Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Three Blind Mice Clear Climategate

There’s an AP article out of the UK this morning, a story clearing climate scientists in East Anglia of the most serious charges regarding what has become known as Climategate . After having glanced at a photograph of the detectives running the “for show” investigation it wasn’t difficult to understand how nothing was found.

“The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved.

The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming -- two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.”

Investigators have also cleared the Flat Earth Society in a defamation suit filed by the family of Christopher Columbus claiming he never reached the New World. The case was thrown out when ships approaching the horizon presumably fell off the edge and were never seen again.

When I was working Jail Division for the Houston Police Department many years ago one of my duties was to take the “winos” in front of the Municipal Court judge, a chance for them to plead out their cases and get on with life. The common term used was Jake Docket and I had to keep them in line while, one at a time, they gave a reason for having fallen off the wagon.

“Your Honor, I was doing pretty good staying sober until I got news my dear old mother passed away and I couldn’t handle the bad news. That’s why I got drunk; but it won’t happen again, your Honor.”

The judge smiled at having listened to a well put together sob story and let him off with “time served”.

From the back of the line of came a shout, a wino yet to be heard, “He stole my story, your Honor!”

The judge smiled a broad smile and paused a moment to reflect on what had happened. “Well, at least you were honest enough to admit it was a story; you can go home too.”

The data that was altered or lost by climate scientists in East Anglia, that was just a story too. File this under CROCK!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Cadillac or Rolls Royce

Being the rich retired Houston Police officer that I am, I wanted to thank Mayor Parker for recognizing my ability to lease a brand new Rolls Royce automobile. The folks in the Obama Administration kept telling me I had a Cadillac; but I never for a moment considered jumping all the way up to Rolls Royce.

I’m fortunate to have a parking place in my driveway for that new Rolls Royce, the one Mayor Parker thinks I can afford. It would have been nice to actually see the vehicle; much less drive it. Lucy and I didn’t get to pick out the exterior paint, leather or cloth seats, Bose surround sound audio system or even decide on the payment plan; I guess when you buy a Rolls you take what you’re offered.

The car falls into the category of “invisible”. It’s in my driveway, you just can’t see it; much like the house near the golf course that never got built, the one we call “invisible”.

The folks who own that property intended to erect a fine structure, even had an electric service line brought to the edge of the forms filled with sand where the foundation was to be poured. That was several years ago and you can still see the outline. We call it the invisible house; joking that they must have used some kind of fancy material; they really did build the house, we just can’t see it.

No, I’m really not talking about buying a new car; just keeping my health insurance package from last year in force until I’m eligible for Medicare when I turn 65. We got our official notification from the City in the mail this past week; that and Bradley Olson’s Houston Chronicle article made for a sleepless night.

Our health insurance package was one of the reasons I stuck with the City of Houston until I reached retirement. As costs in the medical field increased my wife and I accepted our monthly premiums would go up; that’s part of life. We’d been told to expect a bump from our current rate of $500 a month to $750 a month, give or take a couple of dollars.

That was until Mayor Parker found the City was underfunded by about $7 million and decided to solve the shortage by laying it off on retired city employees; more specifically, on retired employees who were not yet eligible for Medicare.

The City of Houston had been responsible for 64% of my retirement health insurance while I picked up the rest; but as of May 1st the City will only pay 52% to ease the pain of being in the hole $7 million. Mayor Parker just signed a piece of paper at city hall and, as of May 1st, my monthly payment goes up to $1179 a month, about $700 more than I’d been paying. How come the rules changed?

I can understand the need for reasonable cut backs at all levels, to include retired employees; but this doesn’t even come close to equitable. Active employees have a binding contract where the City’s responsible for 79% of health insurance cost; no attempt was made to have that binding contract renegotiated due to extreme economic conditions brought about by a recession.

Why then would the Mayor believe it permissible to change the terms of a previous agreement? Granted, it’s not a binding contract like the one with active employee unions; but agreements have to do with honoring promises made over the tenure of employment. I’ve held up my end of that agreement; but I forgot, the City has no honor.

The City is targeting a specific group of employees to square up the budget shortfall, a penalty based on age discrimination. I’m old enough to be retired; but not old enough for the federal government to pick up the tab and so I’m just another extra expense the City hadn’t planned on.

I was prepared to make the jump from $500 a month to $750 a month; everyone’s health insurance costs are going up, why should I be exempt? I wasn’t thrilled to be forced into the extra expense; but it wasn’t entirely unexpected and so I have no squawk with the City there.

I do have a legitimate gripe when the City changes the percentage of coverage without that change being uniformly spread across the rest of their employees, retired or active. Mayor Parker, I just got up at 4 in the morning trying to figure out how to get this bad taste out of my mouth; any suggestions, Your Honor?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Christian or Muslim News Coverage

A couple of stories this morning give a glimpse of how the news media portray dangerous factions of society. See if you can figure out the bias as the details are brought out.

Michigan Christian Militia Group Charged with Police-Killing Plot , an AP headline followed by:

“Nine suspects tied to a Christian militia in the Midwest are charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then attack a funeral in the hopes of killing more law enforcement people, federal prosecutors said Monday.”

The article went on to name the faction Christian group Hutaree, obviously one of the right wing terrorist groups mentioned recently. I do have a question, exactly what crime was committed or is it now permissible to arrest American citizens for thinking about committing a crime; you know, like in the movie Minority Report with Tom Cruise?

“We’ve seen the enemy and they is us”, no that’s from the comic strip Pogo; I’ll have a report on the exact charges soon. I’m sure it will include “assault weapons and large stockpiles of ammunition”; but let’s wait until the smoke clears. They need to get Janet Reno out of retirement and just burn ‘em out like they did in Waco.

I found it interesting how Good Morning America’s website claimed to have linked the Hutaree Christian terrorist group with anti-Muslim rhetoric and threats; can’t have anyone in America making threats against Obama’s friends so that would explain the FBI getting involved.

I seem to recall reading about the Hutaree militia group; I think it was in Luke, or it might have been in Mark. The exact scripture will come to me later; something about keeping your AR-15 well oiled and fully loaded when Jesus comes. Well, it was something like that, might have been a grenade launcher instead of an AR-15; that all depends on whether you use the King James Version or the Hutaree New and Infused Version of the Bible. Does it really matter; every right wing Christian secretly is plotting to overthrow the government.

The other AP story in today’s headlines, Homicide Bombers Kill 38 on Moscow Subway . That had me wondering, “What kind of folks strap on explosives and detonate themselves with the intent of taking out as many innocent civilians as possible?”

The answer was given; but not exactly in clear and understandable English. The AP preferred to use coded text rather than come right out and say, “Muslim Terrorists”; instead these were “rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya”. I like that “restive region”; sounds like a vacation poster slogan instead of an area of the world infested with Muslim Terrorists who have declared war on infidels where ever they might be.

Just a bit further into the article:

“The head of Russia's main security agency said preliminary investigation places the blame on rebels from the restive Caucasus region that includes Chechnya, where separatists have fought Russian forces since the mid-1990s.”

That really clears things up, “separatists”; well why didn’t you say so? You should hear the music from the Wizard of Oz playing as you enter the Emerald City, the door keeper stroking his mustache as you get a glimpse of the Horse of a Different Color.

If you managed to weed through the exhaustive piece you might actually find a mild reference to Muslim Terrorists:

“Russian police have killed several Islamic militant leaders in the North Caucasus recently, including one last week in the Kabardino-Balkariya region. The killing of Anzor Astemirov was mourned by contributors to two al-Qaida-affiliated Web sites.”

Maybe it’s just me, being one of those right wing Christians with a concealed handgun permit just waiting for my opportunity to blast away from my easy chair while listening to Rush, Hannity or Beck; but has the news media forgotten how to report evenly and without prejudice or have they refused to do their job since being purchased by the Obama administration?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cash for Clunkers Part 2

Okay, all you fine folks wanting your neighbors to help you purchase that new washer/dryer, refrigerator or air conditioner replacement; the State of  “Texas landed a $23 million slice of the $300 million appliance-rebate stimulus pie.” So reads the opening line of Tracy Hobson Lehmann’s article in the San Antonio Express-News , reprinted in the Houston Chronicle.

All that “free stimulus money” that comes out of somebody’s wallet, just not your own wallet; becomes available as of April 16th, makes me proud to be a tax contributor. You want to understand why the once greatest and most powerful nation on earth can’t blow its nose without getting permission from the Saudi’s or the Chinese; take a look at the red ink balance in our bank account, a figure so large most folks can’t begin to fathom.

Let’s spend some more and really be broke. The idea of being self reliant, paying your own way at one time was the rule rather than the exception. During the Bush years the “greatest generation” succumbed to the tantalizing carrot held in front of them, government assisted prescription drugs. “We’ve earned it”, came their response; in stereophonic surround sound no less. “We’ve been paying our taxes all these years; it’s about time we got something for our money”, as if such rationalization makes it perfectly fine to take money out of the next generation’s wallet.

Our government has grown so large as to make entitlements the law of the land. Instead of teaching self reliance and hard work the new mantra is “Use that stimulus money or somebody else will”. The national treasury is broke and yet our legislators spend like drunken sailors. I should amend that last line, at least when drunken sailors run out of money they stop spending.

Let’s work on a different strategy, one based on sound principles; “If the money ain’t there, don’t spend it.” You’ll forgive my countrified way of puttin’ things, them big city folks might talk nice; but it’s always on my dime.

I remember one of my church leaders, Robert D. Hales, telling of how he wanted to buy his wife a new coat , something he thought she would enjoy. His wife was delighted he’d considered such an expensive gift; but explained how much happier she’d be if they didn’t spend money on such an extravagance that she really didn’t need. The lesson, in case you were wondering, live within your means and you’ll be happy, perhaps even more so.

Lucy and I have lived within our budget for years and we sleep very well at night, not having to worry about folks we don’t owe money to and living quite well. There’s a certain peace of mind that comes with living providently; something which makes you stand a little taller with your shoulders squared. Unfortunately America can only hang its head in shame for abusing a corrupted system of taxation to the point of enslaving the rich to pay for the desires of the “less fortunate”, as if luck determines wealth, desires which have turned ugly and become demands.

So here we are, in debt up to our hips with the discipline of a dog in heat wondering why our liberties and freedoms are in jeopardy.

Let me help you load that new double wide refrigerator, the one with built in ice maker, cold water tap in the front and never needs defrosting. I’m sure the one that came with your new house a couple of years ago is totally used up. Did you remember to check on the energy consumption rating; those kilowatt hours add up in a hurry. Cap & Trade legislation is just around the corner and you’ll want to save every penny you can; I heard from those in the know, the cost of energy will triple or even quadruple in order to keep the EPA folks happy.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

2nd Amendment Coin Flipping Contest

Anyone who thinks the Heller decision in which SCOTUS ruled against the District of Columbia and in favor of an individual’s right to bear arms, unconnected with association to militias, was in anyway finalized, is living in fantasy land; not the United States of America. The right to bear arms keeps on going and going in the courts as well as individual state legislatures.

I’ll start with the never ending saga out of D.C. , those thugs who refuse to acknowledge an individual’s God given right to defend property and life through the use of modern day weapons.

“In a 30 page opinion U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina upheld D.C. regulations. Mr. Heller and his team had challenged the rules governing registration as well as prohibitions on assault weapons and the lovely sounding "large capacity ammunition feeding devices.”’

In essence U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina has gone along with the D.C. city council’s opinion that anything other than a revolver or bolt action rifle/shotgun are to be considered military/police only type weapons and not protected as a God given right for individuals under the 2nd Amendment. This is the same city council which came up with their own interpretation of the basic right to even own a revolver, rifle or shotgun; they basically outlawed ownership of any such weapon within their “crime free” city.

Why doesn’t it surprise anyone that a corrupt government entity wouldn’t want individuals owning modern efficient weapons capable of warding off corrupt government representatives? It’s a certainty; corrupt government officials would have access to modern efficient weapons, tyrannical representatives intent on depriving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of individuals defending themselves from corrupt government representatives. One purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to defend against all enemies of liberty, foreign and domestic.

Now for a flip of that same 2nd Amendment coin there’s an article out of Arizona which makes it clear that adults in that state have the God given right to carry a concealed weapon on their person.

“HB 2347, given preliminary House approval Thursday, removes all the criminal penalties that now exist for having a weapon in a purse, under a jacket or tucked into a boot without having a state-issued permit. That permit requires (d) certain training and a background check.”

The Arizona legislature has gone a step further, “…the Senate separately voted to say that any gun which is manufactured in Arizona and sold within this state is exempt from federal firearms regulations. Backers say SB 1098 is designed to be a preemptive strike against possible future efforts by the federal government to impose new restrictions on firearms ownership.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration revived a bid to turn U.S. gun control over to the U.N. , something which has been an ongoing resolve of the progressive movement so we can become one big happy family with the world. One of the expressed goals of the U.N. is to make sure that the only folks who have any weapons would be the U.N. ; essentially doing away with the 2nd Amendment.

It boils down to a simple thought; are we, as Americans, to trust our founding documents which protect individual rights from oppressive government usurpation, documents inspired by our Creator, or are we to turn over our government and our God given rights to anyone, foreign or domestic, who would ignore those documents and our God? I suppose such a statement makes my stand on the so called “separation of church and state” fairly transparent.

I’m not saying the Obama administration or the Democrat controlled House and Senate are evil; just that they do not appear to be working toward legislation which favors individual God given rights. It’s time we showed them the door and asked them to leave the workings of our government to someone else, folks who understand how precious and fragile the balance is between liberty and tyranny.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Civil Contracts No Longer Matter

The Obama administration is set to make additional changes to the free market system on Friday according to sources who wish to remain anonymous since the official announcement has not been made as yet according to an AP story by Alan Zibel . Obama wants banks to reduce the amount of debt owed by individuals about to have their houses foreclosed due to unemployment and harsh economic times.

“The plan also will require the more than 100 mortgage companies participating in the administration's program to consider slashing the amount borrowers owe.”

An article by John Gittelsohn at raised questions regarding the wisdom of manipulations of the mortgage industry since over half of previously reworked mortgages which had been in default eventually ended up in default a second time.

“President Barack Obama’s administration is pressuring lenders to alter loans to reduce the number of properties lost to foreclosure.”

What does “pressuring lenders to alter loans” mean in plain English? It means that civil contracts no longer matter. If I borrowed $200,000 for a house; now the government can erase that figure and write in a more equitable amount, one which I might eventually be able to pay, regardless of how much the lender might complain. Does anyone, other than me, see a problem here?

Eventually it will mean the end of the banking industry’s ability to enter into contracts for fear of having the government renegotiate the terms and conditions in order to make it easier for unqualified borrowers to take advantage of the lender based on their inability to repay what they originally promised.

Excuse me; but isn’t this exactly the same problem which caused the mortgage and banking industry to collapse sending the country’s economy into a tail spin? Banks were forced to extend loans to unqualified borrowers in order to have everyone obtain the “American dream of home ownership”.

What happens if my group of “community organizers” determines the American dream includes a new Mercedes Benz in the driveway next to that required house? Why not include access to an executive class Lear Jet, designer clothing, and golf club membership paid for by my fellow citizens? Hell if you’re going to dream, dream BIG; somebody else is footing the tab anyway.

Where does the fantasy end and reality take over? The answer, when those paying for entitlements are swept into bankruptcy through taxation, fees and regulations; that’s how to destroy America. (Subliminal message, Cloward Piven )

ACORN community organizers pressured lending institutions into making bad loans, loans to folks who couldn’t finance a game of jacks were buying houses because banks were being threatened with legal action and intimidation and through government intervention. The result was millions of defaulted mortgages, worthless paper being sold until the house of cards fell down.

Obama wants another “do over”, another opportunity to destroy the free market system. It has to work or millions of home owners will be thrown out into the streets; isn’t that the mantra out of the Obama administration? TARP wasn’t enough of a failure, now billions more taxpayer dollars will be used to destroy yet another foundation of society, civil contracts. (Subliminal message, Cloward Piven )

It will get to the point where the only commerce going on will be direct bartering; there won’t be any borrowing and lending, who’d be dumb enough to expect payment? I’m afraid Paul Simon had it right when he sang an American Tune . Somebody’s got to pay for all these entitlements…

“…Still, tomorrow’s gonna’ be another working day

And I’m trying to get some rest,

That’s all, I’m trying to get some rest.”

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We Are Made In God’s Image

Watching the shenanigans going on in Washington of late, I’m reminded of the Biblical story, Noah and the Ark; how God nearly eradicated mankind from off the earth save for a few obedient souls. What a disappointment it must be for our Creator to watch what is being done within a nation He’s invested so much in. Our divinely inspired documents are being shredded and tossed aside as if they meant absolutely nothing. Folklore tells us God vowed never to flood the earth again; the rainbow acting to remind Him.

I was feeling down, wondering how much lower we could slip from where we ought to be when the idea occurred to me; listen to classical music until I recognize the divine Spirit laced within the notes. For a few minutes the Spirit becomes enmeshed with my breathing, inspired melodies lift me to wondrous heights. Great music reminds me we’re made in the image of our God; how else to explain the majesty of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major?

My guess as to why we haven’t been swept away; God hears our classical music, works so beautiful He recognizes that part of the divine, the promise of what we, His children, can become and what some have achieved, even if only on rare occasion. In that momentary glimmer, perhaps our best efforts offer Him hope. Great music echoing off the heavens may give Him pause from sending the Four Horsemen to utterly destroy us, at least that’s what I think.

I listened to a recorded talk given by Douglas Callister several years ago, Your Refined Heavenly Home , wherein he reminded us of the opportunity to read from the best books, appreciate the finest sculpture, art and to then share the emotions evoked with those we love. We are permitted to sample what awaits us on the other side of the veil. Heaven will be even better we’re told; take a few minutes to breathe in Pachelbel’s masterpiece .

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wearing Politically Correct Handcuffs

There’s an article by Michael Dykes posted on the Yahoo News site pointing attention to the fact that many Republicans have lost their regard for keeping quiet; often times spewing antagonistic words in public meetings.  The story came to light as a heckler from the gallery shouted “Baby Killer” during the proceedings prior to the congressional vote which passed Health Care Reform legislation. 

According to a statement by GOP Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer, “…he stipulated he actually shouted, "It's a baby killer," in reference to the unamended health care bill, and has since apologized to Stupak for any suggestion that he personally was responsible for the killing of babies.”

I see no need for an apology; the health care bill specifically mandates federal money be spent to fund abortions.  Neugebauer’s expression of that fact, loudly and without hesitation, has been twisted in order to create the impression that he intended to insult Rep. Bart Stupak, who had just bent over and kissed President Obama’s backside prior to changing his vote from (*)“No, I could never support a bill containing federal money for abortions” to (*)“Yes, I’ll vote for your health care bill as long as you promise to write an executive order preventing federal money from being used to pay for abortions and I know you’re a man of your word and would never lie, deceive or otherwise lead the American people down the garden path.”  (*Exact quotes were made up as a convenience; but are accurate in their intentions)

Dykes was quick to point out that “Majority Leader John Boehner let loose with a cry of "Hell no!" in his own fiery floor speech denouncing the Democrats' handling of the legislative process.”  There are times when righteous indignation should boil over into public expression; having the health care bill shoved down our throats at the cost of individual liberty is one of those times.  

Dykes also reminded his readers of “Rep. Joe Wilson's now-famous "You lie!" shout during an address by President Obama to both chambers of Congress.”  I for one wanted the entire Republican Party to stand up and shout right along with him.  I’d also hoped they would stand with their backs to Obama or simply walk out in protest as our Liar in Chief prattled on and on about the State of the Union; guess I won’t be nominated for any Politically Correct Achievement Awards, at least not by this Congress who seem to be made up by a majority of liars and thieves.   

Another observation printed in the article, “The challenge for Republicans going forward is to avoid the same undertow from their activist base—to establish majorities in Washington and not let the unsavory aspects of the fringe haunt them for decades to come.”, as if the entire Tea Party movement was simply an extension of the Republican Party. 

I guess we’re all supposed to put on politically correct handcuffs; the liars and thieves will just go away and leave us alone if we’re quietly respectable and sit still.  

Thousands of folks showed up in Washington to protest the health care reform bill, the despicable process through which it came to fruition and the elitists promenading in front of our Congress as if they’d been coroneted to rule over their subjects.  They weren’t fringe Republicans, Democrats or Independents; but represented Middle American values from all sections of our society, folks who are “up to here” with business as usual in Washington.  We’re frustrated and “We’re not going to take it anymore!”

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today’s Congress is a Mockery of Representative Government

I’m not sure words can describe the anger and disappointment which have afflicted my soul this afternoon, having watched and listened to the Congress of the United States of America roll full steam ahead towards its vote to approve the Senate version of Health Reform legislation. Mind you, it’s Sunday afternoon, a time to be at peace, to be thankful for the many blessings bestowed from on high; why is my blood pressure about to go through the roof, my jaw clenched and the pit of my stomach tightened?

I’ll tell you why; never have I seen so many supposedly responsible folks, members of Congress, running full steam ahead on a piece of legislation which has been put together with lies, mandates, deceptions and back room deals. I thought watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was painful; but that was just a movie, what I witnessed today, unfortunately was real.

There are over 2700 pages of legal wording which every single representative has read and can explain to his/her constituents; yea, right.

There is nothing in this package of laws to be enacted which will violate the constitutional rights of any individuals, to include mandatory taxes which will be redistributed to other citizens based on the whims of government; yea, right.

Every legislator voting in favor of this legislative fiasco is doing so because he/she honestly believes that American citizens want socialized mandates instead of liberty and the ability to choose in a free market society; yea, right.

The view from here in the last car of a train, a train out of control going full tilt toward oblivion, gives the impression that the engineer is either drunk or insane. Why is he holding the throttle at break neck speed as he gives a blast of the whistle, passing all the signs which warn to slow down; treacherous ground lies ahead?  Can’t he see the remains of every other train which has thundered down this same dead end set of tracks, piled up heaps of socialized schemes which only served to destroy freedom and liberty?

“You have 60 seconds to state your point, Sir”, slamming the gavel down and recognizing the honorable representative from New York.”

“I’ll reserve my remaining 30 seconds until we’ve heard why there’s a special Louisiana Purchase clause built into the Senate version”.

“You have 15 seconds, come on, speak up, what do you think; we have all day to waste?”

“There’s no more track for this train to run on; just thought you’d like to know, Sir”.

“You’re in violation of the rules; next to be heard from is the representative from California. You have 30 seconds, Sir”.

“Why waste anymore time on this, I want it on the record; we all know Health Care Reform is needed so let’s vote Yes and get it over with.”

“You still have 15 seconds; do you wish to use it, Sir?”

“May I remind the Speaker; folks in the baggage car have not been heard?”

“Who cares, they’ll have to learn that we here in Washington are in charge, not them.”

“Thank you, Sir; just wanted to hear you say that for the record. Oh, and by the way, that statue of Karl Marx is being erected in front of the Capital Building as you requested.”

The train is being wrecked as we, here in the excess baggage car, contemplate the many blessings afforded each individual from our Creator; blessings which were to last as long as honorable men were elected to uphold our divinely inspired Constitutional form of government. We were promised if we obeyed the commandments and lived righteously God would preserve our nation from all who would destroy it. If I’m not mistaken, that time may have passed; say a prayer for what is left of our republic, after all, it’s Sunday.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Chair and Computer Desk

We qualify as spoiled Americans, having two computers up and running in the same room so we don’t have to share. I recently bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for my laptop and liked it so much it was a shame to have to sit at the dining room table; my back prefers slouching rather than good posture.

I looked around to duplicate the good recliner we already have; but those kinds of office chairs started out expensive and worked toward outrageous so I went to IKEA and got an inexpensive substitute with foot stool at on tenth the cost. I also found a well made inexpensive stand at Staples, similar to the kind you see in hospitals when they serve a meal to somebody in bed.
Both items had to be assembled; but they’d been engineered so well as to make the process almost enjoyable, each piece fitting exactly as it was intended. One issue with the tray table, the surface for the mouse was too high and not adjustable independently from the surface of the laptop.

It took a bit of doing and a trip to Home Depot; but I assembled a stable secondary platform, one which would allow for my hand to rest at a comfortable level and be attached to the original stand. I should extend my thanks to the fellow at Home Depot, the one I bugged until he took me to each item needed all across the store, not sure until I put my hands on each item that they would work in unison. I literally assembled this in my head as I went along collecting pieces.
I used a pre-finished 12 inch corner shelf board intended as a brick-a-brack in a kitchen setting because it closely matched the finish of the computer’s stand shelf. I had to cut away a corner so the shelf would match to the upright rectangular support. The shelf is attached with half inch tubular conduit, the same as used by electricians, pre bent to 90 degree angles, held to the board with “U” brackets with rounded stainless steel screws. The whole thing is mounted to the upright tube of the stand with large automotive adjustable hose clamps, bracketed along side the tubular conduit with pieces of wood intended to act as trim for the original corner shelf board. I wrapped the exposed ugly hardware with black electrician’s tape.
It would have been nice for the original product to have included such a secondary platform, one which was adjustable or even removable; but this spoiled American was able to make do with a limited amount of effort and very little expense. It works the way I’d intended so I’m calling this a success. For the record, this is not a paid advertisement for Home Depot, Staples or IKEA; they just happen to have what I was looking for.

When Seconds Count...

I read an unsigned editorial in the Toledo Blade , an online publication, expressing concern about citizens confronting armed criminals rather than leaving it to the police who are trained and have the responsibility for such matters. (A tip of the cap to Say Uncle for finding this obscure news tip.) I’ll discount most of what was written with a short but very true axiom, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”.

I was immediately suspicious of the editorial; unsigned and published leads me to believe it was planted. News outlets have fairly strict policies when it comes to opinion articles; why bend the rules for this one? The fact that an opinion piece was approved, an opinion that citizens taking up firearms to defend themselves from criminals is too dangerous, leads me to believe the Toledo Blade has a bias against 2nd Amendment rights protected in the Bill of Rights. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

The job of the police is to “Protect & Serve”, specially trained to neutralize hazardous situations, finding and stopping criminals and especially the safe use of firearms; something you idiot civilians have no business even touching. Isn’t that what we’ve been reminded each time a shop owner confronts a “would be robber”? It usually turns out one of two ways; either the store owner gets shot by the robber or the robber gets shot by the owner. This works the same for homeowner, delivery truck driver or any number of scenarios

The news team shows up across from where the yellow police tape has been stretched around the crime scene. Your local reporter, microphone in hand and camera crew zooming in at what appears to be a crying witness, always interviews the police spokesperson, “We want to remind everyone this could have turned out much worse, some innocent child walking down the street might have been struck and killed by a stray bullet fired by someone not trained in confrontational situations. This is what the police department is for, leave your guns at home and let us do our job.”

We’re not helpless victims waiting to be next; survival is the responsibility of each individual. Have we forgotten how to defend ourselves or are we pretending society has reached a level above reality? Have we deluded ourselves; believing it’s only rare a criminal will attempt to take advantage of our supposed weaknesses?

Criminals don’t care about laws prohibiting the use of firearms, they don’t care who they hurt or kill as long as they get away with rape, robbery or burglary and can come back again and again. ( I hadn’t intend to include Congress in this; but if the shoe fits…) Our police departments do a very nice job of responding when called; but when seconds count; 4-8 minutes can seem like an eternity, you’d better have more than a telephone to hear your last gasping breath.

We’re Americans with courage and spirit, enough and then some; just don’t say it too loud or the folks who collect your taxes will have you in front of a shrink; you’re a pigeon waiting to be plucked and don’t forget it. When somebody tells you to leave crime fighting to the police, you tell them gun control is being able to hit what you aim at.
Picture of bad guy with a shotgun courtesy of Rockwood Corporation, Speedwell Division , specializing in military and law enforcement targets.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Working in the Garden

The last couple of days we had three young men doing the back breaking work in our back yard, weeding, cutting back dead plants, tilling up the soil, mulching and bagging all the trash; in other words we had slave laborers working for Scout Camp money. Mostly I managed; but actually did some manual labor myself as the garden was prepared for planting.

I had the youngest boy, Logan, hauling leaf mulch from a pile I had behind the garage. He’d fill up a five gallon bucket and dump it into the soil of the tomato garden. I had him dump several buckets into where the green beans would go. He did that and pulled weeds for two days instead of goofing off around the house on spring break.

Landon and Tanner did the heavy stuff; moving concrete stepping stones, huge potted plant remains and clipping back branches. They also hauled the huge black plastic garbage sacks down to the street so they could be there when the trash men came. They will come by again this evening to haul the rest of the trash down for Thursday’s pick up.

This morning Lucy and I put up a string trellis against the side of the garage for the pole beans; lots of fun bending and extending muscles that neither of us use a lot. Then I planted one row of pole beans and one row of bush beans. In a couple of weeks I’ll plant a second and third row of bush beans so they all don’t come in at one time.
We did buy a couple of those Topsey-Turvey upside down tomato planters you see advertised on television and moved two plants from the kitchen nook into their permanent home. That was Saturday and they appear to have survived the transplanting. We have two more upside down planters and will get those done this weekend.

Tomorrow we’ll transplant the remainder of the kitchen nook tomato plants outside. The cucumbers seeds I can get tomorrow as well. Imagine, some folks do this every day; I think they’re called farmers.

The Hobo Kitties have been keeping a close eye on our efforts; moving their favorite hiding places to the back side of the garage or trash, preparing the garden soil and throwing out so many of their toys.  Speaking of Hobo Kitties, we also noticed Nefertiti, the original Hobo Mama Kitty has returned after almost a year’s absence. Lucy spotted her a couple of days ago; looks a bit thick through the mid section. It wouldn’t surprise us if she came “home” to have another liter. Life has a way of providing an endless supply of adventures around here.

Hey Mike, Just Do It

The Miata may have been fun and the Mini okay too; but when you got a glimpse of the Spyder it went into your dream box. It’s time to let that dream out of the box.

I’ve had my dream car in our driveway for quite some time, 1999 BMW Z-3 Coupe; it would’ve been a shame never to have enjoyed this little green jewel. Okay, sometimes I put it on the lawn to wash and polish it; call it a yard ornament with a 2.8 liter engine.
Here’s a tip, leave the dog home; dogs don’t like going over 80mph, makes them cranky. If anyone thinks you’re too old to be out buying a toy like that, tell them you’re planning ahead for the time when you and your wife have to live in an assisted living center. This way you won’t have to buy one of those silly looking go carts with your Medicare; you can go down the halls in style with a 918 Spyder. What are you waiting for, just do it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brown Shirt or Blue - Hard to Tell Sometimes

There’s an AP article out of Omaha explaining how the Air Force honorably discharged Jene Newsome under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule regarding gays in the military.

My personal stance regarding sexual orientation as pertain to individuals serving in the military is irrelevant and has nothing to do with issues brought out in today’s article.

Jene Newsome was discharged only “after police officers in Rapid City, South Dakota, saw a marriage certificate from Iowa -- one of the handful of U.S. states that recoganize (recognize) same-sex marriage -- in Newsome's home and told the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base.”

“Newsome and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against the western South Dakota police department, claiming the officers violated her privacy when they informed the military about her sexual orientation.”

A bit further into the article, “Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome's home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.”

There are a couple of issues I’d like to bring up; the first would have to be, “If this all happened in Rapid City, South Dakota; why is the AP story coming out of Omaha, Nebraska?” I’m guessing Rapid City doesn’t rate a story from the AP so they had to find the nearest “real” city.

The police chief’s statement clearly indicated police knew where the suspect lived; the law does not require the assistance of a neighbor, friend, loved one or spouse in apprehending another person with or without a warrant. “Ca-ching!”

In case you’re wondering about the use of “Ca-ching!”; that’s the sound of the civil courts lottery cash register being loaded in favor of Jene Newsome when all the smoke clears.

Jene Newsome wasn’t parading about town with a sign announcing her relationship with another woman or anyone for that matter. Her lesbian marriage, while difficult to fathom by many members of our society, was legal and had been kept under the radar of the military in accordance with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy; that is, until a police officer allegedly peeked through the kitchen window and decided to share what he’d seen.

It would appear the police officer who shared what he saw with the folks at nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base violated his oath of office and probably several rules and regulations within the Rapid City Police Department. How’d you like to be writing a letter up the chain of command explaining this one, much less have to stand in front of a panel of jurors? Jene Newsome’s rights were trampled on, her career has been destroyed along with the trauma of going through the public mockery of her lifestyle. Beyond that, a police chief believes these actions were appropriate; no citizen is safe with that kind of approach to police work.

“Even though 80 percent of “don't ask, don’t tell” discharges come from gay and lesbian service members who out themselves, third-party outings are “some of the most heinous instances of ‘don't, ask, don’t tell,’” said Nathaniel Frank, a research fellow with the Palm Center think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a New York University professor.”

Ray Bradbury wrote, Fahrenheit 451, many years ago. There were several social issues brought to light; but for today I’ll only mention two of them.

In the pasteurized world of the book burners, neighbors could turn in anyone suspected of hiding books; all it took was an anonymous tip. There were no consequences for turning in your neighbor, your friend or even your spouse; it was your civic duty, a means of keeping society running smoothly. The “firemen” would be alerted, storm the house of the suspect, burn any books found and haul the individual off to a rehabilitation center.

The idea of a third party destroying the life of any individual, maliciously or inadvertently under our constitutional form of government should be a warning to us all. We live in a land where our founding documents define each individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness along with the right to be secure in their homes. There isn’t a clause which gives your neighbor additional rights or the police powers to remove those rights; quite the contrary, we have a Bill of Rights to protect us from such violations.

Paper burns when it reaches 451 degrees Fahrenheit; books are the stored knowledge of our society and once burned that part of our collective progress is gone. Our nation has as its foundation, divinely inspired documents, documents which are being burned away; a line here and a line there. Once the standard to which we’ve been raised has been destroyed through neglect or intentional abuse we’ve burned it; or am I mistaken?

In my reading of history I ran across many references to the Brown Shirts of Nazi Germany; one written by Gareth Jones, Germany Under the Rule of Hitler , does as good a job as any explaining the dangers of throwing away the safeguards which keep a nation free.

“They have created a secret police, which will make still more nebulous any freedom of expression which may remain.”

In our day, individual liberties are being cast aside; does it matter what color shirt the policeman wears as he/she destroys our God given rights; brown or blue? I don’t think many of us will remember Jene Newsome's name a year from now or that a police officer appears to have shared information which wasn’t his to share; but if our police departments are not working to defend and protect individual rights they’re not much different than Hitler’s Brown Shirts.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Invitation to Local Burglars

In one of my early meetings at church this morning someone mentioned how dumb it was announcing to the world, via the internet, your comings and goings. I decided it was time to have some fun, having read some unbelievably revealing entries in the past.

Use this short letter as a model, changing details to fit, as you let all your friends on Twitter and Facebook know you’ll be on Spring Break, Vacation or just going to the ball game next Friday. As you press the “send button” on your computer, remember; it won’t just be your close circle of friends reading this.

Hey Guys, Fred and I are leaving for our trip to Disney World in a few minutes; wanted to let you know not to expect any postings for a while. We’ll take lots of pictures and share them when we get back Tuesday the 30th.

This part’s for Nan who’ll be taking care of Fluffy: We left the key to the house under the back door floor mat. There’s an extra container of Fluffy’s food in the garage all the way in the back by the freezer if you run low. There isn’t much room to squeeze by; just back Fred’s Mercedes onto the driveway if you need to, key’s on the dinning room table. He worries more about getting a scratch on that car than about the cat; you know how men are about their toys.

Fluffy like’s attention so just sit with her a few minutes and rub behind her ears and she’ll start purring up a storm. We left an extra couple of hundred dollars on the kitchen nook table if you need anything; right next to the envelope with our veterinarian’s emergency phone number and address. If that’s not enough there’s a Master Card in the envelope clipped to a note giving you permission to act in our behalf.

The automatic timer is set so don’t be alarmed if you notice the lights and television on. Fluffy likes to sit on the cable box next to the big screen television, keeps her warm at night. If she’s not there, try looking in the bedroom; she hides in that crawl space under the bed. You might have trouble seeing her because we stashed the silverware and my good jewelry in some old shoe boxes; Fluffy thinks it’s her private cave.

I almost forgot, the code to disable the alarm system is 8514, same as our house numbers. You know how Fred has trouble remembering numbers now that he’s retired; so it’s the same combination for the safe in his closet. For a man who worked with large sums of cash at the bank before retiring you’d think he could remember, oh well.

We’re expecting a delivery of gold coins from that place we found on the internet so make sure you check the mailbox; just put it in the floor safe. You should look into that; we’ve been buying from them for years now and they don’t charge a delivery fee on orders over $10,000.

We had the newspaper shut off while we’re gone; wouldn’t want to alert the bad guys that the house will be empty all week.

Gotta’ go now, I’ll Twitter everyone as soon as we land in Orlando. Love to all, Dottie.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

DWI’s Were My Favorite Arrest

Looking at the calendar, it’s hard to believe I retired from the Houston Police Department 18 years ago; how can that be? Time is one of those intangibles created to make things less confusing and remind us of our mortality.

There’s a story by Hasti Taghi on KPRC’s website, Officer’s Out For Drunken Driving Crackdown  which jogged my memory; some of the best times on night shift had to be arresting DWI suspects. The story related how money from “impaired driving mobilization grants”, in other words federal tax dollars, would highlight the surge of DWI’s that happen each year around the Rodeo and Spring Break.

I don’t want to get into the finance side of police work, overtime pay for special operations or politics today; just the singularly gratifying aspect of getting a dangerous driver off the street from a line officer’s point of view. Making an arrest for DWI made a complete package from the time the driver displayed erratic movement, stopping that vehicle, verifying his/her state of intoxication, the official breath test and formal interview done by the Accident Division, walking the suspect to the jail doors and lastly; the paper work, to include the filing of charges. This made for a satisfying process, a validation of the original observation.

Hasti’s story brought up the fact; Rodeo time in Houston brings out a rash of DWI’s and extra dangers to anyone who shares the roadway with them. There will also be plenty of extra police units out with only one purpose, to spot and arrest folks who’ve been out drinking and driving.

One night I got behind a DWI suspect driving an SUV on Long Point near Campbell. His vehicle was doing a bob and weave as it went down the street, occasionally taking a bite out of the raised curb and then over reacting as he crossed over into the adjacent lane; half a mile or so was enough as I put on the emergency lights and added some noise.

After getting him pulled over, a well dressed man in a business suit wearing a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo button on his lapel greeted me and expected the “good ol’ boy” treatment since he was a big “muckity-muck” with the Rodeo. He was a good sized fellow and before he could blink he was cuffed and in the back seat of my patrol car.

“You’d never have gotten those cuffs on me if I knew you were gonna’ arrest me”

He might have had a point there; but I’d never let size keep me from getting the job done in the past and wasn’t about to start with him. I went through my own verification process; a good whiff of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech and his inability to remain focused while I spoke with him. His recitation of the alphabet left much to be desired as I took dictation, “A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, R, F, G…” I’ve taken some liberties with the exact order he supplied that night thirty plus years ago; but you get the idea.

About a year later I got subpoenaed as a witness on his case. His lawyer explained to the judge how it was all a mistake; that his client had borrowed a friend’s SUV and its handling characteristics were unfamiliar which may have looked as if he were out of control. The lawyer then added how his client was vice president of a local bank, an upstanding member of the community who would never endanger anyone.

I had my notes, the ones taken during the field interview. The prosecutor brought up the alphabet portion and how anyone, much less a vice president of a bank could do so poorly; sarcasm dripped with each point. The confidence level of the defense attorney faded as he watched his client sputter; looking at his shoes while trying to explain away slurred speech and the inability to recite the alphabet, as if a borrowed SUV had anything to do with being intoxicated.

DWI is an equal opportunity offense; anyone, rich or poor, can find a bottle and a set of car keys. Go out and enjoy the Rodeo and spring break; but remember, life’s tough enough without having to sober up, hire a lawyer, pay court costs and visit a probation officer each month. It will be that much harder if you crash your car or end up killing someone; is it worth the risk?

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Shame of America or is that Sham?

Our founders must be spinning in their graves watching what’s going on in Washington. The efforts of men like Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton are being slashed to pieces in order to force unpopular legislation through. The safeguards built into the legislative process are being sidestepped in the name of expediency. You could say our Republican form of government was being slaughtered.

Bill Wilson’s Daily Grind, an internet publication which comes to my email, had a political cartoon  summarizing the mindset of Democrats in congress, specifically the suggestion by congresswoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D) of New York, to do away with voting on the health care bill and simply say it was approved so it can move along. The fact that such an option has been seriously discussed and might be used is beyond the pale for folks who took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Moving right along with underhanded political strategies intended to sidestep the legislative process, a process put in place to protect liberty and freedom for as long as the sky is blue and rivers flow to the sea, a means to regulate the powers of congress from within; enter Harry Reid and the nuclear option , also called reconciliation, to force health care reform down our throats.

The health care reform bill has yet to be finalized and they want an up or down vote on it. They claim that once Obama signs it, any issues which might need fixing can be dealt with later.

My father in law was a carpenter. The old rule governs equally as well in other areas; “Measure twice, cut once”, applies to legislative issues. If they couldn’t get it right the first time; what makes anyone believe they will even try later, once they’ve gotten their way?

“But, because Democrats passed a full health reform bill in December with 60 votes and are only proposing to make changes to that through reconciliation, it’s easier for them to argue that those changes are simply about making the bill fit the overall budget.”

That wouldn’t be so bad if the changes made had anything to do with the budget; however, the changes made have to do with major issues such as abortion, mandatory enrollment of businesses and individuals to health care through legislation. In other words individual liberties are being destroyed under the guise of saving money; that’s not a budgetary issue and doesn’t qualify for reconciliation.

Over the years I’ve seen this kind of political tomfoolery from both sides of the isle; the idea that winning at any cost justifies the methods used. I’m sorry; but the blood of patriots spilled on battle fields to protect individual God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness deserve better than the likes of Slaughter, Pelosi, Reid and Obama’s determination to eradicate the free market systems which supply health care and its associated insurance paths. These folks are intent on destroying an individual’s choice by having government mandates when it comes to health care and other areas of life.

It won’t be long before the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights will be taken off display; they will only be painful reminders of how it used to be. In their place will be empty frames, much like the promises made by congress to uphold these sacred documents and what they stand for.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Census Jobs No Different Than Welfare

Some folks are overjoyed at the prospect of creating nearly 800,000 new jobs for the Census Bureau . I see very little difference between being on welfare or working for the government; they both involve redistribution of wealth from folks who actually produce goods and services in the private sector to folks who just want a pay check, a huge difference if you consider the impact on the economy.

“Honey I have great news. I got me a government job that will last only a couple of months at best; but we’re still eligible for 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.”

No real jobs are being created, at least nothing that will strengthen the economy; government jobs are expenses which have to be paid for by taxing the private sector. It’s all smoke and mirrors for a compliant news media, a diversion from reality now that the Olympics have concluded and we’re waiting to see who makes the Final Four in basketball.

The national treasury is already in debt far beyond our ability to pay, to the point where foreign governments holding our markers have begun to call in those markers.

Trade agreements with China come to mind as they’ve become the most powerful holder of our debt. I don’t think the term free trade really applies as China is now in a position to dictate terms of trade rather than openly trade with U.S. companies.

Some products from China are inferior, or worse, health hazards. Recently questions have been raised about the safety of Chinese dry wall products showing up in newly constructed houses in Florida, a product which smells of rotten eggs and destroys wiring within the walls. I don’t think the Chinese care as long as we keep buying other inferior products, toys contaminated with lead or pirated movies and software.

Our balance of trade with China is strained to say the least, quoting from a report prepared as a brief for Congress by Wayne M. Morrison dated April 13, 2001.

“U.S.-China commercial ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. Total U.S.-China trade rose from $17.8 billion in 1989 to $ 116.4 billion in 2000. Yet, U.S.-China economic ties have been strained by a number of issues. For example, U.S. policymakers have expressed concern over the surging U.S. trade deficit with China, which rose from $6 billion in 1989 to nearly $84 billion in 2000. Many analysts blame the burgeoning trade deficit on China's restrictive trade and investment practices.”

Let me run that by one more time, “…policymakers have expressed concern over the surging U.S. trade deficit with China.” That was nine years back; but the only things which have change are the number of attacks on the free market system along with the frequency of those assaults. Are we less dependent on foreign oil or more?  What about EPA restrictions so burdensome as to make it impractical to build refineries. Add to that the threat by our current administration to put the coal businesses out of business and it all adds up to shutting down the economy rather than growing one.

More recently, according to an article by Patrick Heller , posted on March 9, 2010, “Something is developing in China which will have a major impact on the value of the US dollar and the price of gold.”

How much more difficult can we make it on ourselves, continually adding to an already staggering debt? The value of our Dollar is in jeopardy because of reckless spending by congress, decades of entitlement programs and pork barrel items from both sides of the isle have become accepted as the way things are done in Washington. The Treasury Department has the most efficient printing presses in the world working around the clock destroying the value of what money supply is already out there.

How will spending money that we don’t have solve our indebtedness problems, money that won’t be collected for decades to come? The answer is; it will only make the debt worse.

“But we’re helping 800,000 people who’ve lost their jobs get back on their feet”, I can hear the violins in the background. In that case, let’s drill for oil, grab some coal out of the ground, build refineries and power plants. Once the entrepreneurs are reassured that their government is on their side real jobs will automatically be the result as production rather than reduction turns the economy around. We have idiots running our country!

“Forecasters had been expecting the Chinese government to allow the yuan to rise possibly 5% against the US dollar by the end of 2010. Any shift in value between the two currencies is important as the Chinese government held $894.8 billion in US Treasury debt as of the end of last December and about 2/3 of the country’s $2.4 trillion in reserves are denominated in US dollars. If the dollar were to decline against the yuan, that would also reduce the value of China’s reserves.”

That means China is putting up with our reckless ways because they’re holding far too many of our Dollars, money which only has value as long as our means of production back it up. If not for that China would drop us like a hot potato and we’d be just another third world country with our hands out. Come to think of it, we’re pretty close to that now as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attempts to shore up relations with our benefactors in China. For all her saber rattling, we’re sending Dragon Lady over to China hat in hand.

The foundations of production are being hand cuffed with the threat of Cap & Trade legislation which will raise the cost of energy several fold. Why would anyone consider investing capitol to expand industry when their own government was doing its level best to destroy them? Competing in the world market with mandated expenses included in health care reform is just another example of government control over industry as a recipe for a declining economy.

When those new Census workers sign on, will they have suits made in America or China? How much will these folks get paid and will it be more than folks working in the private sector? Will they be required to join a union and how long are they to remain on the government payroll or hadn’t anyone bothered to think this thing through past the immediate press release, “800,000 new jobs”? Washington mentality will bankrupt us all; tell me again, how’s that hope and change working out?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frustrations with Blogger

Before I get started let me make it clear that I’m grateful beyond being able to express my gratitude to the folks at Blogger for providing a medium which permits just about anyone with internet connections the ability to rant on and on about anything they so desire at no expense. I’m sure they make money from their services; just not directly from me. Thank you; it would be a sin and a shame for me not to acknowledge such a neat service.

Okay, why am I frustrated with Blogger? It has to do with Blogger having a will of its own, so to speak, when uploading articles for publication. Maybe it’s just the dummy on the keyboard, maybe not; but I’ve been having the devil of a time of late.

Yesterday when attempting to post Bing This I ran across some significant challenges. Granted, there were some built in facets which required planning and execution; tabbed quotations and colored background on certain paragraphs led the way. What turned out to be the straw, the straw that broke this camel’s back, was watching Blogger reorganize the article, placing entire paragraphs helter-skelter each time I went in to edit. Any seemingly insignificant alteration moved paragraphs from the middle of the article all the way to the bottom.

I almost gave up on that particular post; but remembered a trick from long ago. I grabbed the entire article and dropped it into a temporary Notebook “txt” file. At that point it washed away any hidden commands and let me post back to Blogger. That worked fine until I attempted to tab over the quotations; you’d have thought I shot my computer in the gut the way it treated my article. I decided to settle for less than planned for; but close enough for “government work”.

Today was a re-run of the same issues while posting, Houston’s Metro a Microcosm of Washington , and without the back colored lines for effect. The tabbed quotations worked just fine; that is until chaos broke out each time I tried to edit the post, the post which showed up beautifully once, now started moving paragraphs all over the article. Why is that, Blogger fans?

I did away with tabbed quotations and made sure not to do any editing, none. That worked and I guess I’ll have to live with these new limitations; no editing, zip, nada and zilch!

I did have to go back over to my Facebook account, delete the reference link I’d established after having seen what I thought was the finished product, re-enter the link with the newly assigned URL and call it a morning. Gosh and oh by golly that was fun, now where’s that bear with the tooth ache?

I think from now on I’ll simply leave a comment after the article has been published instead of taking the chance Frankenstein’s Monster will show up if I attempt to edit, even making a spelling correction. Now I can let out a sigh, breathe in, breathe out and get on with my day.