Friday, December 30, 2005

Detroit has massive problems.

As you look at the title I give this post you're probably thinking "No kidding!" and I am not talking about the Tigers and the Lions, though they have problems as well.

The Detroit Free Press has the story. The city faces a $100,000,000 + budget gap next year. They can't rely on property taxes and income taxes are a non-starter when the city has an unemployment rate of almost 15% compared to the states 7.6 percent and the nations 5.2%.

Detroit's problems are not that hard to explain.

1. Extreme left wing government - The Great Lakes answer to San Francisco.

2. Too much dependence on one industry.

3. Brilliant ideas to renovate the city like new Stadiums and Casinos.

4. Living wage laws.

5. Corruption Corruption Corruption

6 Out of control unions -- see #5

7. Work ethic? What's that?

8. Crime.

And here is another wonderful thing from that Article

Detroit remains the nation's poorest big city, with about one in three residents living below the federal poverty level of $19,157 for a household with a family of four.

Looks like that liberal government is really helping the people.

That and the Kittens . . . er . . . I means the Lions and the Tigers.

Update 12/31 11:31 AM I forgot to mention schools so bad that several years ago the governor of Michigan, at that time John Engler, fired the entire school board and had the state take over the schools.

Giving His Top 20

One of the finest, and most underrated, blogs around is RJ Rummels Democratic Peace blog where Proffessor Rummel expounds on his theory that Democracies are more peaceful, prosperous, healthier, and less corrupt than their totalitarian rivals. His posts are long and involved (which challenges me as I have the attention span of a goldfish!) as well as very well documented but almost always worth reading.

Right now he has up his favorite 20 postings and I encourage you to read them.

I encourage you to check Proffessor Rummel daily if possible. If it is a choice of his blog or mine (I know you're not supposed to say this but) read HIS! I wish I could get every politician, educator, labor leader, and journalist to read what he is saying.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Political Achilles' Heel -- For Both Parties!

Bloggers are, almost by definition it seems, political animals and frequently, thought not always, very partisan. That is not necessarily bad but this does lead to a weakness.

There are literally thousands of issues and many issues have multiple facets which means that we are as likely to agree 100% with another person on every issue as we are to share identical DNA. That is good, for the most part, for it makes it more likely that issues will be fully examined and if one idea fails, there are others to take its place, much like survival traits in a species. (As an aside, I do not mean to suggest that I believe in inter-species evolution, but I do believe that survival of the fittest within a species is a reality.)

However, a large number on both sides of the aisle allow their politics to define their beliefs rather than visa-versa. As an example, Jesse Jackson used to be militantly pro-life, proclaiming that abortion was a genocide against blacks, until he ran for president and needed NOW's support (at which point his politics started directing his beliefs.) Al Gore and Bill Clinton used to be pro-life as well. This problem also exists on the political right, but the left seems far more insistent on political conformity aka "Political Correctness". (which I believe is a major weakness of the Democratic Party).

On the other side, our politics sometimes does not allow us to even grudgingly admit when our opponents have a point or do something right. We seem to feel that to ever admit that the "bad guys" did something right or the "good guys" did something wrong is totally unacceptable. For example, did we acknowledge it when Bill Clinton refused to submit Americans the International Court of Justice? He did the right thing in that instance and it should be acknowledged, even if overall I did not like having him for president. I do not need to say that those on the left will never give President Bush credit for any thing he does and will prevent needful things from being done so that he doesn't get credit.

A political party is a consensus of people of varying opinions and this diversity of opinion can be a strength if used properly. We generally agree on the major issues, though disagree on some facets of the issues and differ on lesser issues. If a Democrat votes for something I want passed, then I will thank him and give him ungrudging credit. If a Republican votes against something I care about, well I won't be changing parties over one issue (unless it's a bigee!).

So why do I call this a political Achilles' Heel? The Democrats are determined to prevent President Bush from accomplishing anything, including things that they agree with because they don't want him to go on record as having achieved anything. They are far more obsessed with bringing him down then most Republicans were to bring down Bill Clinton. If he is for it, they are reflexively against it and if he is against it, they are reflexively for it. While many of the GOP went along with Mr Clinton when he made sense, many of the DEMs will oppose Bush on the principal that anything he does is bad because he is evil. They are letting their politics define their stand on the issues rather than letting issues define their politics. This is going to hurt them in '06. And the Republicans need to watch and learn.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Gang Violence in Canada is OUR Fault.

Inspite of extreme gun-control laws, Toronto has had a record year in gun deaths, more than double last years numbers. On Monday, a dispute amongst a dozen or so "youths" resulted in a 15 year old girl, an innocent bystander, being killed. What does the Canadian government have to say?

"It's a sign that the lack of gun laws in the U.S. is allowing guns to flood across the border that are literally being used to kill people in the streets of Toronto," Miller said.

Last time I crossed the Canadian border ( 1989 at Pt. Huron/Sarnia crossing, admittedly it's been a while) I and my car were practically strip searched. They take their border seriously and do watch for these things so how are they overlooking so many guns?

Here is how they plan to fix the problem.

The escalating violence prompted the prime minister to announce earlier this month that if re-elected on January 23, his government would ban handguns. With severe restrictions already in place against handgun ownership, many criticized the announcement as politics.

Laws against guns don't stop criminals from getting them or using them. Laws are only obeyed by law-abiding people who normally don't go around killing people, so gun control laws are useless in stopping murder. They only serve to keep law-abiding citizens defenseless.

Canada is reaping the results of what they have done with multi-culturalism, liberal ideology, and pointless anti-Americanism.

Of course some Canadians are looking at it sensibly.

John Thompson, a security analyst with the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute, says the number of guns smuggled from the United States is a problem, but that Canada has a gang problem -- not a gun problem -- and that Canada should stop pointing the finger at the United States.
"It's a cop out. It's an easy way of looking at one symptom rather than addressing a whole disease," Thompson said.

H/T Camp Katrina

Update 12/29 10:35 AM
Crittermusings also has a posting on this shooting that links to a Toronto Newspaper report on it. Both the posting and the link are valuable reads.

Same old stuff

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently stunned the world by claiming the Holocaust never happened. Now he wants to appoint a committee to prove it.

Tomorrow he will appoint one to prove that the earth is flat and that the sun circles the earth.

(Sigh - Shake head - carry on)

H/T The American Thinker

Update 2:08 PM Confederate Yankee has some info on at least one nation prepared to do something about it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

How Do You Not Call it Evil Part 2

About 2 Weeks ago I linked to and commented on an article in The Gates of Vienna blog about some Islamic boys targeting and raping non-Islamic women. Today Front Page Magazine is also carrying this story.

What differs in this one though is that the article points out what is happening to journalists and legal authorities who honestly report what is going on. The leftists are trying to cover up what is becoming an epidemic in some parts of the world.

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Hanukah Reflection

As Hanukah begins Jews, both observant and secular, celebrate the festival of lights and the American Spectator Online has a very good article by Jay D Homnick on the meaning of Hanukah. [ Which by the way, I have always spelled with two k's but this writer uses one, I guess I was mistaken. :-) ] The origin of Hanukah and the story of the Maccabbees is known to most students of the Bible, but Mr. Homnick adds some thought to it.

When the Maccabbees began their gorilla war against Antiochus Epiphanes' people Judaism was at a very low ebb and it looked like it was going down forever to the Greek culture and religion. Just a few faithful Jews stood up and in the end triumphed over unbelief and secularism. As he points out, it starts near the Solistice, the very day this part of the world gets the least amount of sunlight, yet the light grows and never fades. This parallels that the Word of God will always triumph even if it appears to be losing.

He than points out that Christianity and Judaism seem to never fade no matter how many concerted efforts are taken at their eradication. It does not matter if it is other religions or Atheism (which I consider a religion anyway) are attacking, in the end they always fail.

As I think of Christianity and Judaism surviving overwhelming odds, I think of this passage of Scripture from Revelation 11.

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, dressed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the Earth. And if anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. Revelation 11: 3 - 5

Then I answered and said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on the left? And I answered the second time and said to him, "What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves" So he answered me saying, "Do you not know what these are?" and I said, "No my lord." Then he said, "These are the two annointed ones who are standing beside the Lord of the whole earth." Zechariah 4: 11-14

One must remember that the main ingredient of the oil that lit the lamps was olive oil, which signifies both the Spirit and Word of God, which in turn lights the light of truth, both literally and symbolically. I am of the opinion, though I cannot absolutely prove it, that these two olive trees and witnesses (who are identified as one and the same in Revelation) are the true Church and the true Israel. We together are the ones who help light up the world with the Word of God and the reality of His existence. The message of Hanukah is for all believers.

Happy Hanukah. Light the candles (both literally and figuratively).

These Guys Deserve to be Remembered.

If you're under 40, you have perhaps never heard ofthe World Football League that existed in 1974-75. The league was a joke and if you do any study of it at all, you will come to that conclusion.

But one team stands out. They did not win the championship but they came close. They did something no professional football player would ever do today.

That team was the Florida Blazers. They went almost the entire season without getting paid because the team could not afford to pay them. They were angry about it and took it out on the other teams in the league (many of whom were poorly paid). They came within one play of winning the Championship (The World Bowl). Could you imagine professional football players doing that today?

Could you imagine a unpaid professional football player saying this:
"We've made up our minds that we're going to win the championship," offered wide receiver Hubie Bryant, "They've done everything else to us, but if we win the championship, they can't take that away from us."

In the greed that often consumes professional sports today, the spirt and focus of a team that faced this much adversity, on and off the field, and almost won it all deserves to be remembered.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

And the WORD became flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and we have beheld His glory, glory as of One begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

"The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."

Merry Christmas everyone.

Will be gone, maybe for a couple of days.

They're Looking for NUKES fer Crying Out Loud!!!!

Well our oh-so-loyal MSM is giving away another one of the surveillance methods the feds are using to protect us. It seems they are using equipment to detect radiation levels at know Islamic sites to detect possible nuclear weapons, and God Forbid!! They are doing so without search warrants?

US News and World Report has the story. (H/T Drudge Report)

When will we these people understand that these monsters want to KILL US!!!!!

**Sigh!** I can see it now.

Attorney: Your Honor, These fascists took my client's nuclear bomb away from him, not only illegally but following an equally illegal search. The fact that he had an atomic bomb is irrelevant. They have absolutely no proof he intends to use it!

Judge: I am forced to agree. The state must return the defendant's property.

I am forced to consider the author of the article, David E. Kaplan, a traitor along with the editors US News and World Report for publishing this. Don't they understand that the survival of our country is at stake?

Friday, December 23, 2005

If He Were Born Today.

The Shrinkette has a post that should make you laugh and think at the same time.

Would He Honor-Kill His Niece?

I think he probably would if he got the chance.

Osama Bin Laden's niece, Wafah Dufour, is a pretty woman and appears to have totally rejected her monstrous uncle, even to the point of changing her name to disassociate herself from him and his cause. Both Yahoo and the Drudge Report have the story. (though Drudge connects to Sydney Morning Herald.) She has posed in very scanty dress for GQ magazine. While I question the propriety of this, I do not believe it is a crime or anything she should be punished for.

During a Barbara Walter's interview it was stated that
Dufour's passport is American, her education European, her heritage Saudi Arabian. She is also the niece of Osama bin Laden. Dufour told Barbara Walters she has "never met him" but still can't escape the name.
"No, I can't. Unfortunately," said Dufour.
She has adopted her mother's maiden name, Dufour, and is now looking to develop a singing career after spending several years living in the United States.

She wants to be a performer but will probably never be able to perform in her homeland as I do not doubt that followers of her uncle would try to kill her.

I for one feel that she should not have to suffer in any way simply because she has a madman for an uncle. We can choose our friends but not our relatives.

I have never heard her music and so cannot comment on her talent, but I wish her well.

Regarding Mr. Zuniga

Oh yes ... Markos Moulitsas Zuniga

Betsy's Page has a posting on Mr. Zuniga and his rantings at the DailyKos (or Daily Cuss) and I followed her link to read the article she was discussing.

A few lines from the article need comments.

The myth of Karl Rove, which looms over American politics, and the conviction that the party's wins or losses are a matter of tactics, not substance, has left the Democrats looking for their own master tactician. And some in the party seem to want to see Moulitsas in that role.

I hear a lot of conservative commentators criticizing the Democrats for exactly that reason. People need substance and substance is what wins elections. What you do after you win (a point brought by the writer later in the article) helps determine whether or not you get re-elected which is a big part of winning and a point on which Mr. Zuniga is quite weak.

“They want to make me into the latest Jesse Jackson, but I'm not ideological at all,” Moulitsas told me, “I'm just all about winning.”

Not ideological at all? Actually that is a very scary thing he just said; he just acknowledged that he is the actual "win at any cost" person he accuses Bush of being.

He has the most-visited blog in existence, yet I ask how many of his visitors are like me, people who think he is just plain nuts.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

An Interesting Quote.

I was reading comments at R J Rummel's Democratic Peace Blog when I followed a link which went to a posting at the Huffington Post which was suprisingly thoughtful, but the last paragraph caused my eyes to pop out of my head.

Here is what it said.

Again, I'm all over democracy, within reason. But full-frontal democratic governments, reflecting the will a majority are fine in theory but in practice it's scary as hell. I'm sure that's why we've done away with it here in the United States.


Is it Intelligence?

The American Spectator Online has an excellent article by Dan Peterson on Intelligent Design. He is not so interested in proving or disproving it as he is discussing why the Materialists are struggling so hard to keep it from being heard. At the heart of the struggle is an interpretation of reality itself so profound that the Materialists need to monopolize it for philosophical reasons. ID in and of itself proves no one religion true but does complete devestate one certain religion - the religion of Atheism (and regardless of what anyone says -- IT IS A RELIGION!)

He releases a quote by Richard Dawkins (author of The Selfish Gene) which reveals something quite chilling:

Richard Dawkins, again, exemplifies the mindset. Long before the Dover suit, he argued that libel laws (much more formidable in England than here) should protect "objective truth," and should punish "lies that may not damage particular people but damage truth itself." He would extend legal sanctions to "all deliberate falsifications, misrepresentations, of scientific truth." Why should an individual have to be damaged, he wonders, before we "prosecute a book which wantonly publishes lies about the universe"?

Can you guess which book he is talking about.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Entertainment is Getting Even Worse

A couple weeks ago stomachs were barely holding on to their contents as Brokeback Mountain made its debut, but sadly it gets worse.

How about a musical about incestuous pedophilia; yes you read that right. A stage musical called Love Jerry is going to debut on just that topic. Fortunately it is only a play being performed on one stage at the moment and hopefully it will stay that way. Elitist theatres however seem to judge a movie's worth only on how badly it shocks the unwashed masses so I fear it may turn up in certain theatres.

H/T Jeff Gannon

Here is another beauty that is coming to television.

According to this story from Beliefnet, NBC Television has a real treat in store for people interested in religion: their upcoming drama series, The Book of Daniel, is about a married Episcopal priest, Daniel Webster, who is addicted to Vicodin, who is married and has a gay Republican son and a drug-dealing 16-year-old daughter. The American Family Association notes that the priest's secretary is a lesbian who is sleeping with his sister-in-law. Did I mention he also has a 16-year-old adopted son who is sleeping with the bishop's daughter?

From Touchstone Magazine h/t Anklebiting Pundits

I'm not even going to ask what is next. The link inside the article explains a lot but I'm not so sure I want to know.

Unrest in China

Things are not going very well in China, in fact they are going rather poorly with protests occuring in over 300 cities according to this article in FrontPage Magazine. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is well aware that these circumstances led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Responding to the rise in civil unrest, Vice President Zeng Qinghong wrote, “One important reason the Soviet Union broke up was that in their long time in power, their system of governing became rigid, their ability to govern declined, people were dissatisfied with what officials accomplished and the officials became seriously isolated from the masses.”

To avoid isolation from the masses and a Soviet-styled collapse, the Beijing government has adopted a three pronged, preventive approach to curb civil unrest that includes; greater government control of technology and the flow of information, the restriction or outright elimination of mass assembly and free speech rights and the targeted persecution of organizations designed to expose state-sponsored abuse, false imprisonment and torture.

It seems to me that they are determined to correct the problem by doing more of what is creating the problem. It seems that a major source of this problem is the internet; so what are our friends in the CCP doing about that?

But Beijing’s most formidable adversary in their ongoing fight against civil unrest is the explosive growth of the Internet. With the number of Internet users in China estimated to exceed 100 million in 2005, access to the web is spreading throughout large metropolitan areas and into ancient farming communities where young families are learning the benefits of “going online.”

To combat this unwanted phenomenon, Beijing has recruited an army of 30,000 Internet secret police to monitor bloggers and bulletin board operators with the stated goal to “be proactive in developing discussion, increase control and use the Internet debate to our [CCP’s ] advantage.”

Isn't it amazing that they fear their own people so much. Now a good government is afraid to upset its constituents but these people are only afraid of what the people of China actually think and want.

I do not think the Chinese system can last. They abandoned socialism over a decade ago, sensibly recognizing that it doesn't work, but replaced it with economic facism (ie the investor owns the company but the state operates and controls it, which by the way is the original definition of facism as described by Mussolini.). They have an impossible situation in pensions coming up in just a couple decades plus they have a rich poor divide much worse than ours. Their days may be numbered, but desperation will make them even more dangerous.

Will This Make the News?

The Drudge Report details at least two times that Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter both did what President Bush isn now being raked over the coals for.

H/T Right Wing News

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Now They Care About the Constitution.

We have the First Amendment which gives us a number of freedoms, but leftists did not complain when it was curtailed by hate-speech legislation, campus speech codes, etc.

Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution, yet the leftists do not complain when we are told we can't study the Bible in school, or can't hold (even unofficial) group prayers in school or talk about our beliefs in the presence of someone who might be offended about them.

The Second Amendment gives us the right to keep and bear arms and the left has done everything they can to curtail that right.

The Constitution says we cannot be put in double jeapardy and tried twice for the same crime. Tell that to the cops who were initially acquitted of beating Rodney King. Again the left did not care when the Constitution was trampled, but instead found a loophole to allow a new trial.

Possibly violate the Constitution by gathering intelligence on enemies of this country, people who are planning to kill and enslave us, by a means that might possibly be illegal, but do it to protect us from those in our midst who want to kill us. All of a sudden those who care nothing for the previous violations of the Constitution are screaming about the Constitution being violated.

Good for a Laugh

We knew that Hitler did experiments with magic but Stalin also ordered some experiments that, well let's just say I would have never volunteered to take part in.

Stalin tried to create super-soldiers by cross-breeding men and apes. We know that this is impossible because of different chromosome patterns (which also makes it difficult to see how we could be closely related to apes). But Stalin didn't know that.

Sadly the genuinely brilliant scientist who was ordered to conduct this experiment, Ilya Ivanov, wound up in internal exile because of his failure.

On a more sensible, though still uncertain note, check out what modern scientists believe they may be able to do soon with cloning of animals: bring back the wooly mammoth. I am not certain it will work, but it is of interest.

Hmmm ... Pleistocene Park?

A Perfect Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be two things:

1. The celebration of birth of Jesus

2. A time for the family to get together

Sadly, this joyous occasion is for many a time of stress, tempers, and despair. Part of the reason is we worry too much about making it glorious and absolutely perfect. We lay out huge dinners and put up elaborate displays and often let the traditions drown out the purpose. The stress of seeking perfection often ruins the holiday for eveyone. But there is a way to have a perfect, nearly stress-free, Christmas. Let's have a look at our Lord Himself and see what He says.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord's word, seated at His feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her." (Luke 10: 38 - 42 NASB)

Jesus essentially told Martha that He would rather have her sit next to her sister and spend time with Him rather than on a big meal. He would have been satisfied with their idea of bread and cold-cuts because He was seeking their company above all else. Martha meant well but her concern for a perfect dinner interfered with the whole purpose of Jesus being in that house.

Does that happen at Christmas in your house? Would the children rather have a fancy meal, or would they rather have their parents and grandparents spend time with them and have a very simple meal? The key to a perfect Christmas is to keep it simple and center it on the people around you.


While I was at reading comments at Little Green Footballs, I followed a link to this very disturbing story. It involves the theft of 400 lb of high explosives and 2500 detonators from an engineering firm in New Mexico.

The theft is one of the largest reported cases from a facility in the United States in the last decade ending 2004. During that time, a total of about 1,000 pounds was reported stolen from government facilities in 14 reported incidents. It is unknown whether there is any connection to terrorism.
A special agent at ATF said the incident was unusual because such high-powered material was targeted.
The missing material could potentially make numerous bombs.

I say let's assume it is terrorism until we knew for sure. I'm sure it wasn't taken by the Boy Scouts.

Update 12:28 PM World Net Daily includes a link to a more complete report in the New Mexico Channel News. But Get this:

Gov. Bill Richardson, who learned of the theft Sunday night, recommended not jumping to conclusions about public safety.
He said there is the possibility the explosives were taken simply so they could be sold.
"We don't think there is a threat to New Mexico, we think it may be somebody trying to make a profit or somebody that has a mental problem, but we don't know, so it's important that we move fast," said Richardson.

Even if they are only to be sold, who will be buying them? The Salvation Army perhaps?

Monday, December 19, 2005

About Those Phone Tappings

A clear and honest discussion on this can be read at a blog called The Better Wing. One thing they bring up that I had not considered is the timing, and that the left is using this to draw attention away from the administrations success with the elections in Iraq. (The NYT knew about it a year ago!)

The best arguement I would raise against those who are upset with our President over the wiretappings is this posting in Little Green Footballs.

But those on the left would say "Better 1.6 million dead Americans than 1 possibly illegal wiretap" I would reverse that.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A North Korean Responds

Over at the Ashes of Tyranny blog, KnightofGoodMrIronman posts about the elections in Iraq, mostly in photos.

The first comment is by a person who claims to be a North Korean, Banner of Songun who has what appears to be a North Korean propoganda blog who makes this astonishing observation:

Banner Of Songun said...
Listen, smashing people's fingers with hammers is not something to be proud of, US imperialist.
4:36 AM

It has to be a parody. It just has to be. Nobody could honestly believe what this person is suggesting.

Europe is Finally Getting the Idea

Europe has sent the message that they do not want a terrorist organization in control of the Palestinian government, though I do have to admit that I am curious as to why they did not feel this way about Arafat.

They are threatening to take away their a good chunk if not all of their aid if Hamas takes control and does not renounce violence.

Solana said a Palestinian government that includes a party that fails to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist could not continue to receive EU funding. The Palestinians receive about $1 billion a year in international aid — about half the Palestinian Authority's budget — and EU assistance is slated to reach $312 million in 2006.

I have two questions.

1. What took them so long?

2. Are they serious about it?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Broken Clock is Right For a Few Seconds

Normally when the ACLU takes a case I almost instinctively say they are wrong, especially when they are protecting the sensibilities of non-Christians. But this time I have to say they are right.

It involves a Moslem in court wishing to place her hand on the Koran rather than the Bible when she swears to tell the truth.

I see no problem here. The oath taken should be one that the oath-taker would take very seriously and I do not believe that they would take one on the Bible very seriously. (Actually I think many Jihadists would find it OK to lie to infidels even if they swear on the Koran, but supposed Christians lie in court after swearing on the Bible as well.)

This is not an issue of which book is true but an issue of which book represents an oath that the oath-taker would honor. If this was a question of which book was true, I of course would feel quite differently.

Would we allow a Jew to swear on a copy of the Torah? I would hope so (even though I consider the Koran a total fabrication while I believe the Torah to be true but incomplete, made complete by the New Testament, so I actually respect the Torah.) I would say that people should be allowed to swear any oath that they would be reasonably expected to honor and they would fear to break when giving testimony in court.


Why in the world would anyone do this?

Man makes homeless man drink acid.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This Hollywood Star is Talking Sense (This Time).

Morgan Freeman had an appearance on 60 Minutes in which he said some very good things.

"I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,"

I have always believed there was only one race on this planet and that is the human race. I agree that emphasizing our differences only makes the problem worse.

I remember when I was in college, a friend worked at the pet shop in the same mall that I worked and he showed me something interesting. Two tropical fish, the neon tetra and the cardinal tetra are virtually identical except one has an electric blue strip down its side while the other also has a red stripe. If you put these two types of fish in a tank with no other, they will form two seperate schools and defend their part of the tank. Put in another kind of fish and they will promptly form a common school.

The idea is that when what we share becomes more important than our differences, racism disappears. We are not simple-minded fish so we do not need to face an external threat to unite. Our intelligence should allow it (but some people sadly do need an external threat)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Democracy in Action -- Michigan Style

Once again the people of Michigan have asked for a proposal for an amendment to our state constitution to ban affirmative action. Last time the Board of State Canvasers refused to allow it. This time as the board reviewed it protestors showed up. The article in the Lansing State Journal has a lot of interesting points and brings up a lot of things, but the bottom line is this: The extreme left is determined that We the People are not going to be allowed to decide this issue.

A lot of the claims of the protestors are nonsense and the name of one group Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary kind of gives away their agenda if "any means necessary" means resisting democracy.

I wonder how the left really defines democracy when they think no one is looking.

Update 12/16/05 7:23 PM The Detroit News, while opposing the proposal itself, believes the vote should be allowed and gives its own comments in this editorial.

What The ... !!!

An old friend used to speak of women saying "You can't live with them and you can't make a rug out of them." I don't know if that applies so much to the female of our species so much as it applies to the bane of human existance --- Computers!

Mine gave me a first class headache a couple hours ago. I was surfin the net when all of a sudden everything started going goofy. The all the icons on my desktop started .. er I can best describe it as vibrating. I could access the net but I couldn't go anywhere. Freecell promptly offered me the options window and would not let me close it ... it kept coming back. I managed to get my anti-virus going and it said nothing was there. Same with spyware. I reset the settings to a couple of days ago. Same old stuff. I shut down and restarted twice to the same results. Then my lovely machine locked up on me so I had to bail.

But as I was going through the disc-scan (as it always does when you bail) it found a couple of problems and truncated them and now the darned thing works fine. Does anyone remember the good ol' days of the CoCo 64, The Commodore 64 or TI994A? Reset did it everytime with those computers.

Still need to find out what happened so it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

How do you not call it evil?

The Gates of Vienna blog is on a roll today with a second brilliant posting. This one on the Islamic treatment of women. This one sickened me. (Please excuse the language)

“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid,“The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne – this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background. “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore…… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That’s what I am going to do. I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.”

This pushes my Christian charity almost to the breaking point. What I want to do this animal of human ancestory would almost unforgiveable. Perhaps this would do the trick (but it would only work on a devout Moslem).

Read the post if you can handle it.

Terrorists May be Trying New Tactic in Baghdad

Iraq the Model has just published a very troubling post. A message is playing over minarets that the tap water in a district of Baghdad has been poisoned. I hope and pray it is merely a rumor.

update 8: 38 PM Iraqi Ministry of health has reported that it is untrue.

Thank God!

Go On Strike - Maybe Collect Unemployment

Unemployment was created for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. However, some are able to collect unemployment for a job they willingly walked off from. You cannot collect unemployment while on strike, at least not legally, but if your employer hires a permanent replacement for you, you can. That has happened with Northwest Airlines.

Generally speaking, I agree with the thrust of this editorial. I believe that a strike should not be risk free and should not be undertaken lightly, but I am uneasy with both sides on this disagreement. (Usually when management and labor clash I say "a pox on both thine houses." as it usually, though not always, happens because of greed on both sides.) The striking employees knew the airline was in danger of going down and chose to strike anyway, and such stupidity should never be rewarded. However a blanket rejection of this unemployment would need a lot more serious discussion.

The article does make one minor error. It says that "workers can only collect unemployment insurance if they lost their job by no fault of their own and are actively seeking other employment." It is also used for Temporary (ie short term) layoffs and such workers are not required to seek work.

Another Proud American Soldier Speaks

This letter speaks for itself and I need not comment except that I wish it would printed in every newspaper in America. Of course it will not be. This is a real soldier. This is what America's Army (and Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard) is all about.

Thank You Gates of Vienna

Update 12/15/05 3:46 PM
The Gates of Vienna asked me to post the whole letter, so here goes.

As the debris continues to settle from the explosion detonated by the defeatist comments by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., I wonder how he expected his statements to be perceived. As an infantryman whose boots are still caked with blood and dust from Iraq, I am beyond confused by the insistence by Democratic Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Louise Slaughter that he preserve his title as a combat visionary.

As rancor and hyperbole peak, we continue to be fed bastardized statistics and a complete denial that Iraq, according to al-Qaida intercepts, is indeed the front line in the war on terror.
When then-President Bill Clinton sent 15,000 troops into post-hostile Bosnia to get the job done, it was the equivalent of keeping 585,000 troops in Iraq post-invasion, when equating terrain and population. Tellingly, the silence from the left is deafening. To the leftists in America, Clinton understood war like no other: Pull out when the blood starts to flow (Somalia) and overcommit when there is no chance of loss (Kosovo and Bosnia).

I am no John Zogby, but I conclude 100 percent of Iraqis want us out - eventually. They very much want us there while Islamo-fascists continue to blow them up as they worship and apply to serve the cause of freedom. My peers are not appreciative of the elitists, like Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who daily attempt to uncover mistakes made by this administration while my brothers under fire bleed to death thousands of miles from home.

Iraqi veterans are without apologies for not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Former administrations ignored the danger present in this region for years, and we in the trenches now pay the price for our past inability to confront our enemies. Each day, the enemy hopes that one more 10-plus death toll inflicted against the coalition via a roadside bomb will be the last straw of the American collective will.

Make no mistake. This is a middle- to lower-class war, fought by volunteers of the greatest generation of American warriors ever born. I have written more than 47 recommendations for Bronze Star valor awards for the members of my 34-man infantry platoon. That award, alarmingly, is growing more and more common during this fight. And yet my peers cannot use their awards as a platform to defend their noble struggle, because they are still deep in the fight.
Neither Murtha, who wears his Bronze Star as his badge of authority, nor any other congressional representative has held a position in a skirmish line under fire in Iraq, yet they pontificate to the masses from "their war" experience. Not one has borne witness to the extreme close-quarter nature of this fight or commented on the tearful thanks from a deserving and proud people who need us to stay the course.

Yet Murtha has the extreme audacity to call my peers "broken." Funny how a man like Murtha, who made his career on detailing his heroism under fire, is the first to chip away at my generation's valor.

Each day, the Iraqi war veteran grows closer to the embarrassing disrespect of the Vietnam warrior. Each day, legislators like Murtha move us closer to losing a winnable war and abandoning a worthy ally. Staying the course isn't a campaign slogan; it is a life support message to my peers. Like Vietnam, the American soldier cannot be defeated on the field of battle, only by the failure of the political class to stomach the hardships of combat.

It was published in the Buffalo News.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I Still Keep Getting Suprised - Sort Of

I like to say that I am so jaded that nothing suprises me, but then very little does. I do, however, raise my eyebrows in amazement from time to time, like this article MSNBC. Read the following:

'Stanley Tookie Williams Stadium'?
In Schwarzenegger's hometown of Graz, local Greens said they would file a petition to remove his name from the southern city's sports stadium. A Christian political group went even further, suggesting it be renamed the "Stanley Tookie Williams Stadium."

A Christian group suggested this? We do not believe in pointless violence (as opposed to absolute non-violence) but we do believe in justice.

Where Are the Hopeful Signs?

This article is called Granholm sees hopeful signs in state's economy. I have read it and wonder where they are. This article did not tell me. Governor Granholm is trying, but most of Michigan's problems cannot be solved by politicians. I guess the news is that she sees good signs and I wish she would have said exactly what they are.

This Needs No Explanation.

A brilliant cartoon on gun control, in full color no less!

Thank you Punch

Winds of Change Blowing in Europe?

A couple of years ago Germany's Schroeder and France's Chirac were the darlings of our MSM for their opposition to George Bush in general and America's liberation of Iraq in particular. One of them (Schroeder) is now out of the picture and Chirac appears to be in big trouble.

Of course the MSM did all it could do to avoid talking about Chirac's people being on Saddam's payroll and now Schroeder's corruption is plain for all to see. According to this Washington Post story he has accepted employment by a Russian Conglomerate controlled by a former East German KGB operative; he championed the interests of this outfit while Chancelor of Germany.

The French President, Jaques Chirac, personally needs to stay in office for another reason. Right now he is immune to prosecution for his misdeeds because he is president and he can and probably will be prosecuted when his presidency ends. Those who hate Bush were celebrating a few weeks ago when his numbers dropped but Chirac's numbers are in the midden of the outhouse. (Last June his approval rating was at 24% and I have seen no sign of a major increase.) His most likely, but far from certain, successor is Nicolas Sarkozy who is an ethnic Hungarian born in France. Sarkozy seems seems on the surface to be more competent and honest, but I am not so sure he is economically libertarian enough that I would ever enthusiastically support him. Of course this is France so my thoughts on the matter are irrelevant.

Either way, it looks as if the American surrender monkeys have lost one European ally and may soon lose another. Let's hope so.

Monday, December 12, 2005

An Oscar for a Bomb (Poor Movie)

Brokeback Mountain, a gay love story set in the west, was released on Dec 12, 2005. The critics seem to like it but no one is going to see it (which does not suprise or bother me in the least). Over the weekend, it did not even make the top 12 movies. I would call this movie a disaster.

Think again!

While Yahoo News was commenting on movies the critics liked we learn some suprising things.

Gay cowboy love story "Brokeback Mountain" won three of the top four awards from the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday, building momentum as the critics' favorite for Hollywood's top honors, the Oscars.

and furthermore

The awards presented by the New York Film Critics Circle are among a string of second-tier awards leading up to the March 5 Academy Awards. The slew of awards announced in December traditionally helps narrow the field for the Oscars.

Director Ang Lee's film "Brokeback Mountain" is shaping up as the critics' favorite, despite concerns that its depiction of a love affair between two men may have trouble winning over audiences in more conservative parts of the country.
The New York Film Critics Circle gave the film its awards for best film, best director and best actor, for
Heath Ledger.
"Brokeback Mountain" already won best film from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association on Saturday, and it earned eight nominations for the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday

It makes a lot of sense. Give an Oscar for a movie that nobody wants to see. Well, it may sell out in San Fancisco.

Dean is Confident

According to this American Spectator article, Dean has big ambitions, dreams and visions of 2006.

One of the more humorous sights has been DNC chairman Howard Dean using Disney World security teams to stand guard over his personal appearances with delegates. He often has them stand outside the doors blocking entrances to nosy outsiders. Dean in the private sessions has been predicting Democratic sweeps in both the House and Senate, promising the party will regain control of Congress.

While I am not certain how this election will turn out, I do not believe the Donkeys will sweep. It is, in my opinion, somewhat possible that they will take the house, but highly unlikely that they will take the Senate.

America Really Mustn't Be That Bad

To hear the pundits talk, America is the worst place in the world to live. If that is so, then how do you explain the fact that 35.2 million people (just under 1/8 of the population), counting both legal and illegal immigration, born outside the USA live in the United States. I don't hear of people trying to move to Cuba, Venezuela, or North Korea; if leftist ideology creates the best places to live, why aren't people rushing to get there.

They don't! They come to America. Like that old Neil Diamond song.

Read this in USA Today to see statistics and implications.

A few do go to Canada, but that is very much a two way street. I would like to see the ratio of people coming to America vs people leaving America. I have done a half-hearted search, and have found some things on American expatriates, this page being the best I have seen. What strikes me is how many of the people who leave America are either artists or involved in the arts.

Political Vandalism

Republican Party Headquarters for the State of Michigan was vandalized over the weekend, according to an article in the Lansing State Journal. Someone spraypainted "Torture Inc" on the front of the building using red spray paint to create four foot tall letters. The Democratic Headquarters were not vandalized and a spokesman for the Democrats called the vandalism "regrettable".

After what happened in Wisconsin in '04, I am beginning to wonder if political vandalism is going to be part of the political package of the left from here on out.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

He's Fighting Back

I would have to give President Bush a mixed review with some really great things and some real boneheads. That having been said, he is infinitely better than anything the Democrats have to offer.

And an increasing number of Americans seem to agree. USA Today reports that his numbers have risen by a noticeable margin (5%) while his negatives have declined by the same number.

I think the numbers would considerably better if he didn't have constant harrassment from the MSM who seem to think that only a liberal has any business in the government. The press has many people convinced we are losing in Iraq when in fact we are winning. Even though Michigan, where I live, is still an economic mess, the nation as a whole is fast-approaching prosperity.

What has changed is that Bush is finally answering his critics and making an effort to sell his ideas and vision to America. And it seems that at least some Americans are listening.

I think the momentum the Democrats had a few weeks ago is now lost.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

He Must Really Think We are Stupid

I normally try to stay away from stories that everyone else is talking about, but I really need to say something about Paul Mirecki, the professor that was "beat up by two fundamentalists." There is a picture of him and his "injuries" on the web. They consist of two black eyes and a bruised arm. The bruise looks real and could have come from anywhere. Those black eyes however ... they look about as real as a Mary Mapes memo. Who does this guy think he is kidding?

This guy is a fraud. Pure and simple.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin

Wasted the Evening, But It Was Fun

A few days ago I was poking around in TUCOWS (The Ultimate Collection Of Windows Software - though they carry stuff for non-Windows too) seeing what software was out there and saw a font creation tool. Hey! Why not!

I scanned my own (horrid) printing and made a font based on it. Then I did a more careful printing to scan and made a (somewhat) better font. Today I tried my (unreadable) cursive and it was a fiasco. I tried again tonight and got much better (but still not exactly good) results. Then I scanned some pages from my 30 year old Navy Bluejackets Manual (I can't believe I still have the thing!) and created a dingbat series based on military ranks.

I didn't do much on the net tonight, but I had fun. :-)

Friday, December 09, 2005

When I Woke Up This Morning

I awoke this morning with several inches of snow on the ground. The street I live on was not yet plowed, and there were 4-5 foot snow banks in all the left turn lanes where they had plowed. My car made it but a couple of my co-workers who live in the country had problems.

I love this song by"Da Yoopers" (it's a Michigan thing) and it matched today perfectly.

From Da Yoopers 1987 release, "Culture Shock"







Copyright 1991 You Guys Records ï 490 N. Steel St. , Ishpeming, Ml 49849 (906) 485-5595 Fax (906) 485-5039

It is a pity that the page does not include the music because it has a catchy tune.

Added 10:46 PM Crazed Politico also has a snowy problem.

Not Perfect, But Very Good

I just got back a couple of hours ago from seeing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I really enjoyed it, in fact it was the first movie I have seen in long time in which I was disappointed when it had to end. I wanted it to go on and on.

On the negative side, the Witch's physical appearance was not much at all like the book. In the book she is described as very beautiful, but lifeless in appearance. Tilda Swinton is attractive but she is not a great beauty and she is definitely not lifeless in appearance. Though she plays the part well, I think a woman with a cold beauty would have physically fit the part better.

The CGIs were generally pretty good and there was an impressed "Oooh" when a phoenix burst into flames during the battle, and again with the mermaids at the end of the movie. What I didn't like was the CGIs looked real but the statues they were turned into looked like wet paper mache.

The four siblings were handled beautifully. For kids they were all decent actors and the way they squabbled, you would have sworn they were real siblings.

They added a few action scenes which I think added to the movie and there were a couple of good lines in the movie that weren't in the book.

For example, Aslan to the White Witch "Don't deign to tell me of the Deep Magic Witch; I was there when it was written."

or another, I can't remember exactly how it went, but after she had killed Aslan, the White Witch said something to the effect that "See how little your love has accomplished."

At first, I was disappointed with the vocal quality of Liam Neeson being Aslan, prefering a more imperious voice, but as the movie moved along I realized it really was a good choice.

OH, and don't get up to leave when the credits start rolling; there is more after the credits are given.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Glad They're Not My Neighbor

I love Christmas and I like Christmas decorations, but I am glad I do not live next door to this house. I might be tempted to become a little violent.


Peace and Communism

One of the big mysteries of modern politics is why are the peace-niks only critical of America's military and military actions? In the '80s they protested loudly about our bombs and missles but rarely made more than a token objection to the Soviet missles that were pointed at the cities they were protesting in. Our accidental killing of an innocent through collateral damage is far more important than the terrorists targeting dozens of innocents as the primary targets. Why is a couple of US soldiers committing an attrocity in defiance of orders and policy (and being disciplined for it) more important than an enemy who commits attrocities as a matter of policy?

From a common sense perspective it is contradictory and hypocritical, but they are not thinking from a common sense perspective; they are thinking from a Marxist perspective. When a normal person thinks of peace, we view it at as the absence of violence or the threat of violence. (While the Hebrew word shalom, often translated "peace" actually carries an idea of overall well-being). The Marxist mind has been trained to consider "peace" and "socialism" to be completely interchangeable, which leads to the conclusion that "capitalistic peace" is an oxymoron or a contradictory statement because if "communism is peace" then "capitalism cannot be peace".

Now in their minds at least America = Capitalism therefore America as it currently is cannot be peaceful. Following their misguided logic, the only way to support peace is to oppose America. If we are going to successfully debate them, we need to show that their understanding of peace is wrong and that peace can and should exist under capitalism. We cannot begin to debate them until we are speaking the same language.

This is expanded a little from a comment I made last week in response to a posting on the Confederate Yankee blog

Where Will it End?

A few years ago the Big 3 built the majority of cars sold in America. Today they still - barely - build the majority of cars sold in America. China wants to enter our automotive market and will enter early in the next decade or at the end of this one.

Now Big 3 does not always mean American made and Foreign cars are often American made. Where it is built is my primary concern.

However, most cars built in my neck of the woods are Big 3. Our local economy is tied to this industry and we need to turn it around.

An article in today's Detroit Free Press deals with the decline in Michigan's automotive industry and asks how low it will go. I do understand that closing plants will be necessary to save the companies but the article is written as if the decline is inevitable. GM and Ford do not only need to save the company but they need to ask "What must we do to regain some of our lost market share?" They need to do a better job of determining just what kind of car will be selling and make those cars. They need to be more competitive in pricing which means they need to control labor and management costs better. They also need to actively combat the bad reputation that they earned in the '60s and '70s by showing how much they have improved. They need to cut to survive but they need to also plan for future growth and fight for every percentage point of every market. Mere survival does not lead to prosperity.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Hope This is a Parody - I Fear it Isn't

I was visiting over at The Ashes of Tyranny, reading the comments to the blogger's response to a couple of trolls when one of the comments got my attention.

Comrade KnightofGoodMrIronMan, I have come to visit your blog following your comments of the Songun Blog and I must admit that I find your infatuation with the criminal mental retard Bush, as well as your constant slandering of the DPRK, its Leader, and its man-centered Juche-based socialist system of Korean style freely chosen by the Korean people out of their own free will to smack of complete insanity.

You would do well to wake up from the perpetual nightmare of living under criminal US imperialist oppression mongering and rejoin the progressive camp before you fall off the deep end into the bottomless abyss of the ash heap of history like the failed ideology of capitalism.

I followed to the commenters blog Songun Blog and started reading. I wanted to laugh and I wanted to cry. If I were to write a satire on the Kim Jong Il regime, this is almost exactly what I would write.

Dear Leader Comrade generalissimo Kim Jong Il is not only the world's most brilliant statesman, political genius, prodigious humanist and invincible military commander holding aloft the sacred Banner of Songun Politics that are the lifeblood of the Korean people and world progressives yearning for peace, he is also the world's foremost greatest builder, making the great upturn in the building of the great powerful prosperous independant country of Juche-based man-centered Korean-style socialism and not one single aspect of the building escapes his omniscient on-the-spot guidance reports the Korean Central News Agency :

You can't make stuff like this up. The truth is that Kim Jong Il is a buffoon, tyrant, and self-absorbed villain whose family has driven North Korea into near universal poverty. I have neither the time nor inclination to run off all that is wrong with NK but a true genius and true humanitarian, Proffessor R. J. Rummel, has done this better than I could in this brilliant post that he wrote several months ago.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Marxist-Islamic Alliance

One of the oddest things about the war on terror is the alliance that exists between the Islamic Terrorists and the Marxist left. If you look at their ideology, they are opposites while America is about half-way betweeen the two of them. Logic says that they would fight each other and try to pull America to their side, but that is not happening.

Part of the reason is that in each of their worldviews America should not exist or at least should not be as powerful as it is. Each believes that they have a dynamic that should be propelling them to forefront of history. Islam believes that they are favored of Allah and the world should be under Sharia. Marxism believes in a flow of history that would lead inevitably to Communism. Both of these world views are stymied by a powerful United States of America that defies both theories of history. Their whole understanding of reality is threatened because America, as it currently exists, cannot fit into either worldview without destroying it or at least twisting it beyond recognition.

Each sees the other as a weak force that can be dominated if only America would get out of the way.

I seriously believe that the alliance between Islam and Marxism is an alliance of convenience that would be quickly forgotten if the United States were to disappear tomorrow. I imagine each side has deluded themselves into believing they could either manipulate or subjugate the other side and thus win absolute power. Each has foolishly believed that because they share a hatred for America, they are brothers. They are actually enemies that have temporarily made common cause against a greater foe that neither could defeat by themselves.

Maybe ... Just Maybe

Toyota is seriously looking at Michigan as the site for a major automotive plant. Hallelujah!

However I share their concerns.

Will they be viewed as contributing to Michigan's decline? Yes by some, but others will recognize that Michigan's automotive problems are largely Michigan's own doing and the introduction of a Toyota plant will be a small, badly-needed improvement. Why shouldn't the world's richest automobile company have a presence in the world's historic automotive cradle?

As an aside, at this moment the Detroit News Cybersurvey says the plant would be welcome in Michigan by a 4 to 1 margin. (Of course, there is one idiot who says "Let Toyota move somewhere else, We are overindustrialized in Mich now and we have to (sic) much polution." I wonder where that person works.)

Will the UAW leave them alone? Probably not but if they treat their employees fairly it will become a moot point. The UAW is very unpopular with a lot of workers. (The UAW is in my plant but loyalty to it is at the vanishing point in all but a couple of diehards.) Most employees would prefer to work in a non-union shop as long as they are treated fairly. The day of the once mighty UAW is fading. (There will always be some who believe they are morally obligated to bring in the union, but in a good situation they will be the minority.)

I don't care who owns the plant, as long as they provide good jobs to the American people.

Another Look at an 8th Grade Education

Lone Pony offers an 8th Grade final exam from Kansas in 1895. I can't answer all the questions though I **think** I would pass it.

8th Grade students today really have it easy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Michigan's Economic Future

America's economy is growing and improving, with some areas entering into true prosperity, but as the Detroit News points out in an article today, Michigan will continue to slide. There are some bright spots but they are not really all that bright. Michigan has lost 308,900 jobs since 2000 averaging 60,000 jobs a year. With unemployment at 7%, one of the worst in the nation, Michigan is going to lose 10,000 more jobs in '06. The good news is we appear to be nearing the bottom, but we're not there yet. The non-manufacturing and the tourist industry are growing, but these cannot carry the economy. I would like to statistics on non-automotive manufacturing in Michigan to see how it is doing.

Another article today in the same paper says that a group has a plan. As I read the article I do not see a specific plan but a series of observations which are true but will not turn the state around.

For example

The appalling state of Michigan's economy, the dysfunction of its largest city, the do-nothing squabbles in Lansing and the disparate visions of where we are and need to go to prosper in a global economy should prove that confrontational Rust Belt parochialism doesn't work.
Period. It's way past time for some fresh ideas.

All I can say is "NO KIDDING!"

What needs to happen is the Unions and management need to face reality about what they can pay. Some companys are paying quite a bit lower, but Michigan still has a reputation for being a state of spoiled, overpaid, underproductive union workers (and overpaid management and executives as well). Michigan over-regulates business; You need some regulation, but you don't need to regulate businesses to point of strangling them. I have not seen business tax charts but I have been led to believe Michigan is one of the worst states. We need to turn all of these around.

What this article seems to be saying is that businessmen and not politicians will turn this state around, and the politicians need to let them do it.

Underpinning Rothwell's strategy is a basic premise too often lost in the social-welfare rhetoric that still passes for labor-management relations in Michigan: Business creates jobs and invests in communities, not government, and investment goes where it's invited and stays where it's wanted.
The corrosive effect on Michigan of its culture of confrontation and its accelerating labor-management death spiral, now accessible instantaneously by Google over the Internet, is incalculable. Add, too, the bankruptcy of Delphi Corp. and the deep troubles of GM and Ford Motor Co. amid a booming economy.

Well they're half-right. Some of the changes that need to be made are political and cultural, and the business interests only have so much power there.

A Friend has Started Blogging

While we have never met face to face, we have been internet E-pals for a few years. He has commented on this blog a few times and has decided to start his own. If you can a chance, please go to the Armed and Christian blog and greet and welcome him.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

More Seperation of Church and State

I sometimes wonder. When are the crosses at Arlington Cemetery going to be declared, or at least argued to be, unconstitutional? I know the day is coming.

Take a look what an Atheist group is demanding in Utah. In Utah there are 12 foot tall crosses marking the places where members of the Utah Highway Patrol died while in the line of duty. They began being erected in 1998 and mark the death sites of 14 troopers who have died since 1931.

American Atheists have sued to have the crosses removed and replaced with purely secular memorials. They claim that using religious symbols violates the seperation of church and state.

I really believe that the crosses at Arlington are next.

We really need to stand up to these people in the courts, the media, and the public forum. The Secular Fundamentalists cannot be allowed to set this nation's agenda.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Possible Terrorist Plot in/from Canada Averted - Maybe

It could well be an innocent mistake, as the driver of the truck insists, but the implications are grave. A Canadian truck carrying two surplus M113 armoured personnel carriers went the wrong way on a highway and wound up near Toronto when it was supposed to go Montreal.

The concern is some of the hardware the M113s were carrying. They were carrying anti-tank missle launchers but not, apparently, the missles themselves.

Officially the matter is considered an honest mistake and the driver, who is not identified, will not be charged. However, the Canadian Army will be investigating.

Link found at: Angry in the Great White North.

A Truly Courageous Blogger Being Harrassed

A fine blog, A Female Soldier's Story 2 is having problems. It is the blog of a woman, wife and mother serving in Iraq. She is a loyal and dedicated soldier, and regardless of your feelings on women in combat she is deserving of respect, gratitude, and support as long as she is there.

Her blog has been hacked a couple of times, leading her to posts saying.

I wish to express my congratulations to the hackers, vandals, and anti-war visitors who successfully blocked my ability to post any further tributes to the soldiers. I am sure you find victory in preventing myself and others from having a place to read and pay our respects to the Fallen Female Soldiers, and my brother’s in arms, the brave soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division. I can only imagine your satisfaction in justifying the disgrace of men and women who died for this country.


It was brought to my attention that my polls had been changed. When I went there, I was completely shocked by all the questions. Once again, it was originally designed to offer a voice in things. And once again it was abused. Do you people think that this is cute, or just hell-bent on trying to get me into trouble? Did I do something so offensive to you personally that you feel the need to attack me in such a personal way?

She puts up with comments like
Your Fuhrer lied when he claimed Saddam had WMD; when he claimed that Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda; when he claimed that he invaded to bring them democracy; when he presented human rights as a vital issue; when he stated that "America does not torture"; when he stated that torture was the isolated acts of a few people and not a policy; when he spoke under a banner that read, "Missionn (sic) Accomplished."

She courageously answers "I will not let your emails refering to me as a "baby killer", your calls for me to walk away from my duties, your questioning of my loyality to this county discourage me."

This is not just somebody in pajamas blogging. This is somebody risking her life for all of us and for Iraq and the lack of simple courtesy being shown to her is sickening.

If you have never been to her blog, go there and encourage her. Let her know that most Americans appreciate her and her sacrifice.

Another Way to Deny the Obvious

I am eagerly anticipating the release of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe next week. I have loved the Chronicles of Narnia since I was 11 (when my 6th grade teacher introduced me to them).

USA today has an article on the movie asking a question that I consider just plain silly.

On Dec. 9, a $150 million movie version will open nationwide, reigniting an old debate: Is the world created by British author C.S. Lewis a rip-roaring piece of fantasy — or a fairy tale suffused with Christian imagery?

Anyone who has read the Chronicles, along with the rest of Lewis' work can easily answer that question. Of course those who wish may choose to ignore the Christian allegory and still enjoy it as high fantasy, and many do.

Added 9:01 PM Looking at the pictures that the link leads to it has a picture of Aslan before the Pevensie children and the caption says "Aslan, voiced by Liam Neeson, is the king and god of Narnia." notice that god is spelled with a small g.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Meanwhile in Europe

Two stories of interest from Europe today.

The first regards the European economy; it seems that the euros are quite happy to have a "stable" unemployment rate of 8.3% but the two big "powers" of the European Union have very high unemployment rates. France is 9.3% and Germany is 10.9%. (Michigan's roughly 7% seems horrible to me.) Compared to Europe, America's economy is booming. They need to be taking economic lessons from us, not us from them.
(Thank You Ankle Biting Pundits)

Morally speaking, maybe -- just maybe -- there is hope for Sweden. A drama student read pornography to a group of 6 year olds and the Swedish legal system actually fined him. His fine was 2400 krona (crowns) which, if I understand the charts right, works out to about $300.00. If an American read pornography to 6 year olds ...