December 09, 2006

Wow, apology is in order

I just noticed the date of my last post. What a pathetic statement that is! However there is always the prospect of posting pictures to count as a "post". It is cheating in a sense but at least it's fresh material!

It seems rather appropriate to post about something that's relative to the current headlines even if it's not much of a topic. But, here's the tree anyway.



And just for fun I'll throw in a picture of me in Guam around Christmas 1986. It was when I was with U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74. This picture is on the job site near a town called Barrigada. We cleared 85 acres of jungle to build a 750 foot long range communication anttena (LORAN). The dirt that would stain everything a bright reddish brown color we called the "Barrigada Brown Funk". Notice the sleeping SeeBees on the benches in the back of the deuce-and-a-half (2 and 1/2 ton truck). We used to sleep like that driving on the way to the job site. Usually it was only when we were very hung over!



Below is the rebar "cage" that we would weld together. It was a 20' x 20' maze of steel. The carpenters would build forms around these and then we would pour 40 yards of cement (if I remember correctly) into them. They would be used as anchors for the guy wires for the antenna. I believe we built 8 of these all together. There were also another set of smaller anchors set farther out from the base of the antenna.



Hopefully this little trip in the "Way Back Machine" will appease my detractors. That would be assuming anyone actually reads my blog to begin with (thanks Mom). More stuff to come in the future (if we are that lucky).

September 21, 2006

Hollywood Hate

Excellent article by Brent Bozell at the Media Research Center site. He writes of the double standards in Hollywood when choosing a victim for receipt of their brand of hate speech.

I don't mind Hollywood being ignorant about issues of faith. They don't know anything about it. Faith scares them so they choose to mock it. I expect them to offend me. What I DO mind is the double standard involved. Where's the Hollywood movie mocking islamo-fascists? Wouldn't that be a great movie? The bungling terrorists who couldn't even blow themselves up let alone other people?

However, when mocking Christians, it's open season.

I saw a bumper sticker on a car the other day. I think this is the first that I have ever really been shocked by. I think there are a plethora of distasteful displays of verbage devaluing cars the world over but this one took the cake for me..."So many Christians, so few lions".

I was shocked because it was essentially condoning murder. Yes, this is only written on a bumper sticker but the person who confidently decided to gum up their paint job made a conscious decision to choose that particular sticker. What is funny about that? What if the sticker had said, "So many Jews, so few gas chambers"? Maybe "So many Rwandan's, so few weapons"? How about "So many pedophiles, so few children"? I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that there were people so callous as to find humor in any of those "jokes"? We are all free to be as offensive as wish wish. There are however limits to "free" speech.

If boycotting, pressuring, letter writing and other forms of expressing ones displeasure with being offended offends the offender. Uh, too bad. There is no Constitutional guarantee of "freedom from reaction" when exercising your free speech rights on either side of an argument.


Here's a good article on the tax exempt status for churches and it's use for stifiling free speech.
Tom's Memorial

It took longer than I expected to get this finished but I'm happy with the results. My brother-in-law, Tom Eckhardt was much too young to have passed away. He was 44. That's only two years ahead of me. I felt a need to have something lasting that I could see any time I needed to remember. Tom was a genuine guy. He had his struggles just like every other human on this planet, but he was a good guy and I'll miss him a great deal.

September 19, 2006

Media Predisposition to Bash Bush

mThe media bias never stops. There is a prediposition for advancing the causes of the enemy. In this article from the Wichita (Kansas) Eagle, the story has the Bush administration preparing for their deceptive tactics to take us into war with Iran. They set the stage for questioning whatever policy positions the administration determines on Iran.

"It seems like Iran is becoming the new Iraq," said one U.S. counterterrorism official.

This official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the information involved is classified.


The MSM completely miss the story when they have an opportunity to Bush bash. The "investigative", "unbiased" journalism which I'm sure they believe they are doing is really opinion journalism. The quote below from the Wichita Eagle shows this by the inclusion of one word! "unusual"

The International Atomic Energy Agency complained in an unusual letter made public on Thursday that a House intelligence committee report on Iran contains "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated information."


Simply by removing the word unusual you have an unbiased assesment of the letter. Throughout the article there are only "sources", "analysts" and "officials" quoted. Who are these people and what are their credentials? The article reads more like a gossip column.

We can always count on the MSM to talk to unnamed or anonymous sources in regards to classified information. Apparently our safetey and the safety of the men an women in the armed forces is not a concern when it applies to "getting the story".

If you read the "unusual" letter it appears (in my humble opinion) that Mr. Vilmos Cserveny from the Office of External Relations and Policy Coordination is upset that the perception of Iran is that of a sinister nation. I think the most telling paragraph is the second to last where he states,

"Finally, it is also regrettable that the Staff Report did not take into account the views of the United Nations Security Council..."


STOP!

That sentence alone is enough to relegate the whole letter to being bird cage liner. When has the UN Security Council ever accomplished anything? The United Nations is a joke! The organization is like the points awarded in the comedy show "Who's Line is it Anyway?". They just don't matter. Like the Surgeon General's warning on a pack of cigarettes.

September 18, 2006

More Comedy from "Pranksters of Peace"

I just get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I read press releases about the peaceful religion of radical Islamo-fascists. The open dialog they have with other's about their differences in faith, values and moral foundations. It would be a great day when the other major religions of the world would be able to contain themselves as well as the Islamo-fascists and be just as peaceful. I'm sure the world leaders of their sect are planning to meet with the Pope to discuss their differences of opinion rather than call for his death. Or the death of any other non-believer infidel for that matter. We should be in awe of their peacefulness and appease them in any way so we can all just get along.

I just love their sarcastic sense of humor too! A group of Islamo-fascist pranksters held up banners in front of the Vatican embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia that said "Pope is building religion on hatred." They really know how to make a point through humor!

I'm considering moving my family to a Muslim nation because of their peaceful nature as well as their fairness (not to mention the humor). For example, Islam requires non-Muslims to pay a head tax to safeguard their lives if conquered by Muslims. They are exempt if they convert to Islam. Is that not the epitomy of freedom and justice. All I need to do to ensure that I am not killed by conquering Muslims is either pay a "head" tax (to keep it, presumably) or convert to Islam. No muss, no fuss!

The freedoms of Islam are numerous. Speech being the most highly prized. The following quote from the previously linked AP article will obviously be taken out of context.

The secretary-general of the Turkish HUKUK-DER law association submitted a request to the Justice Ministry asking that the pope be arrested upon entering Turkey.

The appeal by Fikret Karabekmez, a former legislator for the banned pro-Islamic Welfare Party, called for Benedict to be tried under several Turkish laws, among them obstruction of freedom of belief, encouraging discrimination based on religion, and inciting religious hatred.


Actually they were speaking with one of the folks from the same group of pranksters in Indonesia. He was just doing his "schtick". They are a political satire group that does comedy sketches about political and religious figures. One of their latest comedic sketches has this scene in the opening act...

"The Mujahedeen Shura Council said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as "the worshipper of the cross" saying "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."


For more first rate comedy from these peaceful folks, stay tuned!!

Theodore Roosevelt Had it Right

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

If he had it figured out then, why couldn't the current administration figure it out now?

discuss

September 11, 2006

Tribute to Ada M. Davis - 1944 to 9/11/01



Today, 9/11/06 I am paying tribute to Ada M. Davis as part of the 2996 Project whose goal is to have 2,996 individual bloggers each post a memorial to one of the victims of 9/11. She was a civilian employee with the U.S. Army.
Ada was 57 years old when she was taken from us. She was from Camp Springs, MD. Her life was taken from her at The Pentagon 5 years ago today - 9/11/01.

These links will take you to sites that have memorial tributes to her from friends and family. Their words can certainly tell more about her than my humble tribute. Please take a moment to visit one of the links below and share in her memory.

Her memorial page at Legacy.com

Her memorial page at september11victims.com

Her CNN.com memorial page

9-11 Heroes memorial page

Leave a message for her at TerroristAttack.com

Ada's quilt square on UnitedInMemory.net

The Sonic Memorial Project

September 10, 2006

A Dog's Life

Our spoiled dog, Misty, lives the life of a pampered Queen.

September 08, 2006

In Memory of My Brother-In-Law

Tom Eckhardt. Laid to rest many years too soon. At 44 he only had two years seniority on me. A hard working guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He wasn't one to turn down a cup of coffee either. Morning, noon or night, if you offered, he would drink one. He could barbecue like nobody's business. Give that man the golden spatula! He was my newborn daughters' surrogate father while I was overseas in the Navy. He was a tremendous help to my wife while I was gone. He learned some of his first Daddy skills from helping with my daughter. Consequently the two of them had a special relationship. She was his other daughter, and he was her other Dad.

A funny story to share -
One evening he and I went to Jack-in-the-Box to pick up some dinner for both our families. He was still driving Grandpa B's fliver (the old white 3-on-the-tree El Camino). He had the back loaded up with juniper branches for a run to the dumps the next day. We left J-i-t-B and drove behind the gas station next door. He slowed down a bit and handed me a little bag to toss in the dumpster behind the gas station as we drove by.

Continuing on home, about a mile and a half down the road, we get pulled over. We didn't know why. He wasn't speeding, hadn't ran any red lights or anything of the sort. The officers ask us to step out of the vehicle. We're both fairly confused at this point. He implies that we were looking to dump the juniper bushes somewhere. That's what we were doing behind the gas station. Scoping out the dumpster, looking to illegally dump our trash. (Maybe the little lunch bag I tossed out could be considered "illegal dumping" since it was not my dumpster.) Tom explained that was not what we were doing and that he had plans to go to the dump the next day. The officer informed him that he only had a driver side external rear-view mirror. This was inadequate for "hauling" but since the bushes were not blocking the field of vision of the interior rear-view mirror he would allow the hauling to proceed (gee, thanks).

At some point at the beginning of that discussion the second officer asked for and was given Tom's permission to search the vehicle. While Tom was being grilled about his nefarious Jack-in-the-Box activity the officer doing the search shouts, "We've got a gun!"

I believe it was at this point that I became acutely aware of the contents of my bladder. I'm envisioning an overnight stay with Bubba and the boys in the holding tank. I'm not sure I have ever been so angry (at Tom for having a gun in his car), frustrated (at the police for the ridiculousness of the dumping allegation), and scared at the same time. The officer was digging behind the bench seat to retrieve the weapon. He held it up gently between his thumb and forefinger just like they do on TV when they find evidence.....and began laughing.

It was a silver, ivory handled revolver. I couldn't imagine why he thought it was so funny or why Tom had it in his car. I'm going to jail on weapons charges and he's getting a a good laugh out of it! I also noticed that Tom was laughing.

"Great, the cops and Tom are having a good ol' time at my expense."

Tom looked at me while laughing. He could probably tell that the blood was draining from my head as I was nearing vertical unconsciousness.

"It's Bobby's squirt gun!" he says with a big grin. Fortunately, I had enough instantaneous relief as the bloodflow returned to my head, that I could laugh at the situation as well.

We'll miss you Uncle Tom.

From the liberal Supreme Court Justice....

....William O. Douglas, comes an opinion that I was quite surprised to be reading. This excerpt is from 343 U.S. 306 Zorach v. Clauson, decided April 28, 1952.

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. We guarantee the freedom to worship as one chooses. We make room for as wide a variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary. We sponsor an attitude on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of its adherents and the appeal of its dogma. When the state [p314] encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe. Government may not finance religious groups nor undertake religious instruction nor blend secular and sectarian education nor use secular institutions to force one or some religion on any person. But we find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence. The government must be neutral when it comes to competition between sects. It may not thrust any sect on any person. It may not make a religious observance compulsory. It may not coerce anyone to attend church, to observe a religious holiday, or to take religious instruction. But it can close its doors or suspend its operations as to those who want to repair to their religious sanctuary for worship or instruction. No more than that is undertaken here.

September 07, 2006

Here's a good sign of progress in Iraq. It may be baby steps, but it's steps.

What frustrates me is the anti-war crowd that rants about bringing the troops home now. If I'm not mistaken...we still have troops in Germany and Japan. That war was over like 60 years ago man, and our troops are still there! Why the problem with Iraq?? We just got there a couple years ago. Where's the consistancy?

September 06, 2006

9/11 tribute to the 2,996 victims of terrorism

Came across a site called 2996 (H.T. to Neo-Con*Tastic). This project is being spearheaded by D.Challener Roe. It's a tribute to the 2,996 people who perished in the attacks on 9/11. You can sign up to post a memorial for one of the victims. Check it out.

September 05, 2006

Establishment Clause Bantering

Joe over at Joe's Big Blog and I have an ongoing friendly (and sometimes heated) discussion over the establishment clause in the First Amendment. He's a good friend, fellow blogger and co-worker and we love to "torture" each other over this topic. In my last post I linked to an article about Chuck Norris becoming a board member of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.

Joe commented that it would be better for "parents to directly oversee the relgious teachings of their children". This, as I replied to Joe, missed the point entirely. I'm not dumping on Joe, I think it's a great start to a passionate discussion by both sides.

The Constitutional language that states...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

...refers to the two clauses in the First Amendment that guarantee freedom of religion (not from). The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official state religion or preferring one religion over another.

The Bible is an historical record of facts. The people and places written about are historically accurate. The Bible is also backed by writings from other secular authors as well as archeological finds that all substatiate it's accuracy.

Here is a link to an excellent page that shows the evidence that I refer to. This is a must read page if one is to understand the foundation of this disagreement. It is a lengthy and detailed page but certainly provides ample evidence.

The following excerpt is from an article on the Liberty Legal Institute's website. The quotes are from Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Legal Institute, attorneys for the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.

Attorneys for NCBCPS respond to Texas Freedom Network’s (TFN) attack on an elective Bible course offered in public high schools across the state.

“It is ironic that a group which claims to be against censorship is now attempting to become the biggest censor in the state of Texas.”

The NCBCPS curriculum has been approved by 300 school districts in 37 states and endorsed by many of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars, public officials and law professors. In the case Abington v. Schempp, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities,” so long as it is “presented objectively as part of a secular program of education.”

In addition to providing an interfaith perspective on the material, NCBCPS
curriculum is also designed to broaden perspectives and stimulate discussion and
thought.

“NCBCPS course material is designed to utilize the vast historical and cultural
insight found in the Bible,” Sasser said. “Depriving students of such important
study is totally ridiculous and contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court statement.”

Unfortunately the frantic folks at the "Asinine Communist Liberal Uber-anger" society ("ACLU" for those who read mostly MSM) who hate everything this country stands for won't be happy until all traces of religion, or references to, are eliminated from society. Somehow in their faith tradition (Liberalism - which is a religion unto itself) they have determined that all other religions are invalid and should therefore be eliminated. Sounds a bit like the current swath being burned by radical Islamo-fascists.

I just had to include some quotes below from the Founders. I'm a sucker for the folks who gave up everything to preserve their freedom.

"The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed."
Patrick Henry

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
Horace Greely

"I have always said, and will always say, that studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens."
Thomas Jefferson

While President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was elected the first president of the Washington, D.C. public school board, which used the Bible as a reading text in the classroom.

A Round-house Kick to the Head

Came across this article about actor Chuck Norris and his wife, Gena, joining the Board of Directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum In Public Schools. Not that this surprises me. He is an outspoken proponent of faith and family values issues.

I'm sure he will take a great deal of heat from secular sources and from "the industry". Especially those folks who say the "Council" that he is now a board member of is promoting the teaching of religion in schools. This, of course, would be a violation of the "seperation of church and state" clause from the Constitution. Oops, wait a minute. It really doesn't say that anywhere in the Constitution. What were they thinking? Oh...I remember, they weren't.

The article is also available at this PDF link.


I better stop before I overdose on sarcasm. Somebody please get me my purple pills!!

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September 02, 2006

This Spartan Life Episode 2 Module 1

Really tough apartment hunting in New Mambasa


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August 30, 2006

The Syndicate

My time on disability was not completely wasted. Made this little comedy doohickey (12 minutes worth) with Windows Movie Maker! It was quite fun.

It may take a minute to buffer properly. Just hang in there!!!

August 23, 2006

Mmm, Fresh Posting Tastes Great!

In 1786, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson met with Arab diplomats from Tunis, a country located between Libya and Algeria, who were conducting terror raids and piracy against American ships. The main issue they detailed here -

“We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretensions to make war upon a Nation who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our Friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”




And on to other topics......

Many a great quote came from this man.

George Washington
1793 - letter to the Members of the New Church in Baltimore

We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.


George Washington
1789 - First Inaugural Address

[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.

August 15, 2006

"Animusic-Pipe Dream" on Google Video

In the midst of a hectic day, take three and a half minutes to divert your attention from tasks you need to complete. Just relax and watch this video. Then after soaking up the amazement, sink into a deep depression knowing that people have careers that pay them to play on their computers creating fabulous CGI animations while you are paid peanuts slaving away at your deadend, thank-less job.

Just something to brighten your day!!

Animusic-Pipe Dream

Description:
From the first Animusic DVD. Pipe Dream has been voted one of the 50 greatest animation projects ever (by 3D World magazine). A group of percussion instruments perform music by way of metal balls that fly out from pipes.

Want to see more cool videos?
Go to video.google.com/

Think you have an even cooler video?
Add it at video.google.com/videouploadform

If you're having trouble watching the video, try copying the following URL into your browser:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5503582578132361295&pr=goog-sl

August 08, 2006

Ain't it the truth....



From political cartoonist Michael Ramirez - Thursday, July 13, 2006

July 23, 2006

Quote from GW

George Washington
1796 - Farewell Address

Of all the dispositions and habits which least to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indespensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pilliars of human happiness.

Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (521)

June 28, 2006

Childhood Memories from the Dime Store

Secretfunspot.com is a treasure trove of memorabilia from your childhood (if you're old enough). Clicking on ANY link is a remarkable trip into the past. The artwork, the cheesy English translations on packaging from Hong Kong, the silly practical joke and gag toys. It's an irresistable site that I could not get enough of! Hat tip to Tracey at worshipnaked.com


(This does not constitute a paid advertisement although I would be tempted)

June 22, 2006

Vindication in progress....more to come

Here's a link to the newly declassified information on WMD's in Iraq. Most assuredly the "Bush lied, people died" crowd will purport it to be administration propaganda. The MSM will simply ignore it or give it a page 17B blurb next to the local crime blotter. Their hatred of Bush is so intense that even the truth is a lie to them.

The essential points covered by the memo are as follows:

* Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

* Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.

* Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.

* The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.

* The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.

* It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.

April 26, 2006

The Horror! (well, sort of)

Back a few years (7 or 8 I believe) at a San Jose Sharks v. Chicago Blackhawks game, the hockey equivalent of a bench clearing brawl goes down. Now, no one actually comes off the bench, but every player on the ice gets involved in this altercation including the goalies. Yes, yes I deplore and by no means condone any of the violence shown yada, yada, but who can NOT watch this!!!

Click Here to watch!

Fuel For Your Playoff Appetite

One of my all time favorite BIG hits by Kyle McLaren of the San Jose Sharks on Petr Cajanek of the St. Louis Blues. Be sure to watch it in "full screen" mode with the sound on. Nothing like being a speedy forward heading blindfolded into a train wreck!

Playoff's can equal Goof off's


The way to avoid expending mental energy on posting about heady political and philosophical topics and not feel guilty about shirking those important duties is to watch as much playoff hockey as possible. Granted, to me, that only means watching San Jose Sharks playoff games. Go Sharks!


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April 12, 2006


My lack of posting is due to.....

March 14, 2006

Media Influence?

I overheard a conversation the other day that was somewhat disturbing. Two "boomers" nearing retirement age were talking about the similarities between Islamo fascist fanatics and Christian fundamentalists. The two agreed that both groups were essentially identical. Both had their fanatics but the Christian fundamentalists were trying to take over our government and force their ideals upon the country. This went on for several minutes and included vague references to specific leftist websites. I considered jumping into the fray to debunk their black helicopter doom and gloom theories of impending theocracy. Unfortunately I was pressed for time and still had to battle 45 miles of rush hour traffic to get back to the warehouse.

I considered what they "feared". Christian fundamentalists. The fanatics of any religion, group or cause can and should be feared for good reason. Extreme viewpoints, right OR left, are not necessarily based on truth but on fear and ignorance. These two seemingly rational gentlemen were conversing about an irrational fear as if they were about to be handcuffed and forcibly taken to a church.

"Dem Christians is gonna take over the gubment and make us obey them 10 Commandments." (my sarcastic interpretation of their conversation)

Currently the government (local and federal authorities) actually enforces some tenets of those commandments. There's that murder thingy, uh...the stealing whatchamacallit and the uh....oh, the lying stuff, like under oath, just to name a few. There are consequences for disobeying those laws that the local and federal governments have deemed necessary to maintain order in our society. If you look at those commandments from a secular viewpoint, what really is there to disagree with? I suppose you could disagree with the commandment that says you should not covet your neighbors wife and his possessions. However it does seem to be a healthier practice not to engage in coveting. It seemingly could alleviate all sorts of friction between folks if we were just happy with our own "stuff" and respected the other folks and their "stuff".

Seems to me that the two gents and their conversation could easily have been excerpted from something you read in an opinion piece in Time or Newsweek or a 60 Minutes special report. Any MSM outlet would be proud to "uncover" the fact that someone's faith guides their decision making process. Headlines that question whether politics and religion should mix or even be allowed are common. Articles that mock individuals of faith are not printed on the opinion pages where they should be. This article is a good example of a journalistic hit piece. The entire story is laid out in a fashion that encourages the reader to think that the person being defamed is a nut job. This particular article by the Palm Beach Post Political Editor, Brian E. Crowley, shows an immediate bias (in my opinion) even from the headline.

It's no wonder the agnostic sheeple, who only expose themselves to the alphabet soup networks and liberal newspapers, are cowering in fear of religious fanatics. They have no clue what it means to be (according to them) "religious" or "spiritual". Those terms are tossed around in a self-aggrandizing manner. Being spiritual has almost become a secular term for someone who is in touch with their inner self.

"I feel I am a very spiritual person".

As for being "religious", that becomes a negative term. One does not want to be associated with religious zealots, do they? Therefore, one should avoid being pigeonholed as a Catholic or Protestant or Jew. One should be above all that nonsense and just be spiritual.

"I'm not a very religious person. I feel that I am more of a spiritual being than a religious one."

This way one does not have to answer any questions about what one believes or why. One can be assured that people will understand that one does not necessarily believe in anything other than oneself.

Two things you don't talk about with friends and family, politics and religion. If I was successful in my posting I will have ostracised both of those groups. I will then have dinner conversations all to myself and I.

March 13, 2006

Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-air

The press release from McClatchy announcing they would be aquiring Knight Ridder for around 6.5 billion (with a "B") dollars was only slightly better than if the announcement was from MediaNews Group.

I work for a major metropolitan newspaper in the San Francisco bay area owned by Knight Ridder. That changed today. Although the actual sale is not complete, the parties involved have agreed to terms. One of those terms is divesting "12 Knight Ridder newspapers, mainly located in cities that do not fit the company's longstanding aquisition criteria, chiefly involving growing markets."

The Chairman and CEO of McClatchy, Gary Pruitt said, "These are terrific publications but simply do not fit with our long-standing aquisition and operating strategies."

The reason I said this news was only slightly better than if MediaNews Group made the purchase? With MediaNews Group we could have at least been assured that we would all have been fired mercilessly and the union dissolved (don't let the door hit you on the way out). With McClatchy as the buyer, things are less assured. The speculation that they will sell the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Jose Mercury News (the two largest Knight Ridder papers) along with ten other papers, leaves plenty of room for the rumor mill to churn. The last fatality caused by MediaNews Group was the aquisition of the Oakland Tribune in Oakland, CA. You can read some of the ugly stuff at the associated link. That would be a rather disappointing end to my nearly 20 year span at this job.

Fortunately there are really no horror stories (that I know of) regarding McClatchy. There is always a first. Hopefully that won't be the case here. What I think would be the ideal situation (in my non-MBA trained mind) is the following:
Tony Ridder, the former publisher and owner of the San Jose Mercury News purchases the paper. He does this by garnering support from "employee investors" and local venture capitalists. The "employee investors" would then have a vested interest in ensuring the production of the highest quality product possible. The better the product, the higher the return on their investment. This is all about investment anyway, why not have it benefit the people who rely on it the most?

Unfortunately for the time being, all we can do is speculate on the "who"s and "when"s of it all. Being at the bottom of the food chain on this multi-billion dollar deal relegates us to "please hold for the next available representative" status. We'll know the inside employee scoop just as soon as everybody and their brother knows it.

Trying to be optomistic in a pessimistic situation!

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March 09, 2006

Just Quotes Today

I am at a point of information overload with the MSM, talk radio, blogs, politics, etc. I could have spent the last few hours ruminating on a ponderous topic. The following quotes might lead a lead few folks to that particular fate. I have a TiVo'd episode of 24 to watch. That seems more important right about now.

However, I must say that I am amused at how easily I have just fallen for the marketing strategies of the company that has manufactured possibly the greatest invention of the last two centuries...TiVo. They have now manipulated me into using their product as a noun. How clever they must think they are.

Anyway.....

"Do not let any one claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics." - George Washington

The modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion. He would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth.
- Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979)



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March 05, 2006

Oscar or Raspberry?

I felt it appropriate that on "Oscar" day I reference an outstanding article from David Kupelian, Managing Editor of WorldNetDaily on the movie "Brokeback Mountain". The article was first posted 12/27/2005. As the reviewers call the movie things like "profound", "amazing", "triumphant", this article strips all those misnomers away and exposes the movie for the Hollywood propaganda that it is.

Enough said to preface the article. It absolutely speaks for itself.


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March 04, 2006

American Spectator columnist hits home run

Ane excellent article, "Self-Appointed Clowns" over at The American Spectator. Brandon Crocker does a fine job of spelling out the ports deal and the politics that are being played.

If you believe that all the facts will come out in congressional hearings, and that our representatives will then come to informed and considered conclusions based on the facts, then you probably didn't watch the hearings on the NSA program, or on Hurricane Katrina, or the confirmation hearings for Sam Alito. Remember, the halls of Congress are not filled with statesmen; they are filled with John Kerrys, Ted Kennedys, and Chuck Hagels. The demanded hearings on the Dubai Ports World deal will not be used by many in Congress to learn the facts (which, for many, are immaterial), but to make speeches.


The amount of disinformation in the MSM is overwhelming. Each outlet is crafting a version of the story that fits their agenda. Most Americans are under the impression that the Bush administration has "sold us out" or turned over our ports to a nation with ties to terrorism.

As people who have been paying attention over the past week know, the pending purchase of P&O, which now operates six U.S. port facilities, by Dubai Ports World (owned by the United Arab Emirates), has nothing to do with handing port security or customs inspections over to a foreign company or country.


Follow the link, read the article, get informed, make your own decisions.

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March 02, 2006

Hillary the Hypocrite?

This woman is as pure as the wind driven snow, or wait, did I mean to say as evil as the hell spawn. She is neither though some may dispute that finding and agree with my initial assertion. She is, however, a hypocrite who has sold her soul to the political equivalent of the devil. Meaning this creature will do anything to further her political career and ultimate goal of becoming the first female monarch of the U.S. This article from CNSNews.com is a shining example of the former prez and the first lady on the top of their amoral game. Play both sides of the field, get what you want, compromise anything (morals, national security, laws, etc.). Even though there is this brief quip of Bill Clinton mentioning that some 9/11 money went through Dubai, it does not sound as if he's repenting about anything.

"...the former president publicly turned on his old friends from the UAE last Friday in a speech at Auckland, New Zealand. DP World, he said, 'is from UAE, where some of the money from 9/11 was laundered.'


If Democrats in general are divided publicly and privately on this issue, so is Bill Clinton as an individual."



That certainly was not a bombardment of accusations heaped upon a "former" friend by the former president. It sounds more like an obligatory mention because there is so much media hype. It may be a glimpse into his true position of being conflicted on the issue. There is a multitude of American's in that same position. I would count myself as one of them. Still searching for the truth......

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March 01, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

February 28, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way to....

I began my search for new and titillating news on "portgate". I read this, I read that, I got ill from all the political posturing. The MSM coverage is horrid. Blogdom is really the only space to go when searching for the truth. Needless to say the suffering I felt from my aquisition of the "political posturing and obfuscation" illness drove me to relenquish my attempt at another "portgate" post.

I began wandering aimlessly looking for solace and refuge in the far corners of blogdom. I went from Joe's Big Blog to Vox Popoli , to Normal Rockstar to The Crystal Lake Observatory. It was an interesting blog title so my curiosity was piqued. The page loaded, I glanced at his links. I think that personal links posted by bloggers can sometimes help to add a sort of substance to who they are and their opinions. Also it could be me wanting to give that substance to them. Either way, that's not the point I'm trying to make. Actually I'm not making any point. I just found a very interesting resource at Answers in Genesis. They provide in depth answers to many question's regarding creation, God, evolution, etc. The introductory article, Creation: 'where's the proof?', gives solid explanations and logical and rational arguments. It also exemplifies quite well, the general philisophical atmosphere of the articles. Usually it's logic that disipates when people with opposing viewpoints try 'persude' each other that their opinion is correct. I highly recommend a visit to the site.


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February 26, 2006

The Left and Right Vie For Political Fodder on "PortGate"

Oliver North has an excellent article on the Washington Times Insider Page (requires free registration). He really cuts through the bias from both sides and lays out the details that are glaringly missing from most "news" reports. It is not as cut and dried as the talking heads and teleprompt readers make it sound. I must admit that my first reaction to hearing the story was, "what are these people smoking?". I highly recomend taking a moment to register and read Col. North's article.

Upon further investigation I've come to a different, albeit ambivalent, conclusion.

"Who really cares who the port facilities are owned by?"

It definitely was not the previous administration. Anyone for Chinese food?

In an article titled "At L.A. and Long Beach, a raft of security worries" from the 7/18/05 issue of Government Computer News, those ports are described as "landlord ports, which means all the terminals are leased by private companies, which provide their own security." The issue of who "owns" the ports and are they secure is not new. Watching the alphabet soup networks, one would think this is a groundbreaking first. Foreign ownership of port facilities? Balderdash! It's un-American!

Let me just say that I firmly believe portions of our port facilities should not be owned by terrorists, friends of terrorists, terrorist in-laws, cousin terrorsists, terrorist sympathizers, terrorist supporters, financiers of terrorists, be-frienders of said terrorists or terrorists aiders and abetter's. That having been said, I can safely say that the Dubai Port World company conforms to those requirements.

The "newsies" however, tend to use phrases like the ports are being "sold to a foreign power" or "turned over to" an "arab nation" to spin viewers' opinion. Anything is fair game in the promotion of the religion of Bush bashing. In reality the British firm, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., was bought out by the United Arab Emirates owned commercial entity, Dubai Ports World. They also run port operations in Australia, South Korea, India, Germany and China.

Hat tip to Crazy Politico's Ranting's, for commenting and linking to his blog. He has obviously punched a few more search buttons than I have.

With a deftly crafted headline bullet, the "newsies" have successfully manipulated public opinion. Most American's have neither the time nor the inclination to research headlines and verify media truthfulness. Coincidentally.....they know that!!! They can feed the sheeple what they think the sheeple need to know. Being one of the sheeple, you just eat it up and regurgitate what you've been fed.

"Yes, it's true, I saw it on the news!"


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February 23, 2006

Redesign and a little rambling (actually alot)

I got a bit bored with my previous template so i decided to try this one for awhile. It's actually more effort than I had hoped. It might remain like this for longer than I anticipated. All of the customization has to be methodically pasted and previewed for aesthetic quality of course. I had to use a new template on my buddy Joe's blog because there was some glitch messing up the sidebar formatting. I guess that inspired me to redesign my own. I do get the stink eye from my wife when I'm sitting in front of the computer for an excessive amount of time. Especially when there is painting and yardwork on the day's agenda!

In fact just yesterday I determined that I was not 20 years younger than I actually am. What I mean by that is I did some physically demanding work (the type I have not done for a long time). After I finished I had the sensation of having been hit by a bus and dragged a few hundred yards down the road.

I did this type of work all the time years ago. After leaving the military I worked for a plumbing contractor and a general contractor. Lots of hard work. Good work. There is definitely a distinct sense of accomplishment working with your hands, building things, creating. I think some of the most satisfying work I've done has been in the construction trades. Granted some types of construction jobs are much better (more satisfying) than others. For example, the laborer position is less fulfilling than the finish carpenter. I suppose this is rather self explanatory and boring. But you get the drift, anyway.

How this post went from blog redesign to construction worker is one of those wonders of blogdom. Fortunately I don't have to rely on this hobby to pay the bills!!

February 19, 2006

Job Promotion

What a huge responsibility! I've been added to my buddies blog as an administrator. Joe's Big Blog will hopefully take a flying leap, wait a minute, improve by leaps and bounds. That sounds better. I have been given the keys to the castle, the bar is open, it's a free for all, let's roll. This just may propel me into another tax bracket if all goes well. I'll be able to bilk several dollars worth of free gifts out of my employer in lieu of that astronomically high salary he is anticipating having to put up for the technical help I'm providing.

(insert evil laugh here)

I may be making too much of this "appointment" to such a position. Maybe not. It just seems like I can get a lot more mileage out of it if I play it up as something really huge. A step up on the social register, schmoozing ammunition, ego fodder. Call it what you will. Joe's Big Blog will never be the same. Don't look back, take no prosoners, full speed ahead, bombs away and whatever other cliche' you can think of.

Thanks Joe!




February 11, 2006

Ponderous, I must say

After reading the U.S. code Section 1802 cited as the law that President Bush is ignoring, I can seriously say with conviction that the political posturing and partisanship from the left is despicable. Why don't they just release a statement of support for terrorism? Where is the outrage and prosecution of the individual who leaked the story to the press about the classified surveillance program? Maybe if the anti-American leftists get really lucky we can uncover all the "secret" ways that the U.S. tries to thwart terrorists and publish them internationally in a handbook of sorts. This would seem to be a more efficient way of ensuring terrorists know our tactics. Everything will be out in the open and we can all sit with the Islamo-fascists and have a nice summit. We can talk with them about the desire we have for freedom not only for us but all people. Concluding, we could ask politely if they would please not kill our wives and children!? They would, of course agree since our attempts at understanding their religion of peace are so heartfelt and noble. Ahh, utopia. What a wonderful place!

Here is the text of the law that Bush and his evil henchmen are so wantonly breaking. I took the liberty of emphasizing a few areas.

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that -
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at -


(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or


(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;


(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and


(C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801(h) of this title; and if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.


(2) An electronic surveillance authorized by this subsection may be conducted only in accordance with the Attorney General's certification and the minimization procedures adopted by him. The Attorney General shall assess compliance with such procedures and shall report such assessments to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under the provisions of section 1808(a) of this title.


(3) The Attorney General shall immediately transmit under seal to the court established under section 1803(a) of this title a copy of his certification. Such certification shall be maintained under security measures established by the Chief Justice with the concurrence of the Attorney General, in consultation with the Director of Central Intelligence, and shall remain sealed unless -


(A) an application for a court order with respect to the surveillance is made under sections 1801(h)(4) and 1804 of this title; or


(B) the certification is necessary to determine the legality of the surveillance under section 1806(f) of this title.


(4) With respect to electronic surveillance authorized by this subsection, the Attorney General may direct a specified communication common carrier to -


(A) furnish all information, facilities, or technical assistance necessary to accomplish the electronic surveillance in such a manner as will protect its secrecy and produce a minimum of interference with the services that such carrier is providing its customers; and


(B) maintain under security procedures approved by the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence any records concerning the surveillance or the aid furnished which such carrier wishes to retain. The Government shall compensate, at the prevailing rate, such carrier for furnishing such aid.


(b) Applications for a court order under this subchapter are authorized if the President has, by written authorization, empowered the Attorney General to approve applications to the court having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title, and a judge to whom an application is made may, notwithstanding any other law, grant an order, in conformity with section 1805 of this title, approving electronic surveillance of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power for the purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence information, except that the court shall not have jurisdiction to grant any order approving electronic surveillance directed solely as described in paragraph (1)(A) of subsection (a) of this section unless such surveillance may involve the acquisition of communications of any United States person.

Now what's so difficult to understand here?

February 04, 2006

Hellooooooo Infidels!


I love that line. It's one that radio talk show host Michael Savage uses. Anyone who is not a member of Islam is considered an infidel and must be killed (according to the Islamo-fascists). So...I am an infidel to the religion of peace! Check with the Michelle Malkin website to see the tsunami of bloggers who are posting all or some of the Muhammed cartoons that the Islamo-fascists are willing to kill people over. I chose the one that I felt was actually the most humorous. It also is shows the blatant hypocrisy of the Islamo-fascists (how many times am I going to use that word in one post?).

January 30, 2006

Road Trip!

I don't mind driving. I really don't. I do it for a living at 2 different jobs. But I'll tell you, doing more than 1,000 miles in about 48 hours is no fun. San Jose to Dodge Ridge on a Monday, about 3 and a half hours. Stay for 4 more days then Dodge Ridge to San Jose, sleep a few hours then to Hollister to L.A. (sleep a bit) to Visalia, to Hollister to San Jose and I've pretty much killed any desire to go anywhere. Today I woke up late, never got dressed, was a TV vegetable, ate way too many carbs and will probably go to bed early.

I remember as a pre-teen I wanted to be a long haul trucker. Get paid to see the whole country. If there was any inkling of that desire left in me, it may very well have died this weekend.

January 22, 2006

"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily.
"If it is a good morning," he said.
"Which I doubt," said he.

January 11, 2006

Quotes from the Founders

As of late, the topic seems to permeate the media. Whether in news or opinion the "seperation of church and state" phrase, which has been misinterpreted for many years, continuously bludgeons the sheeple over their collective heads. You have heard the phrase "If you tell a lie long enough people will believe it." This is just what has happened over the last 50 odd years. The left and secular humanists have twisted this phrase to somehow mean there can be NO mention of religion anywhere in government. The original correspondance where this phrase was coined was from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists who were a religious minority in Connecticut. They complained that in Connecticut, the religious liberties they enjoyed were not seen as immutable rights, but as privileges granted by the legislature - as "favors granted." Jefferson's reply did not address their concerns about problems with state of Connecticut's establishment of religion - only on the national level.

The letter was the subject of intense scrutiny by Jefferson, and he consulted some of New England politicians to be sure that his words would not offend the Baptists while still conveying his message: it was not the place of Congress or the Executive branch to do anything that might be misconstrued as the establishment of a state religion.

Now for my need to post some quotes.


Thomas Paine


"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.
Where, some say, is the king of America? I'll tell you, friend, He reigns
above.

William Penn (Founder of Pennsylvania)


"If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be
ruled by him....Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."

Daniel Webster (Statesman, Lawyer, Orator)


"Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.

John Adams

June 21, 1776

"Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is
Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which
Freedom can securely stand.


Hat tips to the following for aiding in my information gathering -

January 09, 2006



















An addition to your T-shirt wardrobe that can be purchased at -

http://www.thoseshirts.com/

January 04, 2006

Parenting Pains


It's difficult to believe that the little girl teetering around the coffee table would grow up and move away. That little life that depended on you for her very existence would reach a point where she really would be her own person and not necessarily need you for survival. That, of course is how every parent sees their child. Needing them, dependent. Picturing that little girl all grown up, independant, making life's decisions, is difficult to fathom. When the decision is made to leave the home for another place with other people that replace the nuclear family, it knocks the wind out of you. Even though the ultimate goal of parenting, raising your child to be self-sufficient and productive, is known from birth, when the moment arrives it's quite unreal. It's rather like slamming your fingers in a car door. It hurts a lot. I can only hope that the future is bright and her ambition is sparked by this transition to independence. God has wonderful plans for her!