Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Atheist is Impressed

Seems that an Atheist went to Africa and watched what missionaries were doing and was impressed. While still an Atheist he admits that the Christian missionaries are making Africa a better place.

I liked this quote from his article.

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.

And I'm afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.

He complains a bit that it requires the idea of salvation, but salvation through the blood of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian religion. Remove that and you don't have Christianity anymore.

It can be thought of like this. If the Church is a body then solid doctrine is the skeleton, faith is the muscle tissue, and love is the life energy itself. Good doctrine and faith, but no love, results in a body and a skeleton without any life; a nice looking corpse if you will. Doctrine and love without faith is like a body whose muscles have withered; it may be alive but it ain't doing much. Faith and love with out doctrine is like a living body without bones and I don't even want to picture a living human with all bones removed. You need all three.

Still I have to say that this Atheist, Matthew Parris, is not far from the Kingdom of God. It's clear he sees something and now he has to absorb and understand what he has seen. It may well be the lens through which he will come to see.

On another note:

I intended to post this video for my Christmas posting but my Christmas posting didn't happen this year. The singer is John Michael Talbot, who is a monk and his music was very popular in the late 70s and early 80s and it's called Wonderful Counselor. I have decided to share it anyway since the album (cd) it was on, The Painter, was not a Christmas album but a worship album.

Enjoy it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Hope He's Wrong

And I am betting that he is.

A Russian " expert on America" named Igor Panarin figures our country is doomed and is going to be divided into 6 Countries, none of them independent, and it's going to happen by the end of 09.

Let's see. China gets the west coast, Russia gets Alaska, Canada gets the Midwest, Mexico gets the South, Europe gets the East Coast and Hawaii goes to either Japan or China. (The Map was found by Fausta's Blog.)

While insurrection is possible, but by no means inevitable, I don't see the country splitting into 6 parts. Worst case scenario, it splits into two sections, one liberal/leftist and one moderate/conservative, if it happens at all. Even if it does happen, sections of the country will remain independent from other nations. The American Dream will not be killed by Russian Fascists, Chinese Socialists, European Elitists, or other countries.

This is little more than a pipe dream by an anti-American.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Busy Few Days

I just now got back from my Mom and Dad's house where I have been since Wednesday morning. Being unemployed, and it being a holiday, I stayed up there to be with them and to help out. Dad is doing quite well.

All told it has been good and the only downside is there is no internet access at their house and I was only at Skip's for a few hours Christmas Day and was too involved with the day to surf.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I will be posting more later.

Also thanks to all who wished me a Merry Christmas as well.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let's Do It!

We conservatives are greedy because we want to cut government spending to the poor while the compassionate liberals wish to increase taxes to help the poor. Yet it is very easy to be generous with other peoples' money which is the true nature of tax funded "compassion". The real test would be this question - - What do you do with your own money and time?

New York Times columnist Nicholas D Kristof, a confessed liberal, admits something. That when it comes to giving of their own means Conservatives are considerably more generous than liberals. Since liberals typically make more money than conservatives, if one takes actual income into account, conservatives actually give twice the percentage of their income to charitable causes as liberals do.

Now he makes a concession. A lot of conservative donations go to religious activities, that don't directly benefit the poor, but a lot of liberal donations go to museums, universities etc that mostly benefit the elites so these pretty much cancel each other out.

I am also willing to concede a point that he makes against us. Because my admiration for Ayn Rand is limited at best, I just can't bring myself to see selfishness as a virtue, I have no trouble believing that secular conservatives give less than most other groups. (Ayn Rand was a very smart, informed, and logical woman, but I think she missed a few important lessons of her Ethics class.) Still there are some very generous conservative atheists as well, but they are generous with their own money. Plus he notes, and I concede, that religious liberals tend to be very generous as well.

It's like the story of two brothers, one conservative and one liberal, come upon a family begging for food. The conservative brother takes out his own wallet and gives them enough money to eat for a few days and tells the husband about a few places that might be hiring. The liberal gives them the address of the welfare office and tells them that he is trying to increase (other peoples') taxes so that there will be money in the system for people like them (and of course he would like a well-paying job in the welfare bureaucracy himself.) Now I am not against welfare as an idea, but I am very much against no-strings-attached handouts to those who have no desire or intent to work. I am a big fan of "Workfare" as long as it's doing real work and not the government paying two men to dig a hole and the third to fill it back in.

I think of the old Disney flick Pollyanna where her grumpy, foul, hateful old aunt demonstrated her greed every Sunday by making sure that food baskets were distributed to the poor. Yes her servants did the actual work but she bought the materials and paid her servants to do it.

I am also aware of a well known limousine liberal who was lecturing a group of students and said that wealth needed to be redistributed better. A student suggested that he start with his own wealth and the limousine liberal told him "Don't be smart-ass." (I won't name him because I don't have a reference at this time.)

I believe everyone who can give should give as much as they can, and as my teachers used to say, "If it doesn't hurt you're not giving enough." Charity is an old English word for "spiritual love" and it should be based on love, not the law.

To quote the final line of Mr. Kristof's article, but I believe it applies to everyone, not just liberals.

So, even in tough times, there are ways to help. Come on liberals, redeem yourselves, and put your wallets where your hearts are. It is a challenge that conservatives too need to meet, and I need to do a better job of it myself.

I like this line too.

What I want for Christmas is a healthy competition between left and right to see who actually does more for the neediest.

Let's do it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PETA Actually Comes Up With Something

Ah PETA. Those people who think that it's alright to kill an unborn child for personal convenience but have conniptions if someone kills an animal for food. At best they are children who don't have a clue of how the world actually works and at worst they demean humanity. But they have an entertaining way of advertising their beliefs.

They have a game where you throw snow balls at people they dislike. Now some of them, such as Madonna and the Olsen twins I can maybe enjoy it, but hey it's just snowballs right. It is somewhat troubling to see their disrespect for the dead (ie Charlton Heston) and you have to throw snowballs at Sarah Palin too. I got all the way through it, which isn't hard.

Play the game if you wish but be kind; pass on giving them any of your hard earned dough. Pass on "Getting Active" too. There are enough real problems in the world that we don't have to pretend to believe that Bambi actually portrays the truth about the lives of animals.

H/T Hot Air

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Detroit News and The Free Press

The Detroit area has had two newspapers for many years. Up until around 20 years ago the papers had very different editorial positions with the Free Press being liberal and supporting the Democrats while the News was quite conservative and tended to support the Republicans. It was often a bit entertaining to read both editorials and compare them, but it was good because you could get both sides of the story.

Of course there are those who believe that is only one valid side to political discussion. (While technically there are people on both sides who believe that the other side has no valid beliefs, those who believe that only the left is valid are overwhelmingly present in the MSM, though fortunately their control is not absolute.) Normal Lear, best known for All in the Family but also the founder of People for the American Way clearly believes that the right needs to shut up and go away. He started a takeover attempt of the News because he was disturbed by its editorial policies. There was a rescue purchase and the new owners, Gannett, while still keeping the editorial policies a bit to the right, were not as conservative as the previous owners. The humorous bashing and counter-bashing of each others' editorial boards was gone.

Still things go forward and the News and the Free Press now operate on a Joint Operating Agreement where they combine some of their operations in order to cut costs and it has been largely successful.

But not successful enough.

Now they are cutting back on home delivery to 4 days a week. They are doing it because sales are way down.

There is another reason.

The Internet. Print journalism needs to find a way to survive in the new media and so far, success has been limited.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Uh A Dream Recorder

I picked up a weird habit in High School. I kept a dream dairy for a couple of years and have always been fascinated by them. But now a group of Japanese scientists say they are on the verge of recording our dreams. Color me skeptical.

What they did was actually quite simple compared to recording an entire dream. It's probably a ways off yet if it can be done at all.

I guess it's theoretically possible to do it, since thought processes are in some ways electrical, but I think it would take an awfully complex computer program to unscramble the brain pulses and reorganize them into a something visual, assuming we can properly download them to begin with.

While fascinating in and of itself, assuming this to be true and not just a pipe dream (I know -- groan!) I'm not sure I want such software to exist. If it can record your dreams it can also record other thoughts as well.

Would it be possible then to plant an image, or a false memory, into a person's brain by further developing this technology?

Sounds like Total Recall.

An E-Mail From My Brother

My brother Skip sent this to me a couple of days ago.

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (
Ford Motor Co.) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.
Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't
make money paying American wages. TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US The last quarter's results:
TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.
Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Recession a Year Old?

America has been in a recession for a year now.

Michigan has been in a recession for eight years. A few years ago, when the economy recovered for much of the country Michigan stayed in a recession. The main reason is how much we depend on the auto industry.

We have depended on it for too much for too long and everyone got greedy. The stockholders wanted big dividends. The Executives and management wanted huge pay and massive bonuses. The union wanted unrealistic wages with huge benefits and an unworkable retirement package. The government wanted huge corporate tax revenues. All of this, combined with too many losing models and all too often inferior products bled the Auto industry dry.

It could have continued a bit longer if it weren't for foreign competition but we'd have reached this point anyway.

Arrogance and greed. Workers had friends punch them in and out so they got paid without even showing up for work. Employees got paid to sleep if they made production. My great-grandfather was part of great sitdown strike in Flint when the UAW was born and my father always said he would be spinning in his grave if he knew what the the UAW that he fought so hard for had degenerated into.

Bottom line is this. Business is a dog-eat-dog enterprise and if you aren't tough and up to a fight with your competition you're going to lose everything. Greed and overconfidence caused our auto industry to grow fat and lazy, yes lazy. There were many hard-working people in the industry but they were overshadowed and overrun by those who simply wanted a fat paycheck, earned or unearned.

I was saying, and I still believe, that the politicians cannot save Michigan and the government cannot save Michigan. Our problems are cultural with unrealistic expectations and an unrealistic work ethic. We have come to expect massive paychecks for very little work.

There are some industries that are growing but sadly these are industries that do not help the economy, at least not enough that a state can depend on them. Healthcare, education, and temporary services do not create wealth and it is jobs that produce products that make a state's economy work.

The real shame is that Michigan is inherently a very rich state but we don't use it. When you total up our available natural resources Michigan is the most resource rich state east of the Mississippi but we are not set up to take advantage of it. We have not only water (lots of it), lumber and agricultural products but we have oil and massive mineral resources that are largely untapped. We need to look at these as a new foundation on which to rebuild our economy.

The government is incapable of helping us solve the real problem. It's up to us.

We have other problems. Our population is one of the most uneducated in the country with the highest drop-out rate in the country and fewer college graduates than most other states. Too many assumed that they could work in the auto plants and planned their whole lives around it. Those plans have gone up in smoke. We have two of the most dangerous cities in America within our state (Detroit and Flint). That too is a problem we have to solve.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I Nominate

I nominate this man as the bravest man on Earth.

He speaks the truth and he speaks it fearlessly. He also has a $60,000,000 bounty on his head.


Last night I got a phone call that they were taking Dad to the ER because he was incoherent and I was under the impression that this was it. I grabbed my brother who lives only a few miles away and headed up to the Bay City Central Hospital. When we got there he looked week but recognized us. What happened was that his blood sugar had plunged dangerously low. A couple hours later we were taking him back to his own house. Thank God.

Also the testing went very well and I have a good chance of getting one of the jobs. I received the highest score of the group that was tested. Here's hoping and praying.

Update 7:30. He's back in the hospital because his blood sugar is low and unstable. He is not in any immediate danger but I am keeping in touch just in case.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I have been remiss at posting for the last few days, though I have been visiting other blogs, and what I have posted has been mostly fill. Hopefully this will change soon but not today. I have a test tomorrow which, if I pass it, which I should, could possibly, though not certainly, lead to a two year employment for a special project that will pay very well for those two years. (And a reasonable unemployment afterwards.) Maybe by then there will be some permanent jobs around here, or maybe I can actually get published or something.

Here's hoping and praying.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Another Irrelevant Proposal.

The Lion

King of the Beast

Lord of the Jungle

Fearless Predator

Laughingstock of the NFL

Proposed new LogoI realize that football is a tough game and the NFL is a hard place to play but these guys are professionals for crying out loud. The last couple of years have been ridiculous. How much more will fans of professional football in Michigan have to suffer?

How do you keep the Detroit Lions out of your back yard?

Erect a Goalpost in your back yard.

I'm Tagged

Well first off I am back for a while. While the prognosis isn't stellar Dad is improving considerably and Thanksgiving went very well. The only thing I missed was my computer.

Now I have been tagged over at Don's Mind.

I have to say seven odd or random things about myself.

1. I have never in my life smoked a cigarette.

2. In spite of my being reasonably intelligent I am totally bewildered by an automobile engine. I understand the theory and how they work, but you don't want me anywhere near your car with tools.

3. I can read and write in Koine Greek and Classical Hebrew.

4. I have no tattoos or artistic body piercings of any sort.

5. I Once (about 20 years ago) programmed a Radio Shack CoCo-64 computer to play Centipede having written the program in Basic from scratch. It was very very very slooooow. But it worked.

6. When I was in the Navy I was promoted to E-4 on my 19th Birthday.

7. I once was dating a young woman when we discovered that we were, not really distant but not closely either, related. (Close enough to surprise us but distant enough that it wouldn't have really mattered.)

I'm not sure about tagging anyone.

Any volunteers?