Monday, October 31, 2005

Regarding Alito

At this point I don't know too much about him but the moonbats over Dailykos are going ballistic, and that is definitely a point in his favor. If they don't like him, he must be doing something right but that alone is not enough to approve or disapprove of him. I need to know more, especially about whether or not he is strict-constructionist or one of those imbeciles who see the Constitution as a "living document"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Wiccans get a tax deduction

I see that in the Netherlands, Wiccans are now allowed to write off their religious studies on their income tax. I personally don't see a problem with that, even though I am a Christian. If I am given a deduction for what I do for my religion so should they. I have no problem, and agree with the government being neutral on religion. Protecting their religious rights lays a stronger foundation for the protection of my rights.

But when unelected government officials tell me to shut up about my religion yet non-Christians are allowed to take theirs into the schools or they are given sympathetic treatment by the media and we are mocked it is time to draw the line. My problem is not with the defending of the rights on non-Christians so much as it is the failure to defend the rights of Christians. Some seem to think that because we are the majority religion in this country, we are morally obligated to shut up, sit down and take it. Well we are not going to.

I will defend the religious freedoms of non-Christians but I will also defend my own.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Jeff Gannon Speaks Out

Jeff Gannon has a post comparing what Libby did to some of the shenanigans of the Clinton Administration. Bush still looks squeaky clean compared to Slick Willy and Madam Hillary. (No administration is spotless, and the Libby affair is definitely unacceptable, but if this is the worst they can come up with, then it was a waste of time)

It was also a waste of time prosecuting Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky because it distracted from the serious crimes that were being commited in the White House at that time, (Which Gannon's post briefly touches on.) I belief the MSM used this to draw attention away from the real crimes that their man Bill was involved in. (See Gannon's post for an abbreviated list)

Friday, October 28, 2005

An Apologist for North Korea

The Ashes of Tyranny blog just came acrossed a blog by a woman in North Korea who seems to be defending the government of Kim Jong Il of North Korea. Of particular interest was a piece bragging of the progress that North Korea has made inspite of evil America's efforts to blockade them, which was taken from the Chinese Xinhua news agency.

Where do I begin?

49,000 power plants and factories in the past 10 years?!? (Yet in 2003 they produced 1/16 of the power South Korea produced.)

1000 Kilometers of new roads, that's about 600 + miles. There are more miles of country roads in the Michigan county that I live in. (and that county is a little less than 500 square miles.)

Increased food production? Why are they begging for food? Why are people starving?

Isn't it odd that the weather that has hampered their food production has not harmed China, Japan, South Korea, or Eastern Russia?

As far as improving the living conditions of North Korea, Democratic Peace Blogger RJ Rummel says it better than I ever could with this brilliant peice.

This ain't pretty

Super-blogger Michelle Malkin has a link to a blog called Riding Sun that shows a series of paintings done in Europe to portray what at least one European "intellectual" thinks of Americans. It is disturbing and sad. It is also cliche' filled, unoriginal garbage. One of the commentators at Riding Sun correctly calls it "Norman Rockwell for the hate America crowd." That is quite a good description.

Europe has double digit unemployment, massive taxes and an economy that makes ours look hyper-prosperous. The Euros who think like this artist (ahem) need a clue and need to take a good hard look at their own societies.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This is not important to most, but ...

This weekend begins the Michigan High School Athletic Association's football playoff's for the state championships. This started shortly after I graduated and I believe it is a good thing to depend on something other than the polls to determine who the best is, and the best have the right to prove it on the field of honor (the football field).

One of the most pathetic things about the NCAA is its stubborn refusal to do away with this misnamed Bowl Championship Series and have a real test to see who the best is. After the Bowl games end, we know who the top four teams are or at least we have a good idea. Let the top four teams have a playoff to be followed by a College Superbowl. Let the best team in college football prove it by beating the others on the field.

I know it's not earth-shatteringly important but I thought I'd say something.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

War Deaths - A historical context

Here are the casualty numbers from one DAY in WWII. (Admittedly that was a battle like no other but still - how would the press handle those numbers today?)

Or how many died in just a few weeks in Iwo Jima? Find out here.

Could President Bush seriously consider this which Truman considered?

"From 3:30 to 5:00 P.M. the President conferred with the Joint Chiefs of Staff [Leahy, Marshall, Admiral Ernest King, and Lt. General Ira Eaker for General Henry Arnold], the Secretary of War [Henry L. Stimson], the Secretary of the Navy [James Forrestal], and Assistant Secretary of War [John J.] McCloy, in regard to the necessity and the practicability of an invasion of Japan. General Marshall and Admiral King both strongly advocated an invasion of Kyushu at the earliest practicable date.
General Marshall is of the opinion that such an effort will not cost us in casualties more than 63,000 of the 190.000 combatant troops estimated as necessary for the operation (emphasis added).
The President approved the Kyushu operation and withheld for later consideration the general occupation of Japan. The Army seems determined to occupy and govern Japan as is being done in Germany. I am unable to see any justification from a national defense point of view for a prolonged occupation of Japan. The cost of such an occupation will be enormous in both lives and treasure." (shoprat's note - much of this essay is quite a worthwhile read)

I am saddened that we have lost 2000 of our very best, but we are either defeating or at least seriously harming a man every bit as murderous as Hitler or Imperial Japan at a much lower cost.

More GM Layoffs

The plant that makes the Chevy SSR, sort of a combination pick-up truck and roadster, is shutting down for six weeks, idling 400 workers plus part suppliers. Fortunately, my company is not involved with this particular program.

What is sad is that these employees have been laid off for3o weeks so far this year, which includes this current layoff. Link to story.

GM and the UAW need to face reality and adjust to it. While I don't put a whole lot of stock in Darwin, the idea of "adapt or die" is an undeniable fact of existance. GM does not rule the roost anymore and they need to learn how to live with this fact. The hourly employees and retirees have to face the reality of either losing a lot or losing everything, and they too must learn to live with this.

There is also this from the opinion page of the Lansing State Journal, and I have to agree with this line.

"And even with wage limits, GM jobs remain some of the most lucrative in the manufacturing world".

This commentator goes on to use this as an excuse for a federal healthcare policy but that only transfers the problem to the government and does not solve the root of healthcare problems in America.

Meanwhile Governor Granholm is at least talking to the Big 3 and Congress and some of her ideas have merit but others are little more than political grandstanding. I would urge her to go to Japan, South Korea etc and make a pitch to their companies to open plants in Michigan or at least the Midwest.

A federal automotive summit may not be a bad idea, but I wish Senator Clinton would stay away from it; she is creates more problems than she solves and needs to get out of public life.

Welcome Brainster Visitors

First I wish to thank Brainster for recommending my blog and secondly to welcome those who visit. I may not be world class but I do try.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2000 Deaths

2000 people dying is not a good thing but their deaths must not be in vain. According to the site Body Count between 26000 and 30000 Iraqis have died in the conflict. This breaks it down a little bit, but fails to give some information that would be quite useful.

I would like to know
How many civilians were targeted and killed by the Coalition
How many civilians were killed by accident or collateral damage by the Coalition.
How many civilians were killed by the insurgency.
How many of the civilians were actually insurgents.

The information that is given is good for propoganda but useless for analysis.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brazil chooses freedom

The people of Brazil have chosen to remain free. Gun violence is not the results of guns but of evil people not being afraid to use their guns, and if they did not have guns they would use other means to kill people. (Gunpowder did not exist in Europe during most of the dark ages, and consider how non-violent that gun-free era was!). I do not care for violence, but I do believe that an armed population is the foundation of freedom and that an armed nation is a free nation. The right to defend yourself is a fundamental human right and anyone who weakens or takes away that right is an enemy of human rights.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

These Photos are Beyond Disturbing

These pictures are horrible and disturbing beyond belief, and I wish they didn't exist, or rather, that the reality they portray didn't exist. Sadly it exists and there is so little that I can do about it. They are comparable to the pictures of stacked corpses in the Nazi Death Camps yet these people are still alive, but doomed, in some of these pictures. They are pictures of Chinese citizens being prepared for execution and executed.

Proffessor R. J. Rummel of Blog Democratic Peace, first posted the links. I used alta-vista's Babel Fish to translate some of the Chinese writing around them and it was just matter of fact statements that these were people being executed.

The links to the pictures are here, here, here, here, here and here. WARNING: They are horrible.

I never want to see these pictures again, yet believe that they need to be seen. China leads the world in executions and has over 50 crimes that allow for the death penalty. I believe that it is appropriate to execute a person guilty of murder, but, in my opinion, no other crime should recieve the death penalty. I do not believe that all of these people were murderers.

Friday, October 21, 2005

This had me almost giggling.

The blog Regime Change in Iran has a posting about Iran's Supreme Ruler, "Allah on earth", Khamenei buying a jet, because as God's man on earth, he is above President Bush and should have his own personal plane like Bush has Air Force One. He bought it and had it sent to France to be appropriately reconfigured for his purposes, and then discovered he could not legally bring it into Iran because it was partly American made, and thus illegal to import.

Snicker, snicker, snicker

Thursday, October 20, 2005

In My Own Shop

Things are slow and uncertain but not nearly as bad as they were last Summer. We are now working pretty much full time, but still missing a couple of hours or so most weeks and occassionally a day. It is hard financially but not unsurvivable.

Actually I consider us to be somewhat fortunate. Our lower but adequate pay allows our employer to be more competitive than some of the "good paying jobs", which in turn improves the chances of my employer surviving this business-wide shakeup. I would like make more but in the auto industry today, it just may not be possible to make a whole lot more. Sadly, the days of good paying factory jobs for unskilled or partially skilled labor is gone, probably forever.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


This happens from time to time. A man sues God.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Does China Think We're Stupid

I congratulate the Chinese for the successful flight of Shenzou, their first two man flight and hope they continue.

That being said, will someone please tell me what is wrong with that picture of the Shenzou landing?

Does China really need to photoshop these pictures to make them more spectacular than they really are? Remember Xinhua is the official Chinese News Source.

Thank you Small Dead Animals

American Thinker looks at Delphi

The American Thinker has posted an excellent, well thought out, article on the collapse of Delphi and discusses the possible coming collapse of General Motors. Autoworkers need to be reading this and not the useless propoganda put out in Solidarity Magazine (a magazine we get from the union)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Saudi Blog

I am always on the lookout for blogs from other countries, especially the blogs of people who want to be free. Today I found a sadly humorous blog by a Saudi who lives in Britian talking about his society.

I especially like this remark from his posting on Saudi schoolbooks.

Examples? Well, there's suicide. From Islamic Jurisprudence, Grade 10, (2001)

The abundance of suicide cases in Western societies is surely because of their great distance from the true divine source. In the light of the exaggeration on the part of some Muslims in praising those societies, while they pay no attention to their bad side, we thought it advisable to discuss the suicide issue, because of its danger, being part of the premeditated murder category.

We don't have a suicide problem in Saudi Arabia. Any potential suicides, we export them to Iraq. Or put them on a plane in the USA.

The blog is The Religious Policeman and I hope to be linking to it soon.

A Clarification

I need to clarify something I said earlier. I do not blame Michigan's economic woes on Governor Granholm any more than I blame them on her predecessor, John Engler, or on George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. Michigan's problems are far deeper than any one person can fix or cause, and go into the mindset of many of our citizens, excessive taxes and regulations, out of control unions, and a workforce that has had it too good for too long (not to mention cold winters).

But it is the governor's responsibility and finding someone else to blame is not taking that responsibility.

We need to be friendlier to businesses in both the political and social arenas. Unions need to learn that they need employers or they're out of business and that they need to be a little less greedy and a little less hostile to the people who provide their jobs. Michigan workers (and I am one of these!) need to improve their work ethic and reliability, and in many (but not all) cases, tempor their demands. Business owners need to remember that unemployed (or seriously underpaid) people don't buy their products or their client's products if they cater mostly to wealthy.

I believe that I should be making more than I am, but I also recognize the reality of my employer's situation, and I believe he is doing the best he can for us. That is the most I can demand of anyone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More on Delphi

Well it happened, and a lot of blaming and arguing and anger and lots of other things but very little of it constructive. Delphi declared bankruptcy last Saturday to the ruin of many. There are so many things that have gone wrong here and, in my oppinion, the biggest thing is GREED from top to bottom. Everyone from the CEO to the Janitor was seriously overpaid. 20+ an hour is a wonderful wage, but for unskilled work it is unsustainable, especially when combined with the benefit package these people got. It is wonderful that they could once have it but it is no longer possible.

Detroit News columnist Thomas Bray has an excellent commentary on this.

Our governor has her response here. She is very angry at Washington and the Federal Government but I was not aware that the economy of any given state was the responsiblity of Washington. One thing I do believe very strongly is that all issues are settled best by the smallest unit of government able to deal with it (which makes most issues state and local.) The President, regardless of who he is and what party he belongs to, has 50 states to worry about and he cannot micro-manage Michigan's economy; that is Governor Granholm's job and it's the job she was elected to do.

Governor Granholm, What did you do to try and prevent this? This is your baby. Until now, I was saying that Michigan's economic problems were not entirely your fault, but your reaction to this has caused me to rethink my position.

And almost predictably, the UAW is holding a gun to its own head.

People are going to lose a lot of income, if their lucky and their jobs if their not. We need to correct the problems that are causing Michigan to have the worst economy of any state in the Union. We need solutions, not nasty words.

This is the 13th largest bankruptcy in US history, and my fear is that General Motors itself will one day follow suit.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Is China going to run out of workers?

The American Thinker is one of my favorite websites and carries a lot of interesting, and very thought provoking ideas and information.

One article today suggests that China's one child program is, in just a few years, going to create a shortage of workers, resulting in wages going up, ending the seemingly limitless supply of cheap labor.

I cannot say that it will be soon but this policy of one child is going to be a nail in the coffin of the Chinese economy. Look at the problems we are having with our pensions, when workers still outnumber retirees about 3 to 1. Now China is having fewer total babies every generation which is going to result in a time, possibly within a generation, when China will have more retirees than workers. This pension system will then be an economic nightmare. I think that part of their rush to get a world-class economy going is to help absorb the impact when this happens but that is only going to put off the inevitable.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Fascinating Website

I have just discovered this site which studies the history of Islam. It is a Hindu site and written from their perspective but their study of Islam is quite well done and detailed. It contains truths and historical details that the forces of Political Correctness would never allow a Christian to say.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

An American Colonel Speaks.

Colonel Robert Brown, Commander of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Multinational Force-Northwest, gives a very interesting and insightful press conference. He is very hopeful of Iraq and its people. The transcript of the Press Conference is here. I was going to give a few quotes, but he says so many things that you need to read the whole thing. It is definitely worth the time.

From a link given in the comments section of Iraq the Model

Auto Parts Manufacturer in Serious Trouble

I work for a small industrial paintshop that paints automotive parts, and other things, for several companies and we feel the pinch right now quite badly. However, the auto parts giant Delphi, located less than an hour from me, is in serious trouble and is making huge demands on its workforce. They are asking for a cut from $26.35 and hour to $10 - $12 an hour (which is, by the way, about the pay range of my shop.) I would say a 60% cut in pay is rather draconian, but I also feel that $25+ an hour for unskilled labor is extreme. Most of my co-workers, except for a few Union fanatics, feel the same way, believing that we are underpaid to make up for them being overpaid. (I am specialized labor and make a little under $12 an hour.)

Actually I believe that the 60% cut Delphi is asking the UAW to give is just a starting point for negotiations, and while the workers will have to give up something, possibly a lot of something, it won't be 60%.

I think part of our problem is a lack of history. My generation was born in the 50s and grew up in the 60s, which was, economically speaking, part of a unique period in US economic history. World War II had ended just over 10 years before I was born, and during that war Europe, Japan, Russia and China had been largely reduced to rubble and their economies were in ruins. America and Canada were still intact economically and thus it was going to be very very good for us, at least for a while until the rest of the world got their economy back together. During that time anything seemed possible and we grew up believing it was normal. Unfortunately it wasn't normal but a unique period in US history brought about by our economy being intact while much of the world was in ruins. Now it is back to reality as we are again competing with workers all over the world again.

Friday, October 07, 2005

A Rift (of sorts) in Al Qaeda?

It appears that Al Qaeda has asked to Zarqawi to stop bombing mosques and innocent Muslim civilians, because it is counter-productive to Al Qaeda's long term goals, and Zarqawi is not going to stop, apparently because Sheats are also Infidels. This report is from inside of Iraq.

Iraq the Model

Update: Captain's Quarters has a lot more to say on this but does not see it as a rift.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Britian must change its flag?!?

It seems that the old Confederate flag is demeaning to some demographic group, but so is the British flag. It contains St. George's cross which the British wore during the Crusades. This is supposedly offensive to Muslims and according to some people has to go.

When are we going to stop giving our culture, history and traditions away? Virtually everything is offensive to someone and Truth is the most offensive thing there is. I believe, and I hope that I am not wrong on this, that the United Kingdom is to great of a nation to give in to this sillyness.

It is high time that we draw the line and say "No more!"

Thank you Little Green Footballs

Sunday, October 02, 2005

One Brave Little Girl

Secular Fundamentalists often compare the so-called Religious Right to the Taliban and Islamic militants but I have never heard of any Christian organization of any sort resort to or tolerate anything like this in order to get someone to convert to their religion.

Fortunately the effort failed. May God be gracious to that little girl.

Not as many trips to the theatre

I am reading in several places that the Movie industry is in a slump. I don't know the numbers but I know haven't been to the theatre as often this year as I have in the last few because money is a little tighter.

However, I have seen a few movies and I really liked Batman Begins and Fantastic 4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn't bad but I think I prefer the old Gene Wilder version of it to the new one. (The sets are considerably better in the new version but the script, acting, and singing is better in the old one.) There were a few others I wanted to see but didn't because I spent a good chunk of the summer laid off (autoworker remember) and decided not to waste too much money on movies.

Hollywood however seems to be in a down year. Craig Titley, a columnist has an interesting study on why this slump is happening and what Hollywood needs to do to get out of it, and I think he is right. There have been movies showing how bad Europe was during the crusades and that's why Moslems hate Christians (ignoring the fact that the Crusades were a long overdue counter-offensive against Islamic aggression a few centuries earlier,) but very few movies that actually celebrate America and western culture.

hat tip: Betsy's Page

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Auto Industry Today

It's a tough time to be an autoworker in Michigan, and it does not look like it's going to get any easier in the immediate future. This story is typical of what we are facing. Fortunately, in our case, we are attempting to do more with other industries and some of the auto companies, such as Toyota, that are actually doing fairly well. But it is going to be tough for a while.

I see the Union and Management blaming each other for the problems, and I have to say that I see no innocence anywhere. Until both sides acknowledge that they are partly to blame and both sides make the changes needed our Domestic automakers are going to keep spinning down the drain, and everyone seems to think that the changes needed are someone elses responsibility. Management, Labor and the Public have got to come together and recognize that the survival of all depends on the survival of the company, and differences need to be put aside. Everyone needs to make some sacrifices, and that includes hourlys, management, executives, stock holders, and retirees, and if all the share in the sacrifice, it will be smaller per person.

I don't know about exact numbers, but something reasonable would be that all salaried people give up 5-10% of everything they earn above, say $20,000 to $26,000 per year. Those on pension would take similar cuts. The hourlys would lose 5-10% of everything above $10.00 per hour. I don't know what the exact numbers would need to be, but it's going to be a choice of lose a little bit now or lose everything later

About 20 years ago, Chrysler was in a similar bind and they pulled out of it with a government loan (which they paid back) along with across the board cuts in pay and salary. GM and Ford may have to do the same thing.

Try to Fool Me

I just recieved an E-mail from someone claiming to be Ebay saying I need to update my account "within the next 24 hours". I have never used Ebay nor have I ever opened an account with them. My first thought was Identity Theft so I went to Ebay's site and followed the instructions to report suspected fraud. I read that this is a common tactic for some people to get information on others, useful things like credit card numbers. The link that the E-mail included cannot be found so it looks like someone shut down the operation.

Just Starting

I had a lot of thoughts and ideas just a few seconds ago and now they have disappeared. Well I will start in a while, but I just wanted to set this up and claim it as my own. That is done.