Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Been Messing Around Again

I am trying to write yet another novel. Sooner or later I will finish one that is not an embarrassment to the term literate. The idea hit me yesterday at work and I started trying to sort out dozens of ideas that I have come into my head. I will call the work City of Nyx.

I came up with the idea while contemplating how there are many books which have brilliant observations but in the end come up with goofy ideas such as Robert Heinlein's Stranger in Strange Land, or David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus or the works of Ayn Rand. All of these are brilliant people with a lot of deep thought and contemplation as well as intriguing observations, but I reject their final conclusions. Lindsay's idea that God is a parasite who ultimately consumes us or Rand's nonsense that selfishness is a virtue or Heinlein's obsession with free love all damage otherwise well made observations and are unworthy of such great minds as these people possessed.

Thinking of these works while I was at my occupation led me to the idea.

Maybe this one will pan out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Race or Competence?

I am somewhat intrigued by the Bell case where three New York City police detectives supposedly shot and killed a black man on his wedding day. To be honest, I don't have enough facts to know if their acquittal is valid or not and I'm sure not going to take the word of the notorious race-baiters Sharpton and Jackson on it; to these two racists a white man is guilty until God Himself says he's innocent and then it's still in doubt.

The curious thing to me is what is being downplayed by the media. Two of the policemen being lumped with the KKK are black. The pictures at the Fox News Site shows only the one who happens to white.

Picture from CNN

I guess black police officers are white racists too to some people. It's very likely that the killing was uncalled for, but it is a question of police competence not racism.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Now China Too!

Seemed like if anyone told the truth about Mohammad and Islam the Muslims would riot, demand apologies, sue and do anything else to draw attention. This was all for the purpose of preventing people from questioning the validity of Mohammad's claim to the prophetic mantle. Christians get it all the time and when was the last time there was a violent riot, complete with arson, death and threats of more violence, instigated by offended Christians because someone denied that Jesus was the Son of God or called the Bible a book of myths? Or someone made an offensive bit of "art" insulting Christian icons. We rarely get violent. But we're the bad guys.

Now China too does not wish to be questioned. Jack Cafferty made some truthful remarks about China's products on CNN and now CNN is being sued for the tune of one dollar per person in China. (In the unlikely event that China wins this, I wonder where the money would go.) The whole point of the lawsuits (both Islamic and Chinese) is to create legal hassles for those who ask embarrassing questions, merely to keep the questions from being asked.

Could you imagine how many lawsuits there would be if we decided to sue everyone whose words defamed America? We'd all be rich and the rest of the world would have nothing. Or so it seems.

Actually we'd all be rich if we sued CNN every time it defamed America.

Maybe we should try it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Language is Civilized!!!

Cussometer (Thanks Benning)

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Darth Vader meets King Arthur (as in Monty Python)

Busy today but I got this sent to me and thought I'd share it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

They FINALLY Have A Good Idea.

In my opinion PETA is one of the most absurd and hypocritical organizations in America. They believe it is wrong to kill an animal for food (which I have no problem with) or to kill a dolphin by accident (which I would rather avoid doing myself) but they generally support the right to butcher an unborn child and dispose of it as so much trash.

Their biggest moral failing is that they put not just make animals equal to people, but ofttimes make animal rights a higher priority than human rights. I believe without apology to anyone that, while all life has a degree of sanctity, human life is far more sacred than any other. While it is sometimes necessary to take a human life (execute a murderer, self-defense, defense of the general public, war etc.) it is never a good thing or something to be celebrated and killing of innocent humans needs to be strongly avoided (though sadly it can't always be). I don't believe animals should be killed for pleasure or silly reasons but killing them for food was OKed by God Himself. End of discussion.

But as I have said on more than one occasion A stopped clock is right twice a day or Even a blind pig finds an occasional acorn.

They are offering $1,000,000 dollars to anyone who can come up with a commercially viable artificial meat. I think that's a worthwhile idea. The stopped clock just happens to right at this time. They are concerned about animal welfare but there is a more practical side to this. It would be much more efficient to produce meat in th is way and would use up fewer resources making food more easily available. We obviously cannot graze cattle on the Moon or Mars, but astronauts could produce their own meat like this. Island nations and nations of limited resources would have the same thing.

Yes. For once they have a good idea. Let's see if they can come up with another one.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


A couple of years after Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California I saw what was then a recent picture of him on the beach and his Olympian physique was gone. Oh he was still in better shape than your average man of late middle age, but he was no longer the picture of muscular perfection.

What happened?

Simply put, not enough time to exercise like he used to (and perhaps he quit steroids as well - - if he even was at that point in his life.) When you quit exercising some muscle starts to turn to fat.

An ordinary working man or woman who does a lot of hard physical labor does not need to exercise as much to maintain a decent muscle to fat ratio because their job is exercise enough. When you've got it too easy the body starts to show it unless you work at it. When you've got it too easy things are good but you lose something.

It also happens in cultures and societies as well. When civilization reaches a point that there is little or no struggle in daily survival one loses something. Rome got so powerful that it could just sit and rule, but that attitude caused an interior decline that led to what had been unthinkable - - the Fall of Rome.

When one does not have to struggle to survive one finds other things to do, and at first they are good things, but as people get jaded and start to consider the easy life as the normal state of affairs, they begin to immerse themselves into hedonism and egotism. Moral decline is not decadence, but it is a symptom of decadence. Decadence is what happens when one has it so good that they lose the will to face hardship and the ability to struggle through hardship as they either forget how or they never learn in the first place.

Take a very young lion cub and raise it amongst humans. It learns that food is brought to it every day at a certain time and water arrives regularly. Those who would bother or disturb it are kept away so it is never annoyed or harassed. It never learns to hunt and it never learns to fight. It has never had to find water in dry place or shelter from a storm; it doesn't know how. Yet it is a lion, the king of beasts. After it has matured let this lion go alone into its natural habitat - - how long would this lion live? Answer - - it could quickly learn but more than likely it would die.

The poor people of New Orleans were facing a disaster that their grandparents would have easily dealt with, but for a couple of generations the government simply took care of them until they largely lost the ability to care for themselves. The hurricane hit and some of them died because the government wasn't there to take care of them, and even more importantly, they had forgotten how to take care of themselves.

No one likes hardship and most normal people do want to live the good life. I would like to. But if life is too good we start to forget important things. We forget how to face and deal with challenges. We forget how or lose the will to fight. We forget how to, or even the need to, make sacrifices. We start to assume that the good life is the normal state of affairs. We forget that in a purely natural life, the human life is short and brutal. We forget that poverty and violence is the natural state of man and that a change in affairs can bring us right back to that state of being.

Yet life can be good and we can avoid decadence at the same time. How? As a person with an easy life can exercise to maintain a healthy body, so a society at ease can maintain itself by something equivalent to exercise. Groups like Boy Scouts worked to instill the virtues that allowed survival in difficult times and also taught self-reliance and small-group-reliance to survive. Bringing young people through artificial hardship may teach many of them, not only the skills to survive, but a very important piece of knowledge - - the knowledge that they can survive and help others to survive. Military and self-defense training can also help. Kids, and adults, need to occasionally be forced to do things the hard way, just so we remember how and have confidence in our abilities if circumstances were to force us back to the default settings of our nature.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Memories - - Video Games

Video games didn't exist when I was a kid (ie before I was teenager.) Or perhaps I was just unaware of them.

Then when I was in early High School, what we then called the Atari hit, and my family was one of the first to get one. You could play tennis against another player or against the machine. You could play Squash or a couple of other games. It was called Pong and was in black and white, and very basic and simple. Ten or Twelve years later I programmed my Tandy COCO64 (top of the line at that time) to play it and it was so simple to encode.

While I was in the Navy there were pinball machines everywhere on the base and I got quite good at it; there were also a few video games and at that time I didn't care much for them, preferring Pinball. Still there was one space war one I enjoyed where you were a rocket firing at an occasional flying saucer that appeared on the screen occasionally (sort of an early version of Asteroids, but I couldn't even tell you its name.)

As I got out of college I worked for a while in an arcade and was disappointed to see how few pinball machines there were and how many of those stupid video games. This was at the height of the Pacman mania and all of a sudden games were all of the rage. I guess I could talk for pages about these games but I am just going to concentrate on games I really liked.

Of course "everyone" loved Galaxians, Donkey Kong, Defender, Missile Command, Tempest and so many others. I sort of liked most of those but they were far from my favorites, in fact most of the ones I truly enjoyed were the less popular ones.

Well Centipede was popular and I played it quite often, though I was never able to get past 40 or 50K on my score. There was a young lady whom I was friendly with who used to regularly clean my clock when we played (100K +) When Centipede graduated to Millipede I sort of lost interest.

A more primitive (in technology) video game that I enjoyed was called Battlezone which placed you in a tank. What was primitive is that the graphics were purely vector, which meant a lot of burn outs in the circuitry, or at least it did at that time. I could play that game for 20 minutes for a quarter. It was an easy game to learn once you had the entirely predictable pattern memorized.

Some lesser known games that I really liked were Paper Boy where you tried to deliver as many papers as possible, while riding a bike and throwing the papers, making very few mistakes and doing as little damage as possible. You could break windows, knock over potted plants, hit people etc (It was OK to hit the dog.) It was fairly popular with the kids too.

I also enjoyed Spyhunter where you drove an armed car and shot up cars, trucks, and motorcylces. Now I ask you; who has been stuck behind a slow driver in a no-possibility-of-passing zone and not wanted to blow up the moron's car?

Just so many of them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

License Your Computer?

I read something that concerned me the other day, but I don't remember where.

Because of the threat of computer viruses, spyware, and God knows what else, a columnist suggested that internet access be licensed.

Her wording, "We require a license to make sure that one can safely operate a car; with so many depending on the internet for their livelihood shouldn't we make sure that computer operators know how to safely surf the net?"

I agree with her to a point but disagree with her solution. Licensing access to the internet would be to open to partisan mischief regardless of which party is in power. Don't like so and so's blog? Find a way to revoke his net license.

However she had a valid point on the need for people to surf responsibly and keep their computer safe and as virus free as possible.

Perhaps instead ISPs should be required by law to include a valid (and regularly updated) spyware and virus protection in their service contract. I generally don't like a lot of regulations but I think this is one area where reasonable regulations reasonably enforced might not be a bad idea. When a virus can do the damage that some of them do, then mandatory protection might be needed. Most sensible people have virus and spyware protection anyway but this would make sure that everyone has it.

Update: I am not sure if I want the gov't interfering either, but I have seen more than a few people, mostly young people, getting viruses that render their computer useless. Not all young people (or older ones either) are computer savvy enough to think of these things.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"The Truth is Out There!"

One of my favorite editorial cartoons was made after the Oklahoma City bombing. It showed two upscale people sitting watching television.

Person 1: Rush Limbaugh needs to be silenced.
Person 2: You're so right! All he does is make people paranoid about the government.
Person 1: Hey! The X-Files is on!
Person 2: Oh I love that show about creepy government people.

Today I caught a good part of a show about 9-11 "Truthers" on the History Channel and was almost astonished at what they were saying.

Rather than debunking them, which the experts did quite handily, I am more interested in why they have the conspiracy theories in the first place. It comes down to this: many, if not most, of them believe that America, Christianity, and Economic Freedom (aka Capitalism) are the three greatest evils on this planet and there is nothing worse . . . period! What happened on 9-11 was clearly evil so obviously the greatest evil on the planet had to be behind it. Since there is no other evil except for the trinity of evil previously named they logically had to be responsible. Hence they grasp for the tiny straws they can find to blame America so they don't have to put the blame where it really belongs. Those people from other countries are oppressed victims so they can't possibly be responsible.

The truth is indeed out there, but it's not going to make the 9-11 truthers happy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11th, 08

First off, a memory

When I was 12 or so, there was a song called Jennifer Tompkins by the Street People. The song reached number 1 on the charts very quickly, some said in less then a month after its release, and you know when it was playing because you couldn't help but sing along. Then it dropped off the charts almost as quickly it climbed them and within a couple of months you never heard it all. Even the Oldies stations stay clear of it. Something reminded me of the song yesterday and I got curious about it. Most old memories don't sound as good when you go back to them, but when I heard it on You Tube it still sounded quite enjoyable if not great. Today I figured out why people quit listening to it - - - you just can't get it out of your head and you hear it in your mind singing on and on . . and on.

Now other stuff or rather just for laughs.

Achmed - - - The dead terrorist!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Not Going to Say Much

Let's see

The Detroit Tigers are 0 and 7 with the second highest payroll in the majors, real impressive.

The UAW is working to end the several week old strike at American Axle. It should have never allowed the strike to happen in the first place. Why does the union leadership insist on holding a gun to its own head? Don't they realize that they are adding more damage to a damaged industry? Plus saber rattling at Delphi again. I guess the union figures that higher unemployment will help their friends at the next election even if it hurts the membership. It's the only explanation I can come up with.

When Michigan had its primary a couple of months ago, Obama gave us the finger and refused to be on the ballot. He has shown that he cares more for the DNC than he does for the people of this state. I have no use for Hillary but at least she showed some concern for the people of Michigan. Let her have the delegates she won and if Obama doesn't like it or feel it's fair, too bad! He chose not to take part in our primary.

And for a bit of a smile

This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Philadelphia. You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement.
However, we are a society which holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty.
And after all, it is just a sign.
You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign.
Answer: A Funeral Home
(Who said morticians had no sense of humor?)
You gotta love it!!!
God Bless America

Monday, April 07, 2008

Another Embarrassing Moment

Michigan State University has a reputation as a fine school for a good education goes, but one has to wonder about some of the students who go there. They have a tendency to get a bit exuberant during celebrations and . . . things burn and . . . things get trashed . . . and students wind up in jail . . . and one wonders what is going on in those supposedly intelligent heads.

A few years ago the MSU football team won a bowl game and the student body celebrated with a riot.

The link can tell you what happened but the most troubling line in the article is this one.

It's the biggest riot at MSU in nearly a decade. Only a decade? I wonder when the last riot at another school in Michigan was.

You know you don't hear about riots at the University of Michigan, or at Central Michigan University, or at Saginaw Valley State, or at Eastern Michigan University, or at Western Michigan University or at smaller colleges. What is it with MSU? As far as I know, this is their third or fourth riot in the last 20 years.

And the MSU president is understandably concerned about MSU's image and reputation.

These are the kids being trained to be tomorrow's leaders, professionals, CEO's, etc and this is how they act? It makes me somewhat concerned about the future.

College pranks have always be part of college (and don't I know it - - - from both the giving and receiving ends) but riots because a street party got out of hand should not be part of it. I think some students need to be expelled and not allowed to attend any public Michigan college for at least a year. Only when actions have consequences will they change for some people. Harsh? Yes it is! Sometimes discipline needs to be harsh to be effective. Give these children a chance to grow up a little more.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Immigration Again

There may well be another side to this story as the city's response does seem reasonable, yet with so many towns choosing to ignore our immigration laws it is probably pretty accurate.

I did a Yahoo search on Jupiter, Florida and immigration and I found quite a few lawyers advertising to help with deportation problems so there is someone there defending the "defenseless" but also came across quite a few disturbing, but often unsubstantiated stories. Things are happening there.

Then there was a little incident involving an American Flag. (For the record - - Florida never was part of Mexico.)

If the city is protecting illegals for any reason whatsoever, they need to lose all Federal Funding until the sanctuary policy ends. But make sure they are indeed violating it first.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Without Any Personal Observation

It stands alone.

Memories - - Stuff I Wore

I was in one of my closets the other day and noticed something hanging next to my old Navy Uniform - - a shirt I haven't worn since I was in my late teens. I was kind of startled to discover I still had it and a quick look told me it wouldn't fit anymore, but still. It was a button up shirt, long sleeved, that was dark, dark blue, almost a black covered with what could only be described as electric blue sparking effect all over it. It was fairly fashionable in the mid-70s but today would be considered a bit . . . strange.

I was watching a cable channel that showed mostly old sit-coms and was seeing an episode of The Partridge Family in which Lorie Partridge was dating a guy out of pity and in order to show just how out of it this guy was it zoomed to his feet to show him with what was then the ultimate fashion faux pas; he was wearing white socks, something no self-respecting male would do in the 70s. My old socks were mostly blacks, blues, and browns with one or two red pair but white socks were a no no! (Except in gym class.)

A man in high-heels? We didn't call them high-heels, though that's really what they were though they were bulkier than a woman's high heels. We called them platform shoes and everyone had them. I think I got rid of my last pair after I graduated from college as they had faded.

It's kind of strange but I don't think the school janitor needed to sweep the floor when I was in school because we swept it for him, constantly. Our bell bottom trousers dragged on the floor when we walked and only the toes of our shoes stuck out from underneath.

Our good suits followed a set pattern. The trousers (again bellbottoms or flairs) were usually printed in some way, mostly stripped, checked or plaid and were relatively light in color. Our suit jackets were solid and colored in a dark color that harmonized and contrasted with the trousers. The shirt could be white or a lighter shade of the jacket's color while the tie would be either the same color as the jacket, or follow the pattern of the trousers.

Two things about the ties we wore. My junior and senior years in High School bow ties were quite popular and were sometimes worn with casual clothing. Our neckties weren't these skinny things that people were today but were WIDE and I think I still have a couple that range from an inch and half wide to two and a half inches wide. When narrow ties started coming back into fashion I didn't like them one bit. (Of course I still believe that the neck tie is the most completely useless article of clothing ever created.)

Our trousers or slacks were usually printed in some way even in our casual cloths. Also they did not wrap around our waists but hugged the hips on both sexes. When a shapely young lady with a tight top and tight hip-hugger slacks went by . . . well what can one say. Of course when young women wore halter tops and hip huggers . . . hmmm memories. Of course I was young myself then.

I think the clothing I grew up wearing was more colorful than what I see a lot of today. Printed tee shirts existed and most people had a few, but they were minor items in most wardrobes.

No self-respecting male would dare to have pierced his ears.

Tattoos were uncommon, though a few people had them.

Womens' fashion of course was different, and yet in some ways not as different. The Dukes of Hazzard did not exist so those shorts weren't called "Daisy Dukes" but "Hot Pants." Spike heels were not generally worn but a platform style shoe was where the sole and heel was one solid piece that ran the full length of the shoe. Another thing that most women, of all ages, wore was a charm bracelet. Those were kind of cool and I was kind of sorry to see them fade, even though I would have never worn one.

Nike shoes did not exist but we were proud of our Adidas style gym shoes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Unenthused About This.

In the last four elections I have voted for the GOP Presidential Candidate as the lesser of two evils. Bush never was my first choice, but compared to Gore and Kerry he was paragon of brilliance and integrity (but that's not saying a whole lot as a dime is 10x as valuable as a penny, but still not worth much.)

I refuse to waste my vote on a third party candidate. The GOP is badly flawed while the DEM is rotten almost to the core and must not be allowed into power.

The last four elections I have wondered "Out of 300,000,000 people in America, these two were the best we could come up with?" Why won't those of integrity and competence run and win?

So many answers really.

Too many people want a government that will take care of them, not a government that will make it possible to take care of themselves. That is the legacy of the most over-rated president of the 20th century - - FDR. Now that his chickens are coming home to roost we begin to see what a disaster he really was for this country. He took a nation of proud, hard-working individualists, and turned us into a nation of clients to the welfare state. Welfare is good for those who truly cannot take care of themselves, but it destroys those who can take care of themselves. Modern Welfare is nothing more than buying votes with the tax-payers' money.

The press destroys so many people, and yet curiously protects its favorites, that only a narcissistic egomaniac would want to deal with it. Anymore you need to be an egomaniac to run for presidency. You need to have a vice in order to do it.

Both parties are corrupted by big money. (Oil and Defense Contractors on one side, Lawyers, Gangsters, Public Works Contractors and Government workers on the other.)

As I have said, the GOP is not nearly as bad as the Democrats and a 3rd party vote is a wasted vote. (I am completely closed off to any possibility of a 3rd party candidate -- a narrow mind can be a virtue at times.) Lesser of two evils gets my vote . . . again.

Ronald Reagan where are you?