Monday, April 30, 2007

Another Lost Love

My senior year in college I rediscovered something that I came to love for many years -- Roleplaying Games. While Dungeons and Dragons is easily the best known, it is not the only RPG system nor is it the best. In fact experiences with the original rules for DnD (as it was called then) soured me on roleplaying for many years. The rules were contradictory, incomplete and left a lot of room for interpretive thinking.

Then a friend introduced me to Metagaming's The Fantasy Trip which was a simpler system but the rules were so clear that arguments were rare and I quickly fell in love. Later I learned that AD&D had corrected a lot of its problems and I gave it a try. While I favored TFT over AD&D I cam to enjoy them both. With the collapse of Metagaming and the disappearance of TFT, along with the much improved 2nd Edition of AD&D I went pretty much solely with it until a number of years ago when my interest started to wane and then the 3rd edition completely melted my interest away.

Of course I played other systems too. I loved Games Workshop's Talisman (kind of a fantasy version of Monopoly). Sadly it was poorly playtested and there were ways to sustain the game forever just to be nuisance.

At one time I was a pretty good starship captain as I usually won in Task Force Games Star Fleet Battles, though there were a couple of guys who could beat me every time. I have not played the game in at least 20 years and have not kept up with the rules and new stuff though at one time I had everything they printed.

A very different RPG that I played several times and really enjoyed was Steve Jackson Games Toon where you literally played a cartoon character. It was supposed to be a "beer and pretzels" game but none of us drank, but we still had a good time. It seemed all the well developed characters that showed originality were foxes, weasels, and ferrets. Sadly most players just copied old Saturday Morning Cartoon Characters.

A couple of games sounded good but really weren't all that fun. Chaosium produced The Call of Cthulhu based on HP Lovecraft's work and it was an interesting concept, but between insanity and death, character mortality per adventure was between 60 and 80% which made playing very difficult, and not killing characters detracted from the atmosphere of the game.

A similar problem existed with Paranoia where you played an elite agent working to serve a crazy computer. It was hard to tell which was more dangerous, your colleagues, your enemies, or the computer. Your motto was Trust no one, Stay alert, and Keep your laser handy. It was sort of combination of Catch 22, 1984, and Logan's Run. Again a high player mortality rate ruined the game for most players (as most of the adventures were deadly fool's errands) and though there was a lot of humor, but often only the Game Master was aware of it.

I don't play RPGs at all any more, due to lack of interest, though I still have several thousand painted miniatures for several games that are now collecting dust. I still like to look at them and remember. . . and I smile as I do so.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Limits of Humanity

A concern that occasionally pops up is "Will Artificial Intelligence decide that humans are superfluous and or even a threat to them and need to eliminate or control them?" as in the movies Terminator, I Robot, or even the excellent, but short-lived TV Series Space Above and Beyond where they had to deal with a hostile alien race and their allies, the man-made "Silicates."

There was also William Shatner's series called Techworld which centered on the lives and rights of "Andies" (slang for "androids"). Not to mention Lt. Cdr Data (who as an android who was ironically the most "human" character on that series.)

Ah yes. Human rights for machines and the threat that they could destroy or enslave us.

Little problem here.

Self-awareness requires a soul and to simply create a soul is something that a mortal man cannot do. It may be possible to copy or alter the data that a soul is operating on but not the soul itself. Without a soul memories and reasoning are mere computer functions.

We could probably create something that is so lifelike that we could not tell that it was just a machine, but this would be due to the ease with which the human is deceived. True self-awareness will never be in a machine.

That does not mean that AI is not dangerous. Some version of a terminator is probably possible, even probable, and as such would be very dangerous, but in the end it would be a soulless automaton.

To be truthful, a soulless automaton is just as scary as artificial sentience and perhaps moreso because it is possible. I could easily envision robotic planes or tanks going on target and destroy missions with minimal human supervision, possibly within the next couple of decades. The closest thing that these machines will have for a soul is the soul of the person who programmed them.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I Hope They're Proud

Right now I am so angry I could spit tacks.

Just read this.

I hope the Democrats are proud of themselves.

The most sickening thing of all is that they probably are.

The GOP worked with the Democrats to defeat Hitler because in those more civilized days "Politics ended at the water's edge." It is no longer true and today the enemies of America, who have sworn to destroy us because we are not Muslims, are cheering for the Democrats because they would surrender. Their quest for power and their demonic hatred for Conservatives, has blinded them to the real danger. They lie to themselves constantly, saying that Bush and the Neo-cons are the real enemies. Idiots. Perhaps they'll take it seriously when they are whipped for drinking a glass of wine or eating a pork chop, or when they are beheaded for daring to expose Mohammad for the liar that he was.

No! No! No!

They think that the real enemy is here in America and it is us.


They are too damned stupid to see a big difference between this and Vietnam. The Vietcong did not follow our soldiers home to start killing us; the Jihadis will. If we had never invaded Iraq they would be coming here to kill us. The plans for the Jihad against the entire non-Islamic world were being laid over 20 years ago and 9-11 was planned in the late 90s. Letting them win would be a tragedy for America and world but they. . .

This is World War III. There is no sense in denying it. And those idiots in that debate were clamoring for the honor of playing the role of Neville Chamberlain.

Bush is not Churchill and we need a Churchill.

Where is he?

I am so angry I can't believe it. I need to calm down and see what we can do to keep these idiots out of power - - for the sake of America and Western Civilization.

but, since we are not supposed to refer to the GWOT or the "War on Terror" as it has been declared politically incorrect, I suggest we properly call it World War III.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Leading by Example

Conserve Fuel!

Conserve Toilet Paper!

Conserve Water!

Conserve Trees!

Limit CO2 output as well as several other gases.

Car pool! Actually carpooling makes a lot of sense for economic as well as environmental reasons.

The party that champions all of this is the Democrats.

Several Democratic Presidential candidates flew from Washington to South Carolina for their "debate" today. They left at about the same time and arrived about the same time.

Did they use public air service. With the exception of Joe Biden, No!

Did they pool and fly together. No!

Each one had a person chartered jet. Left together and arrived together.

What a shining example.

(and no I'm not saying the GOP is a bunch of saints, but their slightest moral failing is broadcasted for the world to see by the same people who cover-up even the worst wrongdoing by most Democrats - - Namely the MSM which is a house organ of the Democratic Party.)

A New Thing Started

I have set up, but have yet to truly start, another blog.

What He Said.

It is a blog dedicated purely to the study of the Bible.

Before I really start going on it I need to find an easy way to post in 3 languages, each with their own alphabet, in one blog. Font changes are not working well and I am studying the unicode method, but that seems like a lot of needless work.

I also intend to make this a team blog, with several contributors, at some point in the future. (Yes, that will cause some debate over denominational differences, but I believe it can be kept civil.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Old Is Often the Best

The news is so troubling of late with very little that can be called unqualified good news. Idiots in Congress, idiots in Lansing, bigger idiots at the UAW, dangerous idiots in the mid-east, ignorant know-it-alls in the entertainment industry.

Grabbed a CD of Strauss.

His music does it every time.

There has been great music with every generation, but Strauss was the best. Even now his vibrant and energetic waltzes and polkas can lift my spirit.

Probably the best known Strauss work is Blue Danube, but he has done a couple of others I like considerably better including Thunder and Lightning and Tritsch, Tratsch Polka.

I know that Beethoven was supposed to be the best of the best, but he is third behind Strauss and Tchaikovsky (best known for The Nutcracker and Swan Lake).

NOTE: I am not a big fan of Polka but his polkas are great, far better than the contemporary stuff that bears the name.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Keep Talking Ted

Michigan and Massachusetts share a few tiny similarities. They both start with an M and both have a favorite son named Ted. Ted Kennedy is nothing but an ignorant blowhard who is a disgrace to Massachusetts, the Senate and this country. Our Ted, a son of the Great Lakes State, even if he no longer lives here, is someone to take pride in. Ted Nugent.

He gives a response to Gun Control on a CNN commentary. (CNN? Will wonders never cease?)

I cannot argue with anything he says.

Jihadists, Burglars, Rapists, Mass Murderers (including Mr. Cho), Muggers and all other assorted dangerous people agree; they prefer unarmed victims.

The reason is simple.

When the victim is armed the hunter becomes the hunted.

An armed victim may well be an oxymoron.

Is San Francisco an American City?

Illegal immigrants are welcome in San Francisco which offers itself as a sanctuary to them.

The INS is not welcome in San Francisco and the city government will not co-operate with them.

"I will not allow any of my department heads or anyone associated with this city to cooperate in any way shape or form with these raids," (SF mayor)Newsom declared. "We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it."

I guess the city of San Francisco is so advanced beyond the rest of the country that it simply has no need to follow the lead of the rest of this country and if we are to dim to follow the enlightened path of SF then they will go their own merry way.

I say let them and we make a few adjustments.

Since San Francisco does not want to follow our laws then perhaps San Francisco should become a free city which is no longer part of this country. That would mean that San Francisco would become a city-state like Singapore. They would no have voice in our elections or our government and no citizen of SF could sit in either the House or the Senate and the city would lose all representation. Any federal aid would have to be considered foreign aid and would need to go that route. No business located in SF could government contracts nor could a citizen of SF receive college assistance from the Feds.

If they don't want to obey our laws they don't need to be part of this country. (Of course many loyal citizens who have the misfortune of living in that city should be allowed to trade properties and homes with moonbats in other cities, who would prefer to live there, so they can remain citizens of the land they love.)

Come to think of it, that's a win-win situation.

If they are so much better than we are they don't need to be part of us.

But then, without our army, what will they do when illegal Islamic immigrants decide that it is time for Sharia and they can't call on us for help anymore?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Another Flag Day

We Americans love and are proud of Old Glory and rightly so. However it is the flag of one nation and many great people all over the world are not Americans but of other nations. There is however one flag that should fly over many of us of many nations.

The Christian flag. That flag that represents the Christian Church, which we as Christians believe is the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God. We proudly fly our national flag but why do we not fly the flag of the church? We have citizenship in Heaven but why do not have bumperstickers that portray the earthly flag of the Heavenly Kingdom. It is beyond nation, race, or language. It is on every continent and in the vast majority of nations.

Why is it not seen more often. We complain about God being taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance but how about this pledge that I used to recite frequently.

I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag
And to the Savior for Whose kingdom it stands
One Lord, One Faith, One Truth
One brotherhood uniting all Christians
In Service and in Love

We Christians, and our co-heirs the Jews, are being attacked from every side. Islam, Paganism, and Atheism, who should be at odds with each other have united against the Church and Israel, the two earthly manifestations of God's Kingdom, and the two witnesses to the entire world that He is God.

It is time to start proudly waving the Christian flag and hold it highly against Islam, Paganism and Atheism. (Revelation 16: 13-16?)

There is a hymn that I dearly love and I wish to share it.

There’s a royal banner given for display
To the soldiers of the King;
As an ensign fair we lift it up today,
While as ransomed ones we sing.

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
’Neath the banner of the cross!

Though the foe may rage and gather as the flood,
Let the standard be displayed;
And beneath its folds, as soldiers of the Lord,
For the truth be not dismayed!

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
’Neath the banner of the cross!

Over land and sea, wherever man may dwell,
Make the glorious tidings known;
Of the crimson banner now the story tell,
While the Lord shall claim His own!

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
’Neath the banner of the cross!

When the glory dawns—’tis drawing very near,
It is hastening day by day—
Then before our King the foe shall disappear,
And the cross the world shall sway!

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
’Neath the banner of the cross!

It is time to again raise the flag of Christianity and hold it high in defiance of those who hate us.

Note to Jews and Deists. I mean no disrespect to you, in fact I feel nothing but honor and respect for the Jews who have suffered so much and yet remain, in defiance of all attempts to destroy them, proving that God has not abandoned His chosen people. Deists I disagree with but hold them in regard as those not far from the truth.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Minutemen at MSU

Chris Simcox, one of the founders of the Minutemen, spoke at Michigan State University and had to wait nearly 20 minutes for the police to clear out protesters who didn't want him to be allowed to speak.

Ah yes . . . the tolerance of the modern liberal.

They called the Minutemen murderers. Who have they killed?

Racists? Legal immigrants and citizens of Hispanic origin are not being complained about.

This is merely an attempt by the left to prevent those who disagree with them from speaking. Fortunately it failed.

Here's something interesting.

Terry Denbow, MSU's vice president for university relations, was there for the ruckus. He called it "a learning moment about what an open forum, an open discussion, an open marketplace of ideas should be."

Your would think that a man in that position would already know. I would like to know exactly what he learned. Was it the importance of courtesy towards those you disagree with or was it not to let those with unPC beliefs speak on campus?

Evil and God's Will

So where was God when all these people were dying at VT?

Was it His will that they all die?

One of the hardest to understand paradoxes of belief is the goodness of God and the horrible wickedness we see in the world. We do not help ourselves when we say all that happens is God's will. That is not true. If all that happened was the will of God then there would be no such as thing as sin. God's will will be done one day, but not today. God did not want those people murdered and He is not happy about it.

So if He is all powerful why doesn't He do something about it?

One day He will but this is not that day.

God does not want us to be mechanical men who just do His will without a thought or complaint. He wants sons and daughters and that means we must be moral free agents. If there is no choice then there is no morality. The existence of choice means that the there is a possibility of evil, or even intense evil, otherwise there is no morality, merely a clockwork universe.

What happened was a consequence of free-will. But without free-will creation becomes a mere machine. Perfection of Heaven will be available to those who choose it of their own free-will. Those who chose evil will lose out on perfection. It is their choice.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How Did This Miss the Papers?

Did you know there was a gunfight near Houston Texas as two rival gangs of illegal immigrants fought over a truckload of more illegal immigrants.

Only one dead but . . .

I know VT was worse but still . . .

It happened last Tuesday and this is the first I have heard about it.

H/T to Bullets and Bibles and also to Right Truth.

And the MSM wonders why we rely more on blogs to get the news instead of on them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Human Animal

As I watch what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech and read about what others think about it, I notice a theme popping up.

Was that guy even human?

Well yes.

Man is a unique animal in so many ways. A rat seems incapable of choosing to be moral; one has to wonder if the concept of morality is even present in a rat. Notice however, that a rat would not go on a killing rampage killing everything in sight because of some slight. On the other hand, rats don't open up soup-kitchens and foodbanks to help the less fortunate either. A rat does what a rat does. Yes they can spread death and disease but they do not do so intentionally. Their only interest is survival.

Look at the greatest evil in existence, the father of lies, Satan. He is not a fallen animal but a fallen angel, something far greater than man, and a result when he sank, he sank even lower than man can go. The higher something is the lower it can fall. What cannot perform great evils is also incapable of great goodness.

Man creates great works of art and poisonous garbage of every sort. We orbit the earth and sink into dens of iniquity. We feed our hungry neighbors and murder them out of personal spite, or sometimes even "just the hell of it."

An animal made in the image of God. The ability to make choices, and a creativity that, unlike other animals, results in unique creations from each person.

When we rise to the heights that we were designed for we do things that other animals cannot even imagine as we sail to the moon, study the atom, transplant a heart, or compose a symphony. When we sink we sink to levels lower than any animal as we destroy merely for the sake of destruction.

Sometimes it is necessary to destroy, but the wise know when to do it and when to draw the line and stop destroying and start building.

Each moment I and each of us are rising to the heights or sinking to the depths. We are changing from a special animal with unique potential (which is what we are at conception) to either a creature of Heaven or a monster of Hell, and all too many will show what they are before death reaches them. Each action, each little thought contributes to what we are becoming.

In the end, each of us will be either a glorious saint of God or a beast far below the worst vermin of the animal kingdom. You are becoming that right now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Special Blog

Envy is a sin not to be encouraged, yet I do envy those who can, well Robert Heinlein put it in the book Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, those who can "trundle in a wheelbarrow full of money and buy a ticket."

Billionaire Charles Simonyi has paid an enormous amount of money to spend two weeks in space. Fortunately he is willing to share this as much as he can with those of us bound to earth.

He is keeping a special blog while he is in space.

Read it here.

I especially enjoyed his "tour" of the ISS.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Union Leadership and Corporate Management

The difference between the two is minimal. The reason for that is very simple. A large organization (business or union or country) is always going to be led by ambitious people. Often ambitious people will spout different reasons for what they do but inside there is not 5¢ worth of difference.

The United Auto Workers collected 3% less dues than they did a year ago and Gettelfinger still gets a raise. When most businesses lose money people start making less. The exceptions are government employees and paid union officers (and business executives.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Old Timer

In the city in which I live, there is a party store owned and operated by an elderly man who was a teen-ager during the "Roaring Twenties" and, being the spry old gentleman that he is, he refuses to retire.

"I wouldn't know what to do with myself."

I don't drink a lot (neither does he anymore) and alcohol is a rare treat for me, maybe 3 or 4 times a year I'll have a drink. I still go in and buy pop ["soda" for you people who talk funny ;-) ] and snacks from him and always wind up talking to him for longer than I plan on.

Tonight we stood in the entrance of his store and he pointed to this and that building, or parking lot, or vacant lot and told me what was there when he was a boy. He showed where there were 3 speakeasies within site of what is now his store. He told me that the local police knew where the speakeasies were, but only raided if they created a problem. State cops had different ideas and would raid them as soon as they found out about them and then demand to know how the local police force failed to notice that "club".

He pointed to a vacant lot and told me of a building that used to be there. He asked his mother why men were always going up the stairs there because that many people couldn't live there. His mother told him never to go near that building. He later found out what a cat house was.

In the past he has told me about working for 10¢ an hour and how much that seemed like when he was a young man and what he could do with it. He told of how come he was one of the seeming few who didn't wind up in WWII (luck).

As I went home I looked over the city and realized how much it had changed, and yet hadn't changed, since I was a youngster and realized that man is part of generation that is just about gone. I just hope when I am pushing 90 or more that I am anywhere near as alive as this guy is.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Painless Recovery?

More and more I'm hearing talk about Michigan's mess.

Yes we have a problem.

Now here's how I see it.

We do not have the economic ability to meet our needs. We have two options: cut spending, even if it hurts or increase taxes, even if it hurts.

There is no painless solution.

Some are thinking, "Raise other peoples' taxes, but not mine." Others are saying "Cut other peoples' programs, but not mine." Too many people, all too understandably, want a painless answer, but there isn't one. We cannot save our state without suffering; that's a reality we must face.

I favor cutting expenses because we have to draw industry back into this state. Without that there is no permanent answer.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Johnny Hart

Amongst the comic strips that I have long enjoyed was BC and The Wizard of Id.

Both were created or co-created by Johnny Hart who passed away yesterday.

Never grieve for a departed believer, which he was and his strips often reflected those beliefs, sometimes in a manner that some considered controversial. His strips will continue to be done by family members but I am sure they won't be the same.

Father receive the soul of your child.

The Big Event

Today we celebrate the most important event in human history.

On the first day of the week , roughly 1980 years ago, following the Passover festival, death was defeated.

Satan, the god of this world, the father of lies, was shown to the world in all his power when he couldn't even keep a dead man in the grave. On this day death and Satan were utterly defeated and God the Father, and His Son were shown to the world in all their power. Even death could not defeat them.

The coming of the Son of God and His ultimate Kingship over all the earth was predicted 1000 years before Jesus actually arrived in the 2nd Psalm.

Why are the nations in an uproar?
and the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD
and against His Moshiach
(Heb: Moshiach Messiah, Grk: Christos Christ, Eng: Anointed One)
"Let us tear their fetters apart,
and cast their cords away from us!"

He Who dwells in the Heavens merely laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
and terrify them in His fury.
"But as for Me, I have installed My King,
Upon Zion, My Holy Mountain.

I will surely tell the decree of the LORD
He said to Me, "You are My Son!
Today I have Fathered You!

Ask Me and I will give you the nations
as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth
as Your possession.
You will break them with an iron sceptor
You will shatter them like earthenware.

Now therefore, O Kings, show wisdom
Take warning, O Judges of the Earth
Worship the LORD with reverence,
and rejoice with trembling.

Do homage to the Son lest He become angry
and you perish in the way.
For His wrath will soon be kindled
How fortunate are all
who take refuge in Him.

On this day we honor the promised Son of God, who defeated sin and death, and will soon defeat his enemies.

Then and only then, the world will know a true and lasting peace.

Come Lord Jesus.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The News is Good, Elsewhere

The national economy, while it's not red-hot, it's doing alright. If you were in the right place with the right credentials, the economy added 180,000 jobs last month bringing unemployment down to 4.4% nationwide, which is a 5 year low.

And then there's Michigan.

Average hourly earnings in America rose from $16.55 an hour a year ago to $17.22 an hour today.

I don't think it's the same in Michigan.

I called Michigan the New Appalachia before (when in the 50's Appalachia was a pocket of poverty in a booming national economy) and really wonder how we'll turn it around.

It's not a can we turn it around. It's how will we do it. We will do it because we have no choice.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

But Is It Alive?

When my age was in the single digits and I was in early elementary school we had different ideas about Mars. The dark spots that changed through the martian year were commonly believed to be vegetation in old sea beds and serious science books suggested this. We now know that it is dark rocks under light sand and that the sand shifts back and forth with seasonal winds.

We searched for life on Mars with Viking and the test was inconclusive at the time.

Now some people see all sorts of stuff on Mars, including (the no-longer-inexplicable) face and a few other things and most of it has turned up to be nothing odd at all. Yet one picture does seem odd to me.

The story of this picture along with some possible explanations can be found here. The section is four pages long and you need to read most of it to get the entire story. He suggests they could be odd mountains or dunes and offers similar pictures of earth from orbit. Still the writer suggests that he too believes these pictures could possibly be something alive. Mars has surprised us over and over again, and it may have some more surprises. It would have to be quite different from life here if it is alive because it would have to be surviving in an environment that no terrestrial life could survive in.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Few Things

I am trying Firefox and IE7 side by side, and results so far are inconclusive. To be honest, I really can't tell them apart. If it wasn't for the fox symbol or stylized e symbol I couldn't tell which is which.

Discovered an interesting blog today from Zimbabwe. It's worth reading, and I may add it to my links at a later time. While I find the blogger himself (herself?) to be interesting some of the comments are rather astonishing.

It was over 60° F today and it's supposed to snow tomorrow. Only in Michigan.

I enjoy reading "Gagdhad Bob" at One Cosmos but I'm not sure what I think of him. He says a lot that is true but He is so esoteric and wordy that I often wonder if it's worth it. (He also says a lot of things that cause me to roll my eyes.) Yet he makes me think.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Thinking Posts

A few days ago Born Again Redneck listed me as a thinking post and asked to list 3 more. I am finally getting around to it.

Check out this post at 2 Valuable.

Check out this post at Seaspook's Rants

And Check out Words in Order. He often writes pretty good stuff that deserves more attention than it's getting.

Front Page Editorial

The Detroit Free Press did something a bit odd today. They put an editorial on the front page of the newspaper.

Put Michigan First Now!

I agree with much of what they say, but I think they are still missing the key problems that Michigan is facing. Most of our REAL problems cannot be solved by politicians. The political crisis and the budget problems are only a symptom of the real problems that Michigan is currently facing.

Michigan's problems have their roots in our mindsets and expectations. Years of easy affluence because of the old auto industry and other industries have created unrealistic expectations in the minds of far too many of Michigan's people. We northerners often mock the people of Arkansas and Mississippi as backwoods hicks, but those states have a smaller percentage of HS dropouts in their populations and a larger percentage of college graduates. Michigan is at the wrong end of the ranking in both groups.

We have too many people with no work ethic. I used to see it in the plant all the time when we had 300 people. We had people who seemed to believe that work consisted solely of showing up and punching in. People who worked at GM told me staggering stories of people punching in and sleeping or having friends punch them in and out while they took the day off. My great-grandfather was part of the movement that launched the UAW in the 1930s and I know that he was already ashamed of what the UAW had become by the time he died in the mid-1980s. It would have been different if the UAW not only looked out for the workers, but also policed their own, making sure that their members were the most productive workers in the world producing the finest product in the world; unfortunately too many of them took pride in their paychecks but not their work. Some did but they were drowned out by the lame, the lazy, and the loyal (to the union that is.)

Both the state and the unions seem to love employment but hate employers and that attitude cannot continue. Communities that had major factories tried to milk every dime they could out of them until the businesses could no longer profitably operate in our communities and they fled elsewhere. We have lost far more jobs to other states than we have lost to Mexico and China (and we have lost more than enough of those.) A lot of people hate the profit mentality that drives business, but that mentality and the businesses are the geese that lay the golden eggs. Without them poverty is universal. I remember when I lived in Lansing there were frequent letters to the editor of the Lansing State Journal complaining about those big, noisy car-plants and all the pollution and congestion they caused and they wished they weren't there; those people have pretty much gotten their wish -- I hope they're happy because most people are not.