Monday, August 28, 2006

Traitors Patriots and Reliable Measurements

I attended a church leadership meeting where I learned quite a bit about measurements and reliable readings as our Stake President tied his knowledge of the oil and gas industry together with Personal Priesthood Interviews and the information needed to get the job done properly. I know enough about the oil industry to fill a thimble half way as I learned about drilling for natural gas in Colorado. President Tolman, an executive with Exxon/Mobil, explained that modern technology along with a greater return on the product has made it a viable interest to drill through those rocks to depths reaching 5000 feet or more.

Once the shaft has been drilled they crack the various strata levels to release the gas and then fill with sand to permit its escape. Along with that process, water is also released necessitating a means of drawing off that water to permit the continuous flow of gas. They have to put a sleeve pipe down the shaft to draw off the water which creates a problem for those attempting to measure the volume of gas being produced. Some of the new technology involves placing fiber optic transmission cable down the shaft because light can be directed down and the reflection altered by the temperatures permits an accurate measurement to determine the flow of gas through the conduit. I hope I got all that right.

I had already been left far behind when he started to explain how the various temperatures were affected by flow; I was content to know that those involved in the process had a handle on such things. He did point out that the accuracy of those readings directly hinged on the purity of the carrier, in this case the fiber optics. Oil companies are in the business of selling a product, natural gas, and they need to know if they’re producing at a sufficient rate to turn a profit which is why the accuracy in measurements is critical in production figures.

The need for the purity struck me as being just as important as all the other technical procedures which are part of the process of obtaining the product. It is the same in nearly all aspects of life; whether you’re talking about business, personal integrity or spiritual reckoning. Pure information is the means of discerning valuable from irrelevant gibberish. President Tolman was directing his thoughts and comments toward a body of priesthood leadership as they were intended to inspire better communication while interviewing other priesthood holders to improve Home Teaching visits, to provide the kind of care and attention that each child of our Heavenly Father deserves.

I would like to apply that same standard of thought in a different arena, citizenship and the idea of patriotism in time of war. Whoa! That’s got to be one heck of a leap if ever there was one; not really, or at least I will endeavor to supply a coherent link.

I’ve been observing the “loyal opposition” those who for whatever reason find themselves at odds with the current administration. The issue of patriotism has entered the discussion of late, each side claiming that regardless of the stance taken that deep down inside we are all patriots seeking to express just concerns. I do not believe that this is so, no more than I believe that burning an American Flag can be excused as merely someone’s freedom of expression.

The fact remains that we are involved in a war against radical Muslims who have been attacking us for some twenty years and have no intention of backing down; the fact that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked on 911 acts only as the date upon which we as a nation finally accepted these combined hostile acts as a declared war. These terrorists, call them what you will, have stated clearly they intend to eradicate Israel and the US regardless of how long it takes. The many acts of aggression they have instituted against us would lend a rational thinking person to accept those actions as acts of war.

This is not President Bush’s war, although he was the one with the courage to take a stand and draw the proverbial line in the sand; the previous administrations all lacked the intestinal fortitude and chose to side step the issues, treating each act of aggression as if they were unrelated criminal activities and disposing of each one separately through the justice system in the hope that they would fade from view. Well, it hasn’t faded from view and has only emboldened the enemy; believing they are dealing with cowardly fools without the stomach to engage in a drawn out war.

I can’t help but think of how our country responded to serious threats to our way of life during the WWII era. I wasn’t around yet; but the history of that time is well recorded. Those who actively spoke out against the efforts of our country to defeat the enemy were viewed as traitors, outcasts not worthy of being called citizens. Those who took issue with the war effort needed to be, how should I put it, much more discrete or face considerable ridicule by the general populace.

Fast forward to the present where roughly half of our elected officials, congressmen and senators alike, have no problem standing in front of a microphone to point out the deficiencies and their perceived weaknesses of our military objective to combat terrorism on a global theater and yet they have the audacity to call themselves patriots. I have a hard time believing that they are all ignorant and so I must then accuse them of aiding the enemy; they are in fact, traitors and should be labeled as such. The criminal mentality necessary to pull the wool over an electorate, to blind them from the truth is not limited to those seeking power via the ballot box; but is dovetailed by having accomplices in the media.

The idea of having major newspapers, national magazines or other large media outlets minimize our collective efforts as a country during WWII was unthinkable and yet; in our times today, we are being told that not only can we not win a war against such a nebulous enemy as the Islamo-fascist Muslims but that we are to be faulted for going against them at all. The attitude of defeatism espoused could easily be considered cowardice or even treasonous since by its very utterance lends support to those who can only win if we quit.

There is a never ending chant to pull out of the battle, we’ve done our part, enough is enough, put a date on the calendar to signal and end and bring about peace; even if it’s but a temporary cessation of hostilities. The problem with putting your head in the sand and calling for a “time out” is that the enemy continues to plan his attacks, continues to rearm himself and will eventually carry out his original threat to destroy you.

How can we rely on ignorant boobs, cowardly congressmen and senators; traitors if you will, a news media, one that is not pure, one that has altered the necessary information required by the citizenry to the point of having polluted that information with outright deception in order to achieve some convoluted purpose? Just as fiber optics need to be pure in order to procure reliable production rates in the oil field, our dependency on accurate data from those who regulate our national information, those facts or omission of facts which either strengthen or weaken us as citizens need to be pure; are they?

I think the “loyal opposition” has gone far beyond anything which could be considered as loyal, having crossed into sedition and treason in order to sway public opinion. Instead of supporting a national effort that includes safety and freedom for the next generation they are willing to forego such as trivial as long as they have a chance to be in their positions of power. These people are either ignorant of how much of a threat the Islamo-fascist Muslims are to our way of life or they don’t care; either way they cannot be trusted. The information they generate is flawed and jaded as they boast about being patriots, instead being ripe with the odor of cowardice and treason.

This is my entry for the Carnival of Liberty being sponsored this week by Matt Barr over at Socratic Rhythm Method. That should be ready for your perusal sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.

Edited August 28, 2006 2:25pm:

Mr. Minority wrote his article “Be Afraid Dem Candidates, the Nutroots Know Where You Live”, explaining, “Those Donks that agree with President Bush on the War on Terrorism are in big trouble, because the Nutroots will hound them like a rabid toy Fwench poodle until they adopt their Cut'n'Run policy, and bow their heads to the great and mighty Kos.”

Saturday, August 26, 2006

History and Profiling

A friend of ours, Ross at Rossputin, posted this ( link via title bar) on his blog and it's worth sharing.

This email forwarded from Colorado State Representative Jim Welker is worth repeating....
Take this test and see how well you remember!


Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual cuts from past history. They actually happened!!! Do you remember?

In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3.During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6.In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7.In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9.In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill' s women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10.On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11.In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremist s mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13.2004 - Spain Railway bombings.Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and

14. 2005 London Railway bombings Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


15.LONDON (Aug. 10, 2006) - British authorities said Thursday they had thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. Using explosives smuggled in carry-on luggage. Home Secretary John Reid said 21 people Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40 had been arrested in England following a lengthy investigation, including the alleged "main players" in the plot.
Nope, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you?

So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone because of fear of profiling.

Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves - if they have any such sense.

As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Thanks again to Ross for posting this, share it with your friends.

Friday, August 25, 2006

For Better Gas Mileage Avoid Jackrabbit Starts

I got this picture in my email from Steve Sanders. He wanted to remind me to wear my seatbelt; but my first thought was to avoid jackrabbit starts. What do you think? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Testimony from the Stars

I’ve been enjoying having the scriptures read to me while driving from job to job; a neat way to make use of all that space on my iPod. A few weeks ago I accepted a challenge to read at least nine pages a day out of the Book of Mormon and I’ve been keeping up, having read 286 pages as I complete chapter 35 in Alma.

I was listening as Alma explained, after being confronted by Korihor, a man who professed to know that there was no such person or spirit as God, how all things testify of Him.

“. . .the scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” Alma 33:44

I then remembered having recently read one of John Pratt’s astronomy articles published in the Meridian Magazine. He called it, “Enoch's Constellations Testify of Christ” (linked via title bar) The idea of ancient people passing along a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel by sitting on a hillside and pointing to the constellations, each being familiar with the night sky, a permanent history for all to see. According to the article God used the stars arranged in the heavens as a means by which important concepts might be explained to a people without fancy libraries or without computers and internet.

There are those who will deny the existence of God today, not much has changed. The stars placed in the heavens at the time of creation are still there. They form the same constellations as they did thousands of years ago, testifying of the truthfulness of the Gospel for those willing to examine this ancient form of story telling. For those with faith it is one more witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ; for those without they are just stars randomly scattered in a night sky.

I enjoy sitting on the curb and looking into the night sky while walking the dogs with my grandson. I point out the various stars and planets to him as we both are in awe of the creation that was prepared for our benefit. I am grateful to have a better understanding of the workings of the vast universe, the perfect mathematics placed into motion, even if I haven’t a ghost of a chance of getting a handle on the sophisticated math involved, so that the Spirit might testify that the Gospel is true.

TMH Bacon Bits has “Open Line Friday” where folks can link articles.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Priorities and Doing Without

I caught the last half hour of the Rush Limbaugh radio show while driving from one job to another and had a chance to listen as he ranted about folks complaining that their employers didn’t furnish health care benefits. His response came as no surprise, having listened to similar discussions in the past; a two part answer, prioritize what you need or want along with the totally unheard of philosophy of doing without.

I immediately thought of My Fair Lady; that point in the production where Eliza has come into her own and realizes that the world will go on, that the clouds will roll by and if they can do without him so can she, at which point he is left alone shouting, “Mother! Mother! She’s gone! What will I do?” In a matter of fact explanation his mother replies, “Do without.”

Upon arriving home I turned on the soundtrack only to find the particular line I wanted to hear had been edited out. I suppose I’ll have to watch the entire movie to enjoy some of the best entertainment ever put together in one show. The storm that blew through here last night knocked out the cable which supplies me with television as well as internet. We called the cable service provider and were informed that it would be back up in a few hours. Until then we can do without.

My wife and I have attempted to instill the idea of priorities to our children, all grown now, as we pointed out the most basic ideas of becoming responsible individuals. We live in a modestly affluent area where there is an interesting mix of opulence and some just barely able to exist. During the time our kids were in high school many of their friends would be given exotic sports cars as a token of their having achieved the lofty age of 16. The parents had more money than brains for having provided far too much with no chance for their children to comprehend the value system whereby such lavish extravagance springs from.

We purchased an old “beater” that we retained in our name and permitted each of our children the opportunity to drive, provided they earned enough money to pay their own liability insurance. We explained that if the car was destroyed through accident or neglect that they would have to do without. Our son found out that he was able to get around by walking to the front of the neighborhood, a distance of about a mile, where he could get on a bus and pay for the privilege of basic transportation. If you don’t have insurance you don’t drive and you sure aren’t going to drive my car and subject me to the possibility of litigation because of your inability to pay.

The same holds true for nearly every product or service available. Unfortunately so many folks never were given, never believed or took notes as they were given the lecture on the facts of life; the one that covered priorities, doing without, budgeting, saving for the future, incremental growth to achieve long term goals or in fine, the essentials of being an adult responsible for individual accomplishments and set backs. The only part they heard was that the school nurse’s office would supply them with free condoms and to use individually packaged needles rather than share with a friend in the bathroom.

One need look no further than the terrible waste of individual accomplishment, or rather, the lack thereof while examining the City of New Orleans as associated with the devastating hurricane damage of Katrina. Spike Lee, bless his biased and bigoted pointed little head took us all down a path of hateful recollection, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” to be shown on HBO this month (linked via title bar); fingers pointed in every direction as to which governmental agency failed to provide for victims of the storm. Many easily could have left for safer ground had they not become totally dependent boobs, the result of half a century or more of being trained to become totally dependant boobs via government give away programs rather than becoming independent citizens able to deal with issues on their own. “We are poor and so it must be the governments fault.” “We have no place to live so the government needs to provide us a place; oh, and don’t forget to include free utilities and food stamps” “If we were rich white folks the government would have stepped in sooner.” I think that about sums up Spike Lee’s contribution to society.

I read a letter written by a friend of mine from my church. He was joined by many other members who volunteered their time and efforts on several weekend trips to help restore basic service to those hardest hit by Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast. Each week they would put yellow or white T-shirts on and jump at the chance to be of service; clearing debris, cutting downed trees in yards of folks they’d never met or whatever needed to be done. I asked him if it would be okay to borrow some from his accounting.

“Before I went on this trip, I noticed a lot of debate regarding God’s Hand in Hurricane Katrina. Some hypothesize that it was a wicked city waiting to be destroyed. They wish to help, but think that the city’s wickedness made destruction eminent. Others hypothesize that the Lord did not specifically point the hurricane at New Orleans, but simply let things happen. After this experience, I have my own thoughts on the subject.”

{. . . }

“Weather or not the Lord brought the city to its knees because of their wickedness I can’t say. I think God has a plan for all things, and the hurricane was part of his plan. . . I think that perhaps the Lord sent the storm to help us all reach a little deeper.”

“A lot of need was created in a short amount of time. After seeing the things that I saw, I believe that the Lord has used this destruction to create better people all over the world. I saw the Priesthood used this weekend like I have never seen it used before in my life. We all dug a little deeper and perhaps served more than we have in a while. The need motivated us into becoming what only He knows we can become. I don’t like to focus on the sins of a city that was almost destroyed, instead I chose to focus on what has been accomplished and the long term impact of the hope that our Sea of Yellow and White spread. I think that we were able to show people that there is still good in the world and people still care about one another. That is what struck me this weekend. Everything else is purely academic.”

These brethren came home and the spirit that shown from their eyes explained that they would never be victims, having learned that regardless of what nature throws at you, there is always a way to get back up off the ground and figure out how to start over and make it happen.

Now contrast that with the hang dog look on the faces of the folks Spike Lee interviewed; mind you, I’ve only seen the advertisement “trailers” portraying those who will never make it on their own because they continue to be victims nearly a year later. Thank you very much; but I think I’d rather watch a mediocre Astros team loose 14 – Zip than waste my time watching a bunch of spineless whiners crying about how the government isn’t doing enough, didn’t show up soon enough or should have warned them about it.

The opportunity to become independent, to stand on your own two legs is part of the American legacy, a legacy which far too many have decided is too costly since it requires considerable effort. I will say it again, being a real American citizen requires priorities, doing without, budgeting, saving for the future, incremental growth to achieve long term goals or in fine, the essentials of being an adult responsible for individual accomplishments and set backs.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

American Cultural Contributions

Rush Limbaugh mentioned a comment made by Tony Bennett on his show this afternoon, something about how sad that about the only thing America has contributed to the world was Jazz. Tony Bennett said that Europe had so much more to offer and went on to list their contributions; with any luck that portion of the program will be posted and I can go back for a direct quote. Rush had fun poking fun, claiming that we have Hollywood, responsible for the way movies are made and lowering the bar for just about everything that is associated with those folks.

I was driving down the road and two thoughts came to me that might be overlooked. The most important would be the American expression of individual liberty that distinguished us from every country on the face of the earth up until the American Revolution. The thoughts that express our core values may well be the most noble representation of what mankind can accomplish when government is limited. The writings of John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others with the ability to define individual rights set our country on the highest pedestal for all the world to see, to admire and; yes, to be jealous of.

The other thought that came to mind is that America is where the Book of Mormon was unearthed and translated by the Prophet, Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is now a world wide church influencing millions. The freedoms available to permit such a remarkable work to come forth could only have occurred in a country where government was limited by the people rather than the oppressive old world governments in Europe. The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ had to wait until such time as there was a country with enough freedom to permit such individual expression.

I’d mention Baseball; but that is only an extension of the Gospel and would be redundant. The principles of the Gospel explained in the Great Plan of Salvation point to one goal, that each of us be given the chance to return home to our Father in Heaven by following the commandments. Baseball exemplifies the need to follow the rules in order to cross home plate; a perfect fit.
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Vacation Time

I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh radio show this afternoon; the subject was about how folks use their vacation time and their trend to shorten the length of those vacations.
I’d have to say I don’t fit the mold; probably never did since I was a cop on night shift with the City of Houston and by day I was owner and operator of a mobile locksmith shop catering to the automotive industry.

The City had a generous program whereby I accumulated three weeks of paid vacation time each year to go along with 15 days of accumulated sick time and any overtime which was also accumulated. Since that time I believe the policy has been changed on how much time can be accumulated. I never used three weeks to go on vacation and over my twenty years on the Department accumulated quite a nifty, forgive the antiquated terminology, nifty nest egg of useable time.

Two years prior to my retirement I planned out a strategy that would permit me to show up for work Monday through Thursday night and take every Friday night off, calling it a vacation day. Since I had the highest seniority on my shift I had first pick of the “Red Book”, the official means of obtaining time off. Every week I had a three day weekend; much to the dismay of certain immediate supervisors who complained that it just wasn’t “fair” to the others, my hogging all those Friday prime slots. I smiled my Cheshire Cat smile and ignored their protestations, a nice way of telling them off with out saying a word.

As my retirement date grew closer I wanted to see what it would be like to live something close to a normal life, that being to sleep in a bed at home when it was dark and get up in the morning rested and things like that. I took off the entire month of August and it was like being on vacation, even though I never left town and continued to work my locksmith business daily. I found that I could easily walk away from the Department and burning the candle at both ends; that was in 1992 and it has worked out well.

I think the “extended vacation” mentality is harmful to most people, a little like the “Joe Lunchbox” guys who think that ten minutes after the five o’clock whistle blows they should be drinking a beer at the local tavern. The same holds true for these kids who believe that Summer Vacation is an entitlement, that they should be free from the rigors of their eternal progression into adulthood; nothing could be further from the truth.

I enjoy taking an extended three days off from my business every now and then; visit my folks or go to locksmith convention where I pick up some new tools and ideas; but the idea of lounging around out of the loop for two or three weeks would be disturbing to my work ethic and peace of mind.

I suppose if I were independently wealthy with no cares I could take a solid week off and enjoy that time without worrying how I was going to make budget; but even then I would be engaged in some kind of positive venture, something which, even though not necessarily profit motivated, would be efforts put to good use.

Link in title bar added to Rush's article 8/22/06 7:25pm Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Friendly Game of Catch

Our cat Bubba likes to play catch on the stairs each morning. I have one of those calendars, the kind that has a neat little piece of baseball history on each page; once read you tear it off, that kind of calendar. Last year’s calendar was Larson’s odd humor; bears looking at folks in their sleeping bags and commenting, “Sandwiches!” and things like that.

“On this date in 1979 – The Astros Jeffrey Leonard goes 1-for-3—all in one at bat! Leonard flies out to center, but umpire Doug Harvey says that “time” had been called, and orders Leonard back to the plate. Given a new life, Leonard singles, only to have the hit disallowed because the Mets had no first baseman on the field. The third time is not the charm for the Hack-man, as he flies to left to end a 5-0 Mets win. Following a protest, Leonard’s single will be restored and the Mets are required to get another out the next day.”

It was the weekend and I hadn’t torn off Friday’s or Saturday’s pages as Bubba waited on the stairs. The sound of each page being torn off signaled her that the game was about to begin as she crouched low to the carpet in anticipation. I balled the first page into a tightly bound unit and tossed it high against the wall as Bubba tracked its trajectory and pounced upon it, tumbling down with it trapped in her teeth.

Bubba must watch the highlight reels, gaining pointers as outfielders crash into the fence and then hold the ball up for all to see, “Got it!”. The shortstop running full gate through foul territory, the rolled up tarp against the railing as he plunges into the first row to snag a pop fly, “Got it!”. Bubba launches herself across two steps, the crowd goes wild as she comes down and rolls on her side, the wall thumps loudly but she holds on for the catch. Recapping the inning; Bubba snagged Friday, Saturday and I almost forgot, my arm. Now, a word from our sponsor, “Little Friskies for the life of your best friend…”

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Wire Tap Ruling - Something Fishy

I read an AP article written by Sarah Karush in the Houston Chronicle, “U.S. court rules secret wiretaps unconstitutional” (linked via title bar). A few thoughts came to mind as I place my own conservative / libertarian leanings into the mix. I have on the one hand, a natural distrust of government’s powers and abuse of those powers and at the same time I accept that there needs to be a way to secure the country from those who would destroy it.

The first “red flag” to go up has to do with my loathing of the ACLU; most anything that group does undermines the foundations of the United States of America. They may well be the “anit-Christ” mentioned in the scriptures. As far as I’m concerned, the ACLU is the enemy; if they’re for it, as a rule it’s bad for the country.

“The ACLU filed the lawsuit in January on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which monitors international phone calls and e-mails to or from the U.S. involving people the government suspects have terrorist links.”

I had to ask, “Doesn’t that mean those journalists, scholars and lawyers are admitting that they are in direct contact with those we have identified as the enemy?” I would like to know, more specifically, which journalists, which scholars and which lawyers are in contact with terrorist or those supporting our enemies.

The track record of the news media would place a good portion of them on the side of the enemy, they being more sympathetic to their causes than to defending the U.S. from attacks by them. Certain scholars are inhibited by wire taps to foreign agents, presumably they mean the leftist community such as Ward Churchill or the radical Muslim professors who teach that the United States is evil and deserves to be destroyed, those scholars might be impacted by our attempts to expose the enemy. Last on the list were lawyers who are in contact with foreign agents; my only thought would be, “Hey, no big deal, enemy combatants make good clients too.”

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor made the ruling; but before I go any further I’d like to know a little more about her associations; particularly her political leanings. Why was her court chosen by the ACLU? My bet is that this will prove out to be a case of court shopping for a favorable or sympathetic associate who happened to be a judge in order to extend the ACLU’s agenda.

I suppose I’m one of those ignorant middle class Americans who just doesn’t understand how all this stuff works. I’ll let those who know so much more; Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and now, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor explain all those difficult details, the ones I’m too stupid to figure out on my own.

I’ve linked with TMH Bacon Bits who has what I like to call, “Open line Friday” where anyone can link any article regardless of content.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Smash and Grab

Lucy went out shopping yesterday, a planned route that would include Wal-Mart, Krogers and Walgreens; holding a handful of coupons that matched the items on her list. I’m still not sure how she’s able to do it; but my guess is that one day the store manager will hand her a sack of money and throw his hands up when she walks in the front door. Lucy saves us quite a bit through her relentless use of coupons and taking advantage of items on sale.

When she got home she told me all about how somebody drove a truck into the Walgreens store at the front of our neighborhood and stole the ATM machine. One side was boarded up after the repair crew came to start repairs.

This morning I was reading on the KPRC website that this wasn’t the only targeted store.
“Deputies said this is the third Walgreens in the area to be robbed in the same manner within the last week.” Credit for the picture of a different Walgreens storefront goes to KPRC. (link via title bar)

I can see there needs to be a little more planning when it comes to placement of the ATM machines and how to properly secure them; either that or leave them on the sidewalk at night to minimize the damage done to the storefront. They could have them lined up; Coke machine, newspaper vending machine and ATM, all chained together along the sidewalk against the building. Well, maybe that’s not such a good idea either; the whole wall might come down when the thieves pull on the chains.

That settles it; I’ve decided not to put an ATM machine in our house. I can just see waking up in the middle of the night after some fool drives a truck through the front door, taking out all those neat little photocell walkway lamps and destroying my lawn.
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Share the Pudding

Jennifer and Justin had a chance to go see a movie so we volunteered to sit with our grandkids this afternoon. JJ found some chocolate pudding that we keep in the refrigerator for when he comes over. Jocelyn waited for her turn as JJ was a good big brother and made sure she got plenty.

Justin’s mother and his brothers and sisters will be moving to Denver next week so Jenn and Justin will have their house back. I know you’re supposed to take care of family and I’m so proud of Jenn and Justin for doing just that; on the other hand, a young family should have their own home. I think they went above and beyond when they shared their "pudding" these past few months.

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Thought for Today

My thought for the day comes from the Book of Jarom in the Book of Mormon. I was listening to the scriptures while driving to my various jobs during the week and the idea came to me, similar to the challenge posed to readers on the Fox website where they ask, “If you were the President what would you do about …”; this same thought occurred to me, “If I had been instructed to write something of importance on a small piece of brass that would be of value to those who would later read it, a revelation, prophecy to be included in the scriptures; what would that be?”

Here is what struck me as interesting; bearing in mind that such instructions can only come from God:

“…For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.”

Take a few minutes each day to read the scriptures, those words which your Father in Heaven has provided you, words which, when taken in and pondered upon, will lead you to an understanding of the blessings that the Gospel holds for each and every child of God. The truth has been made available to you, what more could I add? In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Those Bad Guns

I read another article intended to generate fear and loathing toward gun owners in the Houston Chronicle today. The article written by Rick Weiss of the Washington Post, “Study: As their children age, gun owners' vigilance fades” (linked via title bar) starts off with, “Loaded firearms more often left out around teens, who are more likely to be injured by them”. This is just one more in the never ending saga, “Get those guns away from citizens who are too stupid to know how to use them or why they have them.”

Wouldn’t you think that these “older children” should have been instructed on the proper and safe use of firearms by their parents, those who own the firearms? The picture I’ve posted came from some other blogger’s site and I saved it to file quite a while back. I can’t remember who had it or I’d give them credit for catching the thought I wanted to share.
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Friday, August 11, 2006


The mayor of Houston Texas was very worried about a plague of pigeons in Houston. The mayor could not remove the pigeons from the city. All of Houston was full of pigeon poop. The people of Houston couldn't walk on the sidewalks or drive on the roads. It was costing a fortune to try to keep the streets and sidewalks clean.

One day a man came to City Hall and offered the Mayor a proposition. "I can rid your beautiful city of its plague of pigeons without cost to the city. But, you must promise not to ask me any questions. Or, you can pay me five million dollars and ask one question." The mayor considered the offer briefly and accepted the free proposition.

The next day the man climbed to the top of City Hall, opened his coat, and released a red pigeon. The red pigeon circled in the air and flew up into the bright blue Texas sky. All the pigeons in Houston saw the red pigeon. They gathered up behind the red pigeon. The Houston pigeons followed the red pigeon as she flew eastward out of the city. The next day the red pigeon returned completely alone to the man atop City Hall.

The Mayor was very impressed. He thought the man and the red pigeon had performed a wonderful miraculous feat to rid Houston of the plague of pigeons. Even though the man with the pigeon had charged nothing, the mayor presented him with a check for 5 million dollars and told the man that, indeed, he did have a question to ask and even though they had agreed to no fee and the man had rid the city of pigeons, he decided to pay the 5 million just to get to ask ONE question.

The man accepted the money and told the mayor to ask his question.

The mayor asked: "Do you have any red Mexicans?"

A tip of the hat goes to Steve Sanders for sharing this. Mayor White should read this one; I don’t think he understands that Houston has to deal with this issue rather than hope it just goes away on its own.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Before and After 1971

The night before entering the Houston Police Academy. Posted by Picasa

Stranger in the Mirror

This past Sunday I was talking with my friend Richard Sutton, President of the Houston Temple, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He mentioned that a new policy was being implemented for temple workers; that they be clean shaven, no mustaches or beards. I know several friends who work in the temple who’ve had mustaches and/or beards most of their adult lives. I wondered how the new policy was being accepted.

“You’d be surprised”, he said, smiling at the positive results as he went on to mention by name the folks I had been considering. One fellow asked for a razor so he could step into the men’s dressing area right away. Only a couple resisted the request, mulling it over as if it were some serious encroachment in their personal affairs.

I mentioned that I’d had my mustache since high school, even during my brief encounter as a member of the Army Reserves. I then remembered when I had to shave it off upon attending the Houston Police Academy. I guess it was a couple of years before the Department changed its policy on facial hair and the mustache returned to my face.

I sent him a couple of pictures that I’d taken the night before starting my career with the Department. I also sent him an article I’d written about the last roll call inspection, the one prior to my retirement from the department. (linked via title bar)

It got me to thinking, “How important are my mustache and beard to me?” A few years back I shaved off my beard. I’d had it for five or six years; having started it the day I retired as a token, if you will, a statement of my independence. It took three days for anyone to notice my naked chin and it occurred to me that it must not be such a big deal. My daughter challenged me to shave off the mustache but that wasn’t on my list of possibilities at the time.

This morning I decided that it was time to uncover the person hiding behind all those whiskers. I took the trimmer and prepared by taking it down low followed by a fresh blade in my razor. The stranger in the mirror looked vaguely familiar, save for the jowls below his chin that had previously gone undetected; age has crept up on my youth.

The odd creature with all those interesting thoughts continues to reside within, “still crazy after all these years”, as Paul Simon would say. I know what my kids are thinking; no, the idea of a tattoo or piercing my ear, tongue or any other part of my anatomy is out of the question.
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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Lost Churches of Louisiana

One of the local television stations in South Louisiana actually aired an interview with a black woman from New Orleans. The interviewer was a woman from a Boston affiliate. She asked the black woman how such total and complete devastation of the churches in the area had affected their lives.

Without hesitation, the woman replied, "I don't know about all those other people, but we haven't gone to Churches in years. We gets our chicken from Popeye's".

The look on the interviewer's face was priceless.

Thanks go out to my friend Andy Ricker for sharing this via email; maybe I should take him out for drumsticks, or something…

This reminded me of the fellow who was in the witness stand testifying about a terrible fight before the jury. The question was asked, “Where you shot in the fracas?”

“No, yo Honah, I was shot just above the fracas.”

Friday, August 04, 2006

Scars Have Stories

Ray Bradbury wrote about the Illustrated Man, each tattoo having a story that compelled the viewer to learn something about life while gazing at the artwork in ink. Locksmiths have no need of tattoos, we have scars. Jim Reed, the fellow who taught me about locksmith work when I was getting started used to say you could tell a journeyman locksmith by looking at his wrist, “They all look like they’ve tried to commit suicide” he would say, reminding me to be especially careful when working inside a door panel of a car.

Someday I’ll send a thank you note to the United Auto Workers Union, that and a bill for the many band aids I’ve had to purchase after having sliced myself on a sharp piece of metal while trying to remove a stubborn lock. I suppose I’ve been fairly lucky; still have all my fingers, even if some of them are bent just a tad.

I know that I’m not the only fool who ever ran a knuckle into a key cutter wheel. You’d have thought once was enough; but some of us must get distracted easily, either that or plain careless around sharp objects. I have three little scar lines next to the knuckle of my index finger to remind me. They look like the Finger Lakes in New York State. Does that mean I have two more mishaps to go with my key machine; I sure hope not.

There’s a really nasty scar on the second digit of my right index finger. I was trying to jerk an old GM in-dash ignition with a slam hammer and my finger got in the way. Talk about letting out a yelp. The skin on my finger opened up like a piece of cauliflower as it got pinched between the slide hammer and the slide hammer stop. It didn’t bleed at first, not a good sign, and then it bled quite a bit. I had an x-ray taken and sure enough I’d broken the bone; only it “railed it” long wise instead of snapping it in half. That was a long time ago and it still hurts when the weather changes.

I was at the barber shop this afternoon and the lady who cuts my hair had a band aid on her finger. The band aid was about ready to fall off from getting wet while doing her barber shop thing as she explained how it had happened. She’d been preparing dinner and sliced it with a pair of scissors while cutting some steak to be stir fried, mistaking her finger for a piece of steak. It got me to thinking as I showed her the little “Y” scar on my pinky, not near as visible as it was twenty years ago.

Way back when I was working night shift for the Houston Police Department I would shut down my locksmith work in the evening, have dinner, shower and get ready for my “other life” in a blue uniform. I would run calls as a locksmith during the day and then turn into a police officer working for the City of Houston at night. Most of the AAA dispatchers, they being one of my accounts, recognized that I had a limited window in the evening and not to call too late, knowing that I’d be unavailable.

I got the call around 9:30 in the evening and had already put on my police uniform when AAA asked if I would take care of a little old lady with an ignition problem on her Dodge in a rough neighborhood. I did some calculations in my head and figured that if everything went perfectly that I had just enough time to squeeze it in and then make it across town in time for roll call.

I drove over in my service vehicle, at the time I think I was still in my old Ford Club Wagon; maybe not, it’s been such a long time ago. I saw the vehicle parked in a grocery store lot right where she said it would be, an elderly black woman standing next to it with her long white gloves, purse and her “goin’ to church Sunday best dress”. I had explained to her that I was a police officer and also a locksmith over the telephone; all the same it came as a shock to her system when I stepped out wearing my police uniform carrying a tool box.

I checked the ignition switch and decided that in the interest of speed that I’d snatch it out with the slam hammer and slap a new one in its place. There was a challenge involved because with that particular Dodge product there was a piece of padded plastic molding that wrapped around the instrument panel and ignition switch making it difficult to line up the slam hammer. I reckoned that if I held the slide “just so” that I could avoid the plastic trim. I let the hammer fly; but I must have been cheating with my pinky finger, trying to make sure that the sliding hammer wouldn’t do any damage. (to the car)

There was a terrible pain in the tip of my finger, one that instantly informs you just how badly you’ve screwed up. The good thing was that the ignition came out on that very same motion. I glanced down and saw that I was bleeding so I cupped my hand to keep from dripping on the carpet inside the lady’s car. I turned to exit the driver’s seat and held my cupped hand away from me to avoid getting any blood on my police uniform.

The elderly black woman had gone pale on me, observing that a white police officer had just injured himself inside her car. The look on her face told me that she was aware of the history between white police officers and black folks, a terror of what she perceived to be the next logical chain of events. I could read her thoughts, “I’m either going jail or the hospital; it’s all over but the cryin’”.

My hand had filled with blood as I carefully let it splash to the ground, “No extra charge for the blood, Ma’am, no extra charge.” I smiled at her and tried to let her know that I was okay, that it was my own fault and that she had nothing to fear. She had seen too much over the years as her life flash before her eyes, quietly waiting for the “end” to come.

I felt badly for the whole human race as I read her emotions that night, the result of horrible race relations, real or imagined, it didn’t really matter. Some scars don’t show up on the surface, they lie deep inside of us.

I’ve linked with TMH Bacon Bits where it’s “Open Line Friday” as I like to call it; a chance to read some interesting articles by other bloggers.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Abracadabra, Alakazam or Hezbollah

I know most folks reading Mattias Karen’s AP article (linked via title bar), “Magicians hope to pull a title out of a hat”, might not put this particular spin with it. According to the article, “Illusionists compete for lucrative contracts at (the) world championship in Stockholm, Sweden”. The show is not open to the public; however, most of the city has magicians, when not in the actual competition, plying their skills as street vendors to passers by, like a traveling circus.

At one time I was interested in slight of hand magic tricks. I had to work Saturdays in downtown Houston as a police officer and one of the places that we’d visit was the Abracadabra Magic Shop. The young magicians working behind the counter were always trying to sell us something; a rope trick, some kind of machined coin trick or things like that. They’d show us how neat the illusion worked and made money vanish from our wallets into their cash register. I still have the machined half dollar that swallows a Mexican Peso trick somewhere in the back of my closet.

I’m not sure I can remember how the trick worked. You showed the Mexican Peso and the other coin, put them into the hand of whomever you wanted to impress with your abilities. You then said the magic words, “Alakazam” and “presto chango”, the Mexican Peso disappeared completely. The fact of the matter was that the Mexican Peso was in actuality inside the Fifty Cent Piece; the result of a finely machined work of art. Had anyone closely examined the coins the ruse would have be obvious.

I’m guessing that the Islamofascist Muslims have their representatives at the magic competition too. As they take center stage, they have a form letter claiming that if Israel will stop defending itself from terrorism that everything will be the way it should be. They convince everyone how sincere they are as they sign the document for everyone to see; pointing to happy Muslims in one hand and wary Israel in the other. They say the magic word, “Hezbollah”, followed by, “UN Resolution” and Israel completely disappears. They’ve been practicing this for centuries and have got it down to where it just might take first place.

If anyone is paying attention the deception should be obvious.

Mover Mike has posted his article, David Ignatius, Wrong Again and Again!!. Please take a moment to visit and leave a comment.

TMH Bacon Bits has an open post while away on vacation. “What’s a vacation, Mama?” “Well, Forrest, that’s when your daddy goes away and never comes back.” I have no idea why I put that in there.

Greg over at Rhymes With Right has an interview with Congressman Dingell; as a corrected version from a previous posting that’s worth reading.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Chuck Hagel Must Have Fallen Off the Turnip Truck

I think we’ve found a poster boy for our Blind Deaf and Dumb campaign in the Middle East. I nominate Senator Chuck Hagel, (R) Nebraska, after his visionary speech demanding that President Bush call for a cease fire rather than do what is necessary. “We need a statesman of global stature” as he called for direct talks with Hezbollah's backers, Iran and Syria. ( Read the CNN website article linked via the title bar for more )

I’m only guessing that they grow turnips in Nebraska and that Chuck must have fallen off one of the delivery trucks on his way to the Senate floor. As a good Christian I would hope that his injuries, the brain cramps caused by the concussion will be treated and that he might be restored to at least minimal thinking abilities at some future date.

I found a file photo from his website which shows Senator Hagel behind a plow; I wonder, could that be a turnip patch? Any bets he’s of the opinion that we should turn our weapons into plowshares? Why is it that the pacifists always require that the Western civilizations disarm first?

Winston Churchill was castigated for his unrelenting stance against the aggression shown by Germany leading up to WWII, which opposed then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, a classic pacifist who honestly believed that war with Germany could be avoided “If we only continue our dialogue”, prior to the near total destruction of Europe in WWII. Were it not for Churchill’s clarity of thought and true leadership abilities we’d all be speaking German now.

A lesson in history should remind the likes of Chuck Hagel, those who are grasping for a false limb of peace at any cost, that liars are going to lie. Neville Chamberlain failed to understand that principle until after Hitler’s Third Reich had broken each and every Non-Intervention Agreement signed and took over most of Europe. Once the realization of such horrendous errors in judgment came to light his ability to lead in time of war became an insurmountable obstacle and he had to step down, at which time Winston Churchill took the lead.

The Islamofascist extremist who are Hezbollah, Alqueda, the Taliban and all the other radical Muslims have openly stated that there can only be one solution and that is the utter destruction of all Infidels. Well, speaking as one of those Infidels, I do not plan to go quietly into that good night, thank you very much. We have no choice except to stand for what we believe and that includes going to do battle, which includes bloodshed, pain, horrors that we would rather not contemplate, destruction of property and lives and even killing. That is the definition of war.

War is not a surgical procedure, though in recent history it has been attempted and failed each and every time. War is the culmination of acts which force your enemy to submit unconditionally to your terms of surrender after having totally and completely decimated his ability to inflict damage on you. This is not some random act of violence that will vanish when we get out of bed and rub our eyes. War has been declared on us and on Israel; only those too stupid or ignorant of the facts would respond as Chuck Hagel, a Senator of the United States of America, has responded. “Please, make it go away!” is not how an adult responds when threatened, much less a United States Senator; that being reserved for grammar school children when confronted by a bully. Here’s some advice to Senator Chuck Hagel, “Get a back bone”, that can be printed whereas the other advice was a little too crude for publication.

Edited August 1, 2006 4:00pm

Mover Mike has an interesting article, Sebastian Mallaby Opines!, that comes down to the same basic conclusion via a different route.

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