Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Galileo's New Theory

"Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't." ~ Mark Twain

Yesterday, on the Imus in the morning radio program, guest Mary Matilin discussed briefly Galileo's law of falling bodies, which states that all objects fall at the same speed, regardless of their mass; and that, as they fall, the speed of their descent increases uniformly.

One might well ask why Mary Matilin was talking about Galileo.

She was describing the way Democrats and RINO's (Republicans in name only) tend to completely ignore the facts presented to them logically, even when the evidence of those facts are staring them in the face. She said she is reminded of Galileo everytime she is on Imus' program and asked her opinion on politics.

Galileo, you may remember, proved that the Earth's gravity had the same amount of pull on a 1 pound object as a 10 pound object by dropping both of those objects from the top of the tower of Pisa at the same time. Of course, the two objects landed at the same time.

Also, if you remember the story, the rulers of the Church in that day, who were the rulers of all, refused to believe, even after witnessing with their own eyes, the demonstration first hand. Galileo was forced to recant his findings, and was later even arrested and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life.

For proving that the church was wrong.

She went on to say that is the perception she gets of the Democratic party and the RINO's, when truth stares them in the face. She expressed frustration with Imus in particular, which, of course sparked some outrage for questioning the great Don Imus.

But it occurred to me that she is exactly right, and the analogy of Galileo was right on the money.

Judge Samuel Alito was chosen to take the place of Sandra Day-O'Connor on the SCOTUS, and proved, under unreasonable scrutiny and shameful character assassination by members of the Senate Judiciary committee, especially Senators Kennedy, Biden, and Durbin, that he is absolutely qualified for the position.

Nevertheless, Senator Kennedy went totally ballistic during yesterdays Senate debate regarding the nomination of Alito to the bench.

By the way, it is my humble opinion that it is long past time for Kennedy to retire. He should have resigned and turned himself in for murder immediately after Chappaquidick. He is nothing but an embarrassment to the Democratic party now, and I dare say he is costing them votes in the next elections by his unhinged behavior. Most Democrats are distancing themselves from him. Or at least, trying desperately to ignore him.

And it's not just the Alito fiasco that proves this new Galileon theory. Time and time again, the Democrats and RINO's prove they have no sense of reason when it comes to anything involving a decision made by President Bush.

One doesn't have to wonder why.

It is what I've been saying all along. They hate Bush so badly, that they are unwilling to admit it is possible for him to do anything right, in their opinion.

There has been evidence presented in recent months that WMD do indeed exist, which is admittedly as yet unconfirmed, so there is some doubt as to the veracity of that evidence.

However, if conclusive evidence of WMD is found, and these arrogant, Bush hating Democrats, RINO's, and Liberals are proven wrong, they will still say we went to war with Iraq based on a lie.

It isn't truth they are interested in, it's whatever they can do or say to undermine the Presidency of George W. Bush, and diminish it's effectiveness.

All because they are so enraged that he won the 2000 election.

I will even submit that the reason for the current push by some of the angrier Liberals to have Bush impeached has nothing whatsoever to do with so-called lies or unfounded charges against Bush of any kind, but rather, it is revenge for the impeachment of President Clinton.

The facts are, there is no evidence of wrong doing by President Bush, and there is definite evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors by Clinton.

Which brings up another example of this new Galileon theory applied to Democrats and Liberals et al:

The stubborn, but erroneous belief that Clinton did nothing wrong, and was unfairly charged. The facts are clear and established that he committed perjury, which is what he was impeached for, and yet, those who defend him still insist the charges of impeachment were about sex.

And so, this rant is not an effort to convince any Democrats or RINO's or Liberals of the truth. It is simply an observation.

They can't be convinced anyway.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Some Scottish History

"Fight again at Bannockburn your battle-axe to wield
Fight by your grand sire on Floddin’s bloody field
Fight at Calouden the bonnie prince to shield
Fight by the Roses of Prince Charlie."
~ Roses of Prince Charlie (Ronnie Browne)

I went to the library on Sunday. I was looking for a book about the French and Indian war but the only book the local branch of the library had on that subject had apparently been stolen. So I picked out a book entitled simply "Scotland".

For those of you who don't know, I have within the last year learned that my last name is Scottish. So I have done some research into the history of my heritage.

As I read about the history of that great country, I was constantly reminded of the Scottish Folk songs that I love. So much of Scottish history is re-told in those wonderful songs. I have compiled quite a list of Gaelic folk songs, both Scottish and Irish, the lyrics of which I have posted in a separate blog entitled Scotsongs. I still don't understand how to post audio files in my blogs so only the lyrics are posted.

Here is a partial chronology of significant events in Scotland's history:

300 B.C. Celts begin settling in Scotland.

81 A.D. Agricola leads Roman troops on first invasion of Scotland, which they called Caledonia. Apparently, the natives proved to be far more trouble than the Romans thought were worth, so in
121 A.D. Romans begin building Hadrian's wall to serve as protection against invaders
from Scotland.

789 Vikings begin raids on Scotland, and eventually establish settlements in the far north and in the Western Isles.(I included this because I am descended from those Vikings)

1018 Malcolm II conquers the Angles and absorbs Lothian into the kingdom of Scotland.

1034 Duncan adds Strathclyde to the kingdom.(Duncan was the ill fated King of Shakespeare's "MacBeth" Yes, MacBeth really did exist.)

1071 William I of England invades Scotland.

1124-53 David I imposes English feudal system on southern Scotland.

1174 William I (of Scotland, not to be confused with William I of England) also known as "the Lion", is forced to sign the treaty of Falaise, making Scotland subject to England.

1189 Richard I "the Lionheart" of England restore Scottish independence.

1290 Edward I (immortalized in Mel Gibson's Film, "Braveheart" and referred therein as "Longshanks") places John Balliol on the Scottish throne.

1295 Edward I defeats Balliol at Dunbar.

1297 William Wallace leads Scottish rebellion against the English.

1306 Robert I "the Bruce" is crowned King.

1314 Robert I defeats Edward II of England at Bannockburn.

1320 Scots proclaim their independence in the Declaration of Abroath (an excerpt from this document can be found in my sidebar)

1513 English defeat Scots at the battle of Flodden; James IV is killed.

1692 Campbell troops massacre MacDonald clansmen at Glencoe

1715 Jacobites rebel and are defeated at the Battle of Sheriffmuir.

1746 Duke of Cumberland defeats Jacobite forces of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" at the Battle of Colloden.

1786 Robert Burns publishes "Poems, Chiefly in the Scots dialect".

1814 Sir Walter Scott publishes his first novel, "Waverly".

1888 James Kier Hardie founds the Scottish Labour Party.

1934 Scottish National Party is formed.

1997 Scots vote to restore Parliament.

1999 Queen Elizabeth II opens Scottish Parliament on July 1.

Here are some additional links to some of my favorite Scottish Folk songs:

Loch Lomond

Scots Wha Hae

Dawning of the Day

Flower of Scotland

The Queen's Maries

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let's All Hug

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." ~ Douglas Adams

Oh what a wealth of blogging subjects there is today, and all from the previously unheard of town of Davos, Switzerland!

Former President Bill Clinton spoke at the World Economic Forum, articulating for the crowd gathered there, what he perceives to be the most important challenges facing the Global community today.

And what, pray tell, does Mr. Clinton consider the most urgent threat to the world, you might ask?

The threat of Global thermo nuclear war posed by North Korea, Iran, and other rogue nations?

The possibility of total annihilation of the state of Israel by radical Muslim terrorist organizations?

Possible future terrorist attacks on America and the wholesale slaughter of thousands of innocent American men, women and children?

More natural disasters effectively jeopardizing the world's energy resources?

Nope. None of the above.

Climate change.

Yes, you read it right. Climate change.

Now, personally, I don't buy this whole Global warming thing, anyway, and even if I did, I wouldn't blame man for creating an environment that supposedly destroys the planet.

According to the Global alarmist scientists, the average temperature of the planet is getting warmer at the staggering rate of 3 degrees Fahrenheit per thousand years, or something like that. Now, if that is indeed true, it certainly isn't an urgent problem.

However, according to most, if not all of the worlds scientists, there is a thing called the 2nd law of thermo-dynamics which tells us that everything in the universe is winding down. In other words, the planet, along with the universe, is irreversibly, yet slowly dying. The sun will eventually go out. It is going out. It could not be getting warmer. If anything, it is getting cooler.

The next most important problem, according to Clinton, is "global inequality." I confess to not fully understanding what he means here, but I am guessing he's talking about the gap that separates rich and poor, majorities and minorities, and the strong and the weak. At any rate, he seems to think that this problem can be solved by all the world getting together and engaging in a dialogue, reaching an understanding of all cultures, and presumably, getting together for a big group hug.

Can't you just feel the love even now? Especially from Hamas and al-Qaida?

To tell the truth, it astounds me, after all this time, that some people still think that these homicidal maniacs will ever listen to reason.


Finally, Clinton lists, as the third biggest problem, the "apparently irreconcilable" religious and cultural differences behind terrorism. And once again, he insists this is a problem that can be solved through appeasement and negotiation.

Well, absolutely! That makes perfect sense!

After all, it has worked so well up until now!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tilting At Windmills

"Windmills, remember, if you fight with them may swing round their huge arms and cast you down into the mire!" ~ Antoine Comte de Guiche (from Cyrano de Bergerac)

With the latest push to delay the confirmation of Judge Sam Alito, the Democratic Party's leaders are tilting at windmills.

Speaking from Switzerland, Former Presidential contender John (Don Quixote) Kerry called for a filibuster. "Judge Alito's confirmation would be an ideological coup on the Supreme Court," Kerry said in a written statement.

"We can't afford to see the court's swing vote, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, replaced with a far-right ideologue like Samuel Alito."

Senator Edward M. (Sancho Panza) Kennedy agreed, "There's some division in our caucus," Kennedy conceded. "It's an uphill climb at the current time, but it's achievable."

However, the senior Democrat of the Senate, Robert Byrd (D), crossed party lines, and has announced he will vote to confirm Alito.

"My considered judgment from his record, from his answers to my questions, and from his obvious intelligence and sincerity, leads me to believe him to be an honorable man who loves his country, loves his Constitution and will give of his best. Can we really ask for more?" said Byrd.

Mr. Byrd said his constituents had told him they were "appalled" by the harsh questioning Judge Alito received from the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearings, calling them "an outrage and a disgrace."

Without Byrd, it is unlikely the Democrats will have the votes necessary to get a filibuster started.

If Robert Byrd and others in the Democratic party refuse to mount their horses, and take up the filibuster lance, the windmills their leaders charge will be formidable foes, indeed.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Elephants, Mules, and Hillary

“Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

There has been a lot of blogs and radio talk show hosts talking about the latest Gallup poll that shows that if the 2008 Presidential election were held today, Hillary Rodham would lose.

Not so fast.

The poll shows only 16% of Americans would definitely vote for Hillary as President.

But 32% would consider it. You can’t ignore that 32%. Put that together with the 16% and the 1% that don’t know, and you get 49%. And now you have a much closer election. Rich Glasgow, over at his place, points out that Hillary carries quite a bit of baggage with her into the elections. Rich says, and I quote:

“Apparently, she thinks she's put enough distance between herself and her own ethics clouds that few will recall how she fell under them on a routine basis when she shared (and abused) power with the president”

I, along with many other Conservatives, agree. She definitely is counting on the short memories of the American people, and the American people do have short memories. Especially the Democrats. And it is the Democrats who will be deciding who will head their next Presidential ticket.

It occurs to me that the symbols of the two political parties are eerily appropriate now.

The Democrats have the Mule, (some would say Jackass) and the Republicans have the Elephant.
Mules are pretty much universally considered stubborn and stupid. Now I’m not calling Democrats stupid, but some people might say poor memory can be an attribute of stupidity. And as I said, a poor memory would be an asset in the consideration of Hillary in the run for President.

And stubborn? No doubt. If the Democrats go ahead and run Hillary in spite of the results of this Gallup poll, they definitely are stubborn. And again, some would say stupid.

A popular song from the fifties:

“A mule is an animal with long funny ears
he kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
he's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak”

On the other hand, Elephants are considered faithful and have long memories. There is an old saying that elephants never forget. And, Dr. Seuss, in his classic children’s book, “Horton Hears a Who“, says:

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, an elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

So, the Democrats probably will nominate Hillary as their 2008 Presidential nominee, if she decides to run, and the Republicans will be only too happy to remind America of her questionable past.

The game is afoot!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tom Jones Had One

"First day in August, the last rain was in May
When the Rainmaker came to Kansas is the middle of a dusty day
Said the Rainmaker to the people, tell me what you are prepared to pay
Said the Rainmaker to the people, now I'll conjure up some rain today.
Ninety degrees ‘neath the trees where it's shady
Hundred and ten in the hot sun
Heat from the street burns the feet of the ladies
See how they run
Call down the lightning by a mystical name
And the Rainmaker called on the thunder and it suddenly began to rain
And the Rainmaker passed his hat to the people, but the people all turned away
And the Rainmaker's eyes and the Kansas skies, well they both became a darker gray.
First day of August, the last rain was in May
When the Rainmaker came to Kansas in the middle of a dusty day
The Rainmaker smiled as he hitched up his wagon and without a word he rode away
And the people of the town heard the sound of his laughter
And they knew the rain had come to stay
Rain, rain go away, come again another day.”
~ Harry Nilsson

I am a rainmaker.

I guarantee you I can make it rain. All I have to do is wash my car. Really. I know it’s an old saying that if you wash your car, it will always rain by the next day. It is one of Murphy’s laws. But with me, it’s really true.

Tuesday, while making the rounds, I happened to notice my car had a layer of road dust all over it, so I decided to wash it off. I went to a gas station that I often go to for the car wash, which does an outstanding job considering it is one of those touchless automatic washes. I paid my $7.00 and punched the code in, the garage door opened, and I entered the car wash, the door closing behind my car.

The car wash lasted maybe as long as 5 minutes and when it was done, the garage door at the exit opened, and the air blasters came on to dry my car. As I exited the wash under the dryers, I noticed, to my consternation, that the dryers had failed to remove the droplets of water beading up on my windshield. I turned on the wipers which cleared the windshield. For about 1 second. It was then that I discovered, to my wonderment, that it was raining. Not just raining. I was caught in a deluge of Biblical proportions. I entered, with a dirty car, in dry weather, and came out, 5 minutes later, with a clean car, but also, in a downpour.

I challenge any rainmaker anywhere to match that achievement.

So, I’m driving down the road Wednesday morning, almost unaware that I am furtively picking at a small, slightly painful bump on my nose.

(Silly readers. Segues are for kids!)

I raise my head and turn it slightly towards the rear view mirror to ascertain the source of the irritation and see, to my horror, A rather prodigious snow capped mountain growing on the side of my nose!

A pimple? At my age?

You know, when we are kids, we want to grow older for the increased freedom we hope to enjoy as teens. We don’t count on pimples.

As a teenager, we look forward to getting old enough that we no longer get pimples.

Apparently, it is not possible to attain that age.

Pimples were always a source of much embarrassment and low self esteem for me when I was a teenager. I didn’t get them as bad as many of my peers. Some of my friends got them so bad that they still have pock marked faces today.

That, in and of itself, is not a hindrance. Many people have gone on to live successful lives in spite of hideous acne scars. Comedian Bill Murray and actor Edward James Olmos come to mind.

I have no acne scars on my face. Only one scar from a divot taken out of my face, right next to my right eye, that I suffered in combat on the playground of Paul B. Cooper Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas. My noble foe, a rather treacherous slide, which, I swear to this day, literally pitched me off in mid slide, depositing me unceremoniously, and face first, onto the graveled surface below.

But I digress. (there he goes, digressing again)

When I was a pimply faced adolescent, I feared the scorn and disapproval of the lovely, unblemished young ladies in my peer group, because of my epidermically challenged condition.

Then, one evening, while watching the Tom Jones Show on TV, I saw a vision. A vision that forever changed my self concept. On the screen I beheld before me, the image of the great Tom Jones himself, seated upon a stool, a spotlight illuminating only his head and shoulders, head bent forward, with eyes closed, softly crooning a love ballad to the adoring ladies in his studio audience. The camera zoomed in for a close up of Tom’s face. And there, for all the world to see, in stark black and white, unsuccessfully covered with television make-up, was a very perceptible bump on his cheek.

Tom Jones had a pimple!

If Tom Jones could get pimples, somehow that gave me hope.

So today, without giving it more than a passing thought, I popped my pimple, and went on with my life.

So, for all you younger readers, let not your heart be troubled. Be of good cheer. For, even though there is no hope of overcoming the plague of blackheads in your lifetime, as you had hoped, I am living proof that life can still be rewarding and meaningful in spite of the embarrassment of skin blemishes.

Who knows? You may become a famous rainmaker!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Unions Closed The Plants.

"When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results." ~ Calvin Coolidge

Ford motor company has announced this week that it intends to close 14 plants and lay off some 30,000 workers due to loss of revenue. There are, no doubt, many factors that lead to this drastic action, but I think it has more than a little to do with the fact that the unions are so heavily involved in every aspect of the Automobile industry.

In Kansas City, where I am from, there are two major auto plants. Ford in Claycomo, Mo, and General Motors in Kansas City, Kansas. Years ago I went to the GM plant to apply for a job, and was told they weren't even taking applications. They informed me that there were currently hundreds of GM employees that were laid off at the moment, and had been laid off for years.

Later, when I was working as a carpet cleaner, I had the opportunity of cleaning a carpet in the home of one of those laid off GM employees. This was a new home, approximately $600,000.00, and the owner hadn't worked for a decade.

I was incredulous. How can someone who doesn't even have a job afford a home that costs over half a million dollars?

He explained it to me.

As a union employee, he was being compensated for being laid off by the company. He said he received 70% of his former salary, which in itself, was substantial. He had been getting paid 70% of his salary for over 10 years and counting! In addition to that, he was still eligible to receive health benefits and other perks.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am woefully ignorant about economics, but it seems logical to me, that if laid off employees of Automobile corporations were subject to the same unemployment compensation and other disadvantages of being laid off as the rest of us poor unrepresented slobs, maybe Ford and GM wouldn't be in quite so tenuous a position, and might not even have to be forced to close some of their facilities.

There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of laid off automobile employees sitting comfortably on their wallets, while the rest of us work long underpaid hours just to be able to pay the ridiculous prices for the products they no longer have anything to do with producing.

What's wrong with this picture?

It would seem to me, that if they weren't being forced to pay people who are not even producing anything for them, and haven't for a number of years, they might be able to keep the costs of production down, and in so doing, keep the prices down to a point where the average non Automobile factory worker could afford to buy new cars from them.

If it weren't for the unions, they might not have to cut production.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I realize that the unions made an important contribution in regards to improving the lot of America's working man back when there were no regulations and no minimum wage, etc. Americans are much better off today than we were back in the early 1900's. And the credit rightfully goes to the establishment of the labor unions.

But the unions have gained so much power, so much political clout, that they have lost sight of their original purpose, that is, to insure the working man of a fair and equitable wage, better working conditions, security in retirement, and affordable health care.

And their lust for power has undermined the very workers that they were founded to benefit. The quality of the product has taken a back seat to greed.

And now, the workers and the corporations are suffering for it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Our National Shame

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." ~ Mother Teresa

Yesterday was the 32nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the momentous and deplorable Supreme Court decision that legalized Abortion in America. And since that time, over 42 million unborn babies have been murdered in this country, the greatest nation on Earth.

But the greatest nation on Earth has a taint.

Sadly, the specter of genocide hovers over this land, a genocide allowed by venerated members of the highest court in the land. Senators and Congressmen and Judges, and many upstanding citizens in this country support this genocide. How far have we fallen, when men and women who begin their day by asking God's blessings and guidance upon their daily deliberations, argue that killing helpless innocent babies is a God given right!

And the saddest part of all is the fact that it is the so-called party of compassion who supports it most strenuously. The same lawmakers who, even now, argue that liberating millions of innocent people in Iraq is obscene and creates needless death and destruction. How hypocritical!

What kind of animal could support the murder of millions of innocents? There can be no excuse for this travesty.


And so, we celebrate another year of tragedy. A shameful milestone in America's history.

May God have mercy on us.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Too Much Education?

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it". ~ Aristotle

My letter to the editor of the local newspaper here, the Hagerstown, MD Herald Mail, has been printed, much to my surprise. I had said earlier that since the newspaper here appears to be decidedly left wing, that they probably wouldn't print it.

Since I enjoyed such success getting one of my letters printed, I went back into the Herald Mail website this morning to see if they have printed any more of my letters.

They hadn't, but I did find this very interesting letter instead: Reading doesn't equate to thinking

This letter writer is apparently writing in response to another letter in which the author indicated a belief that reading equates to thinking, or, at least, that is the impression that today's letter writer got. I have made this observation in the past in the comments section of other blogs.

There has been an observation made by many Conservatives that public schools and institutions of higher learning, have abandoned teaching students how to think, in preference to teaching them what to think.

I don't really think this is an issue that has been explored adequately, and quite frankly, I was mildly surprised to see someone else thinking along the same lines as I do.

I have often been accused of not reading books. That is not true. I have read just about everything from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf, but I haven't had the time to immerse myself in books as I once did. I used to be able to read an entire Novel in one sitting. Now, with all the other things I have going on in my life, it takes me quite a bit longer. I do learn things from reading. So, it's not that I see anything wrong with quoting authors to bolster arguments.

But, if public schools and institutions of higher learning are indeed teaching that reading equates with thinking, I see this as a disturbing trend. And it would dovetail with what I have theorized on those other blog comments. I submit that some very well educated people have abandoned the act of thinking, preferring to direct those who disagree with them to the authors of books to substantiate their arguments. I know this theory will no doubt inflame some of my readers to the point of outrage, but It's only a thought I've been toying with recently.

How often do you present your side of a controversial issue, only to be told you need to go read this book, or that book, so you can fully understand the crux of your opposing debaters arguments?

I have a question for those of you who tend to rely on books to bolster your debate:

I want to know what you think, not what some author you have read thinks. When you direct me to a book to substantiate your argument, does the author really represent what you think, or is he doing the thinking for you? There is no doubt that you are an intelligent, thinking individual, who is quite capable of thinking for yourself, but if you had no book to fall back on, would you really still have that opinion? Do you think before you go to your reference library, or after?

While it is pretty much accepted that one cannot receive too much formal education, if that education consists of teaching students what to think, rather than how to think, perhaps it is possible to be too educated after all.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare." ~ Edmund Burke

"We've come to this dark time in which the Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended." So says Socialist has-been entertainer Harry Belefonte, speaking of President Bush.

It seems to me, if citizens are having their rights suspended, wouldn't Mr. Belefonte be one of the first to have his right to free speech suspended?

If I were King, (that's what the lefties call Bush) and he spoke in public that way about me, I would, within the powers of my monarchy, throw Belefonte in the dungeon until he rots, or until he sees things my way, whichever comes first.

Oh well. He is just an entertainer, and apparently not a very good one, as he hasn't had a hit since the 60's. Personally, my favorite Harry Belafonte song is "Kingston Town". Have you ever heard it? It goes:

Down the way
Where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountaintop.
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when it got to Jamaica,
I made a stop.

So I'm sad to say,
I'm on my way.
Won't be back for many a day.
My heart is down,
My head is turning around,
I had to leave a little girl in Kingston town

Too bad it wasn't prophetic.

To tell the truth, I don't really care if celebrities say really stupid things about the President, or his administration, or Conservatives in general. They can say whatever they want. America is still a free country, no matter what they say.

My only problem is that so many people listen and give credence to their inane ravings.

There are celebrities on my side, too, but you don't hear much from them. Not that they aren't saying anything. They are. We just don't hear it from the major news sources in America. I won't lump them all together in one monster called the "MSM" or worse, "the media", because it offends honest news people.

I don't listen to them anyway. If I say, "Celebrities should just shut up and sing", I'd have to include those celebrities on my side, as well. So I just tune them all out. And I won't say that, either. They have a right to their opinions. They also have the right to be wrong.

And they usually are.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Quiz

I got this quiz off of Trixies site, but for some reason when I clicked it, it linked me to my own dashboard, so I had to go to ER's site for it.

You scored as Christianity. Your views are most similar to those of Christianity. Do more research on Christianity and possibly consider being baptized and accepting Jesus, if you aren't already Christian.

Christianity is the second of the Abrahamic faiths; it follows Judaism and is followed by Islam. It differs in its belief of Jesus, as not a prophet nor historical figure, but as God in human form. The Holy Trinity is the concept that God takes three forms: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (sometimes called Holy Spirit). Jesus taught the idea of instead of seeking revenge, one should love his or her neighbors and enemies. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to save humankind and forgive people's sins.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

As you can see, I scored 100% Christian. And then I offended Trixie. I didn't mean to, but I said I think if you score higher than 0% on Satanism, you might want to re-evaluate your belief system. I only answered the questions according to what the Bible says, because I believe the Bible to be completey true and infallible. See how you do.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chocolate City

"A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much or more we should ourselves complain."
~ William Shakespeare

I am laughing today as I sit here and type this, at the outrage expressed by people over the remarks of New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin when he used the words, "chocolate city" to describe New Orleans.

When I heard that the first time, I thought, "That's a pretty clever analogy". And that's exactly what it was, folks. An analogy. An analogy is kind of like a comparison. And whatever the reason, it was clever.

New Orleans was 70% black before the hurricanes. Mayor Nagin was attempting to re-assure his constituents, who had raised concerns that black people would be excluded from the "new" New Orleans, that he intends to rebuild the city the way it was.

As Nagin said, when dark chocolate and milk are blended together they create a delicious taste treat. I think the choice of the word "drink" was unfortunate and unnecessary. Milk chocolate candy is made with dark chocolate, milk and sugar. So, a city that is a mix of dark and light races would resemble a melting pot containing milk chocolate. That isn't racist. That describes inclusiveness and harmony between the races.

Now, what is racist is in the continuation of his statement, "This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be".

I know I get in trouble whenever I mention anything "religious" in my posts, but let me say this:

The Bible says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them".

In no place in the Bible is there a time when God made a distinction between the races. He created all people equal. God would never intend for New Orleans to be a "Majority African-American" city.

So, the analogy of a "chocolate city" is an appropriate one in the sense that two or more races coming together in harmony creates something beautiful.

Now. That said, Hillary's remarks about Congress being a plantation were just stupid. And anyone that believes that drivel is just as misguided as she. I have tried to find something, anything, that can be construed as plantation-like in the House of Representatives, but I can't see the analogy. It simply doesn't fit.

Hillary should leave the analogies to Mayor Nagin.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Memories Of A Great Man

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." ~ Ronald Reagan

Mike, from Mike's America is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's first inauguration this week, on the 20th, and he has asked me, as well as many other bloggers, to write something of our memories of Reagan.

I do want to pay homage to Reagan, but I confess, I am woefully short of memories of that great man.

In 1981, when he was inaugurated for his first term, I was a proud Liberal. What I knew about politics, at that time, could have been inscribed on the head of a pin. This would explain why I was a Liberal. I didn't have a clue. I was much more concerned with making my fortune in the business world. How I wish I had paid more attention to the important things that were going on at that time!

Here are some of my impressions about Ronald Reagan that I had at the time:

As a Liberal, I didn't like him, and I fell into that Liberal way of mean spirited name calling and spreading lies and half truths about him, as is popular among the Liberal crowd even today. I believed the lies that the media told about him and even repeated them at every opportunity. However, I think it was during his presidency that my attitude changed. I can attribute one thing in particular that helped bring about that change of attitude:

I have always tried to be fair and intellectually honest with myself, if not outwardly. One thing I said almost from the beginning about Reagan was that he followed through with his campaign promises. That one singular thing impressed me favorably about him. I often told my colleagues, when he was discussed, "Well I don't agree with him, but you have to admit, he does what he said he would do".

I was also impressed with his sense of humor. You can't stay angry at a man with such great wit. Remember when he was shot in the assassination attempt? I remember how he looked up at Nancy, his life literally hanging by a thread, and said, "Honey, I forgot to duck."

It wasn't until much later that Americans found out how close to death he had actually come that day.

And then there was that crowning achievement, that I failed to grasp the importance of until much later. That glorious victory he celebrated when he stood in the face of the great Bear that was the Soviet Union, and said, "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall!"

He did what the naysayers predicted would never happen. He won the cold war!

Last year, a poll was taken by a television network, I forget which one, asking Americans who they considered the Greatest American. You probably already know this, but Ronald Reagan won.

I concur.

Well, you know me now. I am not now, nor will I ever again be a Liberal.
I think Ronald Reagan and his presidency was the main reason that I eventually switched teams. I wanted to be associated with a party of integrity and honesty, and it was in Ronald Reagan that those qualities were found.

I dearly wish I had more articulate insights to offer. My thoughts, I am sure, will be greatly eclipsed by the remembrances of so many other bloggers who were Reagan Republicans from the outset.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Letter To The Editor

"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers." ~Mahatma Gandhi

The local newspaper here had an article written by a David A Love, a writer for Progressive Media Project in Madison, Wisconsin, I guess, as a guest columnist. In it, Mr. Love made some pretty astounding statements. Normally, I don't bother to write letters to the editor, although I have on occasion, and had some printed. But this guy needs to be re-educated in my opinion and, since Lone Ranger and Mike from Mike's America probably didn't see this piece, (It can't even be found on PMP's web site!)I decided to take on the task myself. I think either of them could have replied to him better and more concisely than I.

He said since Dr. King died, "Americans have learned few lessons from King". His first example was, "37 million people live below the poverty line including 13 million children."

I had it in my mind that perhaps the percentage of those living below the poverty line might have been higher than that at the time of Dr. King's death, but I couldn't find much information specifically addressing that issue. So, I didn't reply, but I wonder what that has to do with racial equality. After all, black and poor are two words that are not synonomous.

Next, he said, "45 million of us don't have health insurance", But I think there are too many factors influencing that to draw the conclusion that Americans haven't learned to accept everyone as equals from that. Some people choose not to have health insurance, and anyway, that isn't the governments resposibilty. I decided not to address that statement in my reply as my letter was already getting longer than I wanted.

With that in mind, this is the letter that I sent to the editor of the Hagerstown Herald Mail, addressing the rest of the statements he made:

To the Editor:

According to your guest columnist, David A. Love, in the article entitled, America Should Honor King's Teachings, (Herald Mail Monday Jan. 16) "Americans have learned few lessons" since the death of Martin Luther King Jr.

Apparently, Mr. Love is a member of the "old Media", a media that stubbornly and arrogantly assumes the readers will blindly accept whatever they say as fact, without questioning or doing research. That is a mistake. In this age of the internet, fact checking can be done effortlessly and without having to have a formal education. Let me set him straight.

Today, a black man can enter any restaurant or lunch counter anywhere in America, including the deep south, and sit down next to a white man without fear of being lynched. Or even frowned upon.

And we haven't learned?

No more are there two sets of bathrooms or drinking fountains, one labeled white and one labeled colored. Today a black man can drink from any water source he wants to without fear of angering any white people. In fact, it is doubtful that any white people would give him a second glance.

And we haven't learned?

There are no more lynchings, no more black church bombings, no more middle of the night abductions of black people followed by brutal beatings.

And we haven't learned?

No one forces black girls to sit in the back of the bus, or stands in the doorway of schools to block their entrance.

And we haven't learned?

Today Black writers can write editorials that make outrageously racially biased statenents without fear of retribution. You couldn't have written your piece in a mainstream newspaper in 1960, Mr. Love.

What haven't we learned?

Yes, Mr. Love, there are isolated incidents where some backward, ignorant racist, white people burn crosses in front yards and scrawl racist graffiti on black people's houses, etc. But those instances are few and far between. And there are more, much more incidents of black racists committing racially motivated crimes nowadays.

Mr. Love also writes, "The devastation in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast brought to light the lingering problems of race and class."

Recently some interesting information was reported in newspapers and on television and radio news outlets across the country: More white people were effected adversely by the hurricanes than blacks.

What lingering problems, Mr. Love?

Next, Mr. Love makes this claim:

"And the nation squanders away it's resources on the failed war in Iraq."

Oh really? What exactly, is Mr. Love's criteria for what constitutes a "failed war"?

For the first time since Saddam Hussein gained power in Iraq, free and independent elections have been held. Not just one. Three of them in the last year.

A murderous, vicious, sadistic dictator, who had hundreds of thousands of his own people slaughtered has been deposed.

Torture and rape rooms all over Iraq have been shut down. Women, who up until now, have been treated as second class citizens at best and pack animals at worst, have attained personhood in Iraq.

And all this at the cost of many less American lives than have died in any of America's previous wars.

And we haven't learned?

His last point:

"On March 31, 1968 King preached his final sermon...four days before his assassination. In the sermon, he noted that, 'one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, and the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.'"

Mr. Love, it's time to wake up from your 35 year nap, and see what Americans have learned.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Let's Go South

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable." ~Clifton Fadiman

I received this in an e-mail recently. I don't believe I can add anything to it:

If you are ready for the adventure of a lifetime, TRY THIS:

Enter Mexico illegally. Never mind immigration quotas, visas, International law, or any of that nonsense.

Once there, demand that the local government provide free medical care for you and your entire family.

Demand bilingual nurses and doctors.

Demand free bilingual local government forms, bulletins, etc.

Procreate abundantly.

Deflect any criticism of this allegedly irresponsible reproductive behavior with, "It is a cultural USA thing. You would not understand, pal."

Keep your American identity strong. Fly Old Glory from your rooftop, or proudly display it in your front window or on your car bumper.

Speak only English at home and in public and insist that your children do likewise.

Demand classes on American culture in the Mexican school system.

Demand a local Mexican driver license. This will afford other legal rights and will go far to legitimize your unauthorized, illegal presence in Mexico.

Drive around with no liability insurance and ignore local traffic laws.

Insist that local Mexican law enforcement teach English to all its officers.

Good luck! You'll be demanding for the rest of time or until you’re dead, which will probably be sooner than you think.

Because it will never happen. It will not happen in Mexico or any other country in the world except right here in the United States, Land of the naive and stupid, idiotic, politically correct politicians.

Actually, I do have something to say about this: I traveled to Mexico once. It was a trip I won as a prize in an incentive contest at the company where I worked at the time. The general manager of my office and his wife were not allowed to enter the country because his wife had written a note to herself on the back of her passport. They had to fly all the way back to Kansas City and go through a day's worth of red tape in order to join us.

Why, with the resources that America has, far superior to every other country in the world, can't we stop illegal immigration?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King Day

"I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Holy Cow! I was so caught up in creating that new blog and typing out that lengthy post on it, that I plumb forgot that yesterday was Martin Luther King's Birthday!

There I was, looking for something interesting to write about and the most obvious post was right there in front of my salt-and-pepper bearded face!

Instead I elected to conduct, for my loyal readers, an unprecedented tour inside the disconnected, jumbled, morass that I call my mind. Some might call it a tour de farce. (Misspelling intended) I have already been accused of being unhinged more than once. Once again, though, I digress. I seem to be digressing more lately. I wonder if it has anything to do with my advanced age? (he said, as he digressed again)

Seriously though, I do want to say a few words in honor of Martin Luther King, and I am sure you are all aware by now, that I always try to put a fresh perspective on the subjects on which I expound. I think most of you will agree, that this will be such a perspective.

I Googled Martin Luther King's name and I came up with thousands of websites that mentioned him. The reason I had to use Google to find out what I should have already known, is because in 1968, when he died, I was a Liberal, and a racist, and I didn't much care at the time. Of course, I already knew that he was a champion of non-violent protest and civil disobedience and he proved that those concepts do work to effect change. But, upon reading a list of 99 quotes attributed to Dr. King, an interesting phenomena jumped out at me:

Out of 99 quotes, only 2 mentioned anything negative about "White people", and even those two were benign in comparison to most of the things his protege, Jesse Jackson says. I am including both of them in these sample quotes:

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

I have a dream that one day the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

The Negro's great stumbling block in the drive toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice.

It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society

I highlighted the quotes I alluded to.

I think it's significant that Dr. King didn't waste his time complaining about the white people. Or criticizing them. He wasn't asking to be considered superior to whites, but rather, equal. This, to me, is what set him apart from the rank-and-file civil rights activists. He harbored no hatred for the white people. Not for the whites that were merely ignorant, who didn't know any better due to the divide that had existed between the races from the early days of America, and not for the whites that were intentionally hateful and antagonistic to the blacks. And if anyone had a right to hate us, he most certainly did.

He showed respect to the white people because he understood something my father used to try to teach me:

"If you want to be respected, you have to respect others." An admonition I have been forgetting too often lately. I resolve to try to correct that in the future.

He had an understanding of their ignorance and prejudice that passed all understanding. Surely the Love of a benevolent and loving God, for Whom he had such respect, motivated him in his efforts to bring about social change in this country.

It is that love and faith in the Almighty that will ultimately effect the kind of change he envisioned for America, and, indeed, for the world. There is perhaps a lesson that we all should learn from that.

One wonders how different race relations would be here in America had he not come to such an untimely and violent end.

All of us have heard the famous "I have a dream" speech, or at least, snippets of the speech that Dr. King gave. It is my conviction that all of us share in that dream, for it is an admirable one. And one that has far reaching implications regarding the future of humanity.

I think Dr. King "got it".

By the way, Certain people who obviously don't understand Martin Luther King's message, are planning various "Bash Bush" events to mark the ocassion.

Now. Change of subject.

I was playing around on the internet today, when I came across this website, which to my surprise, contained all the essays (articles, opinion pieces, blogposts, whatever you want to call them)that I had written here on my blog! And they didn't even acknowledge me as the author!

I don't know if I should be insulted or flattered. I have asked the smartest, or at least the most technical savvy person I know, Tech, "Who are these people and why are they posting my blogposts without giving me credit?" He doesn't know, but suggested I copyright my stuff.

I'm not sure I am damaged by this, yet, though. Can anyone else provide some insight?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Good Thing He Was Guilty

"Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends." --J. R. R. Tolkien

Virginia Governor Mark Warner(D) last week received results of DNA testing in a capital murder case in an effort to either confirm or deny the guilt of convicted murderer, Robert Keith Coleman.

What is singularly compelling in this particular case, is that Robert Keith Coleman has been dead for over 13 years. He was duly executed, according to Virginia State law, in 1992.

There has been speculation in the media and in the blogosphere, as to what his motivation might be for ordering DNA testing to be done now, when it is so obviously too late. If testing concluded that Virginia executed the wrong man, he is still dead.

A lot of people have made the point that ordering DNA testing on a long since executed prisoner is a political move. But to what political end? I haven't really given the matter a lot of thought.

I have been busy the last two days creating a new and separate blog for the purpose of setting down in text, an old tape recorded message I had listened to so much, that I have it pretty well memorized over the years. I lost my copy of the tape when I moved to Maryland, so I wanted to get what I remember of it down before my memory fails me further. But I digress.

I am going to think this thing out as I type. Here is how my thought processes work:

Warner is a Democrat. I know nothing more about him other than he is considered, according to Wikipedia, almost a clone of Bill Clinton, politically.

Let's hope he isn't a clone of Clinton, morally. Dang! I digress again.

Ok. Where was I? Oh. As I mentioned, Warner is a Democrat, which leads me to think that he is likely against the death penalty, but that isn't set in stone. So, the case can be made that testing the DNA of someone who has already been executed, for an anti-death penalty Governor would seem to indicate that he was attempting to make some sort of point. It strikes me, that if he is indeed an opponent of the death penalty, he is taking a big chance in testing if he is seeking to posthumously exonerate the man.

I have personally been actively involved in jury trials, once as a jurist, and once as (I blush to say) a defendant, and I have come to the conclusion, based on those experiences, that jury's seldom make mistakes. You see? When someone is called to jury duty, and is approved to sit on said jury, they tend, for the most part, to take their duty very seriously, and to do their very best to render a fair and impartial verdict. In addition, it is very hard to secure a guilty verdict against anyone since the criteria for rendering that verdict is so narrow.

Hence, someone who is found guilty is found guilty with out a doubt. This is not to say mistakes are never made. I am quite sure that on occasion, some one has no doubt gone to jail, or been executed wrongfully. The odds are simply too high in favor of that conclusion.

Getting back to my point, (Boy! I bet I must have been fun in bars when I used to drink, eh?) If Mark Warner wanted to find proof that Coleman was innocent after all these years, it may have been so he could run for higher office on the basis, partly, that he has found proof that sometimes innocent men get executed, thus smugly shoring up what could be a contentious plank in his platform. I say "smugly" because if he discovered what he was hoping to discover, he would probably wear that triumph like a badge of honor. I know I would.

If that was Warner's goal, he must have been somewhat disappointed when the test came back proving conclusively that he was, as the jury concluded, guilty of the murder for which he was executed.

On the other hand, if he called for the testing in order to validate the findings of the court, it might have been to possibly silence his critics, again, in preparation for a run at a higher office. That same Wikipedia article indicated he hasn't shied away from denying clemency appeals in the past. Warner has denied clemency in 11 other cases that have come before him as governor.

Two more points, then I'll go away.

Wikipedia says, "On November 29, 2005, as is his prerogative as governor, Warner commuted the death sentence of Robin Lovitt to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Lovitt was convicted of murdering Clayton Dicks at an Arlington pool hall in 1999. After his trial in 2001, a court clerk illegally destroyed evidence that was used against Lovitt during his trial, but that could have exonerated him upon further DNA testing. A few weeks earlier, Virginia implemented a law requiring the preservation of DNA evidence in death row cases."

I think maybe, illegally destroying evidence that could be used to overturn a conviction may have something to do with Warner's decision to order the tests.

Lastly, It just occurred to me that the jury members that participated in Coleman's trial might also be breathing a sigh of relief at the news that they didn't send an innocent man to the chair after all. Can you imagine how guilty they would have felt had the test showed him to be innocent?

Wow! That brings up another thought! A much more harrowing thought. If this practice of testing DNA years after the execution becomes very common, it strikes me that it is possible that some jury members, somewhere down the road, could feel very very guilty upon finding out the man they convicted was innocent! What would the repercussions of that revelation bring? It is possible that some poor innocent jury member might be so overwhelmed with guilt over that scenario, they could conceivably do themselves in, or at least, end up in years of counseling.

I wonder if Governor Warner considered that possibility.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

God's Way Or My Way Pt 1

"Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I'm not Him" --Father Cavenaugh (from the movie, "Rudy")

The following is a message that was given by a best selling Christian author. It is not word for word the same, as I can only recount it from memory.

There's really only two religions in the world. Either God is God or man is God. It all boils down into one of those two categories. It is also a reflection of two attitudes. You are either going to have an attitude like Christ had, or you're going to have an attitude like Lucifer (aka Satan) has.

Let's look at the two attitudes.

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV) tells us, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who being in very nature, God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every other name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and in Earth, and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Now. Bear in mind that Jesus, who is God, humbled Himself and became a man, which was very nice of Him, considering that most people today are trying to become God, the perfect opposite.

See? You have two attitudes there. You talk to some of these cultists or occultists and they say, "Oh, we're all God. Didn't Moses say we are all Gods?" Well, actually, no, he didn't, but that just shows how much they know, but anyway, then they get to Jesus and the first thing they say is, "Well, you know, He didn't really claim to be God".

Everybody gets to be God but Jesus! That just reflects the attitude that's out there.

But what's this other attitude? Where did it come from? What's it like? Well, let's go to Isaiah 14. This is where it began.

This is the fall of Lucifer. Beginning with verse 12: How you have fallen from Heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the Earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to the heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (NIV)

He said to himself, "I'm going to be the head honcho around here. I'm going to be in charge. I'm going to run the show, I'm going to be God, I'm going to make all the rules, create my own reality, have my own way, be the boss, I'm going to be the head honcho of Heaven."

But that didn't take him far. He got found out, and down to the earth he went. Now he's moping, and pouting, and stewing. "Boy that God, what a bad sport He is, kicking me out of heaven...Who does He think He is? God? I'm going to get God, if it's the last thing I do." And he puzzles with himself, trying to figure out how he's going to "get God".

And he wanders around on Earth until he stumbles across the garden of Eden, and he runs into the apple of God's eye, the joy of God's creation, the center of God's purpose. He looks upon...Mankind.

And he formulates a plan.

He thinks, "God, being totally just, had to kick me out of His presence, when I rebelled, when I wanted to do my own thing,when I wanted to be God. If I can convince mankind to buy into that same lie, and to assert himself and try to be God, and rebel against God, and be arrogant, God, being perfectly just, will have to kick him out of His presence, and kick mankind out of the garden, it's a beautiful plan!"

And, in the form of a snake, he sneaks into the garden.

There, he encounters Eve. Here is the way Genesis Chapter 3 describes the encounter:

Genesis 3:1 (NIV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" ( "I mean, really, Eve, Let's be open minded about this, Did God really say that? How do you know what God really said? I mean, after all, It's been translated so many times, it can't possibly be accurate any more.) 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman, "for God knows that when you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

In other words, "Eve, if you eat that fruit, you will have an altered, higher state of consciousness! You will see things you've never seen before! You'll have truth and reality you've never experienced before! You'll be able to create your own universe, call your own shots, make your own rules, you'll be able to judge for yourself what is right and what is wrong! You will be the ultimate arbitrator of all truth and all reality! Oh, what a package! All you have to do is eat the fruit!"

So Eve said, "Ok". And she ate the fruit.

But really, it's not the fruit. It's the fact that they ate the fruit, the fact that at a heart level, they decided, "I want to go for that. I want to do my own thing, have my own way, call my own shots, make my own rules...I want to be God".

Who could pass that up? Well, none of us ever did, you know.

It's called "sin".

(Read more here).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Introducing A New Party

"I was pulled over in Massachusetts for reckless driving. When brought before the judge, I was asked if I knew what the punishment for drunk driving in that state was. I said, "I don't know... reelection to the Senate?" --Emo Phillips

The second funniest thing I've heard in some time was yesterday, which was Rush Limbaugh's birthday, when his staff brought in a cake. When he asked what kind of cake, they said it was a yellow cake with white icing, to which Rush exclaimed, "Oh! It's a Joe Wilson cake!"

The funniest thing came in the same program, with Rush's rhetorical question: "If a baking contest is called a bake-off, what would you call a contest between jerks?"

He was, of course, referring to the shameful exhibition put on by the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel Alito.

And Rush had it right.

(hat tip to Little Miss Chatterbox for the cartoons)

They ARE jerks. There is absolutely no excuse for the shameful way they attacked Judge Alito. They accused him of being a bigot, a sexist, a right-wing zealot bent upon revoking the Constitutional freedoms of Americans, and a lunatic,
among other things. So much non-stop belittling and denigration, in fact, that Alito's wife was brought to tears, and had to leave the room.

And then, the Democrat apologists in the media blamed her tears on Republican Senator Lindsey Graham! Shameful.

I have stated before my opinion that the Liberals only have one plank in their platform, and this is where Mr. Limbaugh and I disagree. He says, (and a lot of others do, too) that it's all about abortion. And that is true, although I believe the abortion issue is more or less a part of the bigger issue, which is centered on their complete and utter hatred of George W Bush and his administration. That's it. The whole thing.

It doesn't matter what Bush's policies are. It doesn't matter what he does, or says. If he said the sky is blue, they would say he's a liar, it's really green.

Let me add a caveat here. Not ALL Democrats are liberals, and not all liberals are Bush haters.

With that in mind, may I offer a proposal to the really extreme left wing Liberal Bush haters in both the Democratic party and the Republican party? This is my proposal:

Start a new party. Break away from the traditional parties of which you currently are a part.

I even have a name for your new party. Try this on for size:

The Contrarian Party.

Like the Elephant which symbolizes the Republican party and the Jackass that symbolizes the Democratic party, the Contrarian Party symbol can be the Pushmepullyou. The Llama-like animal featured in the original "Dr Doolittle" film. Remember? It had two heads and two sets of front legs, and it never got anywhere because the heads constantly wanted to go in opposite directions.

Like John Kerry or Hillary Clinton.

It fits. The current crop of Liberals in the United States legislative bodies are simply that. They are contrary. Every Presidential appointee and every piece of legislation that is submitted by the Republican party is attacked and denigrated and argued against, even when it makes perfect sense. Or I suppose one could say, "Contrary to common sense." And I will say again, Contrarians are not limited to only the Democrats. There are some Contrarians that are Republican, too. Or at least they have an "R" behind their names.

And their platform would be easy to build. It would only take one plank.

Kind of hard to stand on, though.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

To Cry or Not To Cry

"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts" -~ Charles Dickens

Yesterday, on Laura Ingraham's show, she was talking about actor Brendan Fraser's acceptance speech on some awards show, when, at one point, his voice cracked with emotion. Laura seems to think that if a man cries he is somehow less manly or something. I don't know.

This wasn't the first time she has made an allusion to, and derided, "emotional" men. I suspect there has been some trauma in her life that affected her and causes her to think less of emotional men.

I love Laura Ingraham. I want her to have my children. But this attitude she has against men who show emotion troubles me. I don't think she's being fair. A lot of very strong, virile men can be overcome with emotion at times. I don't believe it's a personality flaw.

I cry on occasion.

I remember several years ago when my daughter, who was 21 at the time, took 80 extra strength Tylenol and hovered on the brink of death for a week in the hospital. When the realization struck me that my precious little girl might die, I cried. Kids aren't supposed to die before their parents.

When I think about the sacrifice that the young men in our armed forces make in defense of our country, I admit to getting a little misty.

When I remember the feeling of an enormous weight being lifted off my shoulders when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I have to dab at the corner of my eyes.

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and caused so much damage, hurt, and suffering, my eyes brimmed with tears.

When that same Hurricane made me realize that I was a racist, and the shame of that realization brought me to my knees, I cried.

I had to quit trying to sing solos in church because I always chose sacred songs that mean a lot to me to sing, and I couldn't get through them without my voice breaking.

When I think of what Jesus has done for me, and where I might have been if He hadn't, it always chokes me up.

When I watched Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ", and as I sat there and thought, "That's what I deserve, but He went through it so I don't have to", I cried like a baby.

When I heard about the travails of Joshua Sparling and his family, the soldier in Walter Reed Army hospital who barely survived an IED explosion in Iraq, Tears come to my eyes.

Some jerk actually sent that brave soldier a Christmas card telling him to die.

When nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were murdered by terrorists, I was too shocked to cry, but since then, when I am reminded of that horrible day, I tear up.

When I see the American flag proudly waving, and hear the strains of "Taps" at the funeral of a fallen American soldier I am overcome with emotion.

Sometimes, when I write blog posts about things I feel very strongly about, I view my keyboard through tear dimmed eyes.

Certain movies, and stories, and books put a lump in my throat.

I am quite certain, that if my fantasy of getting a date with Laura Ingraham ever came true, I would spoil it by breaking down in tears of gratefulness.

Especially since I know she doesn't respect men who cry.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Waste Of Time

"To give a satisfactory decision as to the truth it is necessary to be rather an arbitrator than a party to the dispute." --Aristotle

I fail to see why the Senate Judicial Committee even conducts these hearings. The outcome is already fixed. The Democrats will vote against Alito, and the Republicans will vote for him.

There is no need to ask Alito any questions. The Democrats have already made up their minds. If Alito said, "As a Supreme Court Justice, I will vote to change the Constitution in favor of the Liberals at every possible opportunity," the Democrats would still vote against him. And not because they believe in judicial restraint, because nothing would delight them more than judicial activism in their favor. Alito has demonstrated beyond a doubt that he is fair and impartial, but that isn't what the Democrats want. If it was, they would approve him by a unanimous vote.

They don't want Alito on the Supreme Court because Bush nominated him. That's all.

This appointment isn't about ideologies, or judicial activism, or judicial restraint or fairness. It is about power. The Democrats on the Judicial Committee are obsessed with winning the majority back on the legislature. Nothing else matters to them. They are still angry that Bush won the election in 2000, and they will stop at nothing and stoop as low as necessary to accomplish that end. Anything to make Bush look incompetent and foolish.

They want their power back.

But here's a news flash for them:

They are doing more to hurt their chances than they are to help them. The American people are not stupid, as the Democrats apparently think. They see through this obvious attempt to undermine the Presidency.

It will not work. The American people are too smart to buy what the Democrats are selling. We want solutions, not questions. Positive suggestions, not complaints. Plans that build, not plans that divide.

If the Democrats want to win Senate and House seats this year, they had better come up with a workable plan, and that doesn't mean tearing down the President. It means come up with a plan to stop illegal immigration and plans to prevent attacks on America from terrorists, and plans to further reduce taxes and reduce pork in the budget.

These are among the things that America wants.

But what America wants the most is security. And pointing out perceived inadequacies in the present administration is counter-productive.

Lie Of The Day (From Laura Ingraham's web site)
"To put it plainly, average Americans have had a hard time getting a fair shake in [Judge Alito's] courtroom," claimed Sen. Ted Kennedy, in his opening remarks at the Alito hearings.

Oh REALLY?!? Check out Byron York's latest piece, linked on our "Read It Or Weep" section.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Kennedy's Shame

"I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart: but the saying is true 'The empty vessel makes the greatest sound". -- William Shakespeare

Well, the Alito confirmation hearings have begun and already Senator Ted Kennedy has embarrassed himself and his party.

To begin with, he has demonstrated that he is so focused on trying to destroy Alito's character, and in the process, Bush's presidency, that he doesn't even know the appointees name.

In his first statement Kennedy announced, "In an era when America is still too divided by race and riches, Judge "Alioto" has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color alleging race discrimination on the job. In fifteen years on the bench, not one."

Before I address the obvious false accusation here let me make an observation:

It is my opinion that the mispronunciation of Alito's name was intentional, and I'll tell you why I think so. But first some background.

Has anyone noticed in movies and TV shows that whenever one character seeks to show utter contempt and disrespect to another, and gain a measure of psychological intimidation, that they always call the object of their disrespect by the wrong name? Think about it.

I direct you to the best example I can think of which is the old sitcom, "Bewitched". If you remember, the premise is that a mortal man, named Darrin Stevens, married an immortal witch named Samantha. Samantha's mother, Endora, didn't like Darrin and continually called him any other name than Darrin. Names like Darwin, Darrel, and Dum-dum, etc. It was her way of demonstrating disrespect.

I myself, when I managed a telemarketing office many years ago, would tell my staff not to worry about accidentally calling someone by the wrong name or mispronouncing their name. My reasoning was that it tends to unconsciously intimidate them, and gives you the upper hand at the outset. It is a psychological advantage.

The butchering of Alito's name by Kennedy was intentional. As was my choice of this unflattering picture of Kennedy.

Now, let me address Teddy's direct. He alleges that Alito never issued a single ruling that favors people of color. This is patently absurd. Let's take a look at Alitos alleged racial bias:

* In Zubi v. AT&T Corp., 219 F.3d 220 (3d Cir. 2000), Judge Alito dissented from the majority's holding that a man who claimed he was fired because of his race could not sue in federal court. According to Judge Alito, the plaintiff was entitled to sue because a longer statute of limitations applied. The Supreme Court later vindicated Judge Alito's dissent. See Jones v. Donnelly & Sons Co., 541 U.S. 369 (2004).

* In Goosby v. Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., 228 F.3d 313 (3d Cir. 2000), a race and sex discrimination case, Judge Alito reversed the district court's decision to grant summary judgment to the defendant employer. The Third Circuit ruled that the plaintiff, a black woman, had introduced enough evidence to call into doubt the employer's explanation for why she was given lower-quality assignments.

* In Smith v. Davis, 248 F.3d 249 (3d Cir. 2001), an African-American probation officer brought a claim of race and disability discrimination in violation of Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Judge Alito joined a unanimous decision to reverse the lower court's grant of summary judgment for the defendant employer.

* Judge Alito's dissent in Sheridan v. DuPont, 100 F.3d 1061 (3d Cir. 1996) (en banc), is a principled balancing of the interests of employees and employers, and the Supreme Court later vindicated it.

* Judge Alito interpreted the Supreme Court's holding in a previous case as requiring that a Title VII plaintiff who produces certain evidence ­ i.e., that the employer's stated reason for the employment decision was false ­ should "usually" but not necessarily "always" be permitted to go to trial.

* The Supreme Court agreed with Judge Alito's Sheridan dissent in Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133 (2000). Reeves was a unanimous opinion signed by Justice O'Connor ­ whose seat Judge Alito is poised to take.

* In Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 110 F.3d 986 (3d Cir. 1997), Judge Alito would have affirmed the trial court's ruling for the employer because the plaintiff, an African-American woman, had failed to meet her burden of proof under relevant Supreme Court precedent.

* Marriott explained that it promoted a white female instead of the plaintiff because the white female had a higher objective employee rating, had superior experience, and had participated in more seminars and training sessions.

* Judge Alito argued that discrimination claims require evidence of actual discrimination, not just evidence that an employer failed to comply with its own internal procedures.

* Judge Alito has held that prosecutors' efforts to exclude African-Americans from juries is unconstitutional discrimination.

* In Jones v. Ryan, 987 F.2d 960 (3d Cir. 1993), an African-American defendant was convicted in Pennsylvania court of robbery and criminal conspiracy; at trial, the prosecutor used peremptory challenges to exclude three African-Americans from the jury. Judge Alito joined a unanimous opinion holding that the prosecutor had discriminated against the potential jurors on the basis of race, and granting the defendant habeas relief.

* In Brinson v. Vaughn, 398 F.3d 225 (3d Cir. 2005), an African-American defendant was convicted of first-degree murder in Pennsylvania court and sentenced to life in prison. The prosecutor had used 13 out of 14 peremptory challenges against African-American potential jurors, and Judge Alito held that this pattern raised an inference of discrimination.

Kennedy knows these facts, too. He is just banking on the ignorance of the American people. He has learned the Liberal agenda well.

Liberals think we are stupid!

Ted Kennedy has once again demonstrated that he is not the least bit interested in facts, only in denigrating and disrespecting Conservatives.

Here's a bonus quote:

"It's quite amazing; he's the grand inquisitor, and he's never answered a question about Chappaquiddick since 1968".
-- Fox News Legal Contributor Liz Trotta, on Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

I think it's time for Teddy to consider an alternative line of work. Perhaps He could get a job as an instructor for the YMCA, teaching swimming. He seems to be proficient in that.

Mary Jo Kopechne, as usual, could not be reached for comment.

Monday, January 09, 2006

One Thinks What One Reads?

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." --Groucho Marx

I recently promised myself that I would stay away from the topic of religion on my blog for a variety of reasons, not the least of, it tends to cause division between myself and some of my readers for whom I have a lot of respect. I don't want to breed hard feelings against them, nor do I want to be the source of hard feelings against me.

In short, I like to be liked.

Also, I am far from an authority on the subject. Therefore, my opinion is no better than anyone else's, and if someone is wrestling with an issue of spiritual importance, I can offer my view on it but would heartily recommend they go to their pastor for validation or rebuttal, whichever is appropriate.

With that in mind, I respectfully address a recent comment made on a blogger buddies blog, to the query, "Tell me about your Bible(s).

What translation is it? What tradition, editor, etc.? I'm thinking about buying myself a new one, for a return to something akin to regular reading and study.

What do y'all use? What do you recommend?"

This was one answer, and the principle one I want to address:

"If you are serious and want to STUDY the Bible and not what someone says about the Bible, then I recommend the following...."

There followed several paragraphs of recommendations including "a scholarly History of the New testament, that is a HISTORY not a commentary and one for the Old testament as well."

And then, the Commenter finished up with this instruction:

"Read your basic scripture from any version you feel most comfortable with, and then go to these seven books to form your own understanding of it. Then, and only then, check the "commentaries" for what insight they may bring."

All of that in answer to, "What versions do you use and what do you recommend?"

Hooo boy!

Let me first point out a paradox of sorts. Go Back to the first statement,"If you want to study the Bible and not what someone says about the Bible..."

And then return to the last statement, "then check the commentaries for what insight they will bring". Well, excuse me, but wouldn't that be what someone says about the Bible?

Sometimes I think one can be a mite too educated. I wonder if when these people who own doctorates are faced with an issue or a thought provoking statement, if they actually think about their answer or if their brain automatically triggers a snippet of memory from one of their myriad classes and the professors teaching them. Do they give the matter personal thought or do they simply recall a profound statement that issued from the learned vocal chords of an instructor in one of their institutions of higher learning, and then, repeat it?

Perhaps they have lost the ability to separate whether it is an original thought from their own brains logic center, or a photocopy of a statement made by a mentor somewhere in their academic past.

When asked, "What do you think?" do the wheels of the mind turn independently,and give voice to the thought that presents itself, or do they, like some organic VCR, simply replay what someone else they respected thought back when they roamed the halls of ivy, in search of the ultimate truth?

Do they go immediately to their reference library and select an appropriate book to see what, exactly, they do think?

I think some people may be afflicted with the enigmatic ocular malady which prevents them from seeing the forest for the trees. But in these cases more accurately, can't find the original thought amongst the tons of scholarly volumes stored on the dusty bookshelves of the mind.

Don't jump to the conclusion that I think these Doctors and Masters cannot think for themselves. But I do wonder how much and how often? I wonder if they themselves know.

I am not denigrating these people. I have tons of respect for anyone who can put themselves through the difficulties of higher learning and actually finish. I don't think I have the patience to jump through all those hoops. More power to them.

My nephew has recently received a doctorate. My brother (his father) is a true genius and he chose not to continue his education past his Masters degree. That was his choice and I think he is pretty satisfied with himself overall.

By the way, the commenter also mentioned relying on the King James version of the Bible, and many fine Christians agree that the King James is the definitive authority on the Word of God. I enjoy the challenges of interpreting the "olde English" myself.

But the King James is, like the New International Version, just one of many very good versions translated directly from the original Greek. The purpose of King James in commissioning a translation of the original Greek into the language of 17th century England was so that it could be understood by 17th century Christians. Like wise, many of the versions available today are also direct translations of the original Greek into the language of today.

So they are fundamentally the same. The modern versions are just easier for the average reader of today to understand them.