Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sunset at the North Pole

Richard Sutton gets a tip of the hat for sending me a great photograph yesterday. I’ve already installed it as my wallpaper; replacing the “God’s Eye Nebula”.

I’m off to the airport in a little while to visit my folks. I’m taking a book my daughter gave me some time back; one that I can pick up and set down without finishing it since each chapter is unrelated to the next, “Famous American Speeches”. It should be fun on the airplane. I have my iPod all charged up and a good set of Sony ear buds that fit my ears much better than the flying saucer plugs that came with the unit. No blogging until I get back.

I get a kick out of reading quotes posted on the other folk’s blogs; tidbits spoken by some very influential folks. I’m in the middle of baseball fan depression season, a couple of months to go before Spring Training. Here’s great line that Tug McGraw pulled out of his hat.

When asked how he planned to spend his money after signing a nice contract with the team…

"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste."
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Star Trek Lives

Thanks and a large tip of the hat to Robot Guy for bringing Star Trek back to my viewing screen. I had dropped to below impulse power and my dilithium crystals had developed cracks and needed to be replaced; just then New Voyages came out of nowhere. “Aye, now that’s the ticket, laddie; I’ll have the warp drive ready any time you’re ready Captain.”

If you’d like to watch some episodes recently made with a taste of the original series click on the title bar link. Thanks again to Robot Guy!!!
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Sign of the Times

Michael A. Newdow may have a twin brother or at the very least, a kindred spirit over in Italy. That’s the thought that occurred to me after reading a story on the Fox website. In Viterbo, Italy, a Catholic “Priest may be Tried for Saying Jesus Existed.”; read the entire article linked via title bar.

“An Italian judge heard arguments Friday on whether a small-town parish priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed.”

“The priest's atheist accuser, Luigi Cascioli
, says the Roman Catholic Church has been deceiving people for 2,000 years with a fable that Christ existed, and that the Rev. Enrico Righi violated two Italian laws by reasserting the claim.”
I’m sure the ACLU will be following the trial; maybe get some ideas on how to push their agenda forward. Most folks might consider these proceedings to be nothing more than a joke or a mild inconvenience. Think how much is at stake if, or more likely, when similar cases are brought before the courts here in the good old USA.

It will start in the 9th Circuit Court’s area of jurisprudence so that it will eventually be taken up before that ultra liberal court under appeal. Then it will eventually be heard by the Supreme Court to determine if Christianity is a hoax or not; the burden of proof being on the side of those professing that Jesus is in fact the Christ, the Savior of the World, the Creator as identified in the Declaration of Independence.

The “Kelo” decision has made property rights a pipe dream of the past. Targeting of prime real estate by developers and municipalities eager to improve their tax base, it won’t be long before church owned properties are brought between the cross hairs of the really big guns. Look for major land grabs to occur under the guise of eminent domain, singling out “blighted areas in need of improvement for the betterment of the community to increase taxable lands” will be the war cry.

This may be only the first of many similar lawsuits brought about world wide by those who are intent on the destruction of the civilized western world as we know it; and no, I’m not laughing. To be sure, this is not a joke. Go and read the documentation created by Michael Newdow in the case most of us know casually as the “In God We Trust” issue. ( hidden link would not work so I've listed the URL below )

Let the Games Begin

No, this has nothing to do with the Winter Olympics. I read an article on CNN’s website about how the video game ( linked via title bar ), “Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas”, took advantage of the public by having it rated as “Mature” instead of “Adults Only”.

“The game, released in October 2004, features characters that commit crimes such as murder, drug dealing and pimping.”

“The game also had an embedded "mini game" in which characters could engage in explicit sexual acts.”

I’m not into video games; but the thought occurred to me, something must be wrong with the entire ratings system if it’s perfectly acceptable to murder and pimp to obtain a “Mature” game rating. That sounds more like an “Immature” at best, possibly “Demented” or “Pre-Parole”.

The city attorney’s office has sued the makers of the game; not because of the murders and mayhem, the pimping and violence, but for the explicit sex. You can shoot them and leave them to die as long as you don’t have sex with them first. What’s the old Henny Youngman line for when he was getting robbed, “Take my wife, Please!”. It will hit you later, after you’ve started reading another blog.
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Short Notes on Friday

I happened to glance out the dinning room window and noticed a Cardinal peeking back at me. Some day I’ll have a much nicer digital camera, one that will match what my 35mm SLR will do, telephoto lens and all; until then I’ll have to be happy with what I have. I took the picture and the bird flew off as soon as it figured out what I was doing. I’d hoped to get in a bit closer for details, oh well.

This is for all you folks up North; while driving through my neighborhood I noticed that the Dogwood are in full bloom in a few yards, Spring is almost here. I know, that was cruel and inhumane for those shoveling snow just so they can get the car out of the driveway.

Ever have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? I had that this morning when I was about to complete my first lock job. I’d figured out the cuts on the key for an 02 Pontiac Grand Am and all I planned to do was buff the key with one of the files I keep in my tool box. I reached for the tool box and there was an empty spot in the back of my truck; it wasn’t there. That’s when you start wondering if somebody broke in and stole it and start a quick inventory of the other important tools. I then tried to remember when I last used that tool box; yesterday I was very busy, past when the sun went down. I called a jobsite where I’d used it, described the small tackle box and was relieved when he said it was right where I’d left it. That’s what I get for working on past when my brain had already gone home; I guess I really can do this in my sleep.

I have a chance to visit my folks in Florida this weekend due to some nice airfare specials that we get from time to time. I’ll only be there a couple of days and fly back very early Tuesday morning, enough to go bowling with my dad on Monday, watch a DVD movie or two with my mom and enjoy the conversation. Bonnie, my oldest daughter, is working a job this week in Ft. Lauderdale and will likely drive up Sunday so we can all have dinner together.

Roxie, one of our dogs, is going in to be “fixed” Tuesday; no more puppies. She’s actually my son’s dog and lives with us. When she got “placed” with us, a nice way of saying “dumped”, we had no idea she was already well on the way to having a batch of puppies. That was an interesting experience, one that I think I’ll list as “one time only”. I posted pictures last Summer if you want to look through the archives of June or July.

With Roxie going in early Tuesday Lucy will be sort of busy. The good thing is that Bonnie flies home to Houston on Monday and this will be a chance for her to pick me up at the airport; a nice change since I’m the one picking her up most of the time.

I drove in the driveway and noticed that Bonnie’s car and Lucy’s car were gone. Did I mention the part about getting a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach; yes, I did. I was finally able to get Lucy to answer her cell phone and found that Jennifer came by to borrow it while Justin’s truck is having a brake job and oil change. If I were one to easily panic I’d have called in a police report by now.

Years ago my partner and I got called to make an auto theft report from a downtown parking garage across from a major office building. While we were writing the information down that the big boss was giving, his secretary kept trying to interrupt. The big boss was holding his temper and glared menacingly at the secretary and she went back to her desk having been reminded not to interrupt while the boss was talking. It was only later, after we were about to leave that the secretary came over to us and explained that her boss normally parked on the fifth level, except that it was full and so he parked one level higher and had forgotten. I bet she got taken out for dinner, either that or fired, one of the two for reminding the boss that his car hadn’t been stolen after all.
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Monday, January 23, 2006

Roe Vs Wade - the next level

I’ve noticed several articles on the internet this morning where the topic was Roe Vs Wade. I’m not going to get into the particulars of when a life becomes viable or is recognized as an individual worthy of protection by the laws of the land since that is arbitrarily determined by the courts anyway. What I thought I’d throw out is a whole new can of worms to get riled up over, something along similar and yet different lines.

Quoting from Exodus 20: 12, 13:

Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.
Roe Vs Wade pretty much defined what a parent can do with a yet unborn child so we can throw away verse 13, “Thou shalt not kill”, at least as far as killing off something which is flesh of your flesh. What about children who don’t honor their parents, those who refuse to be obedient? Can the parent take matters into his/her own hands and remove that blot from the face of the planet; no different than an abortion? Then it only becomes a matter of determining how much time is permitted to the parent to take care of such mistakes; 1 year, 8 years ( recognized by many as the age of accountability ), 18 to 20 years old, who’s to determine the age when a child is permitted to stop honoring his/her parents and free from the consequences of individual actions?

Think of the possibilities opened up to parents; children who talk back – kablam!, children who refuse to do their homework – kerplunk!, children who for any reason disappoint their parents at any age – thump! It would only take a few “examples” for the rest of the kids to figure out that it doesn’t pay to be a problem child, little Johnnie’s body has never been found and they dragged the bayou for hours after seeing his parents holding hands on their way to the movies just after tossing him off the interstate bridge for not eating his broccoli. “Little Emily always wanted to dress like a hooker”, reads the tombstone over a 13 year old girls grave after she wore Madonna look alike clothing to school one day. Her mother’s tears flow each time she drops the remaining two siblings off at St. Matthew’s K- 12 school for the gifted and enlightened. Little Mary, Emily’s younger sister had at one time requested permission to have her tongue pierced so she could wear a bling bling now sits quietly in the back of her mother’s station wagon with braided hair singing popular songs like Skip to my Lou and other top ten hits.

When I was growing up I remember the serious tone my dear sweet mother had as she took me to task for smoking at school. I’d been suspended and had to have my parents sign a letter of acknowledgement prior to returning. “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it!”. She never raised her voice, not once as she raised her eye brows for effect. I believed her. She’d have gotten away with it too. It’s hard to convict without a body for evidence. Mom used to say things like, “I do all the cooking; I might poison you if you make me very angry”, things like that make an impression on a twerp kid. What changes in the world might happen if Roe Vs Wade applied to children who’d already taken their first breath outside the womb? All I can say is you kids better start behaving or there’s no chocolate cake tonight, or ever again!.

I’ve linked with Aaron’s post over at Roseville Conservative via the title bar; but there were many other blogs with similar articles.

I didn’t want to leave Jeff from Think Sink out. He has a great post with pictures and words that are very moving. Go visit and comment.

Conversations from the Back Seat

I was on the phone talking about the movie Loose Canons, and somehow the subject changed to conversations I’d had with various folks who’d been in the back of my police car. I wish I’d had a tape recording of every interesting insult I’d heard, every excuse as my twenty years worth of interviews might have yielded some real wisdom.

One fellow in particular stands out in my memory. He’d been “uncooperative” in nearly every aspect as I attempted to obtain the minimum for the arrest form. When I asked him his name, “Fu—You!”, same for address and birth date. Since he had no driver’s license I listed him as a John Doe with and alias of “Fu—You”. Eventually I obtained his real name, only after taking him up for printing and photo; but I left his alias on the booking blotter. That turned out to be an issue for him during the plea bargain agreement. It seems the judge had taken the time to read my report along with the alias, “Fu—You”. The judge smiled as he had the defense attorney and the prosecutor approach the bench to advise them that they would have to draw up a more appropriate agreement to match the attitude of the defendant. I couldn’t say how much more time or money it cost that fellow; but I would guess that having “Fu—You” as an alias wasn’t a good thing.

I knew another officer, “Tiger” Matthews, who had a similar situation. Back in the early 70’s we would ride as partners every now and again; he’s the officer I was with when I wrote about “Nightmares after a close call” (linked via title bar). Tiger is the officer who used to carry a typewriter around with him in his patrol car so he could type all of his traffic tickets out; think about that for a moment and then consider how it would be on the receiving end, weird is one thought. So, Tiger asked the fellow for his name and the guy says, “Go Fu—Yourself!”, Tiger, then asked, “How much?” and the guy gave him a figure, say, “Five Bucks”. Tiger put him in jail and filed on him for solicitation of prostitution; even better, he made it in court. You have to love a judge who would go along with such reasoning powers.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hot Pursuit

A recent news media event centered around a police chase that ended when the suspect crashed head on into another vehicle, all caught on camera, has brought an old issue to the surface. Folks across the nation got to watch as the helicopter’s news cam transmitted the “reality show” live; and then over and over as the daily news outlets enjoyed the excitement of the moment. What is the responsibility of the police officer/police department when stopping a vehicle?

In an article appearing in the Houston Chronicle, Matt Stiles summed up the incident: (linked via title bar)

“No one was seriously injured, but the crash sparked a discussion about a policy being debated nationwide over how police should arrest nonviolent, fleeing suspects — and whether they ought to chase them at all.” (emphasis added)

I would have to question Matt Stiles inclusion of the word nonviolent. The fact that a person is fleeing in a vehicle, a piece of equipment that could be considered a lethal weapon by virtue of its potential when used as something other than passive transportation creates a violent situation in and of itself. To validate my statement I need only turn back the clock to September 11, 2001 when terrorists turned a passenger jet, something normally thought of as a vehicle, into a weapon capable of murder and mayhem. A car driven by a person with no regard for the safety and well being of his fellow citizens is not much different, smaller perhaps; but just as deadly.

Matt Stiles then adds one more interesting thought, should the police even chase them at all; turn a blind eye in order to avoid complications. The citizens of any given community have every right to establish the parameters governing their police departments. They have to determine whether they want law and order maintained or if they are willing to permit lawless disregard, murder and mayhem to occur in plain sight. Once the laws and rules are placed before everyone it then becomes a matter of watching the results to see if changes should be made.

In our litigious society where a certain segment waits for their money train to arrive via the “civil courts lottery”, many cities have put muzzles and leashes on their police departments to limit their exposure to the possibility of being sued. Police department rules manuals are written in such a way as to protect the city and the department by creating all inclusive Standard Operating Procedures; which if exceeded by an individual officer leave that particular officer open for ridicule, suspension and the brunt of any lawsuits.

Police officers have sworn to uphold the law and protect the citizens. The citizens who are paying his/her salary expect a reasonable return. One problem with the system now in place is that police officers are constantly being asked to go it alone when it comes to support from the department because there is no reasonable way to write a Standard Operating Procedure that will protect both the police officer and the city when dealing with unreasonable money hungry lawyers who represent unreasonable and greedy future lottery ticket holders.

The cameras and microphones were everywhere when the chase ended the other day, catching the emotions of the woman whose car had been crashed into by the suspect along with interviewing some of the police officers involved, either directly or in the mop up of the scene. I heard the remarks made by officer Thomas Nixon as he expressed some of the frustration faced by every police officer at having to do less, to avoid entangling the City in a law suit and somehow create the illusion that law enforcement is healthy and doing its job.

“At the scene, he said it shouldn't "have taken an innocent family to stop this man”.”

"Nixon was ordered Thursday to turn in his badge and identification card."


"I didn't commit a crime. I didn't violate anyone's civil rights. I didn't use excessive force. It's kind of insulting," ( Officer Thomas ) Nixon said outside HPD headquarters prior to meeting with department officials.”

For those who have never read the chase policy it can be summed up in few short thoughts. If a police officer gets behind a suspect in a chase and during that chase any property is damaged or any injury is brought about the final responsibility rests with the officer involved in that chase. The policy may have been altered since I was wearing a blue uniform.

I recall the last police chase I was involved in. I was dispatched to an alarm on an auto parts warehouse. Upon arrival I observed the suspect vehicle leaving the scene loaded with stolen auto parts; two suspects in the back of the truck as it sped away. They were throwing boxes which contained tire rims they had stolen at my patrol car in an attempt to get me to back off. They increased speed with no regard for anyone, ran stop signs and red lights without a care. I had been calling in the progress of the chase and at one point all I could see was a panel of jurists and a judge asking me what caused me to leave my brain at home. I advised the dispatcher that I was implementing my interpretation of the newest chase policy, that it was likely to end a bad wreck, one which I would be responsible for legally. I killed my red lights and siren.

I backed off half a block more and the suspects, who had been watching my “retreat” more than the road, crashed the truck and fled on foot into the night. The truck turned out to be stolen too. I made my report, the original burglary, while the accident division made their report on the wreck and the recovery of the stolen truck loaded with what ever hadn’t been tossed on the roadway. I’d made the smart and selfish decision, the “right choice” under the policy of the day. I still felt like I’d ignored, not forgotten, my primary directive; that being to uphold the law and stop the bad guys.

This is my entry into the next Carnival of Liberty. R. G. Combs will be hosting the event and can be found at Combs Spouts Off.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

To Die For

I was reading an article posted by Left Brain Female this morning, “Chris Penley, R.I.P”, ( linked via title bar ) She posted pictures of two pistols; both are lethal, which was the reason for the post. In the twinkling of an eye decisions are made, some are most terrible. It reminded me of an incident that I was involved in many years ago.

I was dispatched to work a traffic assignment out on the southwest side of town, taking the freeway from downtown to get there. While driving my patrol unit down the main lanes I happened to look over, something had caught my eye. I was looking down the barrel of a large revolver for a split second prior to leaning heavily on the brakes and getting in behind the vehicle with the pistol. My alert system had gone to Defcom 4 as I got on the radio and asked for a back up unit.

I observed two men in the front seat, one of them had aimed a pistol at me. I pulled the vehicle over on an elevated portion of the roadway and approached the driver side, my pistol aimed at the driver while keeping an eye on the passenger every other blink. I had him come out, his hands clearly visible, and got him to the back of the vehicle where I cuffed and patted him down before having him sit on the pavement next to the guard rail so I could concentrate on the other guy.

I heard a solo motorcycle officer pulling up from behind; back up had arrived. I then had the passenger open his door to exit. I saw a couple of things that were disturbing as he started to exit the car. He still had the pistol in his hand and he was holding a young boy, maybe 5-6 years old in the other arm. My mind was going through all the possible reasons; a hostage perhaps, suicide or worse. I knew that the motorcycle officer was off to my right because I could see his shadow, his pistol aimed at the passenger also. It was then that I noticed that it wasn’t the man holding the pistol, it was the boy. He actually pulled the trigger and I heard the hammer hit the PLASTIC.

The gun was a toy, not that anyone could tell unless you got up to within a couple of feet at which time it was obvious. It was a very nice replica of a Colt 357, complete with plastic wood look alike grips. This was before the advent of the "orange tip" placed on toy guns now. The thumping in my chest changed to anger as I took the toy pistol away from them. I had the driver open the trunk of his car whereupon I threw the toy pistol inside, hard enough to let it be known that I was in no mood to explain my thoughts. Neither the driver nor the passenger spoke English, a whole different issue; but I think they understood perfectly what had happened and what almost had happened.

No report was written and I cleared the incident as “information only”; giving a brief account over the radio so that the dispatcher could close the call. I went on my way and completed the original traffic assignment. Under today’s rules I would have had to take them all down for statements, write reports out the “wazzoo” and visit the shrink for counseling and then dig into my wallet to replace the broken toy pistol I’d tossed in the trunk.

Thanks to Left Brain Female for jogging my memory; I think.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wealth Redistribution is a Crime, No Different than Stealing

Mover Mike has an article worth reading, he called it “Our Moral Rot”. I’ve linked to it via the title bar. I had planned to leave a simple comment and instead have gone on at the mouth far longer than would fit in a comment section.

I was at a “social mixer” at a friend’s house warming with several folks who were tied to the teaching profession. One was from India; but had lived here many years and obtained her US citizenship. She was a fraud and a phony; everything I heard from her mouth was a lie. She'd kept her true feelings about America silent while going through the process of obtaining her citizenship because she is an avowed communist. Once she obtained citizenship she has worked to show all of those she works with the advantages of communism and forced wealth redistribution, “that helps so many women and children" as is carried out where she came from in India. Maybe since she is in with the teacher’s organization she will fit right in and they will only wonder about her interesting accent instead of her political leanings.

Rather than destroy the light hearted spirit of the house warming event I bit my tongue. Two weeks later we held a birthday party for our friend and the same communist friend showed up to continue her lecture on the benefits of communism and forced wealth redistribution. I got up from the table without a word and left; the pain in the neck ended up as a pain in the lower back. Maybe I should have pointed out that she was making a substantially better living here, not in India because India has a collapsed economy, maybe I should have explained that if the US continues on the path of economic socialism we are currently engaged in that our economy will also collapse.

We have permitted our government to hold us hostage via wealth redistribution programs; originally designated as welfare or other feel good programs to help those in need, now they are full blown monsters eating away at will. These feel good programs should have been carried out through volunteer agencies such as philanthropic or religious organizations rather than through government agencies and taxation. There is a huge difference between voluntary donations and taxation; those who cannot see that difference should avoid going out in public places, wait for somebody to bring you your meals and continue reading Alice in Wonderland.

The socialists among us have used the argument that only callous cold hearted individuals, in other words “those horrible Republicans”, would with hold from their excess, sit back in the lap of luxury and deprive those poor folks who have little or none; and it worked. We have gone along and paid for programs that were poorly managed with hard earned tax dollars, tax dollars which are forcibly removed from our bank accounts by a government riding a wild horse crazy with power. We have permitted these organizations to multiply and to heap ever increasing taxes upon the dwindling “excess” until a large portion of our society actually believes that the entitlements once handed out to a privileged few are now intended for everyone, to include those who had been paying for those programs. Such ignorance of logic and facts can endure for only a brief moment; until the bill comes due. Rather than admit that welfare programs were never intended to become part of the framework of our government, believing instead that, the greatest country on the face of the earth, that our government is so benevolent and takes care of its own, we have turned loose a monster that will eventually destroy us.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Appreciation is taught

The other morning I was up early to prepare for my meetings at church. I was out the door as morning light was breaking the grasp of night. I like to drive the back way out of my neighborhood as it cuts through the middle of a well maintained golf course. The low hanging fog patches over the fairways and manicured greens were ghostlike as the back drop of pine trees permitted only scant light to make it through.

I pulled over, taking advantage of a place in the esplanade designed for turning around, and parked. I had plenty of time before my first meeting as I gazed upwards at the bank of clouds being illuminated by the earliest rays, the deep purples and reds constantly changing and becoming more intense with each passing moment. The turquoise blue that signaled the end of night gave way as the sky appeared to catch fire, a slice of gold gleaming on the horizon at the base of the trees in the distance overtook all the other colors which had been presented. As quickly as the colors had grabbed my attention they faded and gave way to the blue skies behind them as the sun washed away all but the memory of them. The bank of clouds remained, now stripped of the jewelry they had borrowed, casually drifting to the east across a robin’s egg blue morning.

How many of us take the time to enjoy a sunrise, sunsets, thunderstorms and forget the cares of the world momentarily? I was on the phone listening to my mother bubble over after having watched a glorious sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. She enjoys going for walks along a boardwalk and commented that she could only take a few steps and then stop to take notice of the ever changing colors, the birds hanging above the water like so many flakes of snow on a winter’s day, the color and texture of the water’s surface as it touched the sky at some point beyond and everything else. I have heard similar thoughts of gratitude all my life.

It occurred to me that we are taught how to appreciate the gifts we are given. Painters have attempted to capture the briefest moment of a sunrise or sunset, often with great success; how much more spectacular is the natural occurrence which is set in motion as a daily routine for us to enjoy? Consider the vast amounts of water vapors migrating through the atmosphere in varied intensity to create clouds and the patterns they form upon which sunlight may rest and reflect, the oceans the fields, mountains and hills, the forests and all manner of life which come together and in fleeting moments sequenced together form a sunrise worthy of recording in our mind. Have we been sufficiently taught to say, “Thank You, Sir, that was awesome!”?

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6: 28-30
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Great Blizzard of 2006

I was on the phone a while ago trying to get FEMA to answer with all the lines clogged from folks here in Houston attempting to get some relief after the blizzard pushed through last night. Temperatures plunged during the early morning hours, some places recorded as low as 32 degrees. The main concern at this time is the extra weight on all the roofs due to the heavy layer of frost accumulations. The snow plows are being put on hold until the severity of the storm abates. School children throughout the region are listening in high anticipation for the announcement indicating that their particular district will not be holding classes today. The only thing that can save us will be to turn on the Supreme Court nomination hearings and hope that all that hot air might somehow break this cold snap. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Making Any Progress?

I marvel at the gems Lucy comes up with when writing in her blog. She asked if I’d read her latest a while ago, “The pain of discipline or the pain of regret”, and I hadn’t. I’ve linked to it in my title bar, I’ve given up trying to use the hide a link tool; it’s become so unreliable.

Lucy makes a good point, may as well accomplish those goals we claim are important to us; either way it’s going to make us pay. What goals have you set for yourself, this being a new chance to set some goals? I’ll share one of the goals I’ve been working on.

I plan to finish writing another novel, The 4th Nephite, at least that’s what my temporary title is until I get to that point where it makes sense to change; marketing, editors and publishers will help that along. The funny thing about writing “a novel on the side”, is that the motivation to advance each chapter toward the completed story comes in spurts. On days when the locksmith business is running good I don’t have a lot of time to spend developing ideas, on slow days I’m tempted to sit back and watch a movie and just relax, there’s that great time waster called solitaire built into the computer that can rob me of precious time; did I mention that I blog which takes time away from my book?

The pain of discipline or the pain of regret that I have before me involves my need to write at least a couple of pages in my novel each working day; two pages regardless of how tired I am, what time I get to bed isn’t all that much to ask of my creative self now is it? If, scratch if; I will do that all year long, there being about 22 working days in each month, my book should be done some time before the leaves start to fall off the trees. The next thing will be to get in touch with a professional editor/mentor who knows the book business and take those steps necessary to get the book on the market. Lucy has a friend with a daughter in the business so I won’t have to scurry around looking.

I’ve heard it said that everyone has at least one novel in them. I’m hoping that this, my second novel, will get published and make sufficient money so I can write even more. My goal is add locksmith to my list of retired professions, next to retired police officer.

So, are you making any progress? When you turn off the light and place your head on the pillow will the pain you feel be the result of your discipline to achieve your goals or will it be the regrets for having settled for less? May we all hitch our wagons to a star and wear ourselves out getting there, broken torn and out of breath.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Jennifer’s Challenge

I have read my daughter’s rather lengthy ramblings, a chance to establish her own identity and become free from the fetters of her parents; more particularly, to find her own path. I would hope that in accomplishing the goal of obtaining all that is hers; the freedom to choose and the freedom to believe independently, that you ( Jennifer and anyone else reading this) will consider some articles which I have previously written. You mentioned that you were undecided in your beliefs in God; but you followed that with an emotional rant: (linked via title bar)

“It hurts me when I hear the Christians say "this country was founded by Christians", to me, when someone says this, they might as will burn the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and everything else this country was founded on b/c what they are actually saying is that the people that founded this country were only in it for the persecution of their religion and only their religion, or to the fact that this country and all the things that go with it are only in favor of the Christian religion.”

This weighed heavily on my mind as I must have thought about it during my slumbers; causing me to rise early to review several articles which I had shared in the past in order to respond to this one line. The rest of your quest to find yourself will have to be resolved through your own investigations; however, I can enlighten you with historical facts which run contrary to what you have come to accept, either through the public school system which is not permitted to teach historically accurate information if it runs counter to the prevailing anti-religion agenda or through casual contact with those who are ill informed. In either case you have made a statement which runs against establish facts.

In a nut shell, this country was founded by Christians. I will now go about documenting where you may read those facts which support that statement. If you get your feelings hurt it most likely will start with your forehead as it runs smack into the wall of facts which you have overlooked up until now. I wrote the following article which was published in American Daily; rather than simply refer to it, I have included it in its entirety followed by some references to other articles I have written. I would suggest you read them with an eye toward establishing the facts upon which to determine who has led you astray; was it your father or was it some other source of information?

You won’t hear this being taught in school

A friend of mine sent me an email which directed me to visit a site, one which he thought I would find of interest. He’s of the opinion that too many Christian bloggers avoid any reference to their religious beliefs when dealing with the secular world. Maybe he’d read enough of my articles to understand that I’m not one to shrink away from my beliefs. I include a special thanks to Mary Jones for preparing her website; here are some of the quotes I found:

“Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well- worn Bible: "I am a Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also."

Does this sound like a man who wanted to establish a wall of separation to keep religion out of government? The letter which Thomas Jefferson wrote; the one that contained the now famous “separation” line used by the Supreme Court as a means of removing religion from America has been taken out of context when compared to Jefferson’s overall acceptance and dependence on God’s influence for good in our society.

“Was Patrick Henry a Christian? In 1776, he wrote this "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."”

Can this be the same America that was begun so long ago, the one to protect Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness or was that simply one of the stages necessary to break away from the King of England so that some other similar form of tyranny could takes its place, one we call Socialism? “Forbid it almighty God!”

“James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. 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."”

And yet the Supreme Court denies the important link between the Ten Commandments, general morality and the rule of law. A small lesson might be in order, one from the Book of Mormon, Alma 9:8. “Behold, O ye wicked and perverse generation, how have ye forgotten the tradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.”

George Washington added his council as he bid farewell; having served in the capacity of President and having no desire to establish the notion that he was their King. For lack of space I will not include Washington’s entire Farewell Address; for today’s purpose, this will have to do.

"It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

I have mentioned in previous writings, this nation was the direct result of Divine influence. I will continue to include my belief that we, as a nation of individuals, are only as powerful as we are humble and bow before our Maker. We cannot accept the nay sayers, those who would have us believe that the State is our god; Forbid it almighty God!

This past week (November 5, 2005) I wrote an article on the same basic theme. It can be viewed at the following URL:

I have written on related themes in the following:

The Constitution as a Living Document

In God We Trust

Author of Liberty

Now, to make a clear statement of my belief; I believe that this country was devinely set apart for the purpose of establishing a place where the fullness of the Gospel could be brought about, that being accomplished through the religious freedoms which had been built into the framework of our Constitution. The Creator mentioned in the Declaration of Independence is the Lord, even Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. His hand guided and directed those Founding Fathers to articulate their thoughts and provided the means necessary to support the fledgling nation until such time as it was able to separate itself from its European strings. I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, acting as a second witness to the Bible to illuminate and convince us that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives and is the way by which we may all return to our Father in Heaven. I leave you this, my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I won tickets to see Johnny Rivers in concert

I’d finished a lock job at one of my regular car dealerships and was listening to our Oldies station, KLDE, here in Houston as the DJ announced that he had “Tickets before you can buy ‘em” for the Johnny Rivers concert on February 18th. I thought how neat that would be since Lucy’s birthday falls on that same day and she had a big time crush on Johnny Rivers back in the 60’s.

I’d tried calling in on other contest, the million dollar give away, the new Mustang, the trip to Cancun and many others. I’d always gotten the same results, “That number is busy, try again”. I dialed the number to the station and luck was on my side This time it actually rang on the other end and I was waiting for the computer to tell me, “That number is busy, try again”, instead I heard the voice of Gary Knight, the DJ telling me that I’d just won a pair of tickets to see the show. Awesome! Now I know what I’m giving to Lucy for her birthday, at least a little.

I decided not to tell her; let Lucy read my blog latter on and wait for the seismic read out to verify that she’d seen this information. That should be fun. I linked to the Johnny Rivers page in the title bar
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Friday, January 06, 2006


Lucy got “tagged” and passed this on to me so I better fill in some blanks. (linked in title bar)

Four Jobs I’ve had:

I had a paper route as my very first job; although if you categorize that properly it would be the first time I was ever self employed, so it might not count as a job.

I worked as an un-licensed egg candle lighter at Mayber Egg Co; having lied about my age to get the job. It may well have been the worst job I’ve ever had; always smelled like rotten eggs.

I worked as a vendor and in the commissaries at the Astrodome, possibly the best job I’ve ever had since that’s where I met Lucy.

I was a salesman at Montgomery Ward in the Hardware and Electric departments, (83/84). I thinks it’s interesting that I remembered those department numbers after all these years since that was just before I joined the police department in 1971.

Four Places I’ve Lived:

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma

I lived in Levittown, Long Island, New York

I’ve lived in Houston ever since my folks moved here, the same year that Houston got a major league baseball team, the Colt 45’s which later became the Astros.

I was on several Army posts; but I wouldn’t call that living.

Four Movies I’d Watch Again:

Note: This wasn’t a fair question to ask me since I’m a collector of movies that I intend to watch over and over again until the end of time. If I’d planned on watching them only once I wouldn’t have bought them.

Forest Gump, a great adventure about a quiet hero, much better than the book which I read after and found to be almost worthless.

Bicentennial Man, interesting that a movie about an android would bring out so many human qualities worthy of emulating.

My Fair Lady may be the best musical ever made into a movie, Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn led the way, the gold standard which I measure most any other production.

Desk Set with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn stands out as a quality movie worth watching again.

Four T V Shows I love to Watch:

Jeopardy would have to be on the list.

The Tonite Show with Jay Leno.

The Andy Griffith Show reruns beat most of the newer sit-coms hands down.

Houston Astros Baseball games

Four Websites I Visit Daily:

Houston Chronicle for local news



Click 2 Houston

Four of My Favorite Foods:

Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jelly on homemade whole wheat toast.

Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pizza topped with Canadian Bacon, black olives and mushrooms.

Chinese food at Bo Lee’s, a nice way to celebrate a good week.

Four Places I’d Rather be Right Now:

I’ll pass on this one since I’m where I want to be right now; home with Lucy with a fire going in the fireplace, what could be better…

Four Bloggers I’d Like to Tag:

Rather than “tag” some poor sap into this; jump in if you feel the urge.

Four Blogs I Wrote in 2005 that Stand Out: This wasn’t part of the original set of fill in the blanks; but I just now realized that I’ve been blogging for a full year now, having started last January after my daughter got me interested.

What’s a locksmith?

Nightmares After a Close Call

Author of Liberty

Looking for an Old Photograph

Thursday, January 05, 2006

King of D Nile

I read a disturbing comment to my article, The Book of Damn You All, one that compelled me to continue my vein of thought regarding the type of entertainment that has become ever present in our society. The comment was from one of my grown daughters, “Dad, don't tell me that you are still living in denial about Christians are you?”, complete with a little smiley face to cheer me up.

I read Mark Steyn’s article, It's the Demography, Stupid, (linked via title bar) in the Wall Street Journal, one that I saved to my own files because it was written so well. Mark Steyn was going on about the so called “war on terror” and had taken it in a different direction.
“That's what the war's about: our lack of civilizational confidence. As a famous Arnold Toynbee quote puts it: "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder"--as can be seen throughout much of "the Western world" right now. The progressive agenda--lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism--is collectively the real suicide bomb.” (emphasis added)

Our society is dying. The high ideals which are born of Christian beliefs and upon which our country was founded have been under constant attack for quite some time. Our willingness to accept debased entertainment, call it tolerance if you like, has brought us to the point where our own children question the basic concepts of right and wrong as if they had the upper hand. We have gone past tolerance of such immorality, into acceptance of deviant activity as common place and even past that; having reached a point where many in our society feel authorized to pursue lascivious activity based on how Hollywood perceives right and wrong.

This is alarming as I see my grown children sitting in front of the television when they come over; taking no regard for the content of the shows as they flip through the channels, stopping to take in a “good movie”. “Have you seen this one, Dad? It’s really Kool!”, as the degenerate film plays out in all its perversion. I can only see the harm that is being inflicted on my children, my grandchildren and those who have fallen for the sugar coated poison that has been made available so easily to them. My heart sank as I read the line in my comment section as I realized that at least one of my children believes that I am somehow “in denial” , that I don’t understand that everyone is doing it, even those who claim to be Christians. Well, to be sure, everyone is not doing “it”. I suspect, that some rationalization is taking place in order for such a thought to come to the surface.

Mark Steyn started off his piece with a word of caution that I will borrow at this time, “Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can.”. Those few folks who stop by to read my rantings should know that by now.

There are a few “key” films which have literally blown away the old standard; that being a level which not even the film makers or the actors would go beneath in order to put a film together, to do so would bring disaster to careers and worse than that, a box office flop. One that comes to mind readily would be ThePhiladelphia Story, about a young lawyer who lost his job because he had AIDS. There were some excellent actors and a well written script that brought many accolades to the film. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington performed at their best to lend acceptability to a doctrine of tolerance toward homosexuality as if by having a top notch actor’s stamp of approval on such a deviant life style some how transformed homosexual activity into an everyday acceptable behavior which we can all now partake of or at least tolerate and not be judgmental about. I’m sorry but; as much as I admire the acting abilities of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, I do not rely on their acting or their views to determine how our society should now accept such a morally debased act, one that flagrantly stands in defiance of God’s laws and ignores the Christian teachings which have kept us out of the gutter.

Look at the marvelous accomplishments our entertainment industry has made as they have taken us from shocked to unfazed. In Gone With the Wind, the line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”, spoken by Clark Gable, caused everyone wonder how it made it past the censors. Ron and Laura Petri slept in twin beds to keep the idea of sexuality out of television, something which seemed a little odd even to kids watching the show. Now, with the slightest hormonal attraction, the entertainment industry has altered the standards presented in Christian teachings to tolerate prenuptial sex as a common everyday occurrence. “I like the way you look, let’s have sex; by the way, what’s your name?”

How about going down a list of shows that are on the television sometime during the week to compare the level of morality with that taught in the Christian teachings? Desperate Housewives, The OC, The Book of Daniel. I can’t wait to hear about the plot line’s as the network hits the hot key to get everyone to tune in for yet another dose of this crap, “Next week on the Book of Daniel, watch as Daniel tries to discover the secrets of Sodom and Gomorrah, finds his wife sleeping with the organist’s daughter and son Joey sells crack to a crooked undercover homosexual cop.” Then the hype for the next episode, “Next week Daniel asks Jesus if there was any spit swapped with Lazarus in the cave, or was John really His lover.” How far will such a travesty go? Could we be in trouble, “Right here in River City”, as they roll in the new billiard table past little Johnnie who has a copy of Dead Eye Dick in his back pocket?

Let’s not forget another new comer, “InJustice”. I’ve been watching the college bowl games and had to endure an overload of hype for InJustice this past week. It’s not enough to cast doubt on the sanity of anyone who ascribes to the teachings of Jesus Christ; now that religion has been safely done away with as reasonable they need to do away with the belief that our justice system works to protect the citizenry. We are led to believe that behind half the doors of the District Attorney’s offices are totally corrupted prosecutors looking to incarcerate anyone who crosses their paths. “You’re going to prison for life, you’re guilty because I fixed the evidence, just like I always do and get away with.” Most cops are all portrayed as crooked or too stupid to figure it out and so is it any wonder that there is a lack of respect shown toward police officers and the courts in general? There are only a few really “sharp as tacks” cops who are doing all the real work to make up for all the lazy and stupid cops sitting around at the local donut shop; if not for them the bad guys would win every time. Hollywood keeps re-inventing the Keystone Cops and it keeps paying the bills.

Mark Steyn and Arnold Toynbee were correct, "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder". We continue to support Hollywood’s perversion of truth by handing over our money at the box office, by watching filth and garbage on a daily basis and wonder why there are problems in our society. We support the sponsors of this trash by purchasing the products advertised during these shows, even by simply watching them. Nobody is putting a gun to our heads; we are as Lemmings jumping off a cliff into the sea.

I tend to shout a bit, “WAKE UP!!!!” Life is not a practice session and we are what we make of ourselves, what we ingest and become familiar with, good or bad, becomes part of us. Choose good people to be around; those who are smarter than you may help us to learn, those who are more spiritually in tune will help us past times of weakness. Listen to those who love and care about your eternal soul.

While I’m thinking about it, here’s a tip of the hat to Ross Kaminsky over at Rossputin for posting on Mark Steyn's article earlier.

The Book of Damn You All

According to an article (linked via title bar) by the Hollywood Reporter, Two NBC affiliates have decided to drop the controversial television series “The Book of Daniel”. During the past several weeks I’ve seen several advertisements which promote the show; a drug dependent Episcopalian minister who has regular visits and conversations with the Lord, his wife is having an affair while his children are either selling drugs or jumping into bed with the Bishop’s daughter or son; it’s a little hazy at this point. Not having seen the show I’ll have to depend on the hype; did I miss anything?

I can’t imagine what all the hoopla is about; “The Book of Daniel”, as written by the “made for television” writers, represents the average Christian family’s values. Everyone knows that most Christians, like Republicans, are liars who preach a good sermon but live just like in the soap operas on television. We all wish to live down the street from those Desperate Housewives. The first thing Christians do on the way out of church is head for the local drug dealer’s corner to buy cocaine, marijuana or ecstasy. Christians roll around on the floor in choir robes behind the baptistery making Caligula’s orgies look like play school. Christian children are all psychotic from being brainwashed by their parents, who can only be perceived as total hypocrites. These children must sell drugs, sleep around and cavort just like their parents; what else could the end result be? Christians are just a bunch of right wing whackos, no different than their counterparts in the sectarian cesspool of humanity.

I’ll write a letter off to my local NBC affiliate, KPRC here in Houston and advise them that at least one viewer of television, me, will avoid watching that particular show along with those nifty promotions called advertising spots that run in the middle and pay for the show. I imagine that if they get enough letters from the local viewers it might sway them; not likely for such a diverse viewing area, but I’ll send it anyway. This show chips away at the foundation of our society and will eventually cause our demise. While America may have been founded on Christian principles, there is a segment of our society which would re-write history to eliminate that.

"The network stands by the series, according to Vivi Zigler, executive vp current programming at NBC Entertainment, who cautioned not to judge the series on the basis of promotions for the show."

"People are reacting based on not having seen it," she said. "They're seeing the advertising, not seeing what the core of the show is."

"Jack Kenny, executive producer of "Daniel," dismissed claims that the series is anti-Christian. "We are not in any way satirizing Christianity or Jesus," he said. "It's done with love, honoring those

Maybe Vivi Zigler is right, after all, for years they have been advertising NBC Nightly News as “the most watched news program” when in fact it is nothing more than a well orchestrated platform of liberal propaganda. We shouldn’t believe their hype; read a good book and leave the tube off.