Sunday, April 30, 2006

For "Born Again Redneck"

Born Again Redneck has a posting that has several pictures of "Redneck" things which are quite humorous. I thought I would share this with him but sadly you cannot post pictures in "comments" or at least I have not figured out how so, so PJC, this is for you.

A redneck riding lawnmower. (It was sent to me in an e-mail some time ago.)

A World Perspective

I colored in this map in July of '05 based on information from Freedom House. The countries are colored according to their degree of Freedom. This was based '04 information so it is a year out of date but there are a few things to note.

Colors are
White: Almost Completely Free
Lt. Yellow: Mostly Free
Yellow: Partly Free
Lt Orange: Marginally Free
Dark Orange: Very Limited Freedom
Red: Mostly Unfree
Brown: Almost Completely Unfree
Green: Situation in Change or Unratable.

I could not help noticing that the greatest freedom is located in North America, Western Europe, Austrailia and New Zealand. The only nearly completely free (no country rates total freedom) that does not fit this description is Uraguay (while Japan, Israel, and South Africa also do very well.)

I also notice that, except for a few bright spots, Africa and Asia are in sad shape indeed while the only truly dark spots on North America are Cuba and Haiti.

In the Islamic nations, only Turkey and Indonesia rate a "Marginally Free" while most are "Mostly Unfree" or "Totally Unfree".

You must remember that this map and Freedom House give things relative to the world at large and not merely American standards. This map is also not a map of political alliances and some countries are unfree for various reasons. I just thought I would share this.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Someone has Gall

There is always a virus or two out there and wise users regularly use an anti-virus on their computer, along with a few other protections. To put it mildly, that is a good thing.

Some cretin has developed a virus that holds your computer ransom for $10.99. This guy is crazy because no matter how you pay it it would be tracable. It apparently originated in Russia but an English version is now available.


Sorry McCain -- You Are Wrong!!

You know I just begin to warm up to Senator McCain and then he opens his mouth again, and I snap back to reality.

Get this quote from him:

"He [Michael Graham] also mentioned my abridgement of First Amendment rights, i.e. talking about campaign finance reform....I know that money corrupts....I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I’d rather have the clean government."

One of the main points of freedom of the press and speech is so the corruption can be exposed. Without freedom to tell the truth and state your opinions the power to limit and restrain corruption disappears. Some corruption is inevitable wherever there is power and wealth and when it happens we must deal with it. Any efforts to restrain it must do less damage to our society than the corruption does. This effort to stop it is a cure worse than the disease.

Without the First Amendment there is no clean government.

This link asks some questions of Senator McCain and though much of it is unproven and inuendo, the Charles Keating 5 mess is proven and, in my opinion, makes a McCain the wrong spokesmen for clean government.

H/T Captain's Quarters and Tapscott's Copy Desk (I see I'm going to have to add another link to my bloglist.)

Here is the link Tapscott gives to McCain making the remark. (Warning: it is a video that requires quite a few minutes to download).

NOW to be crystal clear: I DO NOT LIKE CORRUPTION and do not feel it should be tolerated, but like the wars on crime and poverty, attempts to totally eradicate it usually results in more problems. Dealing with it as and when it occurs is much better.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Read This Post

Tom's Common Sense has a posting that gives a Bill of Responsibilities. Read it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Liberal vs Conservative -- My View

This is not going to be an attempt to say which side is right and which side is wrong, though I do believe that the Right is right. This is an attempt to define the terms.

Some argue that conservatives are selfish while liberals are generous.

Others argue that conservatives are realistic while liberals are idealistic.

Actually any of those four labels can be applied to people of both views. I know some extremely selfish liberals and some very realistic ones. I know some very generous conservatives and very idealistic ones as well.

Is it belief in freedom? No because each side has areas where they believe in freedom but the other side does not (sexual freedom on the left, economic freedom on the right). Religion? There are believers, agnostics, and atheists on both sides.

In my understanding, the difference between a liberal and conservative actually goes to the core of the understanding of human nature, which is part of the reason I can never vote for a liberal of either party.

A conservative believes that the individual can and MUST take responsibility for himself. They believe that a person can choose what they are going to do regardless of their background and history. A conservative believes that most people can support themselves and will find a way if they have to. A conservative believes in the power of the individual both in their own lives and in society at large. A conservative believes that when their neighbor is in need it is their personal responsibility to help them if they can. A conservative believes that a person who is old enough to know better should not always be shielded from the consequences of foolish choices. We will help those who cannot help themselves and will help a fallen neighbor to his or her feet but we will not carry them if they are able to walk. We believe that people can do more when they are expected to do more; if we expect nothing of them that is what they'll get.

As I understand it, a liberal believes that a person is product of their environment and can only be held responsible to a very limited degree. A persons choices are dictated by a number of things which are often beyond their control (I consider BF Skinner, not Marx, to be the father of modern leftism) therefore society must be molded so that these individuals will make the best possible choices. A liberal will look for root causes rather than hold an individual responsible. A liberal believes that when someone is in need, society as a whole is responsible and society as a whole must respond. Because people are products of their environment, it may not be possible to hold them responsible for their conduct when society itself is responsible.

It comes down to a simple conflict: Personal responsibility vs Collective responsibility.

A conservative believes that molding the best individuals possible will create a good society. A liberal believes that molding the best society possible will create good individuals. It may appear to be a chicken and egg and discussion but I don't think it is.

Like I said, this is not an effort to prove one side right or wrong but an effort to show what I believe what the difference is. Proving one side right or wrong is an arguement for another day.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Four Freedoms Revisited

I wrote this a little over a year ago as a letter to the editor in response to a letter celebrating the UN and its four freedoms. I never mailed it but stumbled acrossed it and decided to post it as I wrote it, the only change being that I "x"ed out my name to assure our "anonymity".

The Four Freedoms
by xxx xxxxxxx

When the United Nations was founded, its charter had a basic statement of Human Rights. It reduced the idea of human rights to four basic rights which the charter stated were the basic rights of every human.

These rights were enumerated as
1. Freedom of the Press
2. Freedom of Religion
3. Freedom from want.
4. Freedom from fear.

Now the first two I have no problems with in either an ideal or practical sense, but the last two I do have problems with. I agree with them in an ideal sense but in a practical sense, there is nothing the government can really do about these.

Any government that is willing to do so can garauntee the first two, but not the third and fourth.

Freedom From Fear. Look at the recent Tsunami in Indonesia. There was a lot of terror when that hit and no human government could do a thing about it. The point is that there are terrifying things that are totally beyond the control of any government. The government promising freedom from fear is like promising freedom from disease; we can reduce the threat as far as humanly possible, but we can never eliminate it, thus we will never be free of it.

Freedom from Want. Suppose we have a world wide crop failure due to God knows what. The government cannot supply what is not there to supply, and thus cannot fulfill this freedom either.

Some things are beyond the control of government and the government should make no pomises regarding these. It may say they will do their best but they can promise nothing.

I would propose that these two rights be removed and replaced with similar but practical rights that a government can garauntee,.

I would replace Freedom from Fear with Freedom to Protect Yourself. This would garauntee that each person, nation, and community would have the right to individually and/or collectively defend their lives, property, families, homes and livelihood. The exception of course would be that you would have to yield to legitimate law and law enforcement but most people would have no problems with reasonable law and law enforcement. Also the self-defense must be proportionate to the threat; you could not kill a man for merely being on your property without permission. However, a general right to defend yourself and yours is a human right.
Unlike freedom from fear, the government can recognize and garauntee this right.

I would also replace Freedom from Want with Freedom to Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor and/or Investments. If you made it than you have the right to it. If you invested in it, then you have the right to the return. When people work collectively on something then they all have a right to a fair share of the fruit. When one invests and another labors, both have the right to share in the fruit. If there is no fruit to share, then that is how it is. The government cannot garauntee a harvest but it can garauntee that those who own the farm, and those who worked it, both get their share. These people in turn have the right to do as they see fit with their share, whether it be spent on self, or given to charity or whatever. What this means is that no person, organization, state, or nation, has any right to simply seize your property or take the lion's share of your labor. This does not oppose reasonable taxes but does oppose confiscatory or excessive taxes.

Again, unlike Freedom from want, the right to the fruit of your activities can be garaunteed.

So the Four Freedoms would change a little bit to four basic Human rights
1. Freedom of the Press: The Right to Tell the Truth and State Honestly held oppinions.
2. Freedom of Religion: The Right to hold beliefs and to worship, celebrate and proclaim your beliefs as you
see fit.
3. The Right to Defend Yourself
4. The Right to the Fruit of Your Labor and/or Investments.

Anyone who has all four of these freedoms, can truly be called politically free. There may be legitimate disagreements on the scope of these ideas in various situations, but the core ideas of these four rights are the heart of human rights.

Tyrants, of course, will oppose these two rights. A right to defend yourself may allow the people to face and defeat them while the right to the fruit of your activities would mean they cannot simply take it from you. Of course they rarely honor the first two rights anyway.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

10 Simple Pleasures.

I haven't been tagged but I probably will be so I will beat you to the punch. 10 Simple pleasures.

1. Slow roasted chicken (or any game bird) with all the trimmings. That is eating at its best.

2. Seeing someone baptized. That brings tears to my eyes even if it is a total stranger.

3. Waking up and realizing you don't have to work today.

4. Innocent and cheerful rock and roll music (what they used to call bubble-gum music.)

5. A cloudless, moonless night with no bright lights and a million stars visible. (ok only a couple thousand can be seen at night with the naked eye but still . . .)

6. Swimming in the ocean, swimming pools just don't cut it.

7. The music of Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven (in that order.)

8. Watching a small child discovering something new.

9. Hot dogs roasted over an open fire.

10. Watching a model rocket head for the sky.

Now no one can tag me and I can't be told to forward this. Heh heh heh.

Some Mexicans Also Want the Immigration to Stop

Captain's Quarters has an interesting post based on an e-mail from Mexico which has been verified as authentic (as well as they are able to) discussing how the illegal immigrants coming to America is hurting Mexico badly. They want their men to stay there with there families and build Mexico. They say it is their best that are going and some communities have lost a huge chunk of their men. Families are suffering and the local economies are in serious trouble.

Also interesting is the "why" of the men coming to America and it is not always money. I think this is something that needs to be considered.

What should really concern us is this phrase:

CQ: Do you believe that American business interests deserve the blame for the men abandoning your community?

EF: Honestly, we are not interested in blaming anybody. It is true that businesses in the United States often ask good workers to invite family members to go and they offer to pay the expenses including what the border coyote charges [emphasis mine -- CE].

Businesses are spending money reimbursing the coyotes? If this is true, then we don't just have a problem with hiring practices at these shops, but we have them contributing to organized crime and modern-day slavers.

I have said before that I will welcome anyone who comes to America to become an American who is willing to learn our language, obey our laws, adapt to our way of life, and work for a living. I don't care if they are from England, Mexico or Narnia. (Well if they're from Narnia I would like them to get a psychiatric evaluation, but you know what I mean.) But those who want to sponge off of us, make trouble and disrupt our society are not welcome.

Alice Cooper Speaks

I have known for some time that Shock-Rocker Alice Cooper had converted to Christianity, but I hadn't heard much of what he says about it. WorldNetDaily has a brief article which includes some comments by him. For the most part I agree with him and I only disagree with him when he says that

When people say, 'How do you believe this? Why do you believe this?' I just say nothing else speaks to my heart. This doesn't speak to my intellect, it doesn't speak to my logic -- it speaks right to my heart and right to my soul, deeper than anything I've ever thought of. And I totally believe it.

Mr Cooper, faith involves intellect and it can't speak truly to your heart without being in harmony with your intellect and logic. People trying to seperate faith and logic is not only illogical but destructive to faith as well. There is nothing irrational about Bible Christianity and don't be afraid to use your head as well as your heart.

However I found is next line very good.

That being said, I'm not a very good Christian. I mean, none of us are ever 'good' Christians. That's not the point. When you're a Christian, it doesn't mean you're going to be good; it means you've got a harder road to pull.

I think all true Christians feel that way a lot. As far as Christianity and Rock & Roll goes, I have always loved the Ressurection Band, Petra and other Christian rockers. I also happen to like a lot of secular rock, especially former Michiganders Ted Nugent and Bob Seger. The belief that Rock & Roll is inherently Satanic is cultural prejudice and nothing more. (Some is definitely Satanic but so is some Country Western and Mellow music as well.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Have I Got A Deal For You

I believe it was P. T. Barnum of The Barnum and Bailey Circus who was first recorded as saying "There is a sucker born every minute." Some television producers have taken that to heart. Try something Like a television seance to speak to the ghost John Lennon, but you have to pay $9.95 to find out what he has to say.

I would like to speak to anyone who pays that money. I have a highly profitable tropical resort on the banks of the Yukon I'd like to sell.

At least one person associated with John Lennon is saying, "Tacky, exploitive, and far removed from the icon's way of life." You know I thought I would never agree with those people on anything yet I have to agree with that.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Our Local Economy

It is hard for many people here in Michigan to believe that the nation's economy is actually doing quite well. Each man can only see through his own two eyes and things are not good here, no matter how the rest of the country looks. Michigan's economy looks like a European country's economy.

And for us it's going to get worse.

The difference between America's economy and Michigan's reveals that it is a regional problem rather than a general problem, but the rest of the country should look real hard at Michigan and see what is wrong here. What is haunting Michigan could easily come to the rest of the country.

Michigan has lost one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1999. Over 200,000 jobs that were in the midwest have moved to the sunbelt - not to mention the jobs that have gone to other countries. Michigan has lost 20,000 factory jobs in the last year. A lot of it is our own fault and changes have to be made.

Will wonders never cease? It seems that the UAW has finally woke up and smelled the coffee and realized that they have to work with the employers instead of against them. Our situation in Michigan could have been a whole lot different today if the unions had realized this 20 years ago. In fact, personally, I blame much of Michigan's economic woes on the unions, along with employers failing to plan for future technology. They have resisted the changes needed to keep our state economy afloat, and in many ways they own this state. The Michigan economic mindset is still 40 years behind the rest of the country and now we are finally beginning to wake up to the reality that it is a new world.

It Just Looks That Way.

It seems that if you look into the various musical genres of this culture of ours, it seems that each genre has a way in which its superstars wind up dead or at least in the hospital.

Country Western stars get drunk and crash into things.

Rock stars seem to OD on various drugs.

Rappers shoot each other.

Detroit News columnist Laura Berman compares the death of the rapper Proof to the death of Rosa Parks and finds a connection of sorts. I think she started to say something valuable and then wandered off into the land of Politcal Correctness and blaming society. She started saying something profitable with this line.

Like Rosa Parks, he had a dream. But she had a sense of her own value and worth, even if she wore that quietly.

Rosa Parks was, for the most part, a law abiding citizen and good neighbor. She had a sense of right and wrong even though she grew up in a society whose racism was much greater than anything Proof ever encountered. When she did break the law it was because the law was morally wrong, not simply a personal inconvenience. They need to be contrasted, not compared.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hans Island East Asian Style

People shook their heads in disbelief when Canada and Denmark came to dispute a worthless windblown rock called Hans Island. When countries come to loggerheads, it should be over something significant. Hans Island was not significant except to national pride.

Here we go again.

Admittedly Takeshima / Tkodo are a little more valuable than Hans Island (there are fishing grounds there) but, considering the situation in East Asia, are these islands worth a conflict? North Korea is developing nukes and the two countries most threatened by those nukes should stand together. Yes Japan commited attrocities against the Koreans more than half a century ago, but North Korea is commiting attrocities against the Korean people right now! Hostility between South Korea and Japan is not in either nation's best interest and these Islands are not worth the trouble.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Miracle We Take For Granted

When you work in near-total isolation (ie an industrial paint booth) you think alot and this is something I gave thought to today.

An animal knows basically what it gains from experience and a small amount of teaching from its mother but when it dies, as far as we know, its knowledge and experience dies with it. Animals can communicate basic emotions and limited information to each other ("danger"," go away", "food", "come here", "let's mate" etc.)

Not only can the human mind contain more information than we can gain in a normal lifetime (I have read in one book, Frank Tippler's The Physics of Immortality, that the human brain has a capacity for several centuries of memory -- which, incidentally, makes no sense from an evolutionary standpoint.) Our reasoning and imagining capacity is far beyond any animal that walks the earth.

Yet there is more.

There was a time when people mocked "book learning" as a useless waste of time, but reading and writing is a miracle in and of itself. When I pick up a book I can follow the thinking of the wise and foolish and learn from both. I can read words written 3,500 years ago (the Torah) or today (someone's blog). I can read some of men's greatest ideas and most foolish pipedreams. I can learn what went through the minds of people 500 years ago. I can go places that I will never physically go and which an animal living nearby could never conceive of. I share the fantasies and fears of a hundred different imaginations and perhaps add their imaginings to my own. In my mind I have walked in the London of Dickens, the frozen north of James Oliver Curwood, the streets of Minas Tirith of Tolkien, or flown to the stars with the writings of Robert Heinlein. I have marched with Roman Legions and fought dragons; I have done a thousand things I will probably never do.

I can also receive instruction from experts on just about anything you would want to know. I can be told how to cook a piece of meat or how to fix my car by someone I have never met. Writing is indeed a small miracle.

How about recording. Throughout history, most people's favorite singer was their mother whose voice put them to sleep at night and many written memories speak of their mother singing. Of course I have heard my mother sing, but virtually at any time I can hear the voices of the dead, Hank Williams, Karen Carpenter, Keith Green (a Gospel singer of the early 80s) or Elvis Presley, and their songs will never die and people a hundred years from now will know and love their voices. In the 1800s an elderly woman and go by and someone say "She was a beauty in her day" but the memory of that beauty would die along with those who actually saw it. Today I can watch a 1940s or 1950s, or even 1930s movie or look at an old photo and actually see the beauty that women who are now quite old once possessed.

The ability to pass such knowledge, thoughts and today even images and sounds from one generation to the next is a miracle in and of itself.

Do you ever wonder what goes through a dog's mind as he watches you read the evening paper and what he thinks you are doing?

Monday, April 17, 2006

What the Constitution Requires.

Today's headline on USA Today caught my attention so I read the associated article about what the states will do if Roe vs Wade is overturned. A lot of the statistics are interesting but I am intrigued by the attitude of the some of the major players.

If Roe vs Wade is overturned what will happen?

The article itself answers quite well: If it does, a fight that for three decades has focused on nine members of the Supreme Court would be waged instead among more than 7,000 legislators in 50 state capitals.

That is the way it was intended to be under the Constitution. We could have saved this country a lot of fighting and it would have never been a presidential issue if we had kept it in the states where it belonged. This is what the Constitution requires as well.

The 10th Amendment makes all issues not specifically enumerated in the Constitution a matter for the individual states to either rule on themselves or pass on to lower levels.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,or to the people. (The Tenth Amendment). Of course the 10th Amendment is probably one of the more neglected clauses of the Constitution. (In fact I once read a letter to the editor of a newspaper where the writer argued that the 10th Amendment had been nullified by the 13th and 14th amendment.)

What the writer of the USA Today article fears is exactly what text of the Constitution requires. (Roe vs Wade was badly misdecided by the Supreme Court)

Another Amendment I Think We Need.

I know I am not in any position to do more than vote, but I still feel that the Constitution needs to amended in a few areas. Also if these were written by politicians it would read more like legalese, but here is another one that I think would help secure our freedom.

Section 1. The United States and its constituent States share sovereignty with the Federal and State governments each having spheres of absolute sovereignty. The Federal government may not cede sovereignty of itself or the state governments to an international federation or union of nations except by the approval of two-thirds of both houses of the legislature and the approval of the legislatures of three-quarters of the states. Ceding of sovereignty is defined as granting an outside power authority over citizens of the United States (or their property) within the territory of the United States or the power to directly draw taxes from the citizens of the United States.

Section 2. In any case, sovereignty may never be ceded to a federation or union of nations unless all members of the said union are electoral democracies and the chief executive and the legislatures of the said union are elected by the citizens of the constituent nations. The charter of any such union must protect freedom of religion, freedom to tell the truth and state honest opinions, the right to defend one's self, family, and property, the right to private commerce, property rights, the right to a fair trial for the accused and arrange for regular contested elections, as well as guarantee the right to secede from the said union, otherwise sovereignty may not be ceded to it.

The purpose of this amendment is to primarily to limit the encroachment of the UN into our internal affairs.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Just a Busy Weekend

Between projects, housework and Easter it has been a busy weekend and I really didn't get much time to visit other blogs, let alone post on my own. See you tomorrow and I will have something to say.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I Hope It Was Just a Fashion Thing.

I was just at the local Hollywood Video and I saw this kid about 17 or so walking around with a black t-shirt decorated only with a red hammer and sickle. I bit my tongue but he was getting some very dirty looks from other customers.

Though Michigan is a purple state (economically blue, culturally red), I live in a very conservative area. The kid has guts but no brains.

Or maybe it's just no brains.

Added Gaggle

It seems like everyone is linking to the excellent Day by Day, but I decided to be different and link to Gaggle. It's a strip that mostly targets media bias. I hope you enjoy it.

It appears I did something wrong though and at the moment it is showing up on every posting.

Update 15 minutes later: fixed it

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Some time ago some friends and myself were discussing how we need to change the Constitution and we came up with several amendments that we would like to see passed. They were actually written down though they would never pass for the same reasons that they are needed.

Here is one that we came up with.

English is the official language of the United States and all citizens shall be expected to be reasonably fluent in proper spoken English and those who are old enough are responsible to gain a reasonable degree of literacy in the English language. (The states are required to offer training in both the spoken and written English language which may be done through public education). All routine functions of the federal government shall be in English. All official federal, state and local documents shall be written in English, though official translations into other languages may be made available for visitors and recent immigrants who have not yet become fluent in English. Reasonable knowledge of the English language shall be considered a requirement for immigrants seeking citizenship.

The individual states, by public referendum or by legislative (but not judicial) means, may choose to grant official recognition to another language that is common within that state but that language still must be suborned to English.

Gayle at My Republican Blog has a link to a petition to make English the official language of the USA (I am so pleased that she relented on her decision to close her blog down.)

I may post some of the others later. Even if they would never pass they are discussion points.

An Interesting Poll

Practically speaking, polls are about as useful as racing stripes on a tortoise. They are often misleading, yet they also an interesting snapshot of what people are thinking at a given time. There are two kinds of fools when it comes to polls: those who live by them and those who ignore them.

CBS news has just released a very interesting one on the public perception of religions. What they found interesting was this:

FAVORABLE Now 19% 2002 30%
UNFAVORABLE Now 45% 2002 33%

I also noted this:
Favorable 31%
Unfavorable 31%
Don't Know 38%

I noticed that they did not list Atheism, especially militant and fundamentalistic Atheism, and I would like to have seen the public attitude toward those beliefs.

A Gesture of Peace and a Backstab

Bill Gates anonymously gave $10,000,000 to transfer from hi-tech green houses from Israeli to Palestinian control. He supposedly did so with the best of intentions (and I see no reason to doubt this) in order to "facilitate the peace proces". He did it in order to improve the lives of the Palestinian people. Him being involved has only come to light in the last few days.

How have these people thanked him?

They looted and destroyed them. So much for gratitude.

The words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount

Give not what is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Matthew 7: 6

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Way Cool

My younger brother sent these pictures to me along with several other incredible items carved from wood. This car appears to be fully functional but it must weigh alot and I would guess it gets horrid mileage. It would only be good for shows even if it does run.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Take on Immigration.

Left Wing columnist Cynthia Tucker gives her opinion on the immigration issue ( in her 04/09/06 column) and hits the nail on the head, though not in the way she intended. She correctly points out that the government could stop the imigration in a minute but they don't want to for business considerations.

So why haven't Congress and the White House fixed a broken immigration system? Because it works for so many — illegal workers, business interests and middle-class Americans alike. Industries such as construction and agriculture get a cheap and docile work force, poorly educated men and women who'll work Sundays and holidays and never report their employees for labor violations. Middle-class Americans get the benefit of cheaper products and services, everything from lawn care and domestic work to homegrown fruits and vegetables. And houses. Since home sales are keeping the economy afloat, politicians don't want to do anything to interfere with the massive housing-construction-and-sales complex.

In other words they make the economy work and many Americans do benefit from them being here. Anyone who thinks that those jobs should be going to Americans should start by paying someone $20.00 an hour + benefits to mow their lawn or do dishes. Some jobs simply are not WORTH what many Americans demand in pay. Some complain that Americans are willing to do those jobs but not at the rate of pay the illegals are accepting and that simply proves the point. The American workers need to re-evaluate the actual value of their labor; it would be painful but necessary.

Now I do think we need to do something to stem the tide, not so much of workers, but of criminals, terrorists and trouble-makers who are crossing over along side of the people who simply want to work. There are quite a few of them and they need to be stopped at the border. A guest worker program, without amnesty, that monitored who was coming over, where they were from, and where they were going and watched what they did while they were here would be quite acceptable IF it could be proven to be workable.. They also, as non-citizens, need to know that they do not have alot of the perks of living here (no welfare, no unemployment, no free non-critical medical care etc. plus the Second Amendment does not apply to them - no firearms.) They also need to pay taxes etc. (yes it's unfair that they pay taxes but don't get the perks but that is the price they pay for not being citizens -- citizenship needs to mean something.)

Those coming to commit crimes, join gangs or disrupt our way of life need to be shown back to where they came from. I am far more concerned about the possibility of a terrorist crossing the Rio Grande than I am about someone wanting to pick apples for less than minimum wage.

Of course if the only way to prevent a terrorist from crossing the Rio Grande into America is to seal the border, then that is what we are going to have to do; the safety of citizens living in America should be our top concern. It my spite of my willingness to tolerate those who simply want to work, we may not be able to because of the threat of unfriendlies crossing over amongst them.

It is odd though. All our jobs seem to be going to Mexico and China while the Mexicans and Chinese come here looking for work. The world is a strange place.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Gospel According to Judas

It was a USA Today headline that caught my eye. It lead to a story about a supposed find of the long lost Gospel of Judas. It seeks to vindicate him and give a better light. According to this find he betrayed Jesus because Jesus instructed him to do so.

Oh Man ... (sigh)

I remember when I was in college there was a book that liberal theologians were raving about called I Judas by Taylor Caldwell. It was basically the same idea except it was supposed to be a thought provoking work of fiction that made no claim to authority. Still a stupid book.

Actually there are many, many books from the first 3 centuries of the Christian Church that were rejected outright, or esteemed, but not as inspired. The Didache is quite good and was considered Scripture by many early Christians though it was rightly rejected when the New Testament Cannon was decided upon. Others such as Protovangelion of James (centering on the conception, birth and childhood of Mary) or The Infancy Gospel of Thomas are simply astounding, and were taken seriously by very, very, very few people.

Here is a website that has numerous apocryphal New Testament Books, all of which were rejected by the Church for very good reasons. Some are of them are inspiring. Some are insightful. Some are amusing. Some are sickening.

I note that this site also has material on but not the text of the Gospel of Judas.

Why Him?

Usually I look at lawsuits as a overused method of getting rich quick but a few of them are legit, like this one where a police dispatcher failing to repond to a 911 call, treating it as a prank may be a proper lawsuit.

However, what undermines the family's moral high-ground is their choice of attorneys. Geoffery Fieger is not only a poster a child for tort reform, he is also the ultimate ambulance chaser. He is also a disgrace to the legal profession, a disgrace to the State of Michigan, and disgrace to humanity in general. While pretending to be a populist, he lives down to every single cliche' of a dishonest lawyer. (He has occasionally been on the proper side of a lawsuit but he is still a cretin in my opinion.)

I cannot believe that this family cannot find an honest and honorable lawyer to handle this truly deserving lawsuit.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Dumbest Nation on Earth

Michael Moore wrote a book in which he claimed that the Americans may possibly be the stupidest people on earth. He apparently has never met the French.

Wait a minute -- he likes the French. hmmm.

The truth is that I believe we should give that epitaph to the French.

Actually I don't know if all the French deserve that, many obviously do not, but the ones who do are proof that the brain-dead are still alive. The economy of France is in shambles and is not improving a whole lot (in fact it is worse in France than it is here in Michigan - the economically worst state in the union right now.) France's business regulations and laws (which make the People's Republic of Michigan look like Adam Smith set it up) have turned France into an economic quagmire. Of course we know the drill. The 35 hour work week, overtaxation, and difficulty in firing people has resulted in an unemployment rate that would also have Americans screaming, but we would do it to improve the situation and not to uphold the status quo.

Captain's Quarters links to Guardian article discussing these idiots. (TY Cap'n) His posting is well worth reading and so are the comments. (I especially appreciated this one : The French have governed from the street since the revolution. Five republics and they still haven't got it right.)

The article in the Guardian actually goes up and talks to these nuts. One of them is completely honest about their intentions. But I'm not giving up. This is about more than a first employment contract. It's about a general malaise. We've had enough of being the Kleenex generation of disposable youth, shat on by employers and screwed by the government. We need a complete regime change in France - the end of the fifth republic. It's dying before our eyes. Well perhaps so but I don't think he will like Sharia a whole lot more (which is what they will probably get as they don't have the guts to put their actual skins on the line to protect their freedom, just no risk protests against a government that won't do anything to them, while far too many Moslems are willing to kill and die for Sharia.)

And their problem is: An Anglo-Saxon model won't work in France. It doesn't suit our way of life. Anyway, UK unemployment is not as bad as here. In France, we need big businesses to take some sort of responsibility. The problem is that the Anglo-Saxon model expects people to work for living and be somewhat responsible for themselves, an idea that is anathema to the modern left.

They are demanding socialism, the economic order that has resulted in near-universal poverty whenever it has been tried. (The Scandinavian Model collapsed during the '90s - as all Socialist systems inevitably do; they just haven't buried it yet.) They are willing to destroy everything in pursuit of the pipe-dream of Socialism. Socialism destroys every society it touches because it is contrary to human nature. Capitalism is less idealistic but it works because it is more in tune with human nature.

The French seem determined to commit ethnic suicide. They should know better. They are the dumbest people on earth.

Update 4:56 I forgot to include a link to the Guardian article. That has been corrected.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Pity the Children

There is nothing more infuriating than the abuse of kids, and I mean any kind of abuse. The sexual abuse of children is especially infuriating and is pointless to me as I cannot understand anyone being sexually attracted to children whose ages are still in one digit. I have seen it twice (one unsolicited e-mail and once it was spam in an animal pictures newsgroup - I was using software that automatically downloaded while I was doing other things, which was a big mistake) and both times I was sickened by what I saw. In spite of myself, I wanted to climb into my computer and hunt down and torture the subhuman scum that would do that to a child. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

What is especially maddening is that supposedly civilized countries do not have adequate laws to protect these children. I wonder where their parents are and if they are orphans, who is in charge? According to an article on Yahoo news America is one of 5 countries that have adequate laws and make a serious effort to combat kiddie porn. It is common in Eastern European countries though western countries and America are not completely free of it.

There are children being sold acrossed the borders from all over the world and you often hear rumors of pretty young girls being stolen even in America. You occasionally hear of crack addicted women renting their daughters to perverts to get drug money; this is their own children!!!!! Do people not value their children? Is it not our nature to protect children? What is wrong with these people?

I throw mercy aside when people intentionally hurt or abuse children because I believe it is, humanly speaking, the worst crime a person can commit. A person who would abuse a child has abandoned their humanity and I never feel sorry for them.

God have pity on the children; too many so-called adults do not.

The picture is from the series that was posted as spam in a NON-PORNOGRAPHIC newsgroup a little over a year ago. She is still fully dressed and it is the only picture that I did not delete as soon as I saw it. She is a very pretty little girl and I would say she was 7 or 8 years old tops. The writing on the books is Russian lettering so she is either Russian or from some Eastern European country. I was almost in tears while I was deleting the pictures; how could anyone do this to this child or any other? Is there no humanity left in those people? (for obvious reasons I blotched out her eyes and the url that the picture was an ad for.)

May God have pity on her and also on her abusers, because no one else will pity them.

It is also disturbing that I did not go looking for kiddie-porn (I wasn't even looking for porn) yet I still wound up seeing it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

There ARE Crazy Cops

There is a scandal going on in Lansing Michigan right now. An Eaton County Deputy Sherriff named Jeff Lutz, for some reason, shot himself and then filed a report claiming that it was done by a black man, leading to a manhunt for a non-existant perpetrator. It has led to the usual claims of racism, and in this instance the claims may well be appropriate. The Eaton County Sherriff's Department is handling this in a logical and professional manner, including an internal and external investigation, but some are going to keep making it bigger and bigger.

There is reasonable evidence that Mr. Lutz has a serious mental problem at the moment and that could explain, but not excuse, this behavior. His attorney his suggesting that he has been in "mental tailspin" since last year when he accidentally shot a hostage during a robbery/hostage situation last year. If this is indeed the case then he should have been taken off regular patrol duty until his mind was fit again.

All I can really say for myself is that the police and sheriff's departments need to monitor their officers closely for signs of emotional strain. When someone carries a gun every day, and a police officer on duty must, the last thing you want is a nervous breakdown. You want the most stable minds available for this job. His career is over and trust between the people and the sheriff's dept is badly strained because an emotionally troubled man was entrusted with duties that he was not able to emotionally handle. I do find it difficult to believe that no one noticed that the man was under a lot of strain.

If I accidentally shot a woman I was trying to save I would probably need some help too.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

McKinney Gets a Grand Jury

Talk about much ado about nothing. Well it's not really nothing but it should not have reached this point. We all know what happened in Washington and now, according to USA Today, a grand jury is going to be investigating Rep Cindy McKinney (D - La La Land) and her run-in with the Capitol Police officer.

It appears that she is going to be the Defendant, because she broke the law by refusing to stop and by striking a police officer.

She claims that it is racist event and she is right. It is a racist incident because she is a racist.

There is this claim in Politically Correct thought that only a white person can be a racist because you have to be in a position of power to be racist. Well she is a Congresswoman which means she has power.

But the worst racism (against blacks) that I have ever encountered is among poor, uneducated whites. These (white) people are near the bottom of our society's pecking order. Following that logic, these people are not racists because they have no power.

Actually I think it's the other way around with very poor whites. No one wants to be at the bottom of society's ladder and if they see blacks as inherently inferior, then there is at least one group lower than them (in their minds) and the need to have someone below them is what accounts for their racism. It is sad that these people cannot raise themselves up so they try to hold others down in order to keep themselves off the bottom rung of society.

Furthermore, the idea that only whites can be racist is absurd in my thinking because this is my definition of racism: The belief that one's skin color is a significant factor, for good or for bad, in determining one's worth as person. Racism is wrong regardless of the skin color that does the hating and the skin color that is hated. I really don't even like calling a different skin color a race because there is only one race on this planet and that's the human race.

Cindy McKinney is a racist and needs to be called on her racism. I note with some satisfaction that other Democrats are not rallying to her defense.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Complete Waste of Time, but Different.

Wake up Wednesday morning at 2 minutes and 3 seconds after 1 AM and look at digital clock that includes the date and year and you will see something very unusual.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Guess I'm Not A "Right Wing Nut"

Eye of the Storm blog had a link to a quick quiz that would determine just how far to the left or right you are politically in several areas. I found the answers offered to be much too limiting but I did the best I could and this how I came out. And I always get told I'm a right wing extremist. Hmmm.

Updated 4/4/07

I have examined the questions and I have figured out how come I am considered so highly liberal. The personal prejudice of whoever wrote the quiz came through as I realized they made a wrong assumption:

Conservative = Selfish.

I am not an extremely selfish person but I am conservative. The quiz mistakenly equated my concern for others as liberalism. Actually some of the most liberal people I know are extremely selfish.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Campaign Reform -- My Own Idea

I was reading the Frontpage Magazine article on Cynthia McKinney and noticed something that got me thinking. (I am not going to talk specifically about her; she is a nutcake and an embarrassment to everything she supposedly represents.) What I noticed was this paragraph:

McKinney supposedly represents the 4th District of Georgia. But in 2001-2002, 73 percent of her campaign contributions came from outside the state of Georgia. She pocketed almost as much cash just from California donors ($ 131,250) as she did from her fellow Georgians in and around Atlanta ($ 140,669).

This got me thinking about campaign finance reform and the idiotic way we are going about it.

This is simply what I would do if I had my 'druthers.

1. By law all campaign contributions must be spent in the state in which they are raised. No money may be raised in another state or contributed by someone who is not a citizen and registered voter in that state. A state legislator or US congressman must be able to trace every dollar contributed to his or her campaign funds to a person living in their district. No one may contribute to anyone or any cause they are not eligible to vote for.

2. No cap would be set on how much a person can give but all contributions to political purposes is to be public record. No anonymous giving or giving by proxy will be allowed at all.

3. Only individuals can make contributions to campaign funds. Groups, organizations and associations may encourage their members to give to specific candidates or causes but may not actually give from their funds.

4. The open media (newspapers, network TV, etc.) must give equal time to both parties in the final 90 days before an election. (Magazines, blogs, etc would be exempt here provided they are up front with their personal political bias.)

Of course people are going to poke holes in all of these and they will probably never pass but it is just how I would go about it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What a Weekend

Yesterday was my 49th Birthday (Yes April Fools Day).

Spent the whole weekend with my family (parents, siblings, nephews, nieces etc.) It's odd that over half the birthdays in my family, over 3 generations, are late March to mid April (If I believed in Astrology I would say we were an "Aries" family).

Best gift - A gift-card for Walmart that will cover the cost of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. (and some clothes).