Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dignity and Modesty

A couple days ago a former co-worker whom I still exchange E-mail with even though he is out of state, sent me something I really neither needed nor wanted. It was a picture of a young female celebrity getting out of a car and showing more of her than I had any business seeing. The picture was quickly and completely deleted.

Today the American Spectator discusses these pictures (and yes the picture I saw was of one of these two young . . . uhm . . . I hate to use the word . . . ladies.) Initially I felt that they were only harming and making fools of themselves, but the article brings up a valid point.

It's easy to conclude that all of this is none of our business; after all, what's it to you if some empty-headed young starlets want to take "revealing" attire to the next level? The problem is this: Young women like Lohan and Spears are, in fact, serving as role models to girls all over the United States. A poll conducted last year by Teenage Research Unlimited found that Lindsay Lohan was the person most envied by teen girl respondents (Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera also made the list).

In spite of their lack of character, they are role-models. It is also sad that kids today look to Hollywood for their role-models instead of their own lives and communities. There are so many fine women in America that girls should be looking to instead of two overly-wealthy, overly-exposed (in more ways than one) tramps. These girls, in spite of their wealth, have thoroughly messed up lives, not much different than what led to the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe. They have constant legal, family and health problems brought on by their lifestyle. I fear for the lives and souls of these women. They are not to be admired but pitied.

Did the picture appeal to me? Maybe I'm weird but no. While I can and do admire the physical beauty of an attractive woman, merely "flashing" themselves does nothing for me. It only disturbs me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ford Bets the Farm

To bet the farm is to gamble everything you have. There are two times you do it; when you are absolutely certain of victory or when you are desperate.

I fear that the Ford Motor Company is desperate. They are putting virtually all of their North American assets up as collateral for 18 billion dollars in financing, 15 billion of which would be secure loan.

They plan to use the money, more or less, as a floatation device while they restructure and downsize.

"This is Ford's one last shot to get it right," said Wall Street analyst John Casesa of the Casesa Shapiro Group LLC. "If the restructuring plan is not executed flawlessly, the company will lose its independence. Management is staking the entire future of the company on successfully executing this plan."

This is disturbing at several levels.

Ford is one of Michigan's biggest employers. We are still going to lose more jobs over the next couple of years and losing Ford entirely would be to rub salt into a festering wound.

Secondly, the fact that Ford needs collateral is a sign that its credit picture is troubling.

Third, this will put the company at the mercy of finance companies who have different priorities than most Americans.

Wall Street reacted with a further decline in the value of Ford stock which is now $8.15 cents a share. It is admittedly up from its low point in June but it is declining and is well below its normal value. Their non-secured bonds are considered nearly junk.

On a possibly good note, Michigan is making some changes in its business tax system. At the moment it appears to be little more than a shuffle of how its paid. It says that factories will pay less while bankers, real estate agents, and insurance companies will pay more. The problem is that these people will pass those taxes onto the others, resulting in no net gain.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tragedy and Hope

There is probably few things in the world as horrible as being a parent and standing helplessly by as you watch your child slowly die.

I can only offer prayers for her father who has now lost both his wife and daughter to seperate illnesses, that he will not despair but know there is hope. Actually there is more than hope, but a promise.

I do not see how any atheist can handle life in such a situation but believers have hope even in the most tragic of deaths. When one gets angry and rejects God because He wasn't there one destroys hope. God was there and one day her father will see clearly as his daughter does now. Fortunately he seems to be a man who has some faith. That faith is being sorely tried but only faith can see one through this.

As I read of her death a stanza of Yes Jesus Loves Me came to mind

Jesus loves me, loves me still
Though I'm weak and very ill
From His shining throne on high
still He sees me where I lie

She was asleep when she died, but she opened eyes that she had never opened before and saw her mother, who died four years ago, who took her hand and walked with her toward the throne of her Heavenly Father. All pain, which has been her constant companion, has ended and when she sees the face of God all questions will be answered.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's a Game For Crying Out Loud

In spite of the fact that Christians are supposed to fear it as a great evil, I have in the past played Dungeons & Dragons, and have fond memories of it. While it can possibly be used for occult purposes, the game itself is as good or evil as the people who are playing it. (I have watched both Christians and seriously-twisted non-Christians play and the two mindsets play by the same written rules but seem to play two different games. Christian groups tend to play good guys and heros on heroic quests while that particular non-Christian group acted out sadistic fantasies that turned my stomach) The game reflects the mind and mindset of the people playing it. (Out of the good-hearted come good things and out of the evil hearted - ugh let's try and forget what they were doing.)

I was of the opinion that fear of the game had somewhat relaxed over the last few years, but apparently not. In Israel, playing the game causes great concern amongst the military minds who automatically give lower clearances to people who play the game.

OK, I have seen a few nutjobs who should never have been allowed anywhere near the gaming table. However most gamers eventually abandon the game (as I have) as they grow and change. I do not consider it evil, it's just something I don't do anymore. If we took a survey of people who played AD&D regularly at some point in their lives, we would probably come up with a cross-section of your average American, maybe averaging a bit more literate and intelligent than America as a whole.

It also encourages reading, writing and basic math, problem solving, critical thinking, communication skills, and imagination. In the proper doses it is a good learning tool.

The only caveat is to keep those who can't or won't seperate fantasy from reality away from the gaming table. Trust me! You don't want those people playing!

I think the Israeli military is makiing a mistake.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Wisdom of a Child

I was at another blog today and something simply occured to me. It is a philosophical blog and the posts are long, but then so are some of the comments. What got me thinking was that the shortest comments were the ones that said the most. The long ones were often just rambling and saying nothing except to try and justify a belief or the rejection of an idea.

I remember a preacher talking about a college student going to visit his totally illiterate grandfather and somehow the conversation got around to the idea of truth. The young college sprout started talking about how truth was relative and ultimately unknowable, quoting many great philosophers. His grandfather, who couldn't read his own name, let along works of philosophy listened to him and finally said, "Sonny, It's real simple. Truth is what is so, as opposed to what ain't so." Without any difficulty, that unschooled farmer decimated some of the great philosophers of the past century by one simple observation. (I may have used the story before; it's one of my favorite illustrations.)

At times children seem to amaze us with their observations but it really isn't so amazing. They simply say what they see and hear and give us their observations without guile. I often wonder if our great thoughts are merely attempts not to see the obvious but the unschooled, like the child in The Emperor's New Clothes, simply sees what is there and repeats it. Yes our senses and experiences can and do fail us, but most often they at least point us in the right directions.

Perhaps when we are confused and overwhelmed, we need to just simplify our thoughts and look at things with the wisdom of a child. See what is simply there.

One of Them Talks

I remember when I was a Sophmore in college and one weekend in November Jim Jones and all his followers drank cyanide laced grape Kool-Aid in Jonestown in one of the worst mass suicides in recent history. It was horrible, especially for the small children. He did it to himself and his followers for whatever god (I'm sure it wasn't the Christian God) he worshipped. So much for the Peoples' Temple.

One thing that I have never read in the Scriptures or in the life of any Saint was for a person to be commanded by God to commit suicide. As far as martyrdom goes, if our path of service leads us to death, we go forward willingly and accept it, but we do not go out of our way looking for our own deaths. Our God is a God of life, not death.

One thing that Jones did was he brainwashed his followers into accepting the possibility of suicide, including at least two suicide drills.

Now we all know that certain Islamic Sects are doing the same thing, except they push a suicide that will take others with them. World Net Daily has an interview with one such young man who dreams of being a suicide bomber.

I'd like to comment on several of his statements.

We are regular but far from being wealthy. I share my bedroom with my brothers but now there is less pressure because last summer one of my brothers was married and moved to live outside.

Please note that it is not poverty or despair that is driving him to do this.

Allah gave Muslims the possibility to gain their prize and payment in different ways. There are those (Muslims) who pray and fast only and respect Allah's commandments, and there are those who wish a higher prize. And the highest prize is given to those who scarify themselves, their lives, their bodies and everything in this world.

There are also Christians who seeks the higher calling, but they do so by living lives of sacrifice not killing themselves. (Philippians 3: 12-14, Romans 12:1 [please note the words living sacrifice] ) It is much easier to die for Christ than it is to live for Him, and yet that is what He wants us to do unless death is brought to us from others.

The goal is satisfying Allah and his instructions. No money interests, nothing. No brainwash, no pressure; it is my decision. All the other lies are pathetic Israeli propaganda.

No brainwashing huh? I find that difficult to believe.

The Jews stole this holy Islamic land and we must fight them, but I am looking to receive what waits for me in the next world.

The Jews did not originally "steal" any land. When Israel was re-established in 1948, it was comprised entirely of land they had bought and paid for. The Arabs tried to steal it back, and in the resultant battles, Israel took more land. It was taken in a conflicts started by the Arabs. If the Arabs had let the Jews keep the land they lawfully purchased, Palestine might exist today with Jerusalem as its capital.

You and I, we do not discuss Allah and the Quran. I will tell you more the moment that I will explode myself when there will be one dark-eyed virgin who will carry up my soul to the sky.

He is in for a horrible suprise when his soul is greeted and God demands an accounting of his life. His "martyrdom operation" will be of no help to him then. He will learn that Mohammed was a false-prophet and his religion is made by men, and then it could well be too late for him. Satan will laugh in glee as he gives his life up and gets nothing in return. God will grieve for a child forever lost.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What Does Shoprat Really Mean.

It's a secret code people:

Synthetic Humanoid Optimized for Potential Repair and Accurate Troubleshooting

Get Your Cyborg Name

I am an inhuman machine.

Actually I had to gone to Brainster's blog with some routiness and have never before noticed this link to see what kind of machine your name or blogname produces.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I have my doubts

Tim's Blogspot directed me to this. I don't believe in tarot but I thought it might be fun to see which card was me. I think it's wrong but who knows?

In my wildest dreams maybe.

You are The Emperor

Stability, power, protection, realization; a great person.

The Emperor is the great authority figure of the Tarot, so it represents
fathers, father-figures and employers. There is a lot of aggression and violence

The Emperor naturally follows the Empress. Like an infant, he is filled with enthuiasm, energy, aggression. He is direct, guileless and all too often irresistible. Unfortunately, like a baby he can also be a tyrant. Impatient, demanding, controlling. In the best of circumstances, he signifies the leader that everyone wants to follow, sitting on a throne that indicates the solid foundation of an Empire he created, loves and rules with intelligence and enthusiasm. But that throne can also be a trap, a responsibility that has the Emperor feeling restless, bored and discontent.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and to hear some of the talk of some people I work with, there is nothing to be thankful for this year.


Income. I still have a job and I know people who don't, some of whom are more deserving than I. That job is uncertain but it has been uncertain for some time now and "one day at a time" has taken us a long ways in the last few months. However, I have made about 30% more at that job so far this year than I did all of last year. Financially, I am in somewhat better shape than I was a year ago.

I have reasonably good health and no serious unmet needs. I have not lost a friend or family member this year (so far). Most of my family will be together Thursday and that alone is worthy of Thanks.

Hey God!!!

Thank You!!!!

But part of gratitude is remembering those who do have needs, and no matter how badly we think we have it, there are those who are worse off. We complain about how hard it is to get anywhere in this country while we literally can't keep out the ones who want to come here to share what we've got. Blessed beyond blessing, and many of us only complain.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Disney Dares Not Offend

One of the most offensive songs I know of is from the Disney Animated Feature Peter Pan and it is the song What Makes the Redman Red? I love the movie and enjoy watching it, but I cringe when I hear that song. For all the fuss about team names, they seem to miss the stuff that would offend me. But Peter Pan, along with that song, is still available as it should be.

A true Disney classic, Song of the South, on the other hand is not going to be released in the foreseeable future because it is offensive to some.

For those who do not know, it is a collection of some of the folklore of the slaves in the old south, told by an elderly slave named Uncle Remus, who in spite of his status as a slave, passes wisdom and true kindness to a pair of white children, through the stories of Brer Rabbit and other such characters.

While it is not necessarily one of my favorite Disney classics, I think it is one that shows a little discussed facet of American culture and history -- the fact the slaves, in spite of their situation, did develop a folklore and I would have thought that this would be a great way to share it with other Americans and the world at large.

Apparently not.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It Just Got Bigger

Tomorrow's game between the Wolverines of Michigan and the Ohio State Buckeyes just got a bit bigger.

A season ending game between undefeated teams ranked 1 & 2 is a rarity indeed. And the hype is just growing. The local ABC affiliate just named the game "Judgement Day".

An odd time for a great Michigan Coach to die. Bo Schembechler died suddenly today. The winningest coach in UofM history died the day before one of the biggest games in the history of college football (I will not say THE biggest).

You know who the Wolverines will be dedicating this game to and fighting for.

And he probably has the best seat in the house.

May UofM give him the sendoff he deserves.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Memories -- 3 Real Bad Movies

There are always movies that you loved as a Teenager, but as an adult you watch them with a blank expression on your face wondering "What in the world was wrong with my head?"

Clint Eastwood is a great actor and director, but he made a few stupid, though highly successful movies, like Every Which Way But Lose. OK, I concede that Clyde the Orangatang was great, but other than that? Grown men travelling the country beating each other to a pulp just to prove they're tough. That is real impressive material. What was I thinking when I loved that movie. (OK, it was entertaining to see their mother take on an entire Motor Cycle Gang and win too.)

Next up: Billy Jack. When I was 15 Billy Jack was just below God to most of the kids. He was a half-breed ex-green beret fighting the rednecks who were just giving the Pacifists are a hard time. I watched the movie a couple of years ago and realized something. While the Sheriff and Billy Jack were reasonably developed characters, all the rest were two dimensional with all the character development of the Power Rangers. Also the kids in the movie got into trouble because they were looking for it; they intentionally created a problem and it spiraled out of control. Yes a bit of restraint by the authorities would have helped, but a bit of restraint by the kids would have helped even more. There were a few other problems with the movie as well. Yes there were a couple of great scenes but two great scenes don't make a great movie.

How about The Exorcist. It was a groundbreaking horror movie that was supposedly, as was said then, based on a true story. People who went to see it discussed it in great detail and it was supposed to be a major event movie. You know Star Wars came out just a couple of years later and the critics who loved The Exorcist hated Star Wars, but which movie is still watched today? It is actually a relatively bland horror movie by today's standards. Today I am troubled by how thrilled the critics were with Linda Blair (then 12 years old) for her "maturity" when it came to spouting obscenities. It seemed terrifying when I was 16 but now it is just a bad movie.

There were other movies that are probably best forgotten from that time period but probably will not be.

Socialism vs Koinonia

One source of confusion to many Christians is the apparent similarity between the early church and modern day socialism. Some like to point to Acts 2: 44-45

"And all those who believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all as anyone might have need."

First off, this is an attitude that modern Christians need to recapture and it would do much to strengthen the Church and the faith, as well as our moral authority in the world. Some groups do to great success while others have attempted it and failed.

The actual Greek word for this idea is koinonia which is usually translated "fellowship" but it is more acurately "being in a community." Like the ideal of socialism (and totally unlike the reality of socialism) it involves selflessness, sharing and concern for your fellow man.

The differences however are as great as or greater than the similarities.

First off, koinonia is totally voluntary. When the Apostle Paul wrote about this idea he reminded the churches that there was no compulsion, but that God loves a cheerful giver. Socialism is forced on people by others and is not born of a generous spirit.

Secondly, in koinonia it is those who hold the property who decide to share it, and how to best distribute it. In socialism it is either those with needs or those with authority over others who decide who is going to share and how it is going to be distributed. In forced charity the state takes money I earned and decides who needs it, even if I feel that it is counter-productive to give money to this group or that person. In Koinonia I either see a need which I can fulfill and do so, or I provide the means to someone whose judgement I trust to take what I give and distribute it as needed. In koinonia the initiative comes from those with the means to help, not from the those in need (who may ask for but may not demand help).

Finally socialism is impersonal where everything belongs to a souless state, while in koinonia one recognizes that everything one has actually belongs to God and we are simply entrusted with it.

A professor of mine used to give this little tidbit

Greed says "What is mine is mine and I am going to keep it for myself".
Theft says "I want what is yours and I am going to take it."
Communism says "What is yours is mine and I demand you give it to me."
Koinonia says "Everything I have is God's and so I will share it with you my brother."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What Are They Talking About?

Iran is again threatening Israel, as if they had ever stopped. They are claiming the war to wipe out Israel is coming, but one of Iran's claims caught my eye.

Just as in one 33-day war more than 50 percent of Israel was destroyed, and the hope of its supporters for the continued life of this regime was broken, it is likely that in the next battle, the second half will also collapse.

Forgive me if I failed to notice something, but when was half of Israel destroyed? It's military is intact and they suffered considerably fewer deaths than the Hezzies did.

I read the Iranian President's dream of the bringing the hidden Imam or the dream of the Temple Mount Faithful to usher in the Messianic age and I get concerned. While I am emotionally sympathetic to the cause of the Temple Mount Faithful, I believe his effort to force the Apocalypse is foolish. I too believe in the Second Coming, and think it may be very close, but I feel no need to make it happen. I can neither cause, help, hinder, nor prevent the Apocalypse; nor can any other human. When it happens there will be much suffering and death, and I do not wish for that to happen.

I do believe however, that God will protect Israel from total destruction.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Working Man's Holiday

Tomorrow is a holiday for many factory workers in this state (though not all of them by any means.) Some of them even have it as a paid holiday in their union contracts, though that is not common.

It is opening day of firearms season. My own plant was counting on about 50% absenteeism so the boss just through in the towel and called off work tomorrow.

I do not hunt myself, but am an unconditional supporter of the right to hunt. (It's also ecologically necessary as they are very few non-human predators to control the local deer population. Indeed the only creature that kills alot of deer around here besides hunters is of the four-wheeled variety.)

One new pre-opening ritual that many hunters are doing tonight is watching a ridiculous movie called Escanaba in da Moonlight written by, directed by, and starring Jeff Daniels. He plays a hopelessly inept hunter trying to bag his first buck after over 25 years of trying and failing. (Though I do own a copy, I really have difficulty recommending it as it really isn't that good, except for a couple of hilarious scenes - - it's mostly a deer-hunter thing. If you need a little bit of good-luck charm to bag your buck- - it might do the trick . . . maybe.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


College and Professional sports nicknames:

Let's see

Boston Celtics
Minnesota Vikings
New York Yankees
Montreal Canadiens
Vancouver Canucks

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Alfred Saxons
Ooh The Scots (Alma College - not far from me, + 9 others)
The Northmen of State University of New York-College of Technology at Canton
Emory and Henry Wasps (remember that word is also an ethnic description!)
18 teams nicknamed Vikings
Quakers by three different colleges.
Here's a great one: The Prophets of Oklahoma Baptist College and Institute (bet the Muslims love that one!)
Central College Dutch Union College Dutchmen, and three schools nicknamed The Flying Dutchmen
My own college basketball and baseball teams were the Crusaders which some groups consider offensive.

All of these are named after nationalities or ethnic groups or other names strongly associated with an ethnicity, so who do they complain about: Indian names

Sad thing is, for the most part, it's not the American Indians who are complaining, but white activists acting on their behalf (Some are Native Americans, but most are not.)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Defining the Words

As I work on a story and look into the possibility of cryonics, one of the questions that comes up is just what is death and when is a person dead?

Centuries ago you were dead when you stopped breathing, then we learned about artificial resuscitation.

Then you were dead when your heart stoped, until we learned about CPR and appropriate use of electric discharge to restart the heart.

Now you're dead if your brain ceases to function, but how close are we to a device that can jumpstart a brain?

First off, we need to tread carefully in areas such as cryonics and the book I am trying to write centers on one such experimental revival gone badly wrong (I guess it's a variation on the Frankenstein motif.) I do not wish to say don't do it, but I do want to see a yellow flashing light as we do the research; I am raising a caution flag not an all-stop flag.

I think in order to define death we need to define life. Life is like love in that the English language uses one word to designate some very different things. The Greeks had at least four different words for Love including Storge (an affection born of familiarity and comfort, the most impersonal of the loves), Philos (more appropriately translated "liking" or "friendship"), Eros (romantic or sexual love) and Agape ( Spiritual love which is described in I Corinthians 13)

The Greeks also had at least two words for life. The first word is bios which describes what is basically a very complex and ongoing chemical reaction that operates in every living thing. The second is zoe which is harder to define but involves thought processes and awareness and is generally limited to higher animals. There is also a third life described in the New Testament which is given by the Holy Spirit and is eternal.

The Greeks also had two words for death. Necros which describes the end of mere biological function and thanatos which is a total death. (The New Testament also describes the "second death" which is final consequence of sin and is far greater than either of the other two.) We have already pushed into the realm of Necros death whenever we revive someone whose heart has stopped but thanatos death is another matter. It occurs when (from a theological viewpoint) the body and soul completely seperate or (from a materialist viewpoint) when the information stored in the brain randomizes. Once that occurs even a cryonic revival cannot save a person.

My biggest concern is we don't know where to draw the line. I would have no problem with a device that could "jumpstart" a brain within seconds of it stopping but when a person has been biologically dead for a while, I am not quite so sure.

Early in my writing, some of the researchers believe they may have unwittingly already revived a dead person (but his body was still marginally functional when he was frozen and the debate was about if he was alive while he was frozen):

Ernie couldn't believe that the most "outside the box" group on the planet could not see the obvious.

"His brain was not functioning people! He was dead, dead, DEAD!"

Various protests broke out but Ernie continued unabated.

"By every definition he was dead while he was frozen. His heart was not beating. He was not breathing. His brain was non-functional! I challenge one person to give me one reason to say he was alive at that point in time!"

Dr McCain responded, "He walked out of here. That means he was alive."

Ernie smiled at her and said, "Jenny, remember, we had to restart his brain."

"That is true, Jenny" I added, "If anyone had asked, not knowing what we were doing, would they have come to the conclusion that Johnny Larson was alive? What evidence would there have been?"

She was not yet convinced.

"In my heart, I believe that when one dies, one does not come back without a push by God Himself. If he walked out of here on his own two feet, which he did, then he was never truly dead. If he was indeed dead, he would have stayed that way. I don't know where the distinction lies, and being a mathmetician, that is a hard thing to say, but in my heart, I know there is a difference."

One can also remember the difference between "mostly dead" and "all dead" in The Princess Bride (One is still slightly alive and you can help them, the other all you can do is go through their pockets and look for loose change.)

This is a key. We do not know the point at which thanatos death takes place. Once it happens the patient is not coming back until God says so. That is why we need to proceed with caution.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Busy at the Moment

I have been doing a little research and am still doing so, which gives me little time to blog. Hopefully I'll be back in a couple of days.

Update: I have been working on a novel and am doing some research connected to it. I am trying to find out how much we have really accomplished with Cryogenics and what direction the researchers are most likely to take and just how they plan to accomplish it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Never Give Up

A small mid-Michigan High School girls basketball team had a bit of a problem.

Early in the fourth quarter the entire team had fouled out except for two players.

You got two players facing a team.

What do you do.


You win the game.

All I have to say

After last night's near-total disaster for the GOP and this country, our work is clearly cut out for us. Our country survived 4 years of Jimmy Carter, who was the worst president in recent memory so we can survive 2 years of these people provided the President keeps his head and his VETO pen handy.

We have our work cut out for us and must begin immediately to make sure that last night's fiasco is not repeated. We need new candidates and we need to examine and replace a number of incumbents. With hard work we can put this behind us in a couple of years. If they say we can't, we'll make their over-confidence work against them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Vote

I voted around 11:30 this morning.

For state and federal offices I went straight GOP, but I voted for Democrats in a couple of local contests (the Drain Commisioner's and the Road Commisioner's stand on the GWOT has nothing to do with their jobs, it's a question of simple competence for those offices.)

I do agree with the Donks on one issue (and only one issue), and that is fair trade vs free trade, but when our country is in moral collapse and we are threatened by murderous barbarians who want to kill us in the name of a false prophet who totally misrepresented God, I say first things first, and trade policies are not even near the top. When there are dozens of issues, the bad guys are bound to accidentally be right on one or two of them, and the good guys bound to be wrong on a couple. (Besides, if you look at the Senate votes on NAFTA and PMFN for China, you see that the same Democrats who scream about these things actually voted for them; they only care about fair trade when they are publishing phamplets for the unions to pass out, and quietly forget about it when the workers are looking elsewhere. In terms of trade, there is no meaningful difference between the parties.)

On the other issues that I care about the Donks are wrong, wrong, wrong.

GWOT, I have been informed by a union fanatic, is nothing but a Rovian distraction from the economic mess.

Family Issues: I believe that parents have the right to raise their children according to their own traditions and values, and while the Donks pay lip service to this ideal, they refuse to clip the wings of unelected bureaucrats that are deciding what parents can and can't do; in fact they appoint the bureaucrats.

We need new energy sources and in the mean time we depend on oil. We need to develop domestic oil sources and nuclear power. The screams against both of these come from the Donks. Without energy independence we are at risk and the Left's solution, nothing but using less energy, will not work even in the short run. Bush hasn't done all he can, but in fairness, the left won't let him and Congress lacks the political will to stand up to the chattering class.

Michigan needs jobs and jobs are created by employers. (Duh!) We need to be more friendly toward employers and less friendly toward anti-business groups and individuals.

Some will ask what the GOP has done about these things and I answer not alot, but it's a question. Do you vote for those who agree with you but are restrained by either cowardice or political reality or do you vote for those who disagree with you and are going to oppose everything you believe in? What Michigan needs is a GOP controlled government who will tell the radical environmentalists, the UAW, the MEA, and others who are responsible for the collapse of this state to "Shove off!" and fearlessly vote to clip their wings.

Update: My choice of words "good guys" and "bad guys" was not the best choice of words. Those who know me personally would have seen that I meant it with a bit of jocularity, but that doesn't always come through when one writes and I tend to forget that.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another Hollywood "Closet" Conservative?

Chuck Norris is writing a column for the "Far Right Wing" World Net Daily in which he defends traditional values and praises our soldiers.

Gayle, at My Republican Blog suggested I use this image. It is appropriate.

The UAW Likes This

As I entered work this morning I glimpsed at the Union bulletin board expecting the usual Democractic Party propoganda and was not disappointed, or perhaps it is more accurate to say I was very disappointed.

There was a bright new poster up giving a list of voters' rights and the very first one stunned me.

"You do not need to show a photo ID"

The union knows about voter fraud but also knows that their candidates profit from it. Then they hide behind phoney complaints about virtually non-existant voter disenfranchisement. (There is some but it is a drop in the bucket compared to dead voters, double voters, votes from Mary Poppins etc.)

I was discussing that, without referencing the poster, while our shop steward was nearby and mentioned that anyone caught multiple-voting should lose their right to vote forever and she agreed. I asked her if there should be a photo ID required for voting and she said absolutely. She apparently did not realize what was #1 on the list she had just put up. I mentioned that and she said I had to be mistaken because the union would never say something so silly.

It dawned on me. The ditz put the poster up without reading it first.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I learned to use a sliderule (remember those) when I was in Junior High. I was quite skilled with them. I had to take a test at Naval Nuclear Power School that was nothing more than a test of your skill with a sliderule, which I had known how to use for years. Guess which test was the only knowledge/skill test I ever failed while I was in the Navy. Reason: I didn't take it seriously and got badly overconfident. Fooling around instead of applying myself to the test, I ran out of time and couldn't complete it. Fortunately later tests erased that embarrassment but I learned a hard lesson.

In any endeavor, be it football, life, business or politics, overconfidence will bring down a giant.

Ball State has a football program that, while of interest to those connected to Ball State, is barely a blip on the national screen. Today it almost became a giant killer.

The Wolverines of Michigan did not take this second or third tier team seriously going into the game. Ball State was taking it seriously. Michigan pulled it out but Ball State gave them a run for their money.

You have to take every opponent seriously in any endeavor. It's the one you're not watching that will sneak up on you. I learned the hard way; the Wolverines almost did.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Interfaith Activities in Danger

A few years ago, Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the greater Detroit area were routinely getting together to promote peaceful relations between the three "Great Religions". This seems to have cooled off a little, especially between Jews and Muslims.

While I would like to see peace reign, I will believe it when I see it. One group in particular says "Peace!" and they mean you can have it if you surrender to them.

You can believe your religion is the right one, and still treat those who don't share that religion as fellow human beings. It is not a matter of believing you are right, but a matter of how you treat those whom you believe to be wrong.

While I am sure there are many Muslims who genuinely want peace, they are unwilling to confront and silence the murderers who have found sanctuary in some Mosques. If they want us to take their claims seriously, they have to get serious about the violent jihadists and those who believe it is ok to spread a religion by force. (A religion should spread by good works, kindness and reasoning and intellectual debate, not violent force.) Anyone, regardless of what religion they were "born into" should be free to choose their own religion and let God deal with those who choose wrongly.

A Detroit Imam says
Klein is unrealistic if he thinks Muslim leaders based in Michigan can cool the world's religious hot spots. What he can do as an imam, he is doing already, Qazwini said. "I am still determined to keep working at interfaith dialogue."

I agree that he cannot stop the Jihad by himself, but I would ask what is he doing to discourage young Muslims from following the murderous siren-song sung by bin Laden? Our preachers publicly and loudly condemn "Christians" like Fred Phelps and there is no doubt where we stand on him. Is there any doubt, Imam Qazwini, where your people stand with the Jihadists?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For the Fear of a Word

Mark Twain intended a little controversy when he wrote Huckleberry Finn but I don't think the controversy that followed was quite what he had in mind.

The book was originally an anti-racist statement when Huck truly realized that Jim was not just a step above an animal, but was a true and genuine man and human. It is one of the best peices of anti-racist literature ever written.

When Mark Twain wrote it, and during the time period it covered, the N-word was part of peoples' everyday language, and it is a true reflection of the times that it portrayed.

Alas. Some people must never hear that word (except in rap music which seems to be exempt.)

Another school has banned it.

But we can't ban Heather has two Mommies even if it offends people. It offends the people that it are perfectly alright to offend.

The right decision is this: Teach the book in its historical context, letting those troubled by the word understand that the world was once like that. It should make them appreciate the world that is just a little more and see how far they have come.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Wasted Generation

I remember hearing commencement speakers when I was a teen-ager telling those who were a bit older than me that they were an "annointed generation" and a generation "that would make a difference."

Something went wrong somewhere.

My Grandfather's generation was hardened by the Great Depression, won WWII and ushered in a golden age for America.

My Father's generation brought civil rights for non-whites and landed on the Moon.

My generation . . . . hmmm.

In spite of the courage and sacrifice of many of our soldiers, people just a few years older than myself betrayed this country and freedom, causing us to lose in Vietnam.

Legalized abortion . . . there's an achievement to proud of. Anyone who is proud of that has a problem.

With the the help of another country we have put a multi-billion dollar can of air in orbit. Nice but not stellar.

Half of us took off on a wild goose chase following a left-wing utopian dream that ultimately destroys every society it touches. The other half followed their own personal greed to accumulate wealth without really accomplishing anything.

I sometimes feel that my generation is like that boy in Huxley's Brave New World who, when asked if he ever had been denied anything he really wanted, complained that he once had to wait a week to have sex with a girl he really wanted and how horrible it was. Too many of us do not know the meaning of either sacrifice or accomplishment. We are a microwave dinner generation that expects everything now at no cost.

I fear for the next generation.

A few individuals have done truly great things, but as a generation, and compared to the previous two. we have no bragging rights.