Monday, July 31, 2006

Meanwhile In Cuba

A man and woman are sitting on the beach in Cuba watching the sunset

She says, "Thank you God for that lovely sunset."

He says "You should thank Castro, not God!"

She says, "Thank you God for that sparkling water."

He says, "You should not thank God, you should thank Castro"

She says, "And who will you thank when Castro dies?"

He contemplates for a second and then says "God."

Fidel Castro is sick enough to "temporarily" relinguish his power to his brother Raul. He says he is exhausted from his public appearances in South America. Somehow I am a little skeptical of that. I don't know if this is IT for him, but that day is getting closer. Sadly he will die without getting justice for his crimes against humanity. He will face God.

For a look at the truth about Cuba, check out The Real Cuba and take the time to look at its medical situation. It's a good thing it's free because only a fool would pay for it. (WARNING: The pictures are sickening.)

Ain't It the Truth

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The "Evil" Eye in the Pyramid

Our friend over at the Born Again Redneck had an apparently unwanted visitor today. While PJC was talking about Mel Gibson's foolish recent remarks, this dude wanted to talk about the Illuminati.

The Illuminati has been a center of fiction for many years including books such as Colin Wilson's Illuminati Trilogy to the Lara Croft, Tomb Raider movie. In the mid to late 70s a pathological liar named John Todd started claiming that he was a member of the Illuminati who had converted to Christianity started exposing which Christian leaders were actually members of the Illuminati. Fortunately he was not taken seriously by most Christians, though sadly Jack T Chick of Chick tracts was seduced by his lies and his previously outstanding Bible Tracts became paranoid rantings of world dominion, first by the Illuminati and later the Vatican. (And curiously enough, Jack T Chick and Alberto Riviera - another real winner - are the only major Christian activists that John Todd did not list as members of the Illuminati)

Some people genuinely believe this, others think it's a fantasy. Others are like me who believe there are genuine conspiracies and many plots afoot to rule the world, but there is no over-arching grand conspiracy led by a group of Satanists who secretly rule the world. As an aside these conspiracies that do exist spend as much time struggling with each other as they do chasing their pipe dream.

The reason for this is very simple. The fantasy series The Dragonlance Chronicles summed it up very well with a single sentence: Evil devours its own. Evil by its very nature must fight even against itself. Look at the mighty Communist movement that was going to unite the world but by the late 50s had divided into two hostile camps (China and Russia). Islam is divided into two camps as well that are killing each other all through the Islamic world. (The same could be said of Apostate Christianity though that has eased up in the last couple of centuries.)

I used to spend some time at conspiracy sites, giggling a little bit and rolling my eyes alot, though every now and then you saw something that made you stop and think, that was actually quite rare.

Some of the more absurd sites are

The Enterprise Mission where former NASA scientist Richard Hoagland tries to prove that NASA is controled by the Cult of Osiris (which was also partially responsible for Hitler). He has some great pictures on this site, and occasionally something worth reading but the man himself ... well let's not go there. (He is still going on about the face on Mars and how NASA faked the recent photos). I quit regularly visiting his site quite a while ago. He hasn't adjusted his views.

Rumormill News: This site is a real beauty. They will post anything by anyone and if you think some blogs are crazy you ought to see what winds up here.

Like I said, I do believe in conspiracies, but I do not believe that there is one grand conspiracy that explains everything. Instead we have dozens of small conspiracies that keep each other occupied while they dream their delusions of grandeur.

Just A Dream

Ordinarily I would not post a dream, but this one is etched hard into my mind as if it had really happened.

I am at work and I walk over to the loading dock (which faces to the south) and gaze outside. It is drizzling and the sky is threatening a major storm. Due south I see what is clearly a tornado. I go back in and tell my co-workers to come look. M says "I know, it's a tornado." and I think how would she know? Several of us go to the loading dock and now several tornados are visible in the south-east. They are going to miss us. I feel grateful but am desperately gazing at the southern horizon for any more headed our way.

I do have serious concerns about my employer's future but I am still hopeful, yet concerned. The dream obviously reflects this concern. It did not occur to me in the dream, but I now realize the Tornados would miss my plant but would still pass through and ravage the town I live in (which is situated east of my plant where the tornados were headed.) We have lost a number of factories in the last couple of years and jobs here are virtually non-existent.

A Ruined Memory

When I was 20 to my early 20s I loved The Dukes of Hazzard, and tonight, I watched the movie for the first time. What a waste of time and major disappointment. (Not to mention the waste of a rental fee.)

You know any man worthy of his Y Chromosome will find Jessica Simpson to be sexually attractive, but any man with at least one functioning brain cell will want nothing to do with her.

In the series Catherine Bach was also sexy, but she was sexy in a girl-next-store style. She came acrossed as a wholesome, decent person who just happened to be sexy. When Jessica Simpson played her, she came across as nothing more than a stunning figure showing a lot of skin. Catherine Bach will always be the only Daisy Dukes.

Uncle Jesse was originally a reformed bootlegger who had matured into a fount of wisdom and decency. Willie Nelson played an aged juvenile delinquent who never did grow up.

The original Duke boys were sort of outlaws, but in their own way they were also gentlemen. Not so the new crew. They were horny adolescents on the make and little more.

I once had the honor of meeting Sorrell Brooke, who played Boss Hogg, when he was making a charity appearance at the mall where I was the manager of a store. He was a nice guy and a real gentleman. He was nothing like JD Hogg.

Why is it that everytime Hollywood sets out to improve an old TV series, they miss what made the series great?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

To Play the Barbarian

A couple of my favorite Star Trek (TOS) episodes were Mirror Mirror and A Taste of Armageddon. In the first, for those not familiar with them, Captain Kirk finds himself in a parallel universe where the Enterprise is a pirate ship and he and his crew are barbarians. The second episode is where the Enterprise finds itself a "victim" or a virtual, yet suicidal war fought by computers.

What these two episodes share is a realistic appraisal of human nature. We are barbarians. We are killers. But a civilized human normally chooses not to kill Today. What I especially appreciated in Mirror Mirror was the observation that a civilized man can act the part of a barbarian, but a barbarian finds it very difficult to play the part of a civilized person. That is because the barbarian killer is part of our very essential nature while the civilized man is something that we must force ourselves to be. (I sadly laugh at those who call violence "learned behavior"; it is possibly the most human thing there is.) Recognition of this fact could well be the key to peace because only when you recognize the problem can you realistically deal with it.

This also means that civilized people must sometimes play the barbarian in order to survive. A prime example of this was America using nuclear weapons against Japan to end WWII, an action which, in my opinion, probably saved millions of lives on both sides because it forced Japan to face the fact that it could not win and Emperor Hirohito recognized this and ordered the military to surrender to save his people. It was nukes or invasion, because the Japanese mindset at the time gave us no other options, and an invasion would have been a bloodbath far worse than, the horrible enough, nuking of two Japanese cities.

Even in the brilliant book, Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein, it is recognized that even the most civilized people must be capable of violence in order to protect themselves. Those who recognize only strength, and no other source of authority, must be dealt with violently. I don't like it and it goes against all that I try to be, yet I see no other options. (Metaphorically speaking, if you can speak two languages and you are talking to someone who speaks only one, you must speak the only language he understands.)

Israel understands this. Israel is a civilized country being threatened by barbarians. Israel, though civilized, must play the barbarian to survive. Diplomacy only works when both sides respect each other or when one side fears the other, but a buck cannot negotiate with a pack of wolves, it must fight or die, and wolves typically back off from a real fighter and go seek easier prey. Diplomacy will not work because the Jihadis 1) do not respect Israel but consider it an interloper that needs to be destroyed, and 2) believe they have infinite strength because it comes from Allah.

Some pacifistic groups recongize this problem and believe the solution is for Israel to disband, in the name of peace, and give the land to the Muslims. There is only one problem with this solution: It will not end with the destruction of Israel. The Jihadis want a world-wide Caliphate where infidels live in dhimmitude but the "peace at any cost" people are in denial about this simply because its meaning is too horrible for them to accept. If you are willing to pay any price for peace, and the bad guys know it, you will pay a horrible price for it.

The only solution is to show the Jihadis that their strength is not infinite but there is a greater strength within ourselves and a willingness to use it when there is no other option besides surrender. We played the barbarian against Hitler and Japan and won. We, the civilized people, must once again play the barbarian and win.

Update: Dr Sanity has a similar posting with her own insight. Much more worth reading than my rants.

I especially agree with this statement by her:
I am confident that we will not lose our values; and that our overall moral heading can be recovered should we need to temporarily deviate from the course of the moral compass that guides us. Because, in order to combat and defeat this new barbarism, we must confront it and be willing to do whatever it takes to defeat it.

Update 2: A number of years ago, on Fox television, I saw a made-for-TV movie called Missing Link. It was an absolutely PC absurdity in which the peaceful creature that was between man and ape in evolution, made the intellectual choice of extinction rather than becoming violent as its human relatives were. That really showed me the mindset of some.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Addition.

The American Flag: My home and greatest nation ever. "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave."

The Christian Flag : The Church, God's kingdom here on earth. "The gates of Hell will not prevail against her."

The "Don't Tread on Me" Flag: The flag of freedom and sovereignty warning would be tyrants.

The Navy Flag: The flag of the service branch I served in. Our First Line of Defense.

State Flag of Michigan: The Great Lakes State, Water Winter Wonderland. My home

These five flags whose ideals I believe in and honor. They stand at the head of my blog now.

Thank you Gawfer and friend for the assistance.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Big Oops

Hezbollah fires a rocket into Israel and what do they hit?

Take a look.

Yet with their mindset it could almost be intentional for some inexplicable reason.

H/T Jihad Watch

Thoughts On A Yahoo Story

While reading a news story on Yahoo concerning the Israeli-Hezbollah war, I noticed several things that struck me as odd.

A top Hamas official in Syria said Israeli soldiers held by Hamas and Hezbollah will only be released as part of a prisoner swap.

OK, lets not be disproportional, but one for one. Very proportional. Not that I would approve.

Arabs will insist on an immediate cease-fire and for the Lebanese government to take control over the militant Hezbollah at an international meeting to be held in Rome on Wednesday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul-Illah al-Khatib said.

Let's let the chickens in the chicken coop take control of the fox as well.

Up to 200 Hezbollah guerrillas are believed to be defending the town, which lies about 2 1/2 miles north of the Israeli border.

Er excuse me but Hezbollah is not a bunch of defenders but a bunch of murderers. The only thing they are defending is their own skin and that town is their hostage.

"As soon as the war ends, you will find in us what we really are, pursuers of peace, seekers of peace, seekers of hope," Peres said. "There is not any conflict between Israel and Lebanon."

Sadly, the path to peace often leads through the valleys of war.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A Disturbing Post

There is a lot of bad news these days as Leftists and Jihadists have joined forces to destroy freedom (though neither will admit it) and euro-blogger Fjordman is at the edge of despair over it.

He notes that in Europe:
Transnational progressivism is undemocratic and authoritarian to its core. It presupposes the rule of enlightened “experts” and élite groups over the ignorant masses, who are stupid and should not be permitted to make important decisions without supervision. Its goal is to establish a benign oligarchy, where power will reside within smaller groups which will conduct their affairs out of the public view. This line of thinking is nothing less than a frontal attack on all basic principles of freedom and democracy, disguised under a benevolent façade. It needs to be exposed as such. Transnational organizations such as the European Union are a throwback to the pre-democratic age.

What concerns me is that one of the most dangerous men in the world, George Soros, is attempting to set the same thing in America.

Fjordman wonders if it is even possible for political correctness and true freedom and democracy to co-exist. I don't believe that extensive PC-ness is compatible with Democracy or freedom.

But what do I know? I am just an ignorant right-wing Jesus freak. I should have no say in how America is governed.

A while ago a left-wing "humorist" suggested that Christians who believe their citizenship was in Heaven should not be allowed to vote because they were not citizens of America but of Heaven. I wonder if the same logic can be applied to those who consider themselves Citizens of the Planet Earth.

In truth I don't know what to tell Fjordman.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Faith of Israel

The New Testament tells the story of how a Roman officer demonstrated great faith in God and Jesus said, "I have not seen faith like this even in Israel."

Today the Christian Church needs to look at the faith of some Jews and say "We need faith like this."

The link is to the Temple Mount Faithful, an Orthodox Jewish group that is dedicated to rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. I am not certain about the idea of rebuilding the Temple, but I do see genuine and great faith and a willingness to obey in these people, which the Christians should be willing to emulate.

Listen to these words:
The small Israel will overcome this difficult time. As it was in the biblical times the G-d of Israel, the Creator of the Universe, is fighting together with the Israeli soldiers against the messengers of the devil. These evil powers want to destroy what G-d is doing with Israel at these critical times and to eliminate not only Israel but the great hope for all the world for a better mankind. They have illusions that they can win the battle against G-d and His people Israel. They never learned from their own experience and experience of other evil powers throughout the history of Israel that believed that they can destroy the G-d and the people of Israel. They were all defeated by the G-d of Israel and His Israeli soldiers and have disappeared completely under the judgement of G-d from the stage of history. The same will be their destiny now as G-d promised to His people Israel through her great prophets. They have no chance. Who can challenge the G-d of Israel and the Universe

That is faith

I read this groups writings and they are so close to the truth, but still they miss when they do not recognize Who their Moshiach was and is. Still God keeps His covenant with them.

Those who bless you I will bless and those who curse you I will curse.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dr. Sanity again

Check out this simple, elegant drawing at Dr. Sanity that just says it all. The moral difference between the Israeli soldier and the Hezbollah terrorist is graphically and beautifully portrayed.

Ford's Turn

Now it looks like the focus on the Ford Motor Company for a while. After losing 123 Million last quarter, it is time for them to do some more serious downsizing.


Ford needs to cut 30,000 North American jobs by 2012.

I wonder if we can get Toyota to create 30,000 new jobs on this continent.

Unlike GM this personally concerns me a little less because my company, at the moment anyway, does no work for Ford, though we have in the past and are still on their prefered vendors list. Still it is going to be rough on those who depend on Ford.

Of course the company survival does have to come first because if it dies there will be zero (0) jobs left.

Reality really stinks sometimes.

One thing I do like about Bill Ford though. He does not let Wall Street push him around. (Also rumor has it that he has declined his salary until things pick up for Ford. Looks like he got stock instead.)

Interestingly enough, a Canadian truck driver who came to pick up Chrysler parts from us, told us that he is trying to get as many Ford shares as he can. Right now it is very low ($6.19) and will probably go lower, but when (if) the turn around comes he figures it will skyrocket. For everyone's sake I hope that he is right.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Question For Islam

Out of this beauty comes murderous hatred.

David Yeagley is a man I greatly respect. A Native American professor who loves America and recognizes its greatness inspite of its troubling past and is also a devout and enlightened Christian.

He writes about how he first learned about Islam and how at first he respected its morality, romantic trappings and beauty but eventually saw what it really was. He writes with a respect for the Muslim believer but not for Islam itself. He challenges them with this question.

Sure, there are respectable people who say they are Muslim. But they are Muslim only at weddings, funerals, and important family functions. This is a social norm. This is beautiful. Muslims know how to be reverent.

So, why all the Satanic hate and murder? That’s clearly all it is. Satanic hatred and murder. What have you done to Islam? What has Islam done to you? The name of Islam stinks in the world today. You have made it so. Or, you have failed to make it not so. What will you do now?

From what I have read about the very beginning of Islam, it was all about war. Professing to be about peace, it provokes and incites war and war alone. It is a terrible lie.

Convince me that I am wrong, my brothers. Does your love for Allah make you want to kill me? Yes, or no? Are you a Muslim or not?

I too join My Brother in the Faith, David Yeagley, in asking them that question.

(His blog navigates a little differently, but the posting is To the Muslim Brothers, You Break My Heart.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Go Israel!!

When I was a kid, I loved Mad Magazine and even as an adult I appreciated the humor, insight, and wisdom of Dave Berg in Berg's Eye View which was a regular feature of the magazine and had some of the most true-to-life humor ever.

One strip of the feature that stands out in my mind was a strip where a little girl goes crying to her mother and says "(My big brother) is hurting me."

Mom: What happened?

Girl: He started a fight.

Mom: How did he start it?

Girl: I hit him and he hit me back.

Sounds like the Palestinian, Hezbollah, and some other Muslim's response to Israel defending themselves against terrorist aggression.

Like the little girl in the above strip, they thought they could torment Israel without risk because Israel has no right (in their book) to defend itself. They are finding out that they are wrong.

A sign says "Stop Israeli Terrorism". Israel has never attacked a nation that has not attacked them first or offered a serious threat that they could not ignore (as in the Iraqi reactor years ago.) Israel has never attacked in unprovoked manner simply to take land.

They may choose to say that they attacked Palestine when Israel was founded but that is half-true at best. The founding of Israel is far different than what the Palestinians say. I will do a posting on it some day, but, in a nutshell, the Zionist movement involved buying land from the Muslims until they had enough adjoining land to form a nation and when the local Muslims realized what was happening, they attacked the Israelis in order to steal the land, which the Jews had legally purchased, back and the Israelis took more in self-defense. It was not an invasion of a Muslim land by Jews in 1948 but a lawful land purchase and migration policy that had been in action for nearly 75 years. I really need to do an in depth on this but that will take a bit of time.

There Goes Dean Again.

Howard Dean says we have lost the respect of the nations of the world.


That will cost me a night's sleep.

Third world leaders hate us because we do not support their dreams of power.

Third world citizens hate us because their leaders have blamed their squalor on us to avert attention away from their own corruption (plus they have no means to know that we are not the source of their misery as dictators control their information.)

Muslim nations hate us because we are relatively prosperous without listening to their "prophet".

Socialist nations hate us because we are better off than they are without listening to and obeying Marx.

The UN hates us because we are more powerful than they are.

Dean seems to believe that the best way to aleviate the world's hatred for us is for Americans to sink to the level of the rest of the world.

I say let's allow the rest of the world to rise up to our level and then they will have no reason to hate us and we will have no reason to resent them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

GM's Turn Around

The big news in the area is the proposed partnership between GM, Nissan and Renault but behind it all is the news that GM has turned the corner. In spite of the buyouts and that cost, GM could still make a profit this quarter. That is good news, especially for those who still have jobs at GM and associated companies.

I was talking to my boss today and he is of the opinion that a big share of GM's problems are bad PR and bad press, especially compared to what Japanese companies get and that newer GM designs are, in most areas, as good or better than Japanese, European and Korean products but people don't trust them because of years of inferior products. I would need to see more documentation on this before I say he is definitely right but there is probably some truth to it.

I'm just glad that my company does a lot of work for Chrysler and Toyota (as well as GM).

What does this mean for Michigan? A total tanking of GM would have been catastrophic for, not only Michigan, but for the country. That concern is fading a little bit and that is good news.

Monday, July 17, 2006

An HTML Question

I have an image I wish to place at the top of my blog. I know how to place it and get it picked up but I have question. Where do I upload the image to so it will appear at the top of my blog whenever it is opened.

(If you're curious, here is the image which consists of 5 flags that reflect who I am-- though it would be larger when I use it.)

A Good Dream.

Gayle at MyRepublicanBlog has a section on the Islamification of a 9-11 memorial which is totally unacceptable considering what that happened that day and is an insult to everyone involved.

The lunar crescent is a symbol of Islam so in a sense, the moon is their symbol. I think the perfect memorial to them would be a major insult to Islam. To place the Christian Flag at the exact center (0 latitude, 0 longitude) of the Moon. It would never happen but it is a good dream.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Busy Weekend

I spent virtually the entire weekend with my family as we celebrated my parents' Golden Anniversary.

My brother from Florida was here along with his son and younger daughter and his wife, whom I don't get to see often enough. They arrived in the middle of a cloudburst. The only one's missing was a brother who was out of state working, a niece who couldn't get time off to come to Michigan, and a nephew in Army basic training.

One of the cuter sights was my young (6 yo) niece chasing fireflies and filling a canning jar with them. Suprisingly, to me anyway, they are very rare in their neck of the woods, and she and her older brother (22 yo) were both fascinated by them.

They swam in a pond instead of the ocean.

We went back into the woods behind our parents' home and found the remains of a clubhouse we built nearly 40 years ago. (Apparently after we abandoned it, someone used it as a hideout to drink in as there were signs of long ago drinking, which we didn't do, there.)

We had a good sized dinner with friends and extended family this afternoon. It was catered so we didn't have to clean up afterwards.

Didn't get to blog much, but should be back tomorrow.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Another "We Must Not Forget"

I remember when Pol Pot fell from power there were pictures of his genocide in National Geographic and I nearly cried over the horror of the scenes of starving people and stacks of dead bodies and could not believe it happened in my lifetime.

In terms of the percentage of the population killed, there were few internally generated genocides as bad as the Cambodians under Pol Pot. Out of a population of 8 million, he killed 2 million or one quarter of his own population. Two different sources are saying that the Cambodians seem to be forgetting this. The above document is two years old and said that they were forming a tribunal to try the surviving perpetrators of the genocide, of which little is further said.

Furthermore an interview with Cambodian teenagers reveals that they are not taught enough about the genocide, and at least one of the kids fears a repeat.

I think the German people sometimes overdo it with national guilt over the Holocaust (only a tiny sliver of the current German population was alive when it happened and I strongly believe that no one should be held responsible for the crimes of their ancestors, especially the ones commited before they were born!) but at least the German government has taken steps to reduce the likelihood of a second Holocaust.

Cambodia needs to put up museums and memorials which would be visited by as many school children as the economics and logistics allow. Each community should have a monument, even if it's just a painted wall with the name of every townsperson killed, directly or indirectly, by Pol Pot's murderous regime.

Pol Pot's name needs to be "elevated" to the level of Hitler, Stalin and Osama. This is a history that must be remembered and never repeated.

Update: 11:13 If you view the video in the above link be sure to take a look at the next video, (The Killing Field) which is a visit to one of the monuments they do have. It is shocking.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

For Mom and Dad

I ask you to join me in congratulating my parents on their 50th Wedding anniversary. They were married on July 14, 1956. They have 4 sons and, by birth or adoption, 9 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Something On My Mind

A co-worker of mine is getting his heart worked on today. He is about 42 and has already had two major heart attacks, including one where they had to zap his heart several times to get it going again. Apparently he had another one while we were laid off for change-over. I am quite concerned about him.

But to be honest, it is largely his own doing. He is about 5'8" or 5'7" and is pushing 350 pounds. We get a break every 2 1/2 hours and while most of us eat either nothing or a small amount, this guy eats a full meal at every break, and it ain't health food.

I am no big fan of health food, but I also try to limit the grease, salt, and sugar I take in (but I do love meat, though I avoid fatty cuts and pork).

His nickname at work (and we all have them) is "Carcass" and has been for as long as I've known him. I really hope and pray it does not become reality.

I just wonder why somebody would have to eat so much and so constantly. It can't be hunger. Oh well. I just hope and pray he pulls through and decides to make some changes.

Has Hell Frozen Over?

The little town of Hell Michigan freezes over every year, but what about the real hot spot?

Monday, July 10, 2006

I Love These Things

When I was in my early teens I was crazy about model rockets. I am pushing 50 and I still have a soft spot for them. But how they have changed.

I got my first one, an Estes Scout, for 70 cents and a pack of engines for 70 cents. I was 12 years old

(note My digital camera seems to have malfunctioned -- no adjustment for light at all -- so I have to use stock photos instead of pictures of my own.)

I painted it red white and blue and loved it like it was a puppy.It only went up a couple of hundred feet but boy did it make my world. I later built quite a little fleet with an X-Ray, Mars Snooper, Trident (my pride and joy), Cherokee D, and a few others. My craftsmanship left a lot to be desired but I built them myself. When they flew I was on top of the world.

My older cousin got me started and he had a real beauty too, the Orbital Transport which was his pride and joy.

We did some stupid things, like a launch a mouse in an X-Ray. Poor thing was traumatized. Vern Estes, the man who made hobby rocketry possible, was one of my heros. When I read is columns in Model Rocket News I felt like he was "one of us" and I really like to think he was.

In my mid 30s I had a gift certificate for the local hobby shop so I went in and saw an Estes Starter kit and I purchased it. Soon my nieces and nephews were joining me in launching them and eventually getting their own starter kits and a few of their own rockets.

But something was missing. With plastic nose cones and fins, you didn't even have to pain them and they wound up looking perfect with no effort on my part. Not only that but the vast majority of them were what model-rocketeers called nc3f (nose cone and three fins). No real variety. Many different rockets might as well have been the same design with a different decal.

When I went on the internet a couple of years later I found that I was not alone in this disatisfaction, but I learned that I could still build them from scratch because there a lot of garage companies making rocket parts that Estes Industries no longer feels are worth the bother.

I found JimZ's, a site that with the apparent blessings of the manufacturers posts plans and complete instructions for discontinued models (Estes allows it as long as he doesn't post current designs.) Virtually every old Estes Rocket, plus a lot of old Centuri rockets and few other companies.

Sadly the big companies no longer carry a lot of parts for personal designs but there are a lot of garage companies that do. One that carries a lot of stuff is Balsa Machining Services out of some place in Illinois. I have never had a complaint about a part that I bought from them and I have bought quite a few. (Within limits, they can produce custom parts made to order for special rockets.)

I now have the fleet I wished I had when I was a kid. Once again imaginative rockets fly. We again have more than nc3f rockets. I now have my flying model of the Saturn V, the Mars Lander, and many, many more. My craftsmanship still leaves a lot to be desired, but I actually built these. I did not just pull it out of a box and insert an engine.

Plus when I was a kid, a two foot rocket was huge and a D engine was WOW! I now have one that uses E, F, and G engines and if you want, they get even bigger (H through O). But I have not dealt with high power, though I would like to some day. That is the realm of an organization called Tripoli. I intend to join Tripoli someday but can't do it right now. Even if you never fly them, go to Tripoli's site and check out the pics.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Star Spangled Banner

Do you know all four verses of our national Anthem?

jgf over at It's a Dog's Life has them. If you haven't memorized all four of them it's a good idea. The first verse (which many Americans do know) makes more sense if you know the other three.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Kim Jong Il or is it Tod Spengo?

In 1992 a sci-fi spoof was made starring Teri Garr and John Lovitz called Mom and Dad Save the World. It was sort of a combination of Dr. Seuss, Monty Python and Flash Gordon and was simply a silly movie (and who doesn't like an occasional silly movie?)

John Lovitz played the most absurd dictator imaginable. His name was Tod Spengo. He believed that he was the greatest leader ever and the only thing standing in his way was Earth. Earth had to go. So he impoverished his planet to build a mighty death ray that would turn the earth to space dust. "Ah Earth! You think you are so big! So important! Well tomorrow you will be space dust and Spengo will be the greatest planet in the universe." But while studying the earth he noticed Teri Garr and well... first things first.

Let's see. He had statues of himself everywhere along with engravings on the wall that said things like "Tod is wisdom", "Tod is Power", " Tod is pleasure" etc. He had a chorus that sang his praises whenever he entered his throneroom. He believed that he could rule the universe if he could just get rid of earth and he was obsessed with destroying earth. He impoverished his planet to gain the technology to destroy earth.

You know this is beginning to sound familiar.

The difference is that Tod Spengo was a comic character in a silly movie. Kim Jong Il is and his threats are very real. Sadly we cannot just laugh at him.

The Humble Penny

The penny. The King James Version of the Bible uses it as the English word for denarius which was a day's wage for a working man and centuries ago it was a day's wage for a working man. I have an old English Penny which is the size of an American 50 cent piece and it was clearly worth more than the American Penny.

The Penny has been our smallest coin since we abolished the half-penny in 1857. Think about this in terms of inflation. In 1900 a penny was our lowliest coin and yet it had roughly the purchasing power of a quarter today. We had no difficulties from having no smaller coins and we got along fine.

It takes me a little less than 3 seconds at work to earn a penny. A far cry from the late Middle Ages when it was a day's wage.

If I see a dime or quarter on the sidewalk I may pick it up, but usually walk right by pennies.

Do we really need to keep minting this coin? I have wondered this for some time. Now USA Today has an article asking that very question.

Some of the objections are valid, but the penny would not disappear overnight. There are a lot of them and they would remain in circulation for some time, which would give us time to phase them out.

I would not object to its elimination, but I also understand the concerns of those who do not want it eliminated.

My only question is what to do with Lincoln's profile?

2000 Florida -- Again -- Sort Of

Mexico's presidential election is over and the relatively conservative Felipe Calderon of the semi-reformist Political Action Party has won a razor's edge victory over quasi-socialist Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Personal Oppinion: There were no real good choices here, but I would prefer Calderon over Obrador, but neither one is true reformer Mexico needs. Calderon looks to me like a status-quo guy while Obrador talks the socialist talk, and socialism is a one-way ticket to an economic catastrophe far worse than anything America is facing.

It does seem to some that Mexican voters went with what they felt was the lesser of two evils. As the article put it: Felipe Calderon won Mexico's presidential election not because of who he is, but because of who he isn't. Many Mexicans rightly fear Obrador's ideas.

What really gets me is that Obrador is screaming fraud. Yes there was probably a lot of fraud on both sides and it probably pretty much canceled out. The problem is that the left does not believe they can lose a fair election and the fact that they lost is proof that the election was tampered with. Goes back to the idea that Marx had about the flow of history leading inevitably to socialism. When socialism is denied somebody interfered with the inevitable results of the flow of history. It just never occurs to them that Marx was simply wrong about the course of history.

Anyone can win or lose a fair election if the people hear the message. (The problem is getting the message out, which takes $$$$$)

Now there are rumblings of mass protests. What next? Civil war? Not likely but Mexico has a North/South political divide as bad or worse than our red state/blue state divide that is not going to go away with a simple election. I would like to see a state-by-state break-down of the vote.

Here is an interesting analysis, that seems fairly non-partisan, but is somewhat pessimistic about democracy in Latin America. He brings up things we need to think about. A good part of the problem is when people vote for candidates who will solve their problems for them rather than give them the tools and opportunity to solve their own problems. What many Latin American Nations, and perhaps America too, needs is a leader that will say "You people can solve any problem with the right tools and being allowed to do it. My job is to make it possible for you to solve your own problems." But candidates that promise to solve the problems themselves make better sounding promises.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It Really Isn't Funny

But I laughed anyway

update: I used too big of an image and it messed a few things up. I downsized it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Last night at the festivities I was distracted from the fireworks as I gazed over by the river. Fireflies, looked like millions of dancing sparks but it was probably just a few thousand.

They are so beautiful and so amazing.

Far more fascinating then fireworks.

Yet even more amazing is that one can look at them and not notice the Creator's signature. It is an excellent species survival technique yet it makes no sense in terms of evolution. How in the world did this bug simultaneously create the ability and the need for this little beacon.

Insects are often considered more primitive than mammals, yet no warm blooded species has anything like this.

Even with our technical know-how we have difficulty creating cold light. Ah... but the things we could do with it if we could master it.

The New Superman Movie

Just got back from seeing it and man what a ride! A world class roller coaster ride.

Great plot. Great acting. Special effects are just amazing.

If you consider Clark Kent and Superman as distinct characters I would say that Christopher Reeves was a better Superman (the guy with the cape), but I think as Clark Kent, Brandon Routh was much better than Reeves (the guy with the glasses.) (I know you know who they are but I'm feeling like a wiseguy right now!). I also have to say Kate Bosworth is a much better Lois Lane then Margot Kidder was (but I think a lot of that may have been the script -- they treated her as an idiot with a good job in the 70s-80s). However, Gene Hackman was a much better Lex Luthor.

The woman you love is with another man, and what makes it worse, is he is a decent guy and you want to like him and you want to hate him. Been there, done that. Now Superman gets a taste of it.

Go see the movie. If you have a weak heart take your medication with you.

At Tim's Blogspot we had a bit of a discussion about the meanings of the names Kal El and Jor El. I suggest you go there and read the post and the comments. (Kal El and Jor El both have a definite meaning in Hebrew. Kal El means "All God" and Jor El means "True God".) While there appears to be a parallel to Jesus in the words, it makes no sense, because the teenage boys who created Superman were Jewish. Yet they must have known the meanings of those words. (Unless this was added later by someone else.)

Officially in Kryptonese "El" means "Star" which is curiously what the word "El" means in Elven in Tolkien's writings. (The elves call themselves Eldar which means "Star People") Sadly, the link that gave me that info has "exceeded its data transfer limit." so you'll just have to take my word for it or look it up elsewhere. sigh.

One question though. If lead shields kryptonite (as it did in the comix), why doesn't Superman just get his tights lined with lead?

Update: 10:48 Best Line in the movie (Superman to Lois Lane): You say earth needs no savior (pointing to Metropolis) yet everyday I hear them crying for one.

Thank God For "System Restore"

I upgraded my Yahoo messenger the other day and since then I could do nothing with my computer. I restored the system this afternoon and it's working again. I don't know what it was but I often could not navigate and frequently could not turn the Internet Explorer off. It was probably clashing with another program. My anti-virus and spyware programs both say nothing is there so it was probably just a clash with another program somewhere. I don't need an advanced Yahoo messenger anyway.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Here is a Suprise

In terms of the percentage of the population being victims of violent crime each year how does America stack up against Britain, France and Germany?

Here it is.

You would never know it from the media would you?

Over at Absolute Zero

A recent post at Absolute Zero remarked that those who lusted after little children were simply sick in the head and boy talk about responses. Here is one that just about blew me away.

You are an idiot, miss or sir. You are the one who needs mental help, in order to get over your jealousy issues with children and sex.

Basically, you are JEALOUS of children who get more sex than you and who some people find more attractive than you.

Get mental help, before you end up killing your own daughters or sons because your boyfriend or girlfriend hooks up with them instead of you.

Where do I start? Next thing you know he will accuse normal people of being jealous of rape victims because they have more sex than people who have never been raped do. Perhaps I should be jealous of the victims of other crimes as well. These people are really determined to have society view us as the problem instead of them.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Dream or Nightmare?

Kirk Kerkorian does not dream small. He is a massive shareholder in GM and believes it has possibilities, but it needs to look at other ideas; like entering into a partnership with Renault and Nissan. Now to be honest I do not know enough about these companies to evaluate what the heck is going on here. I am clearly going to have to do some studying over the next few days.

GM Chairman Rick Wagoner is being, understandably, non-commital. You don't want to alienate one of the biggest shareholders but you don't want to do something stupid either. For the workers, it could be news that goes either way. If it secures GM's survival then it could be good news, but it could also result in less work being done in America as well. We'll have to see I guess.

Even Detroit News Auto Columnist David Howes is not certain what to make of this.

Meanwhile in Las Vegas, of all places, the UAW is having a consitutional convention and from what I am reading, I am suprised that the convention hall hasn't floated away from all the hot air being generated. The things they do with my union dues: bribe politicians and have conventions in Las Vegas. Like all politicians, UAW president, Ron Gettelfinger, is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Got adapt to modern realities but not turn back the clock. Oh ... and we gotta get the GOP out of power. (It amazes me how quickly they forget that Al Gore debated Ross Perot on NAFTA insisting that it would be good for American workers and John Kerry voted for NAFTA and GATT and Permanent MFN for China. I guess it's only a crime if non-Democrats do it.)