Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Night

Well it's over. We had no kids come through our apartments for the first hour so I went to the local party store to get a snack of some sort and there are kids going up and down the streets in various costumes, ranging from cute, to shocking, to simply amazing.

And then this costume. At least I think it was a costume.

A young man, about 14-16, wearing a yellow sweat suit and strapped to his forehead was an anatomically complete dildo. I took a second look and yup, that's what it was.

I don't even want to know what he thought he was. I wonder if anyone complained about it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I Want That Job!

Imagine a job, that pays $1,000 a week, and you don't even have to show up for work or do anything. And the job lasts for 2 years. All you have to do is have a title and be on the payroll. Sounds too good to be true for many people.

Last year, Tim Johnson, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1659 -- which represents about a quarter of county employees -- was promoted to an administrative assistant position in the Wayne County Clerk's Office that pays $50,000 a year.

Now here is the beautiful part.

Johnson's receipt of the raise was a move by management to co-opt him in negotiations between the county and the union on a new contract, some members said. The previous contract expired two years ago, and negotiations have been dead since

I would have to say that the co-option in negotiations have worked quite well as negotiations have been dead since he took the job -- and then never showed up, even though he collects a salary and has been for two years.

Once again, and quite predictably, organized labor lives down to my very low expectations of them.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Origin of Trick or Treat

I learned this years ago, but I cannot document it, thus this should be treated as a hypothesis rather than an absolute fact. For the record, in spite of its origins, I consider Trick-or-Treating to be harmless and am not opposed to observing Halloween in a traditional manner. The old beliefs that started it are pretty much dead and it has been reduced to harmless fun.

About 3000 years ago, give or take a few, October 31 was the Fall Equinox (note other minor holidays on the old equinox/solitice dates -- Ground Hog's Day, May Day, Mid-Summer's Eve -- 3 months apart.)

Some pre-Christian European religions during this time period believed the dead would get up and walk around on that night. In order to protect themselves from the dead people would put food out for them hoping they would take it rather than them.

Now some of the poor were desperate enough to steal that food, but there really wasn't that much of it. Some of the more brazen would cake themselves in mud etc. to look like they have just come out of the grave and go ask for more food. Trick or Treat is supposedly derived from a threat of "We will curse you if you don't feed us."

Over the years, the old beliefs died out and were replaced by Christianity. What was once a solemn and frightening ritual became an eve of light-hearted frolic, as the night when they feared the dead became All Saints Night, a day of feasting and thanksgiving.

If you are so inclined, go Trick-or-treating or some other party but remember, no one is going to really believe that you are dead.

Actually, a number of years ago, when I was on leave from the Navy, I was home and the neighbor kids were having a hayride on Halloweeen night. I and a neighbor who was just a couple of years younger than me grabbed some sheets and headed to an old abandoned grave yard that was about a mile from our home and was right along the road the hayride was going down. When the ride was passing the graveyard we ran out with our sheets over us going "Whooooo oo oo ". Yeah we scared em alright, for about 3 seconds.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Whose Rights Matter?

One of my most embarrassing moments was a good number of years ago, when not at all paying attention, I ALMOST went into the ladies' room instead of the mens' room. Fortunately someone asked me what I was doing before I actually did but I felt like the whole world was looking at me.

Use of the restroom is a private affair and one that has been traditionally divded by gender for many, many years. Not any more.

Some transgendered people have demanded the right to use the bathroom of their choice and have won the struggle at this point in time. It's all about their personal rights.

How about the rights of the genuine ladies who do not want someone who is biologically male, especially strangers, near them in such circumstances. Do their rights count for nothing? Apparently the only rights that matter are the rights of the maladjusted.

Human Rights. Normal people need not apply.

And forgive my crudeness, but a person's gender is not determined by the clothing they prefer but by how nature has equiped them. (Questions about surgical alterations aside.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Day Late -- More Memories

I don't know when they first appeared, but they quietly disappeared when I was in college. Mattel had this little cooking pad on which you could make things. It was called the "Thing-Maker" and it had several variations. Its flagship version was Creepy Crawlers with which you could make plastic fake bugs of various sorts.

Other variations included Fright Factory, which allowed you to make scars, fake eyes, fake teeth etc to make you look Creepy.

There was also a version that allowed you to make plastic flowers and a version that allowed you to create costume jewelry. (These were created because girls didn't dig bugs, or so they figured).

The thing about these is that for their time period they were considered costly, and their fun "half-life" was very short leading to them quickly gathering dust on a shelf. Apparently there were quite a few more varieties than I remember as this listing shows.

Similar, yet very different was Incredible Edibles, which was Creepy Crawlers with a twist. You could, and were expected to, eat the bugs. They came in several flavors and colors. Because you were producing candy, the fun-life expectancy of this was considerably longer.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Death, Despair and Hope

One of my favorite morbid poems is Poe's The Raven. It is well known to probably a large number of Americans, though I fear a cannot say a majority of them. It is a discourse by a man grieving for lost love and in the end, knowing that his beloved was gone forever, finding only despair in death, both symbolized by the Raven.

And the Raven, never flitting,
still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas
just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming
of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming
throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow
that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!

Poe spent last two years of his life grieving over his lost love, his deceased wife Virginia (and though The Raven was written two years before she actually died, he knew she was dying and it was only a matter of time and he would be seperated from her forever.) There is very little doubt that his wife's impending death inspired the masterpiece. Two years after her death Poe was found wandering aimlessly and gibbering, and died shortly thereafter.

Death is one of two things: oblivion or another life. For those who believe in oblivion, death is the destroyer of all dreams, all hopes, and all happiness. Those who believe it leads to another life see death as a transition.

Those who see death as the end cannot possibly truly hope. All will die and a child born today has only begun the pathway to the grave. That is what life is. In CS Lewis's book Perelandra a dying man said life with like "a rind" with oblivion on each side and only the illusion of beauty and meaning in between.

Without eternal life, life becomes not a tragedy, but a painful farce. Look at the animal kingdom. A female mouse gives birth to several litters a year and the vast majority of her babies will die in agony before it is more than a few weeks old. Every animal dies and the vast majority of them will succumb to starvation, disease, or predation (none of which are pleasant endings) and in the wild it is a rare creature indeed that dies of old age in its sleep. Life in the material world for most creatures is suffering while trying to stave off death for as long as possible. And if the world is only material, then the saddest fact of all is that all of this suffering is for nothing. All their labors, suffering, and occasional triumphs will not stave off death for themselves, eventual extinction of their species, and ultimately the death of the planet they live on.

For inevitably
Destroying what he chanced to create in play
the idiot Chaos blew earth's dust away (The Fungi From Yuggoth by HP Lovecraft)

Sometimes it seems to me, that if there is no God, then the kindest thing we could do, not only to our fellow man, but to all living things is to nuke the planet and end all life, for only with the end of all life will suffering and pain end.

That, of course, is not acceptable.

The existance of God changes everything. Though life in the material world remains suffering, especially for animals, but also for most humans as well, the fact that life has a purpose and is moving toward a specific end changes it from tragic to a growing process. That death is not the end makes it less painful.

The Resurrection of the Son of God has revealed Eternal Life to us. That is our Hope.

In all the world around me
I see His loving care
and though my heart grow weary
I never shall despair
I know that He is leading us
through the stormy blast
and the day of His appearing
will come at last.

For He must reign until He has put all enemys under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15: 25, 26)

And death shall be no more. (Revelation 21: 4)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wasting Time Again

A couple of weeks ago I blogged on the old TV Horror-Soap Opera Dark Shadows and its main protagonist, the guilt ridden vampire Barnabas Collins.

Today as I came home from work I meandered into a second-hand shop and was looking at DVDs and CDs and came acrossed a set of DVDs of the first 40 episodes that included him for $6.00.

Needless to say, I'm not doing to much blogging today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sweet Desire

One of my earliest, and possibly my very earliest, recollections took place when I was small enough to be pushed in a stroller. We lived in Boise Idaho at the time so I would have been two or three years old. In the evening, Mom and Dad took me in the stroller to what I now understand to have been a park with lighted fountains in it. I remember looking on the fountain and, even though I obviously did not understand it at the time, it made an impression on my very young mind. The lights dancing on the water absolutely fascinated me to such a degree that I remember it even today.

Light has always fascinated me and it sometimes awakens in me feelings that cannot be considered biologicial. I am feel called to the sky by a clear starry night, the lights of a distant city, or even the slightly weird glow of a blacklight poster.

Often, when I lived in Lansing, San Diego, or Orlando, I would catch the lights of distant skyscrapers out of the corner of my eye and would see more than was actually there, but when I looked straight at it, it was gone.

As I got older an image began to form in my mind. With my mind's eye I could see a city acrossed the waters. Beneath far more stars than we would ever see on earth I could picture a city with buildings whose very substance was light. And people lived there. Life there had more meaning than life here, though I could not tell you why. It was such a strange vision yet it was burned into my mind and consciousness until it became part of how I look at the world.

I later read of others who had such ideas. There was the Celestial City in Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. There was the Twilight City in H. P. Lovecrafts The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath. There were the Western Islands in C.S. Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress. There was the awesome visions of the Muspel Fire in David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus.

There seems to be something that calls to people to raise themselves out of the ordinary into something that makes little sense from a purely biologicial viewpoint. Even some music such as this song which is sung by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie, and was also sung, much more beautifully, by Karen Carpenter (but wasn't released until a few years after she died.)

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that And someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell, We know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
Is it something that I'm supposed to be?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

(reprise from "The Muppet Movie"):
Why are there so many songs about rainbows?
That's part of what rainbows do.
Rainbows are memories, sweet dream reminders
-- What is it you'd like to do?
All of us watching and wishing we'd find it,
I know you're watching it, too.
Someday you'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and you!

When I was 21 I was at a friend's wedding reception and while we were doing some Polkas an eerie feeling came over me and I looked at the dancing people and it seemed as if it was two dimensional and I was standing apart from it and even though I was in the middle of, and taking part in a dance, I felt isolated. But it wasn't an isolation of loneliness or sorrow, but an isolation that included a triumphant feeling in my spirit. I truly understood that while I live in this world and am part of it, it is not my home. I went on dancing but I had in an instant changed my worldview.

Later I read C.S. Lewis's autobiography Suprised by Joy and he spoke of toy garden and a painting, that he loved as a child that told his heart of a perfect place. It awoke in him what he later called "The Sweet Desire". In other writings he told of others portraying the same sweet desire in art and literature and it ulitimately came to this: something on the edge of our consciousness that was telling us of Heaven and of our Heavenly Father Who waits for us there. (It is too bad that Lovecraft, who was an Atheist, and Lindsay, a Neo-Gnostic, could not understand that their lovely visions of perfection was God calling to their souls.)

I now understand it. When I was a mere baby, far too young to understand, God began to speak to my heart in the simple sight of light and water dancing together. The vision grew until adulthood when I understood that my home is somewhere else.

No matter what happens here, I need not despair for my true home is somewhere else. A home, that in one way or another, I have been told of all my life.

This world is not my Home, I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up, Somewhere beyond the blue
The Angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Loss of Law

When I was younger, one of the most shocking movie scenes to date was the head of a horse in someone's bed as a warning from organized crime. People gasped in horror.

Today in parts of Mexico, it's human heads. The drug lords are terrifying the public into not prosecuting them. Police Officers are quiting in the face of death threats.

It's just like dealing with the terrorists and people respond like the Eloi in the movie The Time Machine.

Alexander Why don't you fight them?

Male Eloi Because if you fight them you're taken first.

The thing is that there were no old Eloi because everyone of them were doomed to be killed and eaten by the Morlocks. The Drug Lords, the Terrorists or the Morlocks, it doesn't matter who. Once you let them cow you into submission, you are doomed.

The terrorists and drug lords see us as sheep to be slaughtered, not even human.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Should We Scrap the Constitution?

Most of us can think of ways in which the Constitution of the United States could be improved. I have suggested three ways on earlier posts. However, I believe the document itself is sound and needs nothing more than some fine tuning, mostly clarifying and reinforcing points that founding fathers did not bother with because they were taken for granted at that time.

However Sanford Levinson, a professor of Law at the University of Texas suggests that maybe the Constitution is the problem. He centers on three complaints. He first bemoans that small states are equal in power to the large states in the Senate giving small groups veto power over majorities. Secondly he says it is too hard to remove President Bush from office (and he singles this out.) Then he says the Constitution is too hard to amend.

His complaints are all true but it was all for a reason.

First off, I wonder if he feels it's unfair that America and Cuba speak with an equal voice at the UN? I suspect he doesn't.

The purpose of the Senate and the Electoral College is to prevent a tyranny of the majority. It ensures that small states are not robbed blind by the large states. It means you need more than a majority and ideally, should force consesus rather than "We outnumber you so f*** you."

Ok, so he can't remove Bush by a simple vote of Congress. Where would Bill Clinton have been in January of 95 had the Constitution read as he thinks it should? Would he have prefered that?

The Constitution was written by men who had an inherent (and very wise) distrust of government and was originally written to limit and restrict the government (though not quite as much as the Articles of Confederation did). A government that is forced to act more slowly will make slower, more thought out changes.

The American Spectator (who linked me to the editorial) points out that we don't have the same problems Europe does because we were unable to pass such monstrous welfare packages because of our ponderous government (and I say Thank God.)

Also consider this; had the German Constitution in the 1930's been identical to ours, Hitler would have never been able to sieze power the way he did, and probably would have been no more than an minor footnote in Germany's political history.

The biggest difference between this guy's view and mine, is I don't think the government can solve most of our problems. While I am not quite a Libertarian, I am in most ways a governmental minimalist, especially at the Federal level.

Update 10: 26 Crazy Politco also posted on this a couple of days ago. I read and commented on it and then promptly forgot about it. His posting is worth reading as well.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Eminent Domain

The people of the State of Michigan are being given the opportunity to limit eminent domain in this state. Amongst the limitations would be forbidding the forced sell of property to private developers, requiring the state pay to 125% of the fair market value for the property and clearly define blight, moving the burden of proof from the property owner to the state. The whole idea is to keep Michigan from repeating the Kelo vs. City of New London debacle.

The Detroit News offered opposing editorials by guest writers. The one wanting the proposal to pass is a member of the Protect Our Property Rights Coalition while the opponent is a Professor of Law at Wayne State University. I am not in the least suprised that the one who believes that the State should have final power over a person's property is a professor who deals with theories rather than a real-world person who deals with reality. It is disheartening to hear that there are people who believe that their well-being depends on the state having power over others.

The State of Michigan does not need to control everything for the state to prosper. It needs to step back and let those who can do do it, and those who can't need to learn to do. The state cannot and should not even try to guarantee anyone's well-being. Government control never leads to prosperity.

Thursday Memories -- Old Comercials

When I was a child, it seems that comericals were different. They cost less to make and were simpler. And some of them have stuck with me.

Could you begin to picture a comercial that is simply a line drawing of Indians paddling a canoe singing "You wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent". I can still hear the jingle in my head but I haven't seen Pepsodent toothpaste since I was a kid. All I remember is the tube was white with a red banner. Of course there was also Ultra-brite which gave "your mouth sex (an elderly lady covers her mouth and gasps) Appeal", as it assured you that their toothpaste would land you the girl (or guy) of your dreams as they could not resist your sparkling teeth.

I am old enough to remember cigarette comercials on TV. In my mind I can still conjur up jingles such as "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!" or "You can take Salem out of the country but ... You can't take the Country out of Salem." I also remember Virginia Slims encouraging women to be independent by becoming hooked on Tobacco (You've got your own cigarette now, baby . . . you've come a long, long way!". I have seen documentaries showing cigarette comercials from before I was born where someone would tell how smoking would improve your health. How times have changed. Some Cigarette comercials, off the air for many years, can be seen here. (Go to the Home page on that site and look around. A lot of memories. -- but ignore the Internet Neutrality nonsense that is sprinkled through the site.)

Because comercials were cheaper to make and air, they existed for things you would never picture for today. For example:

Bar candy disappears in a few bites
Bag candy disappears in a few dumps
But . . . chewy chewy Tootsie Roll lasts a long time.

Could you imagine a comerical for Tootsie Roll today?

Or comercials for a chewing gum? You would see a cup of coffee that was slowly stretched as you were urged to "Stretch your coffee break, top it off with Juicy Fruit gum."

Of course the double meaning is nothing new; just listen to a sultry feminine voice saying:
All my men wear English Leather or they wear nothing at all! (English Leather is an old brand of Aftershave.)

And for desperate men there was Hai Karate an aftershave that women found so irresistable that every bottle included martial arts instructions so that men could fight them off like the guys in the comercials had to. ("Wow! What's that aftershave you're wearing?" "Get back!!! HiiiiYaa!" "Get Hai Karate! Martial Arts instructions with every bottle!")

In the days before Nike there were the old PF Flyers, a tennis shoe that included an "action wedge" that allowed a boy to "run faster and jump higher" (and save his little sister who was being taken by kidnappers!) I don't know what the action wedge was but my guess is that it was nothing that would really work.

But some of the most memorable were for a product that still exists, namely Alka-Seltzer. I don't know who did their comericals but they were well thought out.

A guy sitting on the edge of the bed moaning miserably to his wife:
I can't believe I ate the whole thing. (You ate it Ralph).
I can't believe I ate the whole thing. (No Ralph I ate it)
I can't believe I ate the whole thing. (Ralph take two Alka-Seltzer!)
The guy now smiling cheerfully
Did you take your Alka Seltzer?
The whole thing.

Or a guy sitting in a Restaurant
The waitress brings me this dish saying "Try it! You'll like it!"
What is it? "Try it! You'll like it!"
But what is it? "Try it! You'll like it!"
So I tried it! . . . I didn't like it.
Took two Alka-Seltzers.
Try them! You'll like them!

There were so many others that have faded away. I remember Rice Krispies being served as the as the subject of an opera. There was Imperial Margarine that caused a crown to appear on your head when you first tried it. I don't know if this was local or nationwide, but there was From the valley of the Jolly (Ho! Ho! Ho!) Green Giant!" advertising Green Giant Vegetables.

The fact that I can remember these comercials 30 and 40 years later means that they were, in some way, successful in planting themselves in my mind. I guess that is the point of advertising.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Campaign 06

This cartoon is from Moderately Confused

It describes this year's election perfectly.

Monday, October 16, 2006

What About The Mark?


That number scares a lot of people and I have seen numerous ways to make it this or that politician, this historical figure or that one, the Pope, or Mohammed.

For example

Ronald 6 letters
Wilson 6 letters
Reagan 6 letters

Now obviously Ronald Reagan was not the Anti-Christ and I for one never thought he was (though some liberals may beg to differ.)

I have recently seen a way that a questionable spelling of Mohammed with Greek letters adds up to 666 but the spelling is quite suspect and I don't think it's the best way to spell the name in Greek, (though I don't completely rule it out.)

I just want to point out a couple things about this passage. The initial passage says:
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark. Revelation 13: 16-17

I personally believe the mark is figurative and not literally a tatoo or implant. I believe to understand it properly one must look at the context of Revelation. A verse by verse is out of the question, but virtually every image from Revelation is taken from elsewhere in the Bible. This seems to me to link to Deuteronomy 6: 4 - 9 where God commands the Children of Israel to place His words on their foreheads and right hands. Now this is obviously a figurative way of saying "Let God's word guide your thoughts and actions" though some Orthodox Jews do wear Scripture in Phylacteries on their heads and wrists.

The Mark of the Beast is described as a "Human mark" (literally "mark of man"). I believe the Mark of the Beast is putting the word of man above the Word of God, letting human philosophy and morality rather than divine guide us. I believe there is more to the Mark in political correctness than there is in any tatoo.

Also, in Revelation 14:9 where the Angel warns about receiving the mark, it reads just a little different in the original Greek. The Greek Aorist tense refers to a one-time action while the Present tense refers to a currently ongoing action. The Greek word for "might receive" is lambanei which is Present tense meaning "is continually receiving" describing a continuous action. If it was something you did once and were doomed it would have been Aorist Tense elabei which describes an action that is done and complete.

I do not pretend to know the exact meaning of the Mark, but I understand that its general idea is making a practice of putting Man's word above God's, man's wisdom above God's, man's commands above God's. As a general rule, put what God says above what any man says and obey God before you obey men and you will be safe from the Mark of the Beast.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Frightening If True.

World Net Daily is a good "heads up" source for unreported and often unverified news. Sadly they, like The CBS Evening News, have a tendency to report first - verify later. So any news from this source is considered to "tentative".

With this caveat, I wish to point to a story that may make North Korea an even more chilling place. In a race for racial purity they are killing defective babies and having a Chinese father is considered a grave birth defect. There have been forced abortions because of this.

Just as troubling is the claim that Juche' is not a Marxist ideology but a racial supremacy and personality cult ideology wrapped in Marxism. Actually it appears to me that most Marxist ideologies degrade to this once they are in power.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Not So Small Victory

The Roar is Restored!!!!

Not Just From Criminals

Those of us who recognize the advantages of an armed citizenry often point to criminals who were stopped because a potential victim was able to turn the tables by having a weapon handy. They have other uses too.

A woman in Idaho was able to protect three children from a bear because she had a firearm handy. What would have happened if all she could do was call 911?

Oh and the state of Idaho has this to say:

An encounter as serious as this one is rare in Idaho, said Greg Johnson, a conservation officer with Idaho Fish and Game."We've not had a single incident in Idaho of a black bear attacking a person," he said.

They may be rare but I think they have now had at least a single incident.

The comments to the story are also worth skimming over.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The General is Right

Fellow blogger Hard Astarboard has posted a well written letter by a retired USAF officer who lays out the facts about the War on Terror and most importantly what it means if we lose it.

Sadly he is preaching to the choir as those who need to be persuaded as they already know what they know and there is no convincing them otherwise.

Freedom of Inquiry?

Some people believe that those who disagree with them should not be allowed to question their beliefs. (Of course people are allowed to question me, and I may answer or not answer as I see fit.)

Usually its blamed on a religious inquisition and today it is. The wannabe inquisitors are Green.

When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.

That's right, let's put people on trial for asking questions and entertaining doubts.

What this really amounts to is criminalizing beliefs. I personally am convinced that what global warming is happening is 99.9% natural (solar cycles etc.) and man's contibution is insignificant. (I wrote a posting last May about how warming is all through the Solar System, including places where man could not possibly be responsible.) I firmly believe that global warming is a bogus issue created to empower certain political groups so they gain control over other peoples' property, using it as a cover to create Socialism. Many people on the street honestly believe it, but the upper echelon perpetrators don't.

Let's see. We have freedom of speech and the press but we are not supposed to question the legitimacy of Mohammed because that offends Muslims. We are not supposed to question Global Warming or we will face the Green Inquistion. I say it is time we get offensive and not care about the Green Inquisition (if it ever comes about.)

H/T Brainster.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Straight from Looney Tunes

North Korea's big bomb? The earth shattering, America destroying, terror bringing bomb? The one created by the worlds most enlightened and beloved leader? What happened?

That Global Warming Again

It is not unusual for us to have snow flurries at night and in the early morning during October here in Mid-Michigan.

An inch accumulation during the day, along with quite cold temperatures is practically unheard of.

Until today. (It has been snowing heavily since this morning and there is considerable accumulation.)

Normally we don't get an accumulation of snow until just before Christmas.

Thursday Memories -- The Only "Cool" Vampire

In certain circles, vampires are a big thing today in Anne Rice's fiction, or the RPG Vampire, the Masquerade, and dozens of vampire movies. There are of course the vampire "babes" such as Vampirella (whom I have a soft spot for) and her less honorable knockoffs such as Luxura (Vamperotica whose stories are little more than pornography), Purgatori (of Chaos Comix, possibly the most purely evil and least interesting of the bunch) and a host of others (not to mention the "Naked Space Vampire Babe" from the pathetic movie Lifeforce.)

But many of the best Vampires have been guys and there was only one truly cool vampire.

When I was 10 I almost became a soap opera fan because of one soap opera: Dark Shadows. I first discovered it in 1967 and quickly became a fan. I was not alone. Kids, teen-agers, and adults were sitting entranced in front of their TVs as Dark Shadows had almost a hypnotic quality to it (indeed more than one church tract, including one by Jack T Chick, suggested that the Devil himself wrote the script for this show.) We loved the show and its main character, the reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid.

In spite of being a vampire, he was viewed as a hero, a decent man stuck in an intolerable situation. (Actually he was less than saintly before he became a vampire; his guilt and horror over what he had became made him more honorable as a vampire than he was as a mortal -- still he was no saint.) He briefly became a major icon as there were guest appearances (not by Jonathan Frid but by Barnabas) on talk shows and even kiddie shows like The Bozo Show, as well as comic books and paperback novels and posters. Sadly the difference between a Cultural Event and a fad is where they are 20 years later and Barnabas was just a fad.

Jonathan Frid, in spite of rumors to the contrary, is still alive and sometimes puts on his Barnabas persona for the fans of Dark Shadows.

The show is still sometimes available on Networks such as the Sci-Fi channel and others. I have seen it there, and I kind of wonder what the attraction was. Perhaps the memory of the show is better than the show itself.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gettlelfinger still doesn't get it.

I have seen scores of my friends lose jobs in the auto industry and it's still not over. The worst of it probably is, but there is still more to come.

Delphi is not on solid footing yet, and the president of the UAW, Ron Gettelfinger, seems determined to drive it out of business, and then still collect his salary while the fallout causes thousands more to lose their jobs. Most local people, including a lot of current and former auto-workers now believe that the unions went too far and that's why the jobs were lost. I share this opinion and am far from alone.

Yes the Executives should take a pay cut too, but in the end, that is beside the point. You have no right to criticize the greed of others when you too are greedy.

"They're devious, they're cunning, they're callous, and all they care about is what they can get for themselves," he said. "They're nothing but a bunch of greedy hogs sitting at the trough."

I believe he was looking in a mirror when he said that. The union leadership looks out for itself first, the politicians that empower them secondly, and they occasionally throw a bone to the workers, especially if you work in a smaller plant.

Not only that, but the jobs bank, which is very worthwhile if the company is on solid footing, but is a pointless cash drain when it is on the ropes, is something he will defend. I understand wanting it, but reality trumps desires and right now GM cannot afford to pay workers not to work.

"We don't have any reason to be convinced to do away with it," Gettelfinger said.

A reason to do away with it? How about it's a cash drain on a struggling company? If GM goes down, many more will lose everything. Let's give our priority to saving GM and then once the jobs are secure, then talk about improving things. Let's save the company that creates the jobs first.

Like I have said before, I belong to the UAW and am not the least bit proud of it. It is organization undeserving of my loyalty. I say this with a bit of sorrow as my Great-grandfather was at GM as worker when the UAW was founded and he was fiercely loyal to it. He would be rolling in his grave if he could see what the organization he risked so much to help establish has degenerated into. I honestly believe he would be shamed and embarrassed by what it has become. He did not risk so much so that the workers could become every bit as greedy and self-absorbed as the management he struggled with and that is what has happened. As a general rule, there is not a nickle's worth of moral difference between the unions and the corporations.

Monday, October 09, 2006

What is Wrong With Russia

Russia has its own problems with Jihad and its rebellious internal republic of Chechnya, so what are they doing in the Middle-East? It appears that they are helping the friends of their enemies. At least when it comes to Israel.

It is beyond belief. The Russians have to realize that everything they give to the "Holy" Warriors of Islam will later be used against them. Have they forgotten the slaughtered school children on opening day just a couple of years ago? They must have.

Putin is playing a deadly game to regain Russian prestige and I don't see how he can win it. Even if America falls, Russia will not come out on top because they will not be able to control the Jihadists.

H/T American Thinker.

Another Must-Read-Daily Blog

Here is a guy who makes me feel like I'm mentally deficient. He goes by the name of Gagdad Bob and his blog is One Cosmos. Like Dr. Sanity he is Psychology professional and he is a deep thinker. I don't know how he does it. I am green with envy.

Read this guy's blog and learn.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Meanwhile in Europe

Anti-Jihad Euro-blogger Klein Verzet has a couple of stunning links about things happening in Europe.

First of all a girl was stoned in France by school-kids for not observing Ramadan. (also here.)

Secondly someone tried to poison the water supply of a Danish City.

I am wondering how much more of this deadly nonsense we are going to have to put up with before certain elements of our society finally comes to understand that these lunatics want to kill us (and their non-Islamic defenders in the PC arena as well.) I am beginning to believe that the peaceniks will still see the Muslims as victims, even as blade of Islam cuts through their necks.

We are up against an enemy that is determined to destroy us and willing to die if they can take some of us with them. It's war and it's time some people realize this. It is NOT a class struggle between the victims of history and their oppressors, but a holy war of Islam against the entire world and they will not stop until they are victorious or destroyed.

They do not value life, even their own.

God save us.

I Don't Even Want to Know

I was poking around my site-meter checking on visitors and I came acrossed a random hit and went to visit the refering blog Uncle Mac is P***ed and the first article had me laughing.

What is so funny isn't WHAT the person (though it is funny) was looking for but WHO it was looking for it. Take a look but it's not for the humor impaired.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Politically Incorrect

Bushwhack links to a short video that is so politically incorrect that it will probably be revoked.

It is politically incorrect but factually correct.

See it here if it hasn't been revoked yet.

Politics and Trade

During the late 70s through mid 80s there was a bogeyman who was destroying working class jobs. That bogeyman was automation. One man with a robot could do the work of a number of men working with their hands and workers were going to lose their jobs. Many did but automation is here to stay.

Today we are losing our jobs to trade agreements, and to a point this is true. What is not true is the partisan politics being bandied about the subject. The Democrats are claiming that it is all the fault of the EEEEEEEvil GOP who voted in these treaties.


Let's look at the voting record shall we.

Here is the official vote tally for the ratification for Mexico and NAFTA in 1993. Now admittedly most, but not all, of the GOP voted for it, but the DEM controlled the Senate that year and could have easily blocked its ratification. However as you look, almost half of the Democratic Caucus voted for it. (26 Yeas 29 Nays). While a small majority of the DEMs did vote against it, the block who voted for it is quite significant and includes such luminaries as John Kerry (who complained about how unfair the treaty was during his presidential campaign even though he voted for it), Harkin of Iowa (who started his own presidential bid some years ago as a friend of the union worker), Ted Kennedy (who is so concerned about the American worker). All told 42% of the yes votes came from the Democratic Party and that is a significiant percentage as 47% of the Democrats supported it. If NAFTA is a failure, I would consider a very bi-partisan failure. If the Democrats were united against it it would not have passed.

Equally telling is the, now unspoken of, debate between Ross Perot (an idiot, who like a broken clock, was right twice a day) and Al Gore (Here is the link to a pdf file of the text). The Democratic Party wants us to forget this as well and think that it is all the GOP's fault. Again if it is at fault, than it is a bi-partisan fault and the Democrats must not be allowed to let themselves off the hook.

I'll talk about China later, but it is more of the same.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday Memories -- Old Comic Strips

A while ago I talked about comic books that I liked as a kid. Now I want to talk about old comic strips that used to appear in newspapers.

A couple of blocks from my home there is a restaurant whose decor includes some old framed vintage newspapers from the WWII Era, and not just front pages but pages further back. One of them includes comic strips from the early 40s. One, that predates me by years, was called Boots and Her Pals whose strip has a woman working at a desk and her boss his talking to her as she daydreams, and he finally says in the final frame "Boots, if the war was as far away as you are we would just now be learning of Pearl Harbor!" I really don't see much humor in that, but further down is one that takes place in an Army field hospital where a couple of officers are talking to an (apparently) wounded soldier "You need to get recover! We need you!" and he responds "Don't worry sir I won't let you down!" and the officer continues "You're the only man in our company who can KO A company's champ this weekend!" A little better.

Those strips were unknown to me, but there are other old strips that I read daily in the paper that have faded from the scene.

Do you remember the caveman named Alley Oop? I remember him quite well but by the time I was following him he was spending a lot of time in the present thanks to Dr Wunmug's time machine. (Wunmug = One Mug = Ein Stein = . . . hmmm). It says that he is still around but I haven't seen him in years.

How about Priscilla's Pop which is trials and travails of a growing girl in a middle class family. One of the on-going jokes of this strip was her father's lunch has her mom knew how to make one kind of sandwich and I don't even want to imagine eating a mashed potato sandwich which was the poor guy's daily lunch. Her humor was light-hearted.
One that stands out in my mind had nothing to do with her, but with her pastor who was hanging a picture on the wall while his wife worked on embroidering; he hit his finger with the hammer and as he stood their in anguish his wife said "Now Reverend . . . No shoptalk."
Another was little Priscilla looking at the moon and saying "He's out there and some day I'm going to ride off with him!" and her father says "Priscilla! I have told you not to think about boys until you are 16" She replies "Boys? I'm talking about my horse!" (To own a horse was her biggest dream.)

One very old comic-strip that was still around when I was a Kid was Freckles and His Friends which apparently started around the time my Grandfather was born and involved a teen-aged boy and his friends. His strips were not stand alone but were usually a series that would last for weeks or even months.
One series that I remember involved him being very excited about being hired as the life guard at a girl's summer camp and envisioned himself surrounded by pretty teen-aged girls only to discover he was going to watch over a wading pool as the campers were 6 to 9 years old. Not what he had in mind.
Another series involved an Indian (native American) girl named Honeybee Birdwhistle, so named because her tribe named their babies after the first thing the mother saw and heard when the baby was born. Had she born a few minutes later her name would have FighterJet Sonic Boom. She was going to buy Manhattan Island back.

One series that was popular in the 50s and 60s but fading by the 70s was Dondi. I was familiar with his on-going stories but was totally unfamiliar with his origin. He was a war orphan from WWII who never grew up, hence 30 years later his origin as a war orphan had to be quietly ignored for modern strips. I never really cared for his strip but it was quite popular.

My favorite Newspaper Comic Strip from when I was a kid was Hatlo's They'll do it every time! which was a single panel daily cartoon showing the ironies of everyday life. A few stand out in my mind even today.
The header says "Mom sent Dad and kids to the grocery store for a loaf of bread". You see Dad and kids carrying in bag after bag of groceries describing all the neat stuff they bought. Mom just shakes her head in disbelief and at the bottom it says "They forgot the bread." I could see that happening.
It appears to be still in syndication, but I have not seen it in years until I saw the recent ones on the web at this page. Some good things live on.

Of course there are many others. More recent loves included Calvin and Hobbs, Geech, and Bloom County.

Why Isn't This On Every American Editorial Page?

The ever-brilliant Dr. Sanity has once again come through with a link that needs to be read.

The Jihadists are afraid that they are losing the war on terror.

Granted the situation described in the letter before Zarqawi's accidental martyrdom courtesy of the American military, but it is intriguing to read. Note what was written in the letter:

"The path is long and difficult," Atiyah writes, "and the enemy isn't easy, for he is great and numerous, and he can take quite a bit of punishment, as well." Atiyah's assessment seems to be a major change in tune and tone. Previous al-Qaida documents touted the Clinton administration's withdrawal from Somalia as the template for American action.

As long as our government doesn't fall into the hands of appeasers and cowards, WE CAN WIN THIS.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Virtue, Evil and Survival

I recently posted a link to a quiz that determined how likely you were to be a Nazi had you lived in Germany during the proper time period. The writer of the quiz revealed a serious prejudice against patriotism, ethnic pride, and religion because he saw this as what empowered Hitler.

Well yes, sort of, but there is a problem here.

The purest form of evil is also the least dangerous form of evil. That is because even evil depends on virtue to empower it. Virtues such as a work ethic, teamwork, pride, courage, loyalty etc are required to allow any system, good or evil, to work. C.S.Lewis hit the nail right on the head when he said that evil is a parasite that cannot exist without goodness. Without drawing on some virtues, evil merely festers in its own filth. (The purist form of evil in human society is hatred and jealousy rendered impotent by fear and/or laziness; it is dangerous only to the soul of the one so full of hate.) Without virtue to empower it, evil cannot act.

That is why political correctness is such a tragedy; it tries to eliminate evil by eliminating anything that empowers it, even if it is in and of itself a virtue. They try to eliminate unfairness by eliminating excellence and proper pride in a job well done. They try to eliminate racism by eliminating ethnic pride. They try to eliminate imperialism and jingoism by eliminating patriotism. When you weaken the virtues that empower evil, you also weaken the good things that depend on the same virtues.

Had we been completely unlike Hitler, we would have lost WWII. We too had an appeal to patriotism and a willingness to fight and die for our country. We too said our system was better than his and he said his was better than ours. Had we not been patriotic and willing to fight and die, or had we not believed our system was better than his, he would have rolled right over us.

This also applies to the Jihadists. They are not wrong because they are willing to fight and die for what they believe in. They are wrong because they are willing to fight and die for the wrong things. We need to be like them in that we should also be willing to fight and die, but not for the same reason. They wish to enslave the world under a manmade religion created by a false prophet. We fight for a world where people can seek their own path so long as they do not harm others or destroy themselves in the process. We let God punish those who reject Him.

In the end, a country whose people do not believe in it and are not willing to defend it, will not survive. Good or evil, a country's people must believe in it and be willing to fight for it if it is to survive.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I Thought I Was Safe

I have, or so I thought, the traditional array of protections for my computer.

My anti-spyware package expired on Sunday and I replaced it today. I ran the scan with the new system and my jaw hit theground. My initial scan with the new one revealed 210 spyware cookies. I am sure I didn't get those in the last 48 hours. I am stunned that I spent the last year with an inferior spyware detection and removal system and am very unhappy with this.

I am writing a letter to that old company but will not reveal their name until I get an answer, if I get an answer.

Monday, October 02, 2006

They Are Threatening the Pope

A couple of Jihadists groups have issued a fatwa requiring Muslims to kill the Pope.

I am not a Catholic and have serious doubts about some of their doctrines, but I recognize that there are many who are my brothers and sisters in the faith and I will stand beside them against the enemies of Christianity.

They kill the Pope and they will have millions of enemies like they never imagined. Actually they already do but this will wake up a sleeping giant.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Are You A Nazi

I went to the blog "A Trainwreck at Maxwell" and was kindly linked to a test to see how likely I was to become a Nazi in Hitler's Germany had I lived in the right time and place I came up with:

Welcome to the Resistance (Der Widerstand)! You believe in freedom, justice, equality, and your country, and you can't be converted to the the dark side.

Breakdown: your Blind Patriotism levels are borderline unhealthy, but you show such a love of people from everywhere and a natural resistance to brainwashing, you would probably focus your energy to fight the Fuehrer with furor, so to speak.

Conclusion: born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would have taken up ARMS against the oppressors. Or even your friends' oppressors.

Congratulations! Less than 5% of all test takers earn a spot in the Resistance!

I have some real problems with this quiz. Some of these are fun but this one could be very insulting. The very nature of the questions reveals the extreme political and philosophical bias of the man who wrote it. Patriotism, religion, ethnic pride etc seems to bother him. I wonder what these people would find if they had given this quiz to the men and women who actually fought against Hitler. We used the same virtues to fight him as he abused in his attempt to conquer the world. We put our patriotism against his. We put our willingness to fight and die against his. What we shared with the Nazis made it possible for us to defeat them. Where we are different made it worth the trouble to defeat him.

One Year Old

One year ago today I made the following posting:

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

This is my 481st posting.

I am, as of right now, an "Adorable Little Rodent" in the TTLB ecosystem and the Business Opportunities Weblog says my blog is worth $60,405.78. (Yeah! right! . . . groan!)

Regardless I do intend to keep going.