Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Wiccans get a tax deduction
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
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
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
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 ...
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
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
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
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
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
Saturday, October 22, 2005
These Photos are Beyond Disturbing
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.
Snicker, snicker, snicker
Thursday, October 20, 2005
In My Own Shop
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
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Does China Think We're Stupid
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
Saturday, October 15, 2005
A Saudi Blog
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.
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
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?
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
Saturday, October 08, 2005
An American Colonel Speaks.
From a link given in the comments section of Iraq the Model
Auto Parts Manufacturer in Serious Trouble
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?
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?!?
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
Fortunately the effort failed. May God be gracious to that little girl.
Not as many trips to the theatre
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 Townhall.com 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
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.