), said white phosphorous shells are a standard weapon used by field artillery units and are not banned by any international weapons convention to which the United States is a signatory.”

Our military forces are involved in a difficult struggle to remove enemy combatants, call them insurgents, terrorists or whatever; their intent is to kill American troops through unconventional and often suicidal tactics. In WWII there were countless numbers of Japanese soldiers, uniformed combatants entrenched within caves and tunnel systems who were incinerated by our troops use of flame throwers. The point being that a decision on how to remove the enemy from their strong holds with the least amount of danger to our own troops has to be left up to those military leaders in the field; with the added stipulation that the means used be in accordance with those treaties and limitations which apply to our engagement of troops in time of war.

“Italian communists held a sit-in Monday in front of the U.S. Embassy in Rome to protest the reported use by American troops of white phosphorous. Italy's state-run RAI24 news television aired a documentary last week that alleged the United States used white phosphorous shells in a "massive and indiscriminate way" against civilians during the Falluja offensive.”
What can you expect from a group of folks who can’t stand the United States, our way of life, our superior form of government or the fact that we make a better pizza that can be “delivered in less than 30 minutes or it’s free”. Personally, I think the military should have leveled the entire town of Falluja, not one building left standing, as a means of stripping any possible use of that area by terrorists intent on waging a cowardly war against US troops and their own people.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Trip to the Doctor and Dentist

"Bubba Teeth" photo courtesy of Toothfairy Teeth, makers of Halloween gimmick teeth
( linked in title bar )

It’s shaping up to be one of those kind of weeks. Actually it started off this past Friday when I thought I was coming down with some kind of bug. I won’t go into details other than to explain that I had to wait until Monday for an appointment at the local clinic. I also noticed that the filling in my front tooth, the white look alike substance that has been slowly eroding over the past twenty years is no longer slowly eroding; it’s dissolving minute by minute now. Lucy is good at setting up appointments, what’s one more?

I had to shell out twenty dollars as I walked in the front door just so the doctor can tell me I have swollen glands in my neck and write a prescription for some antibiotics. Everyone has to make a living so I suppose I should be happy that my co-pay bill was only twenty. I drove over to the pharmacy and shelled out fifty five dollars for my prescriptions and went home to bed. That was Monday.

Today I thought I was going to have some minor dentistry done, clean up the old fillings with new look alike white substance that will last another twenty years or so; wrong. I find out that two of my front teeth have major cracks and that the ones on either side also have some cracks. So, I ask, “What is it going to take to fix them?” After learning that the word “crown” is involved; having had one along with the emptying of my cash reserves, I find that the dentist means “crown” times four”.

I already have a certain edginess around dentists; not that they aren’t nice folks, just that they can inflict serious pain to both my mouth and my wallet in the blink of an eye. The financial clerk from the front office sat down with a printed version of all the procedures necessary to completely fix my four front teeth, the temporary crown, x-rays, lab work and the fancy ceramic crown that will be ready in twenty one days. She then asked how I planned to pay for the $ 2800 bill, which is the reduced version of what would have been a $ 4600 bill had I not had a really good dental plan.

I phoned Lucy and asked if she had an extra $ 2800 floating around in her purse and then signed the form promising to pay off the entire amount in 3 months with no interest; and the dentist had told me the most painful part would be the several numbing shots of Novocain, I really dislike that part too.

The next part was almost comical as the technician/helper placed a large semi-liquid glob of gooey stuff in my mouth followed by what looked like some kind chalking gun with thick yellow stuff to fill in the blanks. I mentioned that I was going to check the bathroom later on and if I found the toilet had been sealed with the same funky yellow chalking material I was hiring a lawyer; they all let out a muffled laugh, maybe the Novocain was starting to work. The dentist drilled, buffed and sanded my teeth until I was afraid to look in a mirror. Imagination working hard along with partial sensation to my tongue led me to believe that I might be in the running for “poster boy” in the state of West Virginia; think about the movie Deliverance and it will make more sense.

An hour and a half later I have my mouth back, all except the feeling in my nose, upper lip and my jaw felt like one solid piece of concrete. The taste of solvents and glue still lingered as I rinsed and then pulled pieces of yellow rubbery plastic stuff from out of my beard. The temporary crown in place I went home and waited for the Novocain to wear off.
Now my tongue is asking, “Whose mouth is this?” as it feels around for the familiar landmarks and finds instead, that while close to what used to be there, it’s an alien being that has taken root. I hope the ceramic crown feels and looks a little better. So, how’d your day go?

Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 14, 2005

In God We Trust

click on image to enlarge

This battle has been shaping up for quite some time, whether it’s the Pledge of Allegiance, religious symbols on government buildings or the coins we use every day, those who desire to destroy this nation, for they surely intend to destroy our nation’s foundations, our acknowledgement and faith that God has been and continues to be a significant part of what makes America great. I needed to chime in on this issue.

I read a World Net Daily article ( linked via title bar) in which our hero, Michael Newdow, a self proclaimed spokesperson for the people, all the people and no person left out kind of guy, has declared the words, “In God We Trust” violate his rights to be free from forced religion as well as all those who have no faith or choose not to believe.

“Michael Newdow, perhaps America's best known atheist, has a new target in his personal war against God in the public domain: "In God We Trust" on U.S. money."


“…U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton granted legal standing to two families represented by Newdow, who lost his previous battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The judge, nominated to his seat by President Carter in 1979, said he was bound by the precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' in 2002, which favored Newdow. “

I was thinking how pathetic Michael Newdow must be, kind of a Joan of Arc without faith; is that an oxymoron or is he just a plain moron? I then thought of how in ancient times the faithful would have stoned him or tossed him over a cliff, left him there as a sign for other malcontents as a warning.

On the outside chance, this is for any and all of you reading this who may not have any faith or doubt the existence of God, the Eternal Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth; yes, that God, where was I, on the outside chance that God really is the Supreme Being who inspired the likes of Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry and George Washington as they wrote deep thoughts concerning the foundations of our country and their hopes for it to continue, on the outside chance that God continues to have His hand in the affairs of men, particularly here in the United States of America; how would you feel meeting God at the end of your mortal life were you to instigate such a travesty as Michael Newdow? I love a run on sentence as any English teacher who ever had me in class will testify, granted they may or may not have to place one hand on the Bible while raising the other to the square anymore.

Could you lift your head proudly and proclaim that all you had done was in the name of your fellow citizens, that you were protecting their right to ignore God as their Creator, that God who inspired 55 men to sign the Declaration of Independence without regard for their own lives or safety. You did know that 52 of the 55 signers of The Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention.

Here is a warning to all the Michael Newdows who claim to be on a crusade, one that will prevent the religionists of our country from forcing God on them at every coin operated vending machine. I’m not saying we should stone him or throw him off a cliff; those are figurative examples of what he is doing to himself.

The Book of Mormon was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who translated it by the gift and power of God, said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other”, that Book of Mormon; has recorded in Alma 1:15, what happened to one such as Michael Newdow.

“And it came to pass that they took him; and his name was Nehor and they carried him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious death.”

His banner is held high, his thoughts corrupted with disdain for his own Creator, why would anyone follow his crusade? Michael Newdow is on parade for all to see what a fool he really is. Let us, each as individuals, consider the eternities rather than the politics of the present as we weigh in on such an important issue. “In God We Trust” is not simply a catchy phrase to put on our coinage, for all of our sakes, it had better not be.

Posted by Picasa

The Sheep Have Spoken

Click to enlarge cartoon

Citizens of Sin Francisco, land of fruits and nuts have bested themselves once again. Not only do they not want war ships with big guns to weigh anchor in their port; not to be confused with the line, “Oh, that’s a big gun you have there, sailor!”, now they have elected to remove all handguns from within the city limits. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a lawsuit filed by the NRA counters that California state law forbids "local attempts to ban the possession of handguns by law-abiding, responsible adults.''

“Under Prop. H, residents have until April 1 to surrender their handguns to police without penalty. The proposition also makes it illegal to sell, manufacture and distribute firearms and ammunition within city limits.”

I can’t help but think about the movie, The American President, where Michael Douglas in the role of president has the removal of guns on his agenda, as if by confiscating guns and making it impossible for the average citizen to obtain guns is the smart thing to do. What this says is that they don’t trust the average American citizen to have enough sense or the self control necessary to properly supervise themselves; why doesn’t that surprise me?

The liberal left of our society have been inbred for so long as to take it for granted that the government will and should take care of everyone. The government is the only one capable of providing enough food for you to eat, minimal health care to hold you over, a place to exist, a marginal education and so why would it be any different when it comes to protection?
There is a cancer, one that has spread throughout part of the land which says that Americans are weak minded and need to be coddled. You must be weak to permit so many welfare assistance programs to “pump you up, pump you up” so that you are able to survive from one day to the next; something which your ancestors were able to do on their own for all those years. This disease chews up individual rights in large gulps and swallows them out of existence, all in the name of saving us from ourselves.

“A San Franciscan who wanted only to be identified by his first name, David, said that owning a gun was a private matter and criminals might target residents who would be unarmed under the legislation.”

Maybe the folks in Sin Francisco would be wise to consider the ban of personal firearms carried out in Australia, a total fiasco that had to be scrapped after the good citizens were left helpless by the left and only the criminals were left guns thanks to the left. This is from an article back in September, 2002; I wish I had done a better job of notation, having left off the source. I’m sure it could be found via a search engine.

“Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from down-Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $50 million dollars.

The first year results are now in: Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent; Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent; Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes,44 percent!). In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.” (emphisis added)

In the Sunday paper a cartoon that seems to apply to the folks in Sin Francisco, at least after April 1st. (I just noticed, that’s April Fools Day, coincidence?) There is a woman defending herself with the only weapon at her disposal’ aiming her pet cat at the intruder while it spits hair balls at him.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Am I a Good Man?

As Veteran’s Day weekend comes to a close I wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth. Lucy and I got home from our Saturday Night Date and turned on the television to catch the very end of Saving Private Ryan as it was playing out. I’m a little hard of hearing, even with my hearing aids and so I’m not able to explain what exactly Private Ryan heard from his dying Captain there on the bridge; but it must have been something close to, “Make our sacrifice worth it” or along those lines.

The very next scene jumps ahead 50 years with Private Ryan, now old and getting closer to the “jumping off place” as he visits the WWII cemetery and ponders his life, a life which was prolonged as a direct result of all those men who lay buried beneath the rows and rows of crosses in that cemetery over in France. His family had traveled with him as he remembered all the terrible aspects of war, the suffering and the sacrifices made as he stood before the marker of his departed Captain. He turned to his wife in all humility and asked “Am I a good man? I’ve tried as hard as I know how to live up to the gift that was given me; am I a good man?” I may have misquoted a tad; but like they say in the Army when tossing a grenade, close enough.

Turning to a different time and yet the common theme of war and character as a thread, there is important information to be gained from studying those who confront such human struggles and turn them for good. Roughly 72 years prior to the birth of Christ a record of a people about to be involved in a war for survival was made in the Book of Mormon. It is found in Alma 48:15-17

“And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;

And also, that God would make it known unto them wither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”

Are we able to say in all humility that we have earned the gift that was given us by those who fought and died in the name of liberty and freedom? Saving Private Ryan was a brutal visual assault requiring a strong will to accept the necessary pains of war in order to achieve an appreciation for those horrors which accompany the fight for liberty and freedom.

There is another of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon found in the book of 1 Nephi 19:22,23 which might add to the message which I am attempting to share.

“Now it came to pass that I, Nephi, did teach my brethren these things; and it came to pass that I did read many things to them, which were engraven upon the plates of brass, that they might know concerning the doings of the Lord in other lands, among people of old.

And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.”

This may seem a circuitous route; bear with me and it may become more clear. One way to liken the scriptures unto ourselves is by inserting our own name in the place of that name which is written to see how it might apply to our own set of circumstances. How would we measure up if the Lord had been talking to us or about our actions? For example, when I placed before you the information, “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”, could you easily substitute your own name for that of Moroni? What could you be doing in your own life to improve your standing?

“Am I a good man?”, Private Ryan asked his wife, pleading for the solace or peace of mind which would permit him to stand up right with some measure of justification for having been spared. Now, stand in his place as you contemplate the rows of crosses at our National Cemeteries, the graves of all those brave souls who have fought for your right to stand in a free nation where liberty abounds. Can you ask the question, “Am I a good man?” and receive comfort in your own soul for having lived a life deserving of their lives?

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In Flanders Field the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This is my entry for Tuesday’s Carnival of Liberty being hosted this week by Eric Cowperthwaite. Drop by his site and read some of the articles submitted.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Just call me Superman

A long time ago in a …; no, that’s how Star Wars starts; finally got to see the last one after it came out on DVD. I used to train rookie police officers on night shift. They had finished their first three weeks, mostly getting used to wearing a blue uniform on day shift. I would drive for the first week until they had proven some kind of ability on the job.

On the second week I had one rookie in the driver seat when we got behind a really good DWI suspect. It was a classic low speed chase; what, never heard of a low speed chase?
The vehicle was westbound on a Kempwood, two lanes in both directions divided by an esplanade. Have you ever watched a very young person roll a bowling ball down the lane, wandering and weaving a slow meander until it either falls into the gutter or barely has enough momentum to knock over a pin at the far end of the lane? That should give you and idea of what I call a low speed chase; wish I had that on DVD. We had our emergency lights on with an occasional blast of the siren; nothing was working as his car casually rebounded from one curb line to the other at 3 – 4 miles an hour.

It was an industrial section of road where for a couple of miles there wasn’t much he could have hit; however, not far ahead it would run through a residential neighborhood once he past Bingle. Nothing was working to get him pulled over, nothing that was in the book of standard operating procedures.

I decided to get out of the police vehicle and run along side the driver’s window where I could rap on it to get his attention. It wasn’t all that hard to keep pace and I would have paid good money to have a picture of that fellow’s face when he looked over and saw a cop running along side his car. You have to remember that he was so plastered that he thought he was bustin’ on down the road as the idea crossed his mind that Superman had dressed up in a blue uniform and was bustin’ it down the road on foot. He pulled over and was wide eyed as he addressed me, “Sir, uh, Officer, you must be really fast.”

My rookie wasn’t sure if we’d broken any rules along the way as he asked if that happened often. We looked inside the suspect’s vehicle and it was littered with empty whiskey bottles. Once we were downtown the suspect refused to blow; a shame, I’d like to have seen how high his would have gone. Actually I’m just a mild mannered blogger, working in Metropolis.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Do we really want cameras in the Supreme Court?

The subject has come up again and again, is it time to have cameras record the proceedings of the Supreme Court? Melissa Drosjack wrote an article for Fox, “Pols Consider Cameras at Supreme Court",, which covered the subject fairly well. It has become a national craze to have the public entertained with one reality show after another. There are problems with such a mentality of broadcasting; one is that most of the garbage shown on reality shows has very little to do with reality and does not serve to enlighten anyone. “Hey Mabel, grab me another beer, that fellow wearing the spandex has his head buried in a bowl of fishing worms and has to eat them to get to the next round”; yea, that’s reality.

There is further reason to keep cameras out of the Supreme Court; but why limit this to the Supreme Court, there should not be cameras present in any court rooms. Witnesses act differently when the news media fills up the room with flood lights, prosecutors and defense attorneys put on their Hollywood shows and the whole thing becomes a Nielson’s Rating instead of a court of law.

We had a judge in Houston seriously considering permitting cameras to broadcast the workings of a jury during deliberations in a major trial not too long ago. Think about the necessary atmosphere, the weighing of critical evidence and testimony and then throw in a wild card, the chance to be on national television while deciding the fate of a human being; is that what justice is about? “Hey Mabel, grab me another beer, that lady who lives down the street, you know, the one who gets angry when Rascal digs up her flowers, yea, she’s the only one who can’t make up her mind on sending this slim bucket murderer/rapist to the electric chair.” Still think cameras in the courts are a good idea?

“Some senators want proceedings in federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to be televised. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has sponsored a Senate measure
calling for it."

"I think this is the year to make this law," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. "No branch of our government has remained a greater mystery to our average people than our federal courts."”


"While supporters say cameras in the courtroom would educate the public about the judicial branch and offer a first person account of its proceedings, opponents worry that witnesses, cameras that could broadcast nationwide might intimidate jurors and defendants."

A little further in the article is a line which closely matches my own sentiments. Let’s have the information available to the public, those interested in the proceedings of the Supreme Court have the information available to them in written form, have every word transcribed and posted on the internet; but leave the microphones and the cameras out of it.

"I think the cameras do more than just report proceedings, they affect the substance of the proceedings," said Judge Jan DuBois, of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania."

Thank you Judge Jan DuBois for saying in one line what it took me a page to do. Those who can’t see the simple truth regarding the altered state of testimony brought about by having a camera present need only look at those idiots in Washington standing in front of an empty Senate or Congress to record their “moment in history” as they babble, scratch that, as they eloquently present serious legislative issues “to the choir”.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Windbag Profits Hearing

No, that’s not a typo; all those folks from the oil companies being questioned by the Senate to figure out why gasoline prices are so high is a pure political grandstand play to their constituents. These Windbags want to put a windfall profits tax on the oil companies because; well, they really aren’t sure why, they just want the public to view this as the right thing to do. “We don’t like it and we’re not taking it anymore!” or some other strongly worded message that can be spoken into a microphone while the television cameras are sending this home to the voters.

The best part of the hearing, at least in my book, was listening to Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, explain to Senator Barbara Boxer, D. California, that it was his decision not to swear these oil company executives in prior to their bearing testimony. Senator Boxer continued in a mini-tirade, insisting that all witnesses needed to be sworn in; all the while Senator Stevens explained the rules of the hearing and the authority that he alone held as he effectively silenced her self promoting soliloquy. Senator Boxer motioned to have all witnesses sworn in while in the background I heard someone second the motion. Senator Stevens simply ignored the motion and told them that he was moving on with the hearings.

“Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., never a friend to the oil industry, told the executives that in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, "people are concerned about fairness and justice at a time of sacrifice.”
This was after her attempt to run the meeting her own way regardless of the fact that Ted Stevens was in charge. While it is true that the “people are concerned about fairness and justice”, please note that there is a huge difference between being fair and being vindictive. There is a difference between earned profits and this thing they call windfall profit’s tax.

While I am not sure about how much it costs the oil companies to produce a gallon of gasoline; the investment in drilling for oil, finding sufficient quantities to justify pumping it out of the ground, building a refinery, transporting the crude oil to a refinery where it can be turned into various products suitable for the end consumer and all the attending costs of doing business, one thing I am certain of, at no time has any form of government invested anything in order to obtain the imposed taxes on those products. What is it now, a little over 40 cents on each gallon of gasoline is a tax? That means, if the information is at all relevant, that for all the investments and risks the oil companies have that they earn about 8 cents per gallon, something we call profit, while the government gets 40 cents per gallon just because they can get away with it; did I miss anything?

“Called at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., Wednesday's hearing could help Republicans deflect criticism they aren't doing enough to shield consumers from rising energy costs”

Senator Frist has absolutely no brains or back bone, at least the evidence is sorely lacking as he bends over backwards and panders to the “let’s tax those big oil monsters”. Taxing any business has never saved anyone a penny because those taxes are always passed along as part of the cost of doing business. So, all you Windbags, how much more will that gallon of gasoline cost after you tax the crap out of Big Oil? Maybe Frist needs to take a lesson from Ted Stevens on how to calmly and forcefully explain facts to one who has no intention of listening to reality, such as Barbara Boxer.

Not to let “Big Oil” off the hook entirely, I have to wonder why the price of gasoline has been manipulated so easily over the past several years. How come the supplies from the Middle East, Canada, South America or where ever else the raw commodity we call oil are so easily blocked from entering the market. Does greed have anything to do with it, or is it all done with smoke and mirrors in order to fool us into believing that the valve on one end is stuck closed?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Putting on Shoes

Election Day has come and gone, the world continues. You thought I was going to rant about how California has decided to wallow in socialism and corrupt union power; wrong. I’m going to let someone else take on that gig.

This morning I was going through my ritual of getting ready; shower, get dressed and all that. One of the last parts of the ritual is putting on socks and shoes, or in my case, socks and cross trainers; please, no reference to trans-gender was implied or stated. I wear New Balance cross trainer sneakers to work in because they fit my feet and go well with blue jeans. I don’t have to wear uncomfortable dress shoes like I do on Sundays because locksmiths have a little more sense than folks who have to punch a time clock and sit in a cubicle all day.

Where was I; oh yea, I was sitting on the bottom steps that lead to the upstairs bedrooms putting on my shoes. This is a big deal around our house. Our two puppies pay very close attention to the rituals around here. The first, getting out of bed; why else would we get out of bed if not to walk to the kitchen and feed the beasts? The second, and even more important, putting on shoes because that means the beasts get to go “Outside”, something that is not only necessary after having eaten; but more exciting and fun. They get to romp around, sniff the territory and figure out which other beasts have visited their domain. Then lastly, they get to come back “inside” and get rewarded for having braved the “outside”. This all takes place in a matter of a few sequential minutes every morning.

When I sit on the edge of the stairs to put my shoes on a little light bulb goes off in the minds of the puppies; I still call them puppies even though they are well into “dog”. You can see them leap for joy at the prospect of getting to go “Outside”. I should explain that front door “Outside” is different than back door “outside”. Going out the back door “outside” is associated with the penalty box for having done something improper or just for being a dog when company comes over; nothing to look forward to there.

I guess it’s time to let those puppies back in now, and, while I’m out there, get the paper. Then the puppies can have a small chew treat for having accomplished piles of work, forgive the weak pun. I’ll get to read about how Texas voters passed the Christian version marriage amendment; marriage is between a man and a woman only, and wait for some judicial ruling to overturn that later on for discriminating against the more “progressive” segment of society or some other reason. Excuse me; that should be “regressive”, since it associates backward with forward, wrong instead of right and; well, you get the idea. White is not black and black is not white, good is not evil and evil is not good. Those who would have you believe such are misguided at best; the only thing to determine after that is why they are intent on corrupting the rest of society with their perversions.

Putting on my shoes is important; but how much can you write about puppies getting excited over going to poop in the yard? Watch where you step...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Texans need to vote FOR Proposition 2 on Tuesday

Quoting an article written by Maurine Proctor in Meridian Magazine,

“Texas is a state where more than 70% of the voters are in favor of traditional marriage, so you’d think that passing a constitutional amendment protecting marriage would be a slam-dunk.

Not so. The November 8 ballot represents an off-year election with typically lower turnout, and those opposing the amendment are planning to turn out in high numbers.”

There have been vigorous attempts to horns waggle, prevaricate and outright lie about the particulars that that are covered in Proposition 2. I have heard one line which claims that the amendment is worded so poorly as to do away with all legal forms or marriage.

“In reality, the amendment would write into the state constitution the following:

a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one

b) The state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

The fact is that those who would pervert the meaning of marriage could only succeed by lies, prevarication and horns waggling. Honesty is not in there play book.

"Save Texas Marriage” is a group supporting same-sex marriage that has mounted a purposely deceptive phone campaign. They call people and claim: “I’m a volunteer for Save Texas Marriage, calling to let you know that the Texas Legislature made a blunder in writing Proposition #2, the gay marriage amendment. Any activist judge could easily use the language to overturn traditional marriage and cause people to lose health insurance, tax breaks and pensions. Current law protects everyone’s marriage. Don’t risk it, vote against it!”

Pro-family groups are calling this effort an all-out fraud.”

Make sure you Vote for Proposition 2 and send a message that Texas intends to follow God’s laws!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Why did the Supreme Court Ban Prayer?

In the column I wrote for American Daily, You won’t hear this being taught in school, I brought up some facts regarding the mindset and thoughts of our Founding Fathers. It was fairly clear how the America that Washington, Madison, and Jefferson hoped and prayed for included God and His Son, Jesus Christ as integral working partners at the head of the government. I held back a portion so I could write about it here.

“It is clear from history that the Bible and the Christian faith, were foundational in our educational and judicial system. However in 1947, there was a radical change of direction in the Supreme Court. Here is the prayer that was banished:

"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee. We beg Thy blessings upon us and our parents and our teachers and our country. Amen."”

What Spirit teaches a man not to pray, or better stated, who teaches men not to pray? Who is the Father of all Lies, one of his many names? Who is it that was cast out of Heaven for open rebellion to Father? So, who is it that the Supreme Court is following when they consider how to interpret the Constitution? It certainly isn’t the whisperings of the Holy Spirit which manifests itself to those who humble themselves in the attitude of prayer to Father; so, who is it that they are listening to as they contemplate in deep thought?

James Madison, considered to be responsible for most of the writing of our Constitution stated, “We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.” Why is it then that the highest court in the land will no longer acknowledge God; even further, has gone to great lengths to remove God from nearly every aspect of American life?

“And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.”

2 Nephi 32:8

The answers to all the questions I have listed are the same. There is an agenda which has been put in motion, an agenda which requires that we as a nation forget that we once were a Christian nation, a nation built on faith, a nation of individuals who were sufficiently humbled so that prayer was an everyday part of life from the highest office to the average citizen.

A special thanks to Mary Jones for her work and setting up such a beautiful and informative website: http://www.wtv-zone.com/Mary/forsakenroots.html