Monday, September 28, 2009

Bumper Stickers

Just something to let you know I'm still around.

This was sent to me by my brother who got it from our Uncle.

I roll my eyes at a few of them but most of them are on the bull's eye.

click the picture to see it larger.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Safety at Work

I have to go in today on a day off for a safety meeting.

Now I don't mean to disparage safety, but these meetings cover things like spill control, lock out-tag out, safety glasses etc. and all of these are important, but I have never heard them discuss the most dangerous things I see at work.

I have yet to see a MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration) film on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the work place. I have seen tens of thousands of dollars in damage done and people seriously hurt because of an intoxicated co-worker. A drunk or high person is always a danger to themselves but when they are fork-lift drivers or equipment operators or maintainance workers the danger is even greater. Every year the AFL-CIO puts out a list of employees who have been killed on the job and I can't help but wonder how many of them are due to either being intoxicated themselves or an intoxicated co-worker. I believe that the greatest single danger faced by many workers is drunk and intoxicated co-workers. Because of lawsuits etc. it is very difficult to effectively deal with this particular problem.

Another major cause of injuries that I have seen that doesn't get the discussion is improper or poorly maintained equipment. One of the most common sources of injuries with my previous employer was workers using razor blades without putting them in the proper handle, just using them bare handed. I have seen a lot of stitches given because of that. My father lost a couple fingers when he was 30 because a stamping press wasn't operating properly.

I have yet to see a film on improper training, plain stupidity, or inattentiveness (guilty as charged). I have seen a guy who was working near an oven who got tired of sweating so much so he quit taking in water; they found him lying on the floor from heat stroke. I have seen guys jump on pallets to break them up only to get a nail driven into their foot. I hate to admit this but I once got brained by an item hanging from the paint line because I was looking the other way and wound up in the Doctor's Office (Nearly 20 years on the factory floor and that was my only injury and it wasn't that serious. It was however, my own fault.) I have seen people overcome by fumes because the respirator was uncomfortable.

And don't even get me started on poorly trained or inattentive fork truck drivers. I have seen them break water lines, gas lines, accidentally run into fire alarms, drive them off the end of loading docks, knock people over, and more.

Employees face real dangers but MIOSHA safety films seem to concentrate only on a few areas. The problems they do deal with don't seem to be the ones that I have repeatedly seen with my own eyes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Had To Grow Up

When I was 5 years old I did something that was not only childish, but mean, pointless and destructive. A neighbor had an expensive toy, I won't say what, and he wouldn't share it so I ruined it. Dad had to pay for it and I was on the receiving end of a very well deserved and very painful disciplinary action that I never forgot. I ruined it because I figured that if I couldn't have one he shouldn't have one either.

Please note: I was five years old at the time. I only had a Kindergarten education and a Kindergarten understanding of reality. Makes me wonder about a book I've seen but never read All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

It never occurred to me that he was under no obligation to share.

I grew up and realized that people have the right to do what they want with their property, even if it does not benefit me.

At fourteen I became fascinated with the idea of socialism. It was so logical and so fair.

It never occurred to me that under from each according to his ability, to each according to his need, all needs would become maximum and all abilities would become minimum. It is simple human nature to get as much as possible for as little effort as possible. Any economic system needs to take that aspect of human nature into account.

I grew up and realized that the vast majority of people are completely self-interested and an economic system that works needs to find a way to make self-interest and public interest converge. It needs to encourage and reward work on an individual basis, not a collective basis. It needs to punish laziness on an individual basis, not a collective basis. We are individuals, not hive entities like the Borg in Star Trek or the Bugs in Starship Troopers (both of which are literary symbols for Communism.)

It's true that our economic system is unfair, but in real life what is fair doesn't work, and works isn't fair. That's reality. I had to learn to live with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Are You a Walnut?

From a comment at Michelle Malkin's blog.

I heard ACORN has a new adversary group. It’s called W.A.L.N.U.T.:

Workers Against Lazy Non-producers United Together

I love it.

I think I'm a Walnut.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Read This

Once again Gagdad Bob knocks the ball out of the park.

Way to go Bob! Circle the bases and come on home!

Have They Gone Crazy

This is not a political posting at all, but about RPGs.

Several years ago I used to love Role Playing Games but I haven't played them in quite a while.

I first played D&D back in 1976 and found it captured my imagination. As the game grew I found it better and better, and more and more fun to play.

I quit playing Dungeons and Dragons when the 3rd Edition came out because they changed the game so much that I felt it was almost fraud to call it Dungeons and Dragons. In an RPG newsgroup I wondered how long it would last before the 4th edition came out. The 2nd Edition lasted 12, 13 years while the 3rd only lasted 6 or 7.

Today I was at a local bookstore and was thumbing through some of the 4th edition and just shaking my head. Weird RPGs are OK, but they should not be the foundation of the whole idea, but I looked at this and couldn't help but feel that the game had "jumped the shark."

Part of a successful fantasy story or RPG is the suspension of disbelief that allows the game to be played. In order for this to happen there has to be a logical order to the story and its background, and it has to be "real" enough that your mind can accept it. In a well done game dragons, chimeras, manticores, etc. were all unusual but everyday creatures were everywhere which gave our fantasy world a link to reality. Even in completely alien worlds the basic critters were things that theoretically could have existed on earth.

I read the new Monster Manuals and all I see are creatures that exotic and deadly. You want a few of those in most adventures but you want enough normal that the world can seem "almost real" to you. You read Tolkien and you only encounter a couple of totally exotic creatures, The Orcs, dwarves, and elves, though not real, are human enough and real enough that you can connect to them. If every creature is a Nazgul or a Balrog you would have difficulty connecting to such a world.

More than one horror writer has said that a realistic setting makes a horror story all the more frightening. If you can connect to the place then the story hits you harder. If the place is surreal then it will quickly lose its impact.

Dungeons and Dragons has quit being a cultural phenomenon. It will be around for a while yet, but I can't help but believe that it is downhill from here on for it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Knew The Man

It was in the Drudge Report and World Net Daily, as well as several mainstream news outlets. An anti-abortion activist was gunned down in front of the High School at Owosso Michigan. There was also a second murder by the same killer.

This was a little more than a distant name to me.

I knew Jim Pouillon.

I can't say that we were really friends as I hadn't carried on a conversation with him in couple of years, though if we passed on the streets we would exchange pleasantries. I became acquainted with him through a couple of mutual friends. On several occasions we were both seated with a number of people at a restaurant table drinking our beverages, talking and laughing. He was noted for his graphic posters of aborted children and his lack of any sense of propriety on where to protest. He was good hearted and completely non-violent, but not very bright. But he believed very strongly in the right to life. Even a lot of people who didn't agree with him admitted that he was basically a very good man.

He was also on oxygen and wore a leg brace.

While I agreed with what he was trying to do, I felt that he was frequently protesting in inappropriate places. They complained about his graphic signs and a couple of them were very graphic, but he also protested with a sign that had a smiling baby and the world LIFE beneath it and a similar ultrasound of a baby in the womb.

While officially he was killed because the killer had a personal grudge against him, local information is that his anti-abortion activities were the source of the grudge.

The killer was a local man who had snapped and just started an intended killing spree, complete with a hit-list when he was caught.

It's bad enough to read about strangers but it is shocking when the victim is someone you know.

Update: I did not intend to ignore the second murder victim, Mike Fouss. He was a local businessman who was part owner of several businesses. I knew him only by reputation.

UPDATE: The killer attempted suicide while in jail.

The spot where Jim died.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

An Honest Leftist

I want to thank Thomas Friedman for writing this column.

He openly says that he wants everything the right accused the left of. He doesn't think a Chinese style aristocracy that can impose the right answers on the unwashed masses is a bad idea and America and Americans would benefit from it. In his not-so-humble opinion we rednecks are far too stupid to understand what is our own best interest.

This column needs to be read by every American.

Thank you Tom for showing America your true colors (and the true colors of the left.)

What amazes me is that this guy has the gall to actually print this, but then he probably knows that real Americans don't have time to waste reading tabloids like The New York Times. He knows that he is preaching to the choir for the most part.

Tom, if you like China's system so much why don't you just your bags and go move to the most polluted industrialized nation on Earth. (Hint: It's not America.) Oh . . . and can you take Michael Moore with you when you go?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Lots and Lots.

So Obama has released the speech he is going to give to school children. Seems pretty benign and even silly, but I wonder if this is the same speech he planned on giving. What would that speech have been if there hadn't been outrage? We have no proof that it isn't but my gut tells me that it's not. The difficulty is that I trust Mr. Obama about as far as I can spit a mouthful of fishhooks. With him you must always assume the worst and thank God when you're wrong.

The Obama administration has had what history will consider its defining moment. This could almost be his equivalent of Chappaquiddick, except it was done by his followers instead of him. Unless something even worse or dummer happens it will be remembered as long as there is an America. However it says so much about some of the people who support him. First blood drawn and it's by the left.

I also kind of wonder about the Ivy League. Schools listed in that elite group are considered the best in America but I wonder if they resting on their past glories. The last few presidents have all come from Ivy League schools and two were bungling but good intentioned (the Bush men) and the other two were competent con-artists (Clinton and Obama.) I kind of wonder if there is something in the water at those schools or what. While they pretend to have high scholastic standards they have in have fact succumbed the pseudo-scholarship of victimology, political correctness and deconstruction. The only thing they appear to have retained is Nose-in-the-Air arrogance of superiority because they went to an Ivy League school. They do have high entry requirements, but what do they actually learn? I would like to see a comparison of acquired knowledge (what the student knew about the real world, its sciences and arts on the day they entered versus the day they graduated and see which group of students actually learned more.) I'm sure that the University of Michigan could hold its own against them, even if it too has become a bastion of politically correct indoctrination instead of true learning, but I suspect that even smaller state universities and even larger community and city colleges would do quite well against a watered down elite college. I 'd be willing to bet a months pay that Sarah Palin has as much true knowledge as Mr. Obama does after you eliminate the victimology, political correctness, and deconstructive studies (none of which are legitimate fields of knowledge). As I look at the Ivy League I wonder how far they can fall before they realize they have a problem.

America trying to swallow Obama care.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

An Old Propoganda Poster

Linkiest (previously called Conservative Grapevine) has a link to bunch of propaganda posters from all sides during WWII published by Life magazine.

One of them stood out.

I'm not really sure who did it, but unlike so many left-leaning political propagandists of today, the people of that time knew that Hitler and his cronies were no friends of Christianity. National Socialism ( aka Nazism) is a mixture of Socialism, Social Darwinism (taken to a murderous extreme), eugenics (ditto), Teutonic paganism and a denial of the humanity of the other. This is not any form of true Christianity, except maybe the perversion of the gospel preached by the likes of Jeremiah Wright. Of course today it is politically expedient (and thoroughly dishonest) to link Hitler and his followers to the Christians who believe in traditional values.

Perhaps those who consider Hitler and his henchmen to be Christians should ask a true Christian who suffered under him what she thinks.

How much longer before they try to censor comic strips that dare to tell the truth?

Now I am going to get ready to go to Bay City.

My mother is going to put on a garage sale and I can't give a lot of help but I can give some.