Sunday, August 31, 2008

So Many Rumors

When an attractive woman gains national attention, especially one with conservative leanings or outright conservative beliefs, there is an almost automatic attempt to trash her image as a secret tramp. There are so many stories and people are on fishing expeditions to find scandalous pictures of her. Rumors are circulating that the pictures exist so I decided to do a search and see if they do.

The vast majority of the hits are "reel-in" sites for porno pay-sites. (ie free sites with no content used to draw in people looking for porn and send them on wild goose chases until they give up and pay.) Misleading draw-ins are their bread and butter.

There's even contests which include some interesting suggestions. (language warning!)

And you know, she’s totally gotta have a naked picture out there someplace. And if not, someone should quickly photoshop one up.

followed by a bit of ribald fantasies about her by the writer and then this line:

So, with THAT NOTE, we OFFICIAL LAUNCH THE SARAH PALIN NAKED PHOTOSHOP CONTENT! Create, inspire, share! Send us your hottest pics of Sarah Palin

The site in question does have a very poor resolution photo of a nude woman whom they first say is her then they say it isn't. There is also a picture of "her" in very tight mini-skirt that they acknowledge as photoshopped. Though other sites claim that it is real.

For starters the head doesn't even have the right proportion for the body but anyway it looked kind of familiar to me. I had seen that picture before but had to think about where.

Then it hit me! Some time ago I filled out a "Personals" questionnaire (foolish I know) and started getting a lot of spam from "Hot Women Your Age in Your Area" including what I assume to be stock pictures of "hot older women". There was one picture that appeared a couple of times a week and one of her pictures was still in the Delete box of my Outlook Express. (I am very negligent at keeping it cleaned out.) Does she look familiar?

Why the fishing expedition? Why photoshop pictures? They are determined to find something even if they have to create it. If it was really there it would be all over the net by now.

I could be wrong, but I don't think there are any really bad pictures out there. (Bikini pictures mean nothing and offend very few.) This is nothing more than a fishing expedition/smear campaign.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just Some Fun

Everything that needs to be said about Governor Palin is being said so how about a laugh.

A good reason not to have a door flap for your cat or smaller dog.

I wonder what this particular thief is going to do with his loot.

Any guesses?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Who's More Powerful?

Governor Granholm appears to be doing the right thing in getting rid of Detroit's embarrassing mayor.

However a county judge is considering whether or not to prevent her from doing so and will reach his decision on Tuesday.

Who runs this state? The governor or a county judge?

Just how powerful are we going to allow our judges to get?

Why don't we just do away with the state legislature and governor and let the judges run the whole show? They seem to already think they do.

Attention Judge Ziolkowski! Please do the right thing and say that this is beyond your authority. It IS beyond your authority and judicial recognition of the limits of their power is long overdue.

Overall I give Jennifer Granholm poor marks as a governor, but I will acknowledge when she is doing something right, and in this case she is.

Sarah Palin

I really became aware of her last fall when there was a considerable number of conservative blogs wishing that she would run because, as a conservative woman, she would be the perfect foil for Hillary (who was the assumed nominee at the time.) At that time I believed, and still believe, that gender, like skin color, is the wrong reason to choose a nominee. To me she sounded good but not yet ready.

That being said I think that McCain made a pretty good choice. I don't know if it was the best possible choice because there is so much I don't know about the candidates but it was a very good choice. Her lone real weakness is lack of foreign policy experience and I do wish she had a bit more.

What impresses me is the excitement that this has generated over the right side of the blogosphere. People who felt that McCain was insufficiently conservative have now decided it's OK to hold their nose and vote for him. People who were choosing him as the lesser of two evils now feel better about giving him their votes. People who liked him now seem to like him more.

Over all he made a smart choice.

Sadly, everyone has a skeleton or ten in their closet and I suppose something will be dragged out soon, but overall I must say that I am impressed with her. I have read of one minor scandal and one other thing that seems to be an outright slander. I guess it's started.

She's not bad looking either.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Been A Tough Week

Monday afternoon I had a job interview as an industrial painter for a plant about two miles away which would pay comparable to what I had two years ago. They only talked to me briefly but instead, put me in a paintbooth and watched me work and evaluated what I did. They were thrilled with my work.

Tuesday morning I was informed that I had the job and would start the next morning. All I had to do was pass a pulmonary test that would see if I could safely wear a respirator over an extended period of time. No problem because I had done it before.

Not only am I still unemployed, but I now am unable to work in a paintbooth, wear a respirator or do any extendedly strenuous work. For some reason I am not pulling enough Oxygen into my bloodstream when I breath to do such things. I breathe normal sized breaths but I'm not pulling out as much oxygen as I should.

I was feeling pretty down about it, but I guess I'll just have to do something else. I'm over the emotional disappointment but need to look in other directions.

The agency that hooked me to this job says that with my work-record and references they can probably get me something else even though they generally do only specialized and skilled labor. The girl at the agency said she felt guilty about it, and I don't know why, so she wants to see what she can do. I appreciate the help but she of all people doesn't need to feel guilty.

My landlord thinks that I should try for partial disability because my breathing limits what jobs I can do, but I don't feel disabled and really don't want to do that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Next Space Capsule

One of the relatively minor fallouts of recent Russian adventurism is our co-operative space ventures with them, primarily the ISS. While Astronauts and Cosmonauts may personally get along very well, and continue to do so, the governments that sponsor them will have other interests in mind.

The Space Shuttles are scheduled to retire in two more years when the ISS is complete. Its replacement, the Orion, which could be reasonably described as an upgraded Apollo Space Capsule with a four man capacity, is not scheduled to go on line until 2014 at best, which means that for around 4 years we will be depending on Russian rockets to get our people to the ISS.

Of course if we really wanted to we could probably extend the active life of the shuttles for a year or two, but I don't know about four more years as they are getting kind of old. Unless another way is found we may have to depend on the Russians . . .

Unless we have a wildcard in the deck.

Sometimes private industry is a step or two ahead of the government. Behold! The oddly named but still viable DRAGON. Courtesy of Space Exploration Technologies.

It is capable of either a cargo, personnel, or mixed configuration and was designed to support private commercial platforms that would become economically and technologically viable in the next decade. In spite of a minor setback a couple of weeks ago with its launch vehicle (the Falcon), the Dragon is further along in its development than the Orion and NASA needs to take a good look at it. It could conceivably be operational a full two years before the Orion. I don't know if the Dragon is capable of leaving Earth orbit and going to the moon, but it is designed to reach and dock with, the ISS.

Recent news involving the Dragon can be read here.

I would love it if free enterprise saves our nation's Space Program.

Note that Bigelow Aerospace is also a major player in the private development of space and are working towards building private space stations very soon.

Finally, I think we would benefit from two competitive systems rather than one.

UPDATE: My younger brother who works at the cape sent me a link of a letter that John McCain and others sent to President Bush regarding this very problem. (pdf file)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

They're All Winners

Anyone who can make it to the Olympics is a winner. The medal winners are often incredible atheletes. But sometimes the ones who finish way down, even last place have incredible stories to tell, and some of them have overcome obstacles that the champions never face.

They may not have the medals around their necks, but they are still the best their country can offer, and that's an accomplishment. The worst Olympians are far beyond most of us and each is a story of triumph. Especially the story of a small sprinter from Somalia.

This story would have been lost but for one reporter. Thank you Charles Robinson for reporting this incredible story.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kilpatrick Rejects Plea-Deal

The mayor of Michigan's largest city, and largest economic sink-hole, is now in court and was offered a deal. If he pleas guilty to one of the charges and resigns as Mayor then the other two charges would be dropped.

He rejected it. I understand why from a self-interest perspective, as he could lose a good deal with any felony conviction, but he is likely to be convicted of at least one of the charges and will probably be removed from office. He said he would take a "reasonable" offer but I have no idea what he considers reasonable.

Governor Granholm is going to begin hearings that will start the process of removing him from office. These will begin September 3rd.

He needs to go and it would be better if he left voluntarily. The only thing is that Detroit's political machine will never allow a real reformer, which is what Detroit desperately needs, to become Mayor and make the changes needed. Dennis Archer honestly tried and ran into a brick wall. The people who run Detroit don't give a damn about the kid on the street, regardless of his skin color, and are willing to run Detroit into the sewers as long as they get their money, power and prestige in the process.


Most people remember Mr. Biden plagiarizing the British Labour Leader Neil Kinnock in the 1988 presidential campaign. It resulted in his withdrawal from the race, even though Johnny Carson, on his Tonight Show monologue said he encouraged his followers by reminding them that "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." We all laughed even though we knew Biden probably didn't say that one.

But how widespread is plagiarism? I suppose most politicians do it, knowingly or unknowingly, at some time or another, but if it is frequent then that person has a real problem. Biden's plagiarism is common knowledge in many circles.

But then, is Biden the only plagiarizer on that ticket?

Reading the associated materials with this video, I note that it was apparently posted by a member of PUMA, ie a supporter of Hillary.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Memories -- Gospel Music

Anyone who takes a look at my Blogger Profile will several names listed in my favorite music that may not be familiar to all.

One of them, Keith Green, was a gospel musician and evangelist, who was just a couple of years older than me, who died in a plane crash about the same time Karen Carpenter died, actually just a few months before she did. He was a promising singer at a young age but turned to Christ to a degree that most can only wish to achieve. He wrote most, but not all, of his own music and also wrote numerous Gospel Tracts that were published by his Last Days Ministry and he was quite an influence when he was alive and long after he died. His secret was that he never presented himself as the example of a great Christian, but always said "We have to do better." "We are failing to live up to this." "We need to be more dedicated." He always presented himself as a fellow struggler trying, and failing, to be more like Jesus. His genuine humility made his songs all the more powerful. He stunned the gospel recording industry when he produced his album So You Want to Go Back to Egypt? which he gave away for a freewill offering through his own office rather than sell it in stores. It was a protest against gospel artists, publishers, and record companies producing things mostly to make money. It was also, in my opinion, his best album. He died in a plane crash in the summer of 82 but his work lives on and his widow, Melodie Green continues the work. Already some of his works are appearing in Church Hymnals.

Here is a sample of one of his songs from a concert just a few weeks before he died.

Another fine work of his, I Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, can be viewed here. Actually there are several good works by him available at You Tube. Another really great one that portrays him as a fellow struggler rather than one to be looked up to is this one, My Eyes are Dry ; The singer is not actually Keith Green but the song and music was written by him and the singer is singing it an manner worthy of the composer.

Another artist that I mention is Kemper Crabb , though honestly I am only familiar with one of his albums. That is The Vigil and merely listening to it is almost a worship experience in and of itself. He mixes his original work, instrumental work, and classical hymns such as Be Thou My Vision and Fairest Lord Jesus into a wonderful mixture using a Celtic style and Medieval instruments. Sadly it is no longer produced, but for those so inclined, it can be downloaded in several places. There are not many videos from the album as it is not well known, but here is a dance troupe dancing to one of the cuts from The Vigil. It is a song called The Danse which is not my favorite from the album but it is an enjoyable cut from it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Death of a Congresswoman

I am sorry to see that Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs has died from the brain aneurysm that she suffered this afternoon. I am also grateful that no one else was seriously injured due to the fact that she was driving a car when it happened.

When a person dies, politics do not matter. I disagreed with her positions but she is still a soul loved by God and a woman loved by her family.



It's been a mixed bag so far this week. The news with my father seems to be a mixture of good and bad, though I haven't been up to see him since Monday. My brother lives only a couple miles from the center he is at so he sees him pretty much daily and keeps the rest of us up to date.

Monday I was coming home and got clocked by a state trooper doing 16 over. He pulled me over and went over everything and let me off with a warning. Pays to be polite I guess.

I have been unemployed since the first week of July but have a very promising interview with a plant who is looking for experienced industrial painters (such as myself) and pays 50% more than the job I was just laid off from and is a little more than the job I was laid off from before that. The agency that connected us is maybe a little too confident that I have the job but we'll see. Interview Friday morning.

Now to serious stuff.

What does one's religion give them? It has not given me wealth, looks, fame, or any such thing in fact I probably drag along the bottom in all categories. But it has given me things that cannot be measured. It is has given me hope and purpose in life that would be missing if life was simply a temporal line from point birth to point death. Truth be told, I couldn't imagine living like that, believing that I would soon dissolve into nothingness.

But another thing it gives me is a sense of serenity. Now that does not mean I am never sad or angry or other so-called negative emotions. This may sound strange but I do not consider happiness to be an emotion. Joy and ecstasy are emotions often associated with happiness but happiness is not simply an emotion. It is a state where your emotions are in their proper place and proper balance. You feel anger, sorrow, fear etc but when the circumstances that drive the emotion pass, so does the emotion. You do not hang on to them.

Actually I think of love as the same way. It is not simply an emotion, though it certainly has an emotional aspect. Love is an act of the will, and though it is often denied, you love because you choose to love. When people mistake love for an emotion then it will not last because the emotion does not last.

I think serenity is similar but it involves the ability to actually keep your emotions in check. (Not eliminating them but keeping them in their proper place.) The ability to keep from drooling over every scantily clad cutie that walks by, the ability to keep anger from boiling into uncontrollable rage, or the ability to keep sorrow from becoming despair. I have a vicious temper but I very rarely lose it; my "tantrums" or whatever you call them, are years apart. A walk with Jesus and some of Him rubs off on you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Update on Dad

While I am still quite concerned things are looking up a little for Dad. He has decided that wants to live and be with his family.

The crisis is not over by any means as he still has major hurdles, but something has changed and that's his desire to live. Saturday night I was really worried, and still am, but as two of my brothers and two of my nieces and myself, along with Mom and a couple of friends visited today there was a new determination to live that wasn't there just a couple of days ago.

See my brother's blog on him for more info.

Which President Am I?

I am George Washington

Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
created with
You scored as George Washington

1st President, in office from 1789-1797
Born: 1732 Died: 1799

George Washington


Theodore Roosevelt


Abraham Lincoln


Ronald Reagan


Woodrow Wilson


Thomas Jefferson


John Kennedy


Dwight Eisenhower


Lyndon Johnson


Harry Truman


Franklin Roosevelt


H/T to Patrick at Born Again Redneck.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just A Note .

Things aren't looking too promising for my father. I don't know that I am going to lose him immediately but in the last week things went downhill for him. He has pneumonia and he seems to be just tired through and through. He could pull through but I'm preparing for the worst.

All prayers are appreciated.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This House is a Real Bargain.

We know it's a buyers' market in Michigan as far as houses go, but in some areas prices are getting ridiculously low.

A house in Detroit just sold for $1.00. That is not a typo. For the record, property taxes on that house next year will be $3900.

The description of the house is not encouraging. It sounds like it was totally stripped out and abandoned. They took everything, including the kitchen sink.

Still for one dollar. I wonder what kind of neighborhood it is. I don't know for sure but there is definite clue in that someone stole the boards that were put over broken windows.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Simple Observation

No link here.

We are getting tired of the meaningless mantra of We can't drill ourselves out of this mess. It's partly true. Drilling alone will not do it as we do need alternative energy sources (like nuclear) and we do need to make reasonable reductions in usage..


There is no workable solution that does not include drilling our own oil.

Star Trek Here We Come! (Maybe)

One of the truisms of science fiction vs "true" science is that faster than light travel is not possible and even near-light velocities are very difficult and the only practical way to go to the stars is by generation ships or by the crew hibernating during the flight.

Some physicists disagree and believe that it may be possible to create what is in effect a Warp Drive that would allow starships to make a transit between two points in space at a speed faster than light, and they will do it without actually moving. The theory and its math was worked out by a Mexican physicist named Miguel Alcubierre and its called the Alcubierre Drive.

Also see article here.

The ship itself would not actually move in an absolute sense (though it would in a practical sense.) What would happen is that space behind the ship would somehow (and that's the hard part!) be artificially expanded in size while the space ahead of it is contracted thus causing the space containing the ship to move at a speed faster than light. It would be comparable to you moving by causing the ground beneath your feet to move while you actually stood still. Is it possible? Time will tell. I am intrigued, but like the Space Elevator it seems like an idea that still needs to be proved and not just so much talk. Let's say I'm intrigued but not ready to invest.

Now we are not talking about going to Alpha Centauri next year or even in the next decade. There are enormous, possibly even insurmountable, technical problems to solve and questions to answer. Part of the problem is that initial studies reveal that the energy required to expand and shrink space are well beyond our total energy production or anything we envision for quite a while.

It will be centuries before we build a "warp engine." But consider this: a mere two centuries ago the moon was considered beyond any possible human reach. Now we are talking not only about going back to the moon, but even going to Mars and beyond. Consider that flight by a heavier-than-air machine was considered impossible until the Wright Brothers actually did it. In the 1700s some scientists believed that a human would die if he moved faster than 40 mph because the pressure from the air going into the face and into the nose would prevent a man from breathing out so he would suffocate.

One way or the other, unless our Lord returns, we won't be around to see it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Family Crisis

Sorry about not being around. My father, who had a major stroke in February, had been coming along very well. But we have had a bit of a setback. While he is not in any imminent danger, I am quite concerned. Prayers would be much appreciated.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

MAD makes it point.

Ah Yes!

MAD magazine!

If there is an ox to be gored they will do it and they don't suffer fools lightly.

Sometimes I see their cover and frown a little, other times I chuckle and other times I love it.

I love this cover.

H/T American Thinker

Friday, August 08, 2008

Worse Than I Thought

Kilpatrick's getting in even deeper.

I sometimes feel like I am watching a sick comic-opera instead of a political crisis. Now he is facing charges that he assaulted a sheriff's deputy. This guy has got to go.

He says he has been under unbelievable stress and scrutiny. Well I guess he brought it on himself. I don't think he really expected the judge to treat him like a common criminal. Kudos to that judge.

And it's not just the mayor either. Detroit is a family business as the mayor is the son of Congresswoman and Monica Conyers, the president pro-tem of the city council, is the wife of another Congressman, John Conyers. (With all that pull in Congress you'd think Detroit would be better off.) She too is neck deep in a scandal involving money from a Texas Company that has been hired to ship out Detroit's sewer sludge. She claims to have done nothing wrong but we shall see.

Update: Appears that Kilpatrick was released this morning and State Attorney General Mike Cox has filed felony charges against him and has put the trial on fast track which means he probably has something or else wants to push him enough to get him to resign. It is interesting that the court refers to him as "Defendant Kilpatrick" and not "Mayor Kilpatrick."

In this YouTube Mike Cox says he is unsure of "an arraignment today" but this video is several hours old.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How Humiliating

When my age was single digit I lived in a small Michigan village of a little over a thousand people. We didn't have a town hall, just municipal building that included both the mayor's office and a small lock-up to hold one or two troublemakers briefly, before they were released or sent to the county jail. So our town jail and town hall were in the same building.

Now Detroit has its city hall and jail in the same building too.

Only in Detroit!

Detroit's Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is locked up! He's been in a lot of hot water lately. (I know Wikipedia is not the best source in information, but it gives a fairly good idea of the trouble this particular mayor has gotten himself into, and gives the essentials in one article so you don't have to go all over the net to put the story together. Just drop down to the place in the article where it says Controversies and start reading from there.)

Governor Granholm has the authority to remove Kilpatrick from his position, and it appears that she is inclined to do so, but is awaiting the action of the Detroit City Council before she acts.

His mother, who is a member of the US House of Representatives, whose re-election should have been a sure thing but she had a very close call in the primaries from a woman named Mary Waters and her son was a major campaign issue. She will no doubt be re-elected but the closeness of her primary race should have given her a wake up call.

This guy is ranking right up there with Coleman Young, a former mayor of Detroit who could be reasonably held responsible for the initial decline of Detroit. Dennis Archer, who succeeded Young, tried to turn Detroit around but in the end he couldn't do it and was very unpopular with the political machinery of the city.

My take on it? Kilpatrick was quite young when he was elected, and the mayor of a city the size of Detroit needs a bit more maturity, discipline and experience than he has displayed. He simply wasn't ready to be mayor. I also wonder if he has the moral fiber needed for such an office. Finally is his connection to his mother and the Detroit political machine and here is a problem, the man or woman who can turn the city completely around will have to deal with that machine and I don't know if it can be done, even if you don't take Michigan's economic situation into account.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Vote McCain

The Know-it-alls are screaming loudly that he can't possibly win and that the GOP should just pack it up and go home and acknowledge that they screwed up so badly that they must never win again.

Yes and give the world over to the twin cultural diseases of Socialism and Islam. Then we can take bets on which one triumphs in the end, but either way it would be the beginning of a new Dark Ages.

McCain is not my first choice, or really even my tenth or twelfth choice. I was really hoping it would not be him. However, when it comes to politics, there is great validity in the term The Lesser of Two Evils and it seems I have been voting that way since Reagan.

The American Spectator Online has an article by Bruce Herschensohn, a man who supported McCain from the beginning. While I can list people I would have rather seen in this position, in the end I will have to vote for McCain for exactly the reason Mr. Herschensohn gives:

When I hear the recitation of issues that are used against John McCain by any conservative, I can't help but answer that we are in a war against those who announce their objective is "Death to America!" They mean it. Wars are either won or lost. If we lose, then all the second-tier issues will be decided for us by an Ayatollah, an Imam, or a Mullah.

All I could add is that he needs to look at the border as well. I believe we can have peace with Islam, but only when the Jihadists understand that we are not going roll over and play dead; we will fight for our freedom. The Jihadists will never accept us but they don't accept most other Muslims either and it is these people we need to defeat. McCain is more serious than Obama about defeating them because McCain realizes that mere talk is not enough and that diplomacy works best when backed up by the very real threat of very real force.

As one former president said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

(By the way Teddy Roosevelt did not make that proverb up but he described it is an old African proverb. )

Update: Whatever Blogger did when they were down I lost some comments to this post and a post I had done. Lost comments are included in another comment of my own as I had them in another place.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Dark Knight

I watched The Dark Knight yesterday afternoon and had to do some thinking about it. Say what you will, it was probably the most thought-out superhero movie I have seen in some time. It was almost eerie to watch the villain and listen to him. Some of the gossip sites suggest that the Joker "got into Mr Ledger's head" and may have been somehow or other responsible for his death but most of his co-stars dismiss it out of hand. Be that as it may, the character of the Joker was disturbing.

All of the Joker's from the 1960's TV Batman onward were crazed but this one was frightening in a more philosophical way. He was a source of pure destructive chaos and nothing more. As one character put it "His only desire is to see the world burn." Not only did he not care for the lives of others, but he little regard for his own life which made him utterly unpredictable and dangerous. This,along with his intelligence and a dark understanding of human nature, combined to create an almost perfect bad guy. Most villains have some redeeming features but the Joker has none, except that he at least appears to be totally consistent with his mad philosophy.

His philosophy, such as it was, said that goodness was an illusion and when forced to make a choice, all humans would revert to mere animals fighting to survive. His belief in this idea was total and if he had a goal at all, it was to prove his belief true, no matter how many lives were destroyed in the process.

The movie gave no background for the Joker. He was simply there.

It came down to this. Batman was not only fighting the Joker, he was fighting the insane philosophy that motivated him, not only in himself but in those around him as he struggled to capture the human(?) fiend.

Much can be read into this but he reminds me of another force of pure chaos from the seventy to ninety year old writings of a slightly deranged science fiction writer named Howard Phillips Lovecraft. He created a god of sorts whose name was Nyarlathotep who appeared in several of his stories and whose nickname was The Crawling Chaos. He was a personification of the cold, uncaring, impersonal universe who lived for no reason but to build and destroy for no purpose whatsoever, except for that is was he did.

In a bizarre way, the dilemma offered by the Joker is really another question. Is there a God Who sets the standards of right and wrong? The question is never actually asked but is intrinsic to the Joker's actual question. Can there be a true morality without God? If so what is its foundation? Or do we go to the logical conclusion of the villain of another work, Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov who decides that its OK to murder because if there is no God then all is permitted. How do you prove moral authority to one who does not believe in any form of authority. To those who believe in God it is not a question, but to Atheists and Agnostics it is a serious dilemma. That is what makes the Joker so scary. He personifies the logical conclusion of there being no final moral authority in the universe.

Et Tu Letterman?