Tuesday, February 27, 2007

South Park Me

Little Miss Chatterbox, some time ago, linked to a place where you could create your own South Park Character. I eventually got around to creating a ve-e-ery stylized image of me and stuck it under my profile.

Make your own at this site.

I have watched that show all of twice so I am no expert on it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Does This Mean I'm "New Fashioned"?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Another Linkless Rant

I am not going to go into what brought this up, but it's something that has been bugging me for a couple of days.

In ancient Greece Aristophanes wrote a play called The Wasps about an elderly man who would hang around the judicial courts for mostly the entertainment value and he was not alone. His son was horrified at his father's behavior and ultimately put a stop to it. The play pointed out two flaws with the Athenian justice system: that it was abused and that it been reduced to a tawdry entertainment for the masses. (I tried to link to text but a quick look only found places it could be purchased. I read the play while I was in college.) What was most troubling is that these men often found themselves on the jury and would vote in favor of whichever party gave them the best entertainent value.

We have both problems today. We all know of the abuses of the system but I want to talk about the other problem.

When People's Court first came on TV I like it and considered it a good way to educate the public on how our courts work. At first it started out like that but it quickly degenerated into entertainment. If you watch Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown and whatever others their might be you begin to wonder: do their producers and directors sort through potential cases looking for the biggest idiots with the looniest court cases? Some of them are serious, but most other times you just gotta roll your eyes and wonder why the judge doesn't just dropkick them off the stage. (I will not insult the judiciary by calling it a courtroom when I see a mockery of the court room.) There is no educational value; it is purely entertainment.

It's alot like talk shows that started out serious and insightful, but quickly degenerated into shows like Jerry Springer who is not beneath hiring actors to portray people discussing the most absurd situations possible (or not possible in some of his shows.) Or as Johnny Carson once said "Disfunctional people discussing their disfunctional lives with a disfunctional host." I predict that within a couple of years there will be a judge with a TV show where all participants are actors and the trials will be completely scripted, much like I believe the Jerry Springer show to be. The TV courtroom will then be completely entertainment.

I already have zero (0) respect for "Judge" Judy. She may have been a judge at one time but today she is no more than a TV actress, a not a particularly talented one. "Judge" Joe Brown is not far behind. As far as I am concerned these two people have reduced the judicial system to a joke by turning it into entertainment. They are the cultural descendents of the bored old men who hung around the court in The Wasps. They may pretend to take it seriously but I can't. What this is doing to our judicial system is contemptable. At least the cast on Night Court were honest enough to admit that it was just entertainment. Judge Judy and Judge Joe and their cohorts need to the same.

Already in the real courts we saw what happened when Judge Lance Ito allowed the OJ trail to degenerate into a Roman Circus. Justice is mocked when the court becomes entertainment.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention the movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture a few years ago and that was Chicago where Richard Gere played a slick criminal lawyer who got murderers off simply by treating the public to macabre entertainment in the form of murder trials. More of the same.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What is Jennifer Thinking?

Michigan's struggling economy could well soon suffer a self-inflicted wound. (Actually they're all self-inflicted but this one is a little more obvious.)

One area that has not been suffering is attracting out-of-state tourists who wish to take advantage of our extensive natural bounty.

Enter our governor.

Some fees will go up and some of them are quite understandable but we need to draw out-of-state sportsmen (and women) not discourage them. As I said in an earlier post, you gotta think more than one move at a time. Raising fees for sportsmen is going to hurt one of the few industries that are not suffering in this state. We need to look at each fee increase and see if that will result in more or fewer total revenues for the state. A fee increase the reduces usage is counterproductive.

We don't need to fix what isn't broke. We have enough that is broken to warrant all of our attention.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reality Hits

The UAW knows and admitts it's going to have to make concessions this time around or it's all over. The Union is soon going to be less than half a million people and it's still shrinking. Non union auto makers pay a little less but not much and will save money by less generous retirement plans (which may have been the Big 3's worst self-inflicted wound of all.)

My question is Why didn't they see this coming 20 years ago? I think they knew it was going to happen but pretended otherwise. The personal power of the International leadership depended on keeping the pretense up.

In my own shop, except for a couple of union fanatics, it's seen as a necessary evil AT BEST and as a total scam by many. Even our shop committee people are very cynical about the union. Most of my co-workers feel that the GM, Ford and Chrysler employees have brought this on themselves and we're along for the ride. (Of course there are the over-paid execs too but that is all part of the same picture; it is not a seperate issue.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

I've Got A BAD Feeling About This.

Rumors are beginning to swirl and people are talking. If it is true it means more economic pain for Michigan, at least in the short term.

GM might buy out Chrysler from DMX.

The first, poorly thought out, thought might be that it would be good to have Chrysler being an American company again, but then there all the little (and not so little) problems that would come with it.

First off, the merger would probably (more like certainly) result in more job losses as redundant jobs and models are eliminated. Both companies need to make and sell better products that meet customer expectation, not simply eliminate competition.

Stockholders would take a hit as the combined value of the two companies is probably greater as seperate companies than they would be as one company. The value of Chrysler stock has gone up but this will not put it where it should be.

From a manufacturing standpoint it makes no sense for a company that is downsizing to suddenly increase everything that it had been cutting. Yes they will sell more units but will a GM-Chrysler combo sell more units than they would seperately? I don't think so.

The state treasurer is understandably concerned. We really do not need to lose more jobs.

My question is How can GM afford it? They have major losses and are drowning in red ink. This would require a considerable outlay of capital and I wonder how GM is going to come up with it.

In the end I must remember what is written in large friendly letters on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


I'm not in a panic mode because, for starters, I'm not sure it's going to happen.

We'll just have to see.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Global Warming?

I often refer to the town in Michigan that was stuck with the name "Hell" but it's always good for a chuckle.


War Is Hell -- Even To Remember

My paternal grandfather was just completing training when WWII ended and he was sent home. He however did lose a cousin a Germany.

While nobody on my mother's side was killed, that I know of, I had three uncles who were in some way or another devastated by WWII. (My Mom is youngest in her family, Dad was second oldest in his, so I had uncles and aunts on Mom's side who were as old as my Grandparents on Dad's.)

Uncle H., her older brother was the sole survivor of his unit. Survivor guilt reduced him to a man that could barely function in society. He was a loveable man who was loved by everyone who knew him, but he was no longer able to care for himself.

Uncle L. , her oldest sister's husband, was in Germany and his unit was pinned down by several snipers. Uncle L. managed to kill one and after they were able to move forward, he discovered that the sniper he had killed was a 12 year old boy. He had no choice but he tried for years to drink away the memory of what he had been forced to do.

Uncle J. (another sister's husband) was a paratrooper and on his way down received fire and lost his entire right arm. In spite of this he was able to live a full and fairly successful life with my aunt. He is the only one of the three who is still alive.

War is hell, even for the victors. We often have no choice but to fight, but it is not glorious or glamorous. It is a horrible thing that we are sometimes forced to do as the consequences of avoiding war are often worse than the consequences of fighting it. I appreciate very much what my 3 uncles on Mom's side went through, as well as what my Paternal Grandfather's cousin died for, and my Grandfather was preparing for. We didn't ask for that war, but we got it anyway.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Couple of Things

1. Hugo Chavez has had his oil supply threatened by Al Qaida and he can't figure out why. They are both opposed to the United States and "the enemy of my enemy" should be my friend right?
Mr. Chavez, does the word "infidel" ring a bell. Maybe you and your leftist pals here in America need to rethink your position on the Jihad; America may be their main target but you're in their sites too. They are against us because we stand in the way of their dream of global domination. Their ambition is not a world without the USA but a world-wide Caliphate.

H/T Jihad Watch

2. As if Michigan hasn't had enough economic bad news from the Auto Industry. Now DMX-Chrysler is cutting 5500 jobs here in Michigan alone and a total 13,000 jobs nation-wide. All I can do is ask "What else is new?" Plenty of blaming this politician or that politician, but no one seems to have any answers.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Like a Game of Chess

When you play chess you need to think several turns ahead, while constantly thinking "if he does this . . . what should I do?". Now if you are playing a very sloppy player you can win just reacting to his moves but with a player of any skill whatsover you need to think not only of your next move, but your opponent's likely next move and your move beyond that.

On some anti-Jihad sites there has being a recurring theme that Islam needs to be banned, even if we have to amend the Constitution to do it. The same cry is rising in a number of European blogs as well.

Even if we got the support and votes to do it, it would be a bad idea for two reasons.

1. Whenever you outlaw a belief or idea you merely drive it underground. Witness our attempts to outlaw the Communist Party in the early 20th Century. Outlawing belief does not work without a "thought police" force looking for any sign of it. What is legal can be seen and monitored.

2. There are Secular Fundamentalists who want severely limit traditional religions. They could use the outlawing of Islam as a step or pattern to outlaw other religions as well. Not immediately of course but that would be their long-term goal.

Think of the next move before you ban something.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What Kind of Intelligence.

I found this quiz over at Gawfer's.

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

A Mish-Mash

I just want to quickly run over a few things.

1. I recently posted at Absolute Zero discussing the recent arrest of a pedovore in Muskegeon Michigan.

2. Rudy-mania. I 'm not going to jump on any bandwagons yet. He is a bit to the left of center for my tastes, but if would keep his word about appointing strict-constructionist judges (which is an acid-test for my presidential and senatorial votes) then I could probably vote for him without a problem.

3. It's a cold day in Hell (and I 'm not talking about Hell Michigan either.) The New York Times which is typically the house organ of the left wing of the Democratic Party actually has a thoughtful editorial. It's about decentralizing our federal government, which is actually what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers. A group of sovereign states with a central government providing for the common defense, a common currency, common foriegn policy and to regulate interstate commerce was the original plan of the Constitutional Convention. A number of our most divisive issues such as abortion, gay rights, etc. should not even be presidential concerns; they should be handled at the state level and those who don't like a certain states policies should move elsewhere. H/T Captain 's Quarters.

4. At the Gates of Vienna, at least one group in Denmark is taking the Jihad seriously and has formed a political party to defy Sharia. It may be a small party or it may grow but we need to insert anti-sharia planks in our party platforms as well. Jihad is the greatest threat our civilization has faced in a long time and it 's time to take the gloves off. This small group in Denmark has the right idea.

5. Bushwack at American and Proud of it has a link to real nutcase moonbat who is calling on non-Americans to help him destroy the parasite that is the United States. Wow.

6. On a less serious note, I would like some practice creating fonts as I would like to be able to do it on a semi-professional level. Don 't let my chicken-scratch handwriting mislead you. If you would allow me to convert your handwriting to a font (for your own use) as practice please contact me. If you have my e-mail address (and some of you do) just write me, or contact me through my e-mail address at My Stuff in geo-cities and I will tell you what I need from you to do it. (It takes about an hour and half for printing and 2 or 3 hours for a cursive font, but I need the practice and will gladly do either.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Chavez Has a Problem

Chavez is trying to help the poor, or so he says, and in the process the poor of Venezuela are worse off than ever before thanks to his generous help. Such is the sad and ever repeating story of Socialism and quasi-Socialist ideas.

In order to make food available to the poor, Mr. Chavez put price controls on food but failed to consider a very important fact. It costs more to produce the food and take it to market than the growers are allowed to sell it for, hence they lose money on every sale. (It costs $2.41 to produce and transport a pound of beef which cannot be legally sold for more than $1.82 per pound.)

As a result the producing aren 't producing and what is produced is sold on the black market. This is similar to the economic disaster that Jimmy Carter created when he tried to eliminate poverty by artificially raising wages through minimum wage increases and only succeeded in creating massive inflation and a major recession. (No wonder those two peas in a pod like each other so much.) When will people learn that government control of the economy results in economic disaster ? Perhaps they never will.

Importing more food isn't going to improve the situation much unless the government of Venezuela accepts a loss on every sale because they are not going to be able to get food from other countries as cheaply as they can produce it themselves. Eventually Chavez is either going to have to adjust prices or remove the controls altogher ( which would probably be the smart thing to do. )

Chavez condemns the hoarders and gougers, but simple reality is people will not work to produce when their work results in a loss of income instead of a gain.

Mr. Chavez. Your " reforms " will end quickly if the people of Venezeula are hungry all the time. You 're destroying your own revolution.

Hmmm . . .

Maybe that 's a good thing. It 's just too bad that people have to starve to satisfy the ego of a Marxist maniac.

Those who want the government to contol our medical industry also needs to consider this. Cheap or free medicine is useless if it isn't there.

Just For a Couple Days

Right now I 'm just trying something out so forgive the annoyance. I am, for the heck of it, running this blog using a font based on my own handwriting.

In order to see it properly you need the fonts yourself. They can be found at my Geo-Cities Site and it is the font called Shoprat.

Just download and unzip the file (I built the zip file myself; there are no viruses in it) and install it through your control panel. After you have installed it, reload this page or refresh it as you prefer and you should see it in a rough facsimile of my penmanship (such as it is).

The other fonts are your's for the taking. They're just some dingbats I have made. If I get enough complaints I 'll go back to the original default font.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sacred Cows

When I was in grade school a great deal was said about India, who was having difficulty feeding their population at that time, and the fact that they would not kill and eat their animals for religious reasons. This led to the idea of the Sacred Cow which was never to be harmed even though it could not be sustained.

Governor Granholm of Michigan gave her State of the State address last night and she at least has a realistic assessment of Michigan's problems but still, like most other people, cannot come up with a solution. She said school revenue cuts were off the table and were not even to be considered. As far as essential needs of the schools I agree, but I think we need to look at our school budgets and see exactly where the school money is going. There may be waste, redundancy, and perhaps even graft that can be cut out without seriously harming the school. Treating it as a sacred cow, not to be touched will not help the budget crunch our state is facing which in turn will hurt the students.

As far as new taxes go, she needs to tread very carefully. Michigan needs to improve itself as a place to invest and do business in and taxes is part of that problem.

Releasing elderly criminals from prison is another area to tread carefully. We need to be certain of two things: that they are no longer a threat and that they have served enough time to have a sense of justice in the time that they have done.

Finally I do have to agree with this.

Sen. Nancy Cassis, R-Novi, said she found Granholm's address "impressive, but I kept waiting to hear how she would rejuvenate the economy. Government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Upcoming Experiment

I will soon be trying something where this blog will appear in a rough facsimile of my handwriting. I have already created a website where the font based on my handwriting can be downloaded. It will be done in a couple of days and I hope you give it a try and tell me what you think.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Steven Has a Great Post

Steven over at Words in Order has a posting that links to a video, a little bit long, that questions the hysteria behind global warming. I especially got a kick out of the woman who tricked hundreds of them into signing a petition that asked the government to remove all water from the environment (it was demonstration of how unthinking these people are.)

If you have never been to his blog, pay him a visit. He's well worth it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Once Again I Remember

Today is sadly the 24th anniversary of the death of the greatest female vocalist of my time.

Of the many songs that Karen Carpenter recorded, this was her personal favorite (according to her brother and others who knew her).

This is Great

Not really

Just made the switch to the new improved(?) blogger and now a bunch of comments that previously had names attached to them are now anonymous.

Big improvement.

Forgive the appearance. I have been playing around with my template a bit.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

He Picked the Wrong Job

This poor guy made the wrong selection of a job when he became telemarkeer. I am sure he regretted the decision to take the job after he called this prankster. I almost wish one of those idiots would call me so I could pull something like this.


Warning: The recording at the link will repeat itself until you cut the connection, and it will still run through the entire replay after you disconnect. Or it least it does for me.

Friday, February 02, 2007

An Easy Quiz

This quiz was too easy. Most of the questions were obvious, though a few would have required some true knowledge. In spite of my score, this quiz does not confer bragging rights. Most freshmen in Bible College would have easily aced it.

Still . . . you may want to try it yourself.

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
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