I am a college graduate who earns his living working as an hourly on a factory floor. I have found that I prefer this to retail management and customer service, which I have also done though admittedly it does not pay as well. I am a Bible Believing Christian and politically I am center-right. This is just a place where I share my thoughts on anything that catches my mind.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Stay Out of Porn Sites
Not only for moral reasons but for practical reasons as well.
They are a major source of viruses including at least one that is little more than extortion.
We gave you this virus and now you have to pay our fee or you'll never get rid of it.
I am not talking about lost jobs here is Michigan, at least not for the most part, but things from companies I used to frequently see as a child, that few child today would recognize. Some live on as successor companies with new names, or are part of a conglomerate that has ended the name, and others are completely gone.
When I was about 6 one of my favorite toys was a large battery powered airplane that would run across the ground while its four propellers (!) spun and it gave off a sound like a large propeller plane. Sounds old but its logo and air line name was even older.
It was the same name that decorated a space craft in 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Pan American was one of the first airlines in existence and dominated international air travel for many years, but died out in the 80s and faded from existence in 91. As I grew up it was a familiar icon and I flew Pan Am one time when I was in the military. Other airlines of course have come and gone, but Pan Am was for many years the premier airline of this country whose disappearance would have baffled people in the first half of this century. (Watch an old movie that includes a passenger plane from America and odds are, if they are being accurate for their time, the plane will say Pan American.
While there have been attempts to revive the name, the system is gone and gone forever. It not only doesn't go to the moon as Stanley Kubrick envisioned, but doesn't go anywhere.
Automotive When I was young we didn't refer to the Big 3 Automakers, but the Big 4.
GM Ford Chrysler American Motors.
American Motors? Remember them? I remember them a lot more clearly than I do the Packard or Studebaker (both of which faded before I was born though you saw a few of them when I was younger.) It's death as a company was about 20 years ago but it was a major player in America.
The Pacer? I almost bought one when I was 20. Perhaps it's a good thing I didn't. (Yeah, they were ugly, but the price was right!)
A portion of AM still exists but it is now part of Chrysler and the name is long gone.
Fast Food Here's one I remember clearly but can't even find on the internet. It was a rival to KFC and when I was around 10 years old, give or take a few, you saw quite a few of them. They might have been regional company. It was called Chick N Joy and it's slogan was "Love at Fist Bite!". I can still hear the jingle in my head. It seems to still exist in small numbers in Canada.
Another lost chain, that was you saw a fair number of when I was in my teens and twenties, was a regional chain called Penguin Point which located in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, mostly in medium sized cities (which until the mid-70s were avoided by the large chains.) When the major chains such as McDonald's and Burger King started moving into medium sized towns, it spelled the end of most restaurants like this, though a few apparently still exist.
Come to think of it, I am only aware of one drive-in restaurant in this area, and it's considered a novelty place. I remember when every town of more than a thousand people had at least one.
I received word last week from the company that purchased my old plant that I should apply and wait for a call up. I hope it's not another empty promise. I guess only one or two ex-employees have not or will not apply for the new owners. No one has found a truly satisfactory job. Mine isn't bad except for the pay and the boss's paranoia. (What we make averages more than 25 cubic feet of space - - like we're going to walk out with one of those in our pockets.)
Watched FOX news while I ate dinner. Is there anything going on in the country besides murder? It seems like 2/3 of the stories were about someone killing someone else.
Outlawing spankings? Yes spankings can be misused and misapplied, but over the several thousand years of human existence, they have contributed to the positive discipline of many kids, and it seems that more kids suffer from insufficient discipline than too much. Ministers often give guidelines for proper application.
1) Never spank for a mistake or accident but only for willful disobedience and defiance of parental authority, after warnings have been ignored.
2) Never spank while you are angry or in any other negative mood. It is for discipline and correcting the child's behavior, not the relieving of your own stress. This condition is probably the hardest to meet and requires maturity on the part of the parent.
3) Never spank a child in public.
4) Never spank hard enough or long to enough to risk injuring the child.
5) Use only the flat of your hand, never an implement, especially on younger children.
6) Never spank a child under 3 years of age.
Those who consider appropriate spankings to be child-abuse are themselves part of the problem and they need to be removed from authority. I hear them speak on the News, Oprah etc, and they sound like they little more than whiney children themselves.
Sometimes reality necessitates the killing of an adult human being, usually in defense of self or others, execution for murder, or warfare.
The intentional killing of a child is never excusable. Well at least I can't think of a likely scenario where it would be acceptable.
To me no crime on earth is as bad as abusing or killing a child (except maybe murdering your wife but that's another story.)
Baby Grace Killing her was bad enough but beating and torturing her in the process was beyond bad. Mister, if you don't want to be a father don't get involved with a woman with children. I believe the Mafia invention of "cement shoes" would be adequate here. In spite of her mother's ploy for pity, I feel none for her.
Madeleine McCannKilled by a stinking pedophile (and they get upset when we call them by a more appropriate moniker - - Pedovore - - one who devours children.) I don't favor the death penalty to this guy. Prison. No pants or trousers allowed on him and no crimes against his person by a fellow prisoner will be punished. Sorry but when kids are intentionally hurt I lose my saintliness.
Natalee Holloway. Leave those guys alone and unobserved with her dad and male relatives for thirty minutes and what happens happens with no questions asked afterwards. Of course we need to be certain of the guilt first. (She was not technically a child, but in her case the same rules still apply. Killing a teen-aged girl is only marginally less repulsive than killing a child.)
If I die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, a second decapitated body has been found. The last one was the work of a couple of teenagers whose motive totally escapes me. Now this. I hope for the sake of the innocent it doesn't become a trend. All we know for certain is it probably wasn't the same teenagers.
The two major sources of PM in the Bay Area are wood burning in fireplaces and woodstoves, and motor vehicles.
No reference to industrial pollutants huh?
I look at their FAQ page and my question is missing; "Are you crazy?" They take themselves too seriously to even consider that one. (In case your curious there is no doubt that I am firing on one less cylinder than I should :-) )
Movie Stars and appropriately aligned politicians can fly around in private jets, creating more pollution than any working class stiff, but don't light up the fireplace.
I don't know how serious these people are but the fact that they are even considering it is hard on one's nerves.
Put more pollution in the air or freeze to death in one's own home. Nice choice.
Thanksgiving went well and I appreciate all the good wishes I received from all of you. Thank you.
Today I went and saw the movie Enchanted and I loved it.
First off I saw ads for two more movies that registered, one I am looking forward to, the other I will probably see but will take little pleasure in.
The Golden Compass is based on the Dark Materials series which was written to counter the Christianity of The Chronicles of Narnia and the whole point of the series is that Christianity is bad and Atheism is good, in fact Philip Pullman, who wrote the book, is very hostile toward theism of any sort. (I have read a couple of interviews with him.) So far the books have not been a dynamic success (thank God) but these movies could do it.
On the other hand, when I was a teenager a very popular book was I am Legend which was about a man who believed that he was the last remaining human on earth and many of the dead had become vampires. Will Smith will be playing the last surviving human, or as he was called in the subtitle of his book The Omega Man. I am looking forward to that movie as I really liked the book when I was 15.
Enchanted was a cute movie and I enjoyed it, though of course one should not take it too seriously. It had a fairy tale ending (of course) but actually gave some serious thoughts to the issue of why relationships don't last and what we can do to make them last.
The best line in the movie was given by a woman who had been involved with a very bitter divorce from her husband, but after a brief encounter with Princess Giselle changed her mind and reconciled with her husband. Her brilliant line:
Of course we have problems. But are we going to throw away all of the good things we have because of a few problems. We need to work them out instead.
It started me thinking, and though having never been married I have seen both successful and failed marriages and can see a few things.
1) A couple needs to be similar or identical in some areas such as religious beliefs, artistic tastes, passtimes enjoyed, and have a common expectation of what their marriage should do. They also need some real differences with each on being strong where the other is weak. (Each should bring something to the marriage that the other is either weak or lacking in.)
2) They need to know before they say "I do" that fights are going to happen and difficulties are going to come. The whole idea of "happily ever after" is possible only if one understands that happiness does not require perfection or that every day be joyous. Perhaps they need to understand that the bad times are the price that is paid for the good times.
The effects were great and the movie wasn't bad. I think I'll be getting the DVD as well.
Update: Forgot the most important point I have seen in successful marriages.
3) A marriage based entirely on either common sense or "magic" is going to either fail or be unhappy. The successful and happy marriages that I have seen had both.
You have a very hard time focusing, and you find it difficult to stay on task without your mind wandering. You probably zone in and out of conversations and tend to miss out on directions because you cannot focus
First the Wolverines and Lions both choke and now this.
Michigan has the first and third most dangerous cities in America. Detroit (#1 in something finally) and Flint (#3). A local radio station this morning said that Saginaw received an "honorable mention" on that list, and I have no trouble believing it, but I cannot find any links verifying Saginaw's place.
While there is some dispute as to how accurate this is, I know I can watch ABC12 News out of Flint and it always seems that someone has been killed or there has been an attempted killing. I listen to a radio station from Saginaw and it's the same old story. People killing people.
Some blame this on the economy and perhaps to a point it is, but more importantly, it is one more difficulty that Michigan has to overcome to attract business. I mean who wants to build a factory in a neighborhood whose primary businesses seem to be Meth and Murder.
I have to question those who say that poverty is the main cause of this. Poverty may drive some to steal to survive, but to kill? How does that help one financially? We need to get control of crime and recognize that the main source of crime is not poverty, but a disregard for one's fellow man.
Secondly, let's suppose it is bad use of statistics. This doesn't change anything. We cannot change the perception without changing the reality behind it. Even if these cities are not 1 and 3 respectively, there is still entirely too much killing going on in these towns. Even if the they're actually #10 and #30 in the rankings, that is still too much violence. Even if Detroit is barely in the top 100 cities, it still has too many murders.
It's not the guns. I live in a city that is a concentration of privately owned firearms and murder by gunfire is very rare here. (The last three murders in this town were a bludgeoning, a strangling, and a homicide by arson and have happened over several years - - there was also a stabbing in that time period but the victim survived.) In spite of more guns per square mile in my county than most army bases, gun violence just doesn't happen a lot here. (I did not say it never happens. Come to think of it, about 10 years ago a local troublemaker was holding a 20 yo girl hostage with a gun and a borrowed SWAT unit arrived and finally caught him - - his gun turned out to be a BB gun! A bit of an embarrassment for our city's finest.)
Back to the subject. If we want businesses to come to Michigan, whether are cities are #1 in violence or not, we need to reduce crime in our cities.
The Old Fashioned Way Divorce is very common and people are living together instead of getting married these days and it's no one's business but those who are doing it . . . or at least that's the conventional wisdom of the day.
Someone is paying a price for this.
Children are. Now even social workers are admitting that there is a problem. A child who lives with non-biological parents or at least adults who have no familial bond with them is almost 50 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by a parental equivalent. That is not to say that there are no bad parents and no good step-parents because I have seen some biological parents who were a disgrace to parenthood and some step-parents who were stellar with their step children, but the statistics are too high to simply ignore. Perhaps it's time to rethink the changes to the definition of family that have happened in the last 30 or so years. I must admit to some concern about how much social workers are getting involved, but we need to do something. They say we "can't turn the clock back" and I say we may have to.
Don't Lower Gas Prices!! or I Kill Ya!! Only in Detroit. A gas station owner lowers the price of gas by 3 cents and someone winds up dead. It started out as an argument, then went to a melee, and wound up with a man dead. This is ridiculous.
There is something else to this story that will go unsaid, but I'm sure that many will notice as the read the article. Others have already commented.
Michigan's Economy In 05 they were saying our economy would start to improve during 07. Well 07 is has been here for a while and our economy is no better than it was then, in fact some could argue that it is worse than it was. This year Michigan lost double the jobs we were predicted to lose.
Now they are saying we will lose another 51,000 jobs in 08 and might see a little improvement in 09. It soon will reach the point where we have no where to go but up.
The Party Eccentric As I read about Ron Paul I keep thinking that what he is saying sounds very familiar. Now it becomes clear. Except for Mr. Paul's opinion of the war in Iraq, he sounds very similar to a man who ran for president in 84, 88, and 92 trying to get the DEM nomination. He sounds like Lyndon LaRouche. I wonder if ol' Lyndon has changed his name, appearance and party.
Global Warming seems to have run into a problem in parts of South America. As summer begins parts of Brazil and Argentina are in near-freezing conditions. Maybe we should dispatch Al Gore so he can warm them up. If man is causing global warming why is it happening on Mars as well and to a larger degree?
The bully of South America thinks that the King of Spain should apologize for telling him to shut up. I think the King of Spain deserves the American Freedom Medal for that. Next Chavez is going to see Sarkozy. I would love a transcript of that conversation.
What the heck is this? CNN must approve all audience questions ahead of time? The debate is live and what if the audience member asks an unapproved question? They going to arrest the questioner. I mean who cares what Jewelry Hillary prefers? The young woman should have asked the question she wanted to ask and not the one she was told to ask.
Tomorrow is Michigan vs Ohio State for the Big 10 title. Of course OSU is favored but anything can happen when these two arch-rivals meet.
Speaking of Michigan and Ohio State. A student attending the University of Michigan flunks out and transfers to Ohio State University. What is the affect of this transfer? answer It raises the average IQ of both schools.
A nearby TV station interviewed a "homeless" man from my community and it was sadly comical.
I know the man as I have had a few encounters with him, and I know people who are terrified of him. I'm not but I understand the people who are because his disposition is just plain nasty.
During the interview he said that "drinking is not my problem." I beg to differ as he is always drunk.
What is truly sad is the number of people, Church groups and government agencies, who have honestly tried to help this man and it has done no good. Every winter he intentionally gets arrested so he can stay warm, though I am curious how he can remain sober for that long.
What is also sad is because he is more than half American Indian he gets a generous monthly check from the casinos. Between this and his SSI he makes more money a month than I do and he is homeless. The community is on to him and no longer pities him. He says he wants to go to Florida.
I bet the town would buy him that ticket.
As I think of this man I consider that there is actually two different kinds of poverty and each one has a different cure. There is Poverty of Circumstance where external circumstances put a person in poverty. There is also Poverty of Vice where a person's own choices and lifestyle lead to poverty. Sensible aid will help those whose Poverty is caused by circumstance but will only enable those whose poverty comes from their own choices. Tough love is the wrong answer for poverty of circumstance and is the only answer for the poverty of vice.
We need to recognize the two poverties, know how to differentiate them, and be willing to use the proper response to each one. That means we have to use judgment.
I got home this afternoon with a message for a possible job and guess what.
I needed to use the internet to apply.
My wonderful ISP had a little problem. It seems that someone did something and knocked off all of Eastern Michigan's users of my ISP for almost 16 hours. (Got that info from their office when I tried to find out what was happening.) I went to the library and there was a line a mile long waiting for the stinking computers. I gave up and went home.
An afterthought, the job was 75 miles away and may not have been a good idea.
Another curiosity: Somebody is buying up abandoned factories (which are a common sight) in this area. I would like to know what for.
I was asked by American Power to post about my favorite actor and movie.
Favorite actor? You know I really don't have one though there are several that I really like. Arnie of course, when he was younger, could not be beat as an action hero and I can only think of one movie of his that I did not enjoy. I also like Tom Hanks, Brendan Frazier, and Bill Murray (though he is getting up in years.)
Favorite actress? Either Meg Ryan or Drew Barrymore.
Let's face it. Arnie did some really enjoyable movies. He was Conan. He also was great in Commando, True Lies (an all time favorite of mine), and Total Recall. His comedies were also great with my favorites being Twins and The Villain.
My favorite movie is a bit ironic in that I don't care for the main star and that is Legend starring Tom Cruise. I love its surrealism and its romantic atmosphere. And Tim Curry playing a demon in that movie is good too. This movie was made before Scientology got ahold of Tom's mind and twisted it.
Of course I still love the first Star Wars Trilogy, (the second trilogy wasn't bad but falls way short of the first.), all three Indiana Jones movies, The Lord of the Rings, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and (in spite of the recent nonsense about Dumbledore) the Harry Potter movies. Old movies that I love include Harvey and Arsenic and Old Lace. I am not too much of a fan of war movies, though I do enjoy the mostly historical ones such as Gods and Generals or Midway. My favorite westerns are also comedies, the Trinity movies.
My favorite religious movie is Joshua which portrays Jesus (looking the part of a modern man) visiting a modern community and interacting with the people of that town. He manages to touch, help and improve everyone he encounters, including (ultimately) a clergyman who believes that he is an evil influence. I also appreciate the scene where he encounters a fake miracle worker, and instead of condemning him, looks into his heart and sees a genuine but misguided desire to help people and shows him the way.
My favorite musical, you're not going to believe this is, is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella staring Lesley Ann Warren. I can't explain why, even to myself, but I do enjoy watching it. I think I enjoy how Lesley Ann Warren manages to portray a "country bumpkin" personality that even a princess costume couldn't hide. Neither Brandy nor Julie Andrews captured the personality that Miss Warren did. Plus I kind of like it when the Prince recognizes her beforeputs the glass slipper on her. (which you would think a man in love would do.)
My favorite animated movie is Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Don't ask why cuz I don't know but I enjoy watching it.
Been busy today and have not really had an opportunity to spend much time on line, but poking around at The Oxford Medievalist I noticed a couple of silly posts by a supposed pro-Hillary person, but going to their site I discover that they are satirical and are truly anti-Hillary and are worth a visit.
I live in Chevy country, though I personally drive a Ford Taurus, and GM seems to have a definite upper hand here. You do see some Fords and Chryslers, as well as Toyotas, but (at a glimpse) three out of four cars in this area appear to GM. The GM plants are nearby and virtually everyone knows several people who work for GM, in spite of the cutbacks.
The locals may joke about what the letters of Ford mean but Ford is turning out to be more than just a joke. In spite of economic concerns, Ford has turned the corner and, while it is not clearly in the profitable column, its condition is far better than was anticipated a year ago.
While profit and loss statements do not always reflect on the employment situation, a company that is in the black is far more likely to create jobs than one that is in the red. What I do notice though is that in spite of the huge difference in profit/loss, the 3rd quarter of 07 was only a little more than 10% above the 3rd quarter for 06.
Equally important is the UAW contract that Ford has negotiated appears to be poised for passing, quite handily. What is significant about this one is that now the Employees' healthcare is now the responsibility of the UAW. I am very curious about how that is going to work out and what will change because of it. I guess time will tell. I think having to administer a healthcare plan will be a hard lesson in reality for the unions. I wonder if the UAW would like to take responsibility for pensions too, kind of like the Teamsters did. (I'll pass and do my own thank you.)
With all the real problems happening in this state, British and American tabloids are making a laughing stock of our state capital, as if they weren't doing such a fine job of it without any outside help.
Apparently the British Tabloid, The Sun, had a quote by police lieutenant Bruce Ferguson, who really does exist, saying that he and his men were arming themselves with chainsaws in anticipation of an invasion of zombies. Disk Jockeys and other tabloids have chimed in as well.
I attempted to link to the original article but The Sun's internal search engine is a nightmare. I did find this story which satirizes the whole idea.
Did he really say that?
Now what did Lt. Ferguson really say?
And he did, in fact, say, "People can feel confident, if zombies start invading, we'll know how to close the streets. We can get chain saws, too."
It was tongue in cheek and reference to the confidence he has in his men and women. A far-out way of saying that he is prepared for the unexpected and believes he can handle it.
But the true meaning of what he said isn't any fun.
You see Democrats and Republicans standing together against other Democrats and Republicans.
You see Whites, Blacks, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics standing together against other Whites, Blacks, American Indians, Asians and Hispanics.
You see Feminists and Male Sexists standing together against other Feminists and Male Sexists.
You see management and union fanatics standing together against other management and union fanatics.
You have peaceniks and proud military people standing together against other peaceniks and proud military people
Everything is topsy turvy tomorrow and for a good reason.
We call it the Great Divide. Some call it the Big Game.
(The picture is a link)
Update: Back and Forth, Topsy-turvy, it was a good game and a great finish with the mighty Wolverines barely nipping the determined Spartans. A hard win and a tough loss, like a football game should be.
A lot of bloggers have been hitting on the nonsense that is going on at the University of Delaware and nonsense is the kindest thing I can call it. They have wisely decided not to go through with the program. Still they are saying it was misunderstood
How do you misunderstand this?
"A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. 'The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination….'
Sorry but that is not my definition of a racist. A racist is someone who believes that skin color is a relevant factor in one's worth as a human being. A white man who hates blacks and a black man who hates whites have no moral difference at all but are a genuine example of a true moral equivalence. They are both racists.
Racism will not disappear through brain-washing or guilt-tripping but when what unites us becomes more important than what divides us.
I was once shown how two very similar small fish species (the neon tetra and the cardinal tetra) will avoid each other when they are in a tank with just them, but if other more different species are put in the tank the neons and cardinals suddenly form a common school. That simple illustration by a barely-able-to-think little fish demonstrates the solution to racism.
Look at a sports team! They (usually) don't worry about skin color on the field, in fact the only color they worry about is the color of the uniform. What great team would win if the white quarterback refuses to pass to the black wide-receiver or if a black basketball player refuses to pass to a white teammate with a clear shot. There are occasional race problems amongst athletes but on the field they generally know what really matters.
From High School I went into the Navy where I served a little over two years and got discharged for medical reasons. I studied and trained for the Ministry but am temperamentally unsuited for that job so I entered retail and food management for several years. I really wanted to write fiction so I decided to get a factory job while I did it. I found that I am actually happy producing things in a factory and I have written a couple of novels, which I hope never see the light of day :-D.