Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gambling or Gaming?

"The safest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket." ~ Kin Hubbard

I like to listen to Laura Ingraham's show in the mornings, but there is only one radio station in the area that broadcasts it and unfortunately it only broadcasts 2 of the 3 hours. So, I listen to it on the internet, on the same radio station that broadcasts Lores' show, "Just a Woman", KRLA out of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the two hours of Laura's program starts at 10:00AM here on WRNR in Martinsburg WV. And I have to be on my way to work during that 1st hour on Mondays. So that explains why I was listening to the local program instead of Laura's yesterday morning.

I really can't complain too much, however, because the local show that is on, hosted by Tom Tucker, is usually a very interesting show involving local politics and issues that concern those in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.

Now. I said all that to say this:

On yesterday's program, Tom's guest was the president of Charlestown's (WV) Racing and Slots, the biggest "gaming" industry in the area. I put quotes around the word, "gaming" for a reason that I will go into in a minute.

These people look happy, don't they?

Usually, I agree with Mr. Tucker and his guests. He is a Conservative. But I have to object to the content of yesterday's program which glorified, in my opinion, legalized gambling. I believe gambling is very destructive to the family. I know it is supposed to create jobs, improve roads and schools and lead to the betterment of the quality of life in general. And I suppose, although I've never seen any proof of it, that it does do those things.

But at what costs?

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to take a cruise on a ship in the Caribbean. The ship had casinos on board and they were the most popular places on the ship. I had never gambled before, except for small friendly bets among friends, and I thought I would try my luck at the slots. I quickly won about 50 dollars more than I spent.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

But herein lies the root of the problem. This is how gambling sucks you in. I now understand why people get addicted to gambling. That big score seems right within our grasp. Just out of reach. Just around the corner. One more bet and I'll be set for life. Right?

Encouraged by the lure of winning more money, I continued gambling until I had lost all that I had won, plus another 50 dollars. That is where I stopped, and have never gambled again. Good for me, right?

Unfortunately, some people don't know when to stop. And then gambling becomes an obsession. And when it becomes obsession it destroys lives.

But gambling is fun, right?

I've heard a lot of people describe gambling as fun, and I suppose it is. Right up until the your luck changes. Then it's not so much fun. My ex wife became addicted to gambling. I'll never forget the evening she asked me for $50.00 and didn't want to tell me what she needed it for. (She didn't need to ask, it was just as much her money as it was mine) She didn't tell me why she wanted it, but I knew. I told her to just go ahead and flush 50 dollars down the toilet and stay home and save the gas. Of course, she didn't. She went. And she lost it all.

Today would have been our 16th wedding anniversary.

Gambling is fun, right?

I once heard a radio interview with an opponent to legalized gambling, who described the veritable plethora of pawn shops in the immediate vicinity of the casinos in Las Vegas. He spoke about interviewing some of the pawn shop proprietors, one of which produced, from under the counter, a box full of gold teeth. Collected from gamblers who were so addicted to gambling that they actually pulled gold teeth out of their mouths to pawn for more gambling money.

But gambling is fun, right?

A few years ago, back in Kansas City, which has river boat casinos, I was in a pawn shop looking for cheap electronic equipment. A woman came in carrying two shotguns in their cases. The clerks there knew her by name. One of them said to her, "Harvey's been to the boats again, eh, Mrs Jones?" (not their real names) I'll never forget the look of desperate resignation on her face as she nodded wordlessly in the affirmative.

I wondered if she was trying to gather together enough money to pay the rent, or utilities, or feed her family. How miserable that family must have been! How sad!

But gambling is fun, right?

And now, the government passes laws allowing gambling in many states in America. Saying the tax revenue produced will go to improve roads and schools and civic improvements of diverse kinds. The gambling industry's lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington, and in the various state capitols.

Oh, yes, state and local governments reap the benefits of the tax monies generated by the casinos and race tracks. While individuals lose every cent they have earned, along with their houses, cars, possessions of every kind, and their families.

But gambling is fun, right?

And while the casino owners line their pockets with money that might have paid somebody's rent, or bills, but instead, lost it to the dealers, or the slot machines, or the ponies.

But gambling is fun, right?

And these scum bags that promote this evil that destroys families and lives smile and call it "gaming". Does any one besides me see that as an intentional use of an innocuous word that has a more acceptable connotation than the word, "gambling"?

That's kind of like calling an unborn baby a fetus because it sounds less human that way, thereby making it something easier to kill with a good conscience.

Doesn't that tell us all we really need to know about the "Gaming" industry's real intentions? Does anyone really believe that gambling is good for people and families?

If gambling is so good for the people, why do they feel the need to call it something that sounds like fun instead of what it really is?

The gambling industry is required by law, in some states, if not all of them, to provide information to their customers (victims) about what resources they can contact in case gambling becomes a problem, such as Gamblers Anonymous.

If gambling is so good for people, why are organizations like Gambler's Anonymous even necessary?

But gambling is fun, right?

No, gambling isn't fun. Not really. It is destructive.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Change in Title

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." ~ Matthew 7:6

I have changed the title of this blog. The address remains the same, so those of you who click on "4 rows back in the bleacher seats" on your blogroll to get here will still get here that way. The reason for the change is because I seem to get more commentators who are Liberals than Conservatives here, and no matter how logical the point, they won't agree. Hence, this new title is more appropriate.

Not that I think Liberals are swine. Many aren't. It's just an expression.

This Secretive Administration

"Reveal not every secret you have to a friend, for how can you tell but that friend may hereafter become an enemy. And bring not all mischief you are able to upon an enemy, for he may one day become your friend." ~ Saadi

There's been a lot of speculation lately in regards to this administration's policy of secrecy. Many of President Bush's opponents are declaring that the Bush Administration is the most secretive of any administration in history.

They say that like it's a bad thing.

Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying words to that effect recently in the wake of the Dick Cheney non-issue involving his unfortunate hunting accident. Aside from the fact that as first lady, she was involved in quite a bit of secret behind the scenes shenanagins in her own right, it would seem to me that perhaps a little secrecy wouldn't be such a bad thing right now, in light of the fact that we are at war.

Yes, I know that the Democrats will be quick to point out that the war we are in currently is an undeclared war. That is a semantical point that could be argued ad infinitum. Democrats may say war was never declared, and Republicans can make the valid point that a declaration of war is implied when the Congress voted to authorize the use of force in the effort to subdue Saddam Hussein and by so doing, neutralize what can be argued to be a threat to the United States.

I don't intend to address that argument today.

Digression aside, my point is this: During any conflict between America and any combatants, whether uniformed or non-uniformed, secrecy is necessary in keeping the enemy unaware of what our future moves will be.

I made the point in a post some time back that there is truth in the adage, "Loose lips sink ships", which was a popular slogan during World war II. It means we shouldn't reveal anything to anybody anything that could, in any way, compromise the outcome or the execution of any armed conflict in which we happen to find ourselves involved.

Democrats will find themselves agreeing with that statement as long as we are talking about leaking the name of a CIA employee. And as long as the one who leaked the information was a Republican. In the Valerie Plame case, they are sticking to their story that a law was broken, even though it has been firmly established that Valerie Plame was not covert at the time of said "outing", and as such, could not have been outed. Non covert agents are not protected from being identified.

But where is the Democrats outrage at the leaking of secret information regarding how the security forces in our country go about the very important task of gathering intelligence information about known enemies? Enemies that have publicly stated their goal of killing every man, woman and child in the United States?

There are no Democrats calling for an investigation of how the New York Times came to have classified secret information about the NSA surveillance of enemy communications within and without the borders of the United States.

Not only is there no outrage, they have mounted an all out assault on the President for daring to try to use intelligence gathering in an attempt to protect this country from further 9/11 type attacks, or worse.

The only thing all this political shoving match during a time of war will get us is a very possible attack by our enemies. I can just see bin-Laden now, waiting until America's attention is diverted away from National security, as Republicans scramble to acquiesce to the Democrats incessant demands that we immediately cease and desist arrantly wiretapping, and put the program on hold long enough to appease the Democrats.

He might even be hoping to get all the Congress together in one place so he can bomb the Capitol, while the two parties are engaged in debating the importance of secret wiretaps, and whether it is legal to know in advance if we are going to be attacked again or not.

It just seems to me, that if we are allowed no more secrets, there may soon be no Americans left to worry about whether the Government is listening into their phone calls to Aunt Emma and Uncle Clyde.

I think secrecy is a good thing. What if we hadn't allowed our security forces to spy on Germany and Japan in World War II? What if we had declared the way we attained information about our enemies was illegal in World War I?

Do you realize that had it not been for a Union soldier fortuitously finding a secret plan that had been carelessly discarded by one of General Lee's aides, the Union may not have defeated the Confederacy in the war between the states?

What if some opportunistic political foe of the President had cried foul and pressured President Lincoln to ignore what the soldier had found, and even insisted in prosecuting the hapless snoop, because he obtained the document without first getting a warrant?

Perhaps this great country of ours would now be known as the Confederated States of America and we would still own slaves.

Now, project that same scenario, but with the added advantage of modern technology, into todays debates about secrecy in the Administration. Are President Bush's opponents absolutely sure they want full disclosure of what we are doing to protect this country?

Yes, I believe there is something to be said in favor of secrecy in matters of national security, and in some other things, as well.

I think there are just some things I don't need to know.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Don Knotts (July 21, 1924 – February 24, 2006)

"The most difficult character in comedy is that of a fool, and he must be no simpleton who plays the part." ~ Miguel de Cervantes

The "Andy Griffith Show" is probably my all time favorite TV show, so the news of Don Knotts death brings back a flood of memories to me.

I always identified with Deputy Barney Fife, maybe more than most people. In some ways I am different than most people who identify with Knotts' character because I didn't particularly like the way in which Barney was portrayed. I felt sorry for him. I couldn't bring myself to laugh at his ineptness.

It hit too close to home.

Don Knotts often said his favorite of all the Andy Griffith episodes was the "Pickle Story", in which Aunt Bea (Frances Bavier) canned a batch of pickles for the county fair, which, according to Andy and Barney, and at least two of the judges, tasted very much like kerosene.

If you remember that episode, Barney wasn't portrayed as a bumbling fool. I seem to remember an interview Don did one time in which he listed a few of his favorite episodes, and I remember being struck by the fact that his favorites were episodes where Barney was a hero, or at least, not a fool.

I liked those episodes best, too.

I think Don Knotts felt a certain kinship with his character, and that is why he enjoyed those shows the most.

Later on, I felt sorry for Don Knotts himself, not the character he played, when he portrayed Mr. Furley in "Three's Company" I always felt that role, (and I believe he did, too) was beneath him. I was actually embarrassed for him. It is so sad to be witness to the decline of a brilliant career.

One interesting thing I found out about Don Knotts while searching the internet for info about him was that he served his Country in World war II, collecting some combat medals.

I never saw an interview with him or heard of him ever mentioning his military service, and I think that exemplifies the kind of unselfish, humble attitude that marked this man's great career.

So farewell, Don Knotts, and rest in peace, Barney Fife.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Fable

"We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?" ~ Jean Cocteau

Benny was a dreamer. He had always dreamed of the wonderful things he could do if he only had unlimited wealth, but alas, he had rarely made the right choices throughout his life, and consequently, was usually broke, and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

So, when he came across the rather odd looking ancient bottle half-buried in the sand on the beach, he didn't think there was anything special about it, and especially nothing that would change his life, but that's exactly what it did. At first, he wasn't even going to bother picking it up, but some strange unknown force seemed to compel him. He picked it up and eyed it curiously.

There seemed to be some ancient sanscript embossed on the bottle, thinly veiled under a coating of wet sand. Benny brushed the sand off, and immediately he and the bottle were engulfed in a thick cloud of violet smoke. The smoke gradually formed itself into the shape of a man, and solidified, until at last, standing before Benny, was what could only be described as a great and fearsome genie.

"I am the Genie of the Bottle" the creature thundered, "I have been entombed in that place for centuries. Because you have released me from my prison, I am obligated to grant you one wish, in gratitude for your kindness."

Benny didn't have to think twice. Visions of that elusive great wealth he had long dreamed of began to crystallize into reality.

Benny, skeptical of what would appear to be the answer to all of his prayers, replied, "My wish is to be the richest man on Earth, with no possibility of ever losing my fortune."

The genie considered Benny's request for a moment, and at last said, "That is a very tall order. I can do that for you, but that is such a big wish, I will only grant it on one condition. Will that be acceptable to you, or do you want to wish for something smaller?"

"That depends upon the condition, sir", Benny responded, apprehensively.

"I will grant your wish on the condition that you never again cut or trim any hair on your body. The hair on your head, and the hair of your beard. If you ever cut or trim even one hair on your body, you will lose all your wealth instantly and be turned into a Greek urn."

"What's a Greek urn?", Benny queried.

"About six and a half an hour", the genie said, smiling. "No, I'm sorry, that was just a little joke. It's like a vase, you know, for dead people's ashes and stuff."

"Oh", said Benny, "Hmmm, Never shave or cut my hair, in return for all the wealth in the world?...Done!"

The genie waved his hand over Benny's head. "Your wish is granted," He intoned, solemnly. And immediately, he was gone, in a puff of smoke.

As soon as the smoke cleared, Benny felt an instant sensation of a swelling in his posterior. He reached back to locate the source of the sensation and produced, out of his hip pocket, his wallet, which was once nearly empty, clearly bulging at the seams with thousand dollar bills. He removed the enormous wad of bills and it was immediately replaced with an equally large wad of more thousand dollar bills.

"Oh, this is great!" Benny thought, and hurried off to begin his new life of opulence.

Six months later, Benny was indeed, the richest man on the planet. He was beginning to look a bit slovenly and unkempt from not cutting his hair or shaving, but he was nonetheless satisfied with his life.

His satisfaction, however, did not last long. Eventually the length of his hair and beard began to be something of a nuisance. He had all the money, power and girls he could ever want in spite of his appearance, which, after another 2 years, could only be described as grotesque. He was starting to have difficulty seeing because of the hair that was constantly obscuring his vision. Whenever he walked through doors, he had to be careful he didn't get his flowing mane caught when the door closed behind him. He was hard of hearing from the thick hair covering his ears.

Two more years went by, and he was living a life of luxury, and one could say he had it made except for the fact that he was miserable. He was forever tripping over his beard and constantly having to brush hair out of his eyes to see, and away from his mouth just to eat.

Finally, even his closest friends and the most devoted gold-digging women abandoned him to his follicular handicap, and he was left rich, but alone. And miserable.

In desperation and loneliness, Benny at last had had enough, and resolved to put an end to his misery. On the off chance that the genie might have been bluffing, however, he decided not to commit suicide. If the Genie had been yanking his chain, he reasoned, about turning him into an urn, he might just get to enjoy life once again, and still have the riches, as well.

So, it was not without some apprehension that Benny stood before his bathroom mirror that night, and began to cut his hair.

After several hours, Benny finally finished, and stood before his mirror admiring his freshly clean cut and shaven image.

It was a short lived moment of glory.

The room began to sway, a must began to rise, and suddenly before him, stood once again, the genie of the bottle.

"I warned you!" He pronounced, waving his mighty hand, and, POOF! Benny was instantly transformed into a Greek urn.

The moral of this story is:

(Are you ready?)

A Benny shaved is a Benny urned!

Friday, February 24, 2006

A New Meme

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx

Frenzied Feline started a meme over at her place and I like the idea of once again proving to those who say I don't read that I do indeed read. I just finished reading Abandon Ship! by Richard F. Newcomb. It's the saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the worst Naval disaster in U.S. History. Now, I'm reading another book.

Here's the meme:

1. Pick up the book you're currently reading, or if that's not available, the nearest book.

2. Turn to page 35.

3. Go to the 4th (or closest to it) sentence.

4. Post the sentence, book title, and book author in the comments.

5. Continue this on your own blog with a different page and sentence from the same book.

Here's mine:

Don Imus, who has made a career out of going back and forth between kissing the media elites' collective ass one day and blasting Dan Rather as a "psychopath mental patient...pom pom waving putz" the next, called me a "back stabbing weasel"on his radio show and compared me to Sammy the Bull Gravano, who, before ratting out his pals in the mob, killed nineteen people.

From Arrogance(Rescuing America from the Media Elite) by Bernard Goldberg.

Just for fun, I'm going to try to guess what kinds of books some of my readers may be reading currently. Let's see, now...

Poison Pero: A History of New Zealand or a Biography of some obscure Chinese emperor.

Tug: "Rivalries in Pro Wrestling, Then and Now", "75 years of NASCAR", or "Advanced Economics".

Lone Ranger: "The Adventures of The Lone Ranger" or The 99th edition of "Black History in The Republican Party".

Wordsmith: "Origami for Dummies". or a Thesaurus.

Mary (Freedom Eden): "The Golden Book of Transcripts"

Lores (Just a Woman): "Conservative Women in the Bible"

Tech: "the complete (works) of e e cummings" or "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" (for the 16th time.)

Little Miss Chatterbox: "24: Complete Scripts and Photos from Every #@*%&@ Episode."

Gayle (My Republican Blog): "The Sensual Dirty Old Woman"

ER (Erudite Redneck): "101 Little Known Facts about the Nez Perce Indians" or "Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats" (A very very short book) or "The Big Book of Contrarianism"

Ok. Now, it's your turn. Have yourself a field day.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

No Pain, No Gain

"Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest." ~ W. H. Auden

The planned execution of Michael Angelo Morales was delayed until Tuesday night after two anesthesiologists refused to participate because of ethical concerns. Then, it was delayed until at least May because they couldn't find any doctors, nurses, or anethesiologists that were willing to administer the lethal injection, and now they want to review the case.

What kind of ethical concerns, you might ask? Well, maybe you wouldn't ask, but if you thought you knew, (assuming you haven't read of this yet) you might be wrong. I'll bet you were thinking they didn't want to participate because of some moral objection to the death penalty. Apparently not.

They are concerned that the execution of Mr. Morales constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. More precisely, they are concerned that the sedatives meant to put him to sleep before they administer the lethal dose of medication will cause him some discomfort. Translated for those in Rio Linda: Pain.

This is what I have to say in response to this:

What the....?

They have got to be kidding! Execution by lethal injection is already the most painless, humane method yet concocted. What more can they do? How much less painless can "painless" be than it already is?

The way lethal injection works is; they first administer a drug cocktail of 2 different sedatives, or pain killers. These put the convicted felon to sleep. Then, after he is sleeping peacefully, they administer a lethal dose of barbituates. The convicted person never wakes up again. That's it. Painless.

And much more humane than he deserves.

This is what Mr. Morales did to place himself upon the gurney:

He killed 17 year old Terri Winchell by raping her, attacking her with a hammer, stabbing her, and leaving her to die half-naked in a vineyard.

Call me sadistic, but I think he should be slowly tortured to death for that crime.

What in the world is wrong with California? Seriously, could this happen anywhere else in the world? Besides France, I mean.

Here's another thing that makes me say, "What the.......? Guess who is defending this animal? Ken Starr. That's right. The special prosecutor in the famous Whitewater investigation.

If I was more naive, I'd say Mr. Starr has lost his ever-loving mind. But I know that attorneys don't have to believe in their client. They just have to do their best to represent them. Right or wrong. Guilty or innocent.

But I don't understand why he took the case in the first place.

There's something else that bothers me about this thing. In all of California, they can't find anyone who will do the deed? Not one doctor or nurse? Not one? Do you suppose they searched outside the borders of California? I'll bet they could have found a willing doctor in Oregon. They have assisted suicide there. Surely there is a doctor or two there who wouldn't mind assisting Michael Angelo Morales into the next world.

There's still time, I guess. Maybe they could make arrangements to let Dr. Kevorkian out just long enough to take care of the matter. He could be preparing the request asking for the privilege of offing this vermin now.

Hey, I have the solution. I'll bet Terri Winchell's family wouldn't have any problem pulling the switch.

Ok. Time to 'fess up. The fact is, the anesthesiologists issued a statement through the prison saying they were concerned about a requirement that they intervene in the event that Morales woke up or appeared to be in pain.

"Any such intervention would clearly be medically unethical," said the doctors, who have not been identified. "As a result, we have withdrawn from participation in this current process."

The American Medical Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the California Medical Association all opposed the anesthesiologists' participation as unethical and unprofessional.

Odd. Seems the only real objection is the requirement to intervene just in case. Really, though, what are the odds that he would wake up or feel pain if they do their jobs right? Perhaps the best way to solve this problem would be to simply remove that particular requirement.

Personally, It wouldn't bother me in the least if he did feel pain. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, the more pain to him, the better. I think they should return to the days of "Old Sparky", and not wet the sponge! I'm sure he wasn't concerned with Terri's pain.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Democrats And Republicans United At Last

"We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction." ~ Aesop

I don't think it's any secret by now that I trust President Bush. Yes, he is liberal about many things, and I don't like his position on illegal immigration (Does he have a position on illegal immigration?) or his nearly out of control spending, but on the whole, I have to say I trust him.

I am not going to explain why here, nor will I answer the inevitable question as to why in my comments. I have explained my reasoning on many previous posts.

That said, I have to admit I don't understand why he's approving the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to Dubai Ports World.

There is one thing about this issue that is interesting, though. After all the Political sniping and in-fighting that has gone on between the two parties, it looks as if Bush has finally found something that may unite legislators from both sides of the aisle.

And yet, there is still division. But a division of a different kind. Not between Democrats and Republicans, but between those who support this sale and those who don't. Opposition to the President on this issue is coming from both sides. Support for him, too.

This is truly a non-partisan issue.

Hillary opposes it, as well as Chuck Shumer, which is expected. But so does Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, and that isn't expected.

Rush Limbaugh supports it, which is to be expected. But so does Jimmy Carter. That's scary. As Mark Levin says, he never met a dictator he didn't want to hug, or kiss on the cheek. So if Carter endorses it, It may be a grievous mistake by the President.

Sean Hannity is unsure.

What I heard, and I don't know how true this is, the UAE will only own the ports. They won't be actually operating them. Those jobs will go to red blooded Americans. And the security will be all Americans, too. If that's true, than the only reservation I would have is whether the UAE would use their ownership of the ports to assist enemies of the United States. They have a history of doing that kind of thing.

This is my opinion:

I don't know. But when national security is at stake, to err on the side of caution would probably be the wisest course. If we let this deal go through, we are possibly risking the security of our nation.

But it's still early and we really don't have all the facts yet with which to make an intelligent decision.

It will be interesting to see how all this comes out. If the UAE doesn't blow us all up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." ~ Helen Keller

I've been under some pretty serious stress lately. And it is a relatively new feeling to me. I'm not saying I have never had stress. I am saying I rarely feel stress.

Up until recently, whenever I have suffered stress, I have rarely known I was suffering. I successfully kept it bottled up, and eventually, it would just go away. Not that I knew I was bottling it up. I didn't. The only times I ever knew I was stressing was after the fact, when I realized at last, "Wow, I must have been under some stress!"

Occasionally, this bottled up stress would bubble up to the surface, and I would blow up at some unsuspecting victim, shouting angrily. This only happened twice, but both times, I was left embarrassed and feeling very sorry I lost my temper. I think the reason that I haven't blown up more often is that the source of the stress, the particular problem that was causing it, would resolve itself.

Probably more often than that, the reason stress left me at last was Divine. I believe God intervenes in times of extreme stress. One of my favorite quotes about God is this:

"God may not always be on time, but He is never late."

Meaning He lets us try to muddle through with our petty problems almost to the point of sheer desperation, at which point we often cry out to Him for assistance. And if we don't, He, being a loving God, intervenes anyway. It is comforting to know that God watches over us, even when we don't rely on Him.

I know I need to rely on God all the time, not just when I experience stress. But I, like most humans, tend to ignore Him until I need Him.

I wonder if others deal with stress that way? I've never heard of someone being under stress and not knowing.

My ex-wife claimed she was under stress almost continually. I don't believe she was, usually. But she got a lot of sympathy from people who were only marginally acquainted with us. Friends and family that knew her better were used to her. She enjoyed the attention she got from sharing her stress with everyone she talked to.

Anyway, I am grateful for the prayers and good thoughts from the two people I have shared this with. It is a comfort.

And it appears now, that the problem is, at least temporarily, over. It was, as most stress sources are, related to money, or more accurately, lack of money. And it was my own fault, too. It will come up again. I had yesterday off from work, and I don't get paid holiday pay. And my son's birthday is coming up. And of course, it is coming up on the weekend on which I will get the paycheck that's short one day.

Oh well. This too, will pass.

A Boss I had once, who was a Viet Nam veteran, always had this to say when an employee complained about stress on the job:

"You call that stress? Stress is finding yourself alone in a foxhole in the middle of the night, surrounded by VC, and you only have one clip left."

So, I guess it's all a matter of perspective, after all, isn't it?

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Reason To Be Awake At 3 AM

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." ~ Will Rogers

I am sitting here listening to an audio feed from Lores' radio show, on KRLA radio out of Los Angeles. This morning one of her guests is Jesse Lee Peterson, President of BOND, which stands for Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny.

Reverend Peterson makes the assertion that one cannot be a Christian and vote the Democratic ticket. He says the platform of the Democratic party is mostly anti-God.

I tend to agree with part of that statement. The Democratic party is lately a party that advocates abortion on demand, the removal of Christian monuments from government buildings and lands, gay and lesbian marriage, and, among other things, the systematic dismantling of civil rights for Christians only, while embracing everything it can that is anti-Christian.

They claim they are the party of tolerance, yet it appears the only thing they aren't tolerant of is traditional Judeo-Christian values.

But I don't believe one cannot be a Christian and still vote the Democratic party ticket. I refuse to believe that. I just have a hard time forming an argument to support my belief that Democrats can't be Christians. There must be proof somewhere. Why is it so hard to find?

In addition to Jesse Lee Peterson, guess who else made an appearance on the show by phone?

Yours truly.

Did you ever hear the expression, "A face for radio"? Well, not only do I possess a face for radio, but after listening to my own voice on radio, I have determined I also have a voice for mime.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mixed Messages

"The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

I had an early day yesterday because of my special trip to Pennsylvania, so I went to bed early. I woke up about 30 minutes ago, and couldn't find the remote for the TV. My son was watching TV when I went to bed last night. When my son watches TV, the remote always seems to end up in interesting places.

Anyway, my point is, I had to turn the TV on manually, and MTV burst onto the screen immediately. Has anyone watched MTV recently?

The show that is on as I type this is called "Room Raiders". It is a kind of blind date show, in which contestants decide who to date, based solely on the contents of their bedroom.

The whole point of this show seems to be choose which date would most likely be willing to have sex by finding telltale signs of promiscuity in their rooms.

Another MTV show is called "Next!" . MTV's synopsis of this show reads, "Ever wish you could bail in the middle of a bad date? Well, NEXT is the MTV show that lets you do just that. We'll set you up on 5 dates. The minute you get annoyed, angry or just plain bored, simply kick 'em to the curb by saying "NEXT", and start over with someone new. Don't feel too bad for the ones you give the boot. They'll get cash for every minute they last and the one who makes it to the end gets a chance to turn the tables. They can choose to go on a second date with you or take the money and run. So be careful what you do, because sooner or later you could be the one hearing the word "NEXT."

This one has a unique twist. Sometimes the choices are of the same sexual gender. That's right. There are "Gay" episodes.

In keeping with MTV's values, the dates that appear likely to hop into bed most readily usually wins.

"Date My Mom" has corralled a few brave guys to each take out three moms. The guys will then decide which of their daughters will be the right love match for them.

Of course, the guys decide which girl they will date by how permissive her mother is.

Other shows on both MTV and VH-1 focus almost completely on sex. I think this kind of attitude being foisted upon our children is highly destructive.

Then, between the shows, they have Public Service Announcements encouraging the viewers to practice safe sex, and get tested for STD's. Even, in some cases, promoting abstinence, which is a good thing, but don't you think it smacks of hypocrisy?

The sponsors and the people who produce these shows and the Hollywood stars who act in them, often get actively involved in campaigns to stop AIDS and eliminate Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

I see a disconnect here. They spend all their time and efforts promoting indiscriminate, promiscuous sex, and then attempt to lend themselves credibility by stressing sexual responsibility. I find it disingenuous to say, on one hand, sex with multiple partners as often and as much as you can get is the only important goal in life, and on the other hand, make PSA's warning us about the consequences of promiscuity.

And sadly, it's not only MTV and VH-1. It's everywhere in the media. Television, Movies, Magazines, and even video games.

You might say, "Well, if those shows offend you so much, why do you allow your kids to watch them?" And truthfully, I have considered banning The watching of certain TV shows.

But you cannot completely isolate your kids from the influences of the media without blindfolding them and plugging their ears, and then chaining them to the toilet. What they aren't exposed to at home, they will be exposed to elsewhere. It is unavoidable. Even grocery shopping is provocative. Just walk by the magazine section in the market sometime and glance at the pictures and headlines on the covers.

No, I think the best course of action to protect your kids is to talk to them. Explain to them what is appropriate, and then live your life in front of them as exemplary as you can. Kids are not stupid. They see and notice all.

Often I have seen my convictions manifesting themselves in my kid when I wasn't even aware he had been paying attention. Conversely, I have seen my mistakes being repeated by him in some way.

The solution is in being consistent and continually vigilant. We have a lot to lose if we fail.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Fed Up

"In politics you must always keep running with the pack. The moment that you falter and they sense that you are injured, the rest will turn on you like wolves." ~ R. A. Butler

You might have noticed by now that my blog postings often reflect my mood. If I am feeling depressed, you can tell. If I am angry, happy, stressed, or frustrated, it shows in my posts.

Today, before I had a chance to post today's comment, I had to make a special trip to central Pennsylvania. Because this is a Saturday, the regular radio programs I normally listen to weren't on so I was scanning the dial looking for an interesting program.

I came across an encore Randi Rhodes' program from earlier in the week. If you don't know who she is, she's one of Air America's talk show hosts.

And I listened until her show was over, and then a Tom Hoffman (I never heard of him)came on.

I had found the Air America network.

And do you know what I discovered?

Aside from the fact that they and their loyal listeners buy into every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike, as long as it implicates the Republicans, they really aren't that much more mean spirited than some of us Conservatives. Well, actually, the hosts aren't bad. Their callers are.

But some of us Conservatives get pretty insulting at times, too.

So can you guess my mood today?

Truthfully, I am so fed up with the kind of political sniping that goes on forever between Conservatives and Liberals, that I feel like throwing up my hands. It just doesn't seem worth it to waste my time commenting anymore. What good does it do?

I guess the final straw, to me, is this Vice President hunting accident thing. What is the point in hammering this thing into the ground?

Iran is threatening the very existence of Israel and building nukes.

And Vice President Cheney accidentally shot his friend.

Muslims are going berserk all over the world, rioting, burning buildings, killing people. Over some cartoons.


And Cheney injured his hunting partner.

Landslides in the Philippines may claim the lives of 1,800 people.

And Cheney had a beer 5 hours before shooting his friend.

Two U. S. Helicopters collided during training exercises off the coast of Africa, and 16 men are missing, feared dead.

And the White House press corps is upset that Cheney didn't tell them about shooting his friend before he notified a local newspaper.

The United Arab Emigrates are poised to buy a company that operates several U.S. shipping ports, creating a security risk to America.

And Cheney admitted responsibility for accidentally shooting his friend.

A Muslim cleric offered 1 million dollars for the death of the cartoonist responsible for the infamous Mohammed cartoons.

And the press has pressured Cheney to explain how he accidentally shot his friend as if there is an ulterior motive of some kind. Why can't we just accept that it may have been an accident?

Hoo boy! When will we learn?

Isn't being civil and adult towards each other more important than these petty immature little squabbles? Aren't the imminent threats to the world by all these crazed fanatics and unhinged world leaders more important than how long it took Cheney to report his accident?

We had better get our priorities straight, and fast. We can't afford to take our eyes off the prize. It could mean our eventual demise if we do.

I think I will try to take the high road from now on in my daily posts. This bickering and fighting just isn't worth the stress it causes. And I don't like getting angry at people over things I cannot control.

But don't hold me to that tomorrow when I go off on yet another rant.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Living Document

"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Yesterday, I discussed Justice Antonin Scalia's comments regarding the Liberal idea that The U.S. Constitution is a "living document". He characterized anyone who believes that as an "idiot". While I would stop short at calling everyone who believes in the "living" Constitution an idiot, I do agree that it most assuredly is not. Living, I mean.

Let's examine this issue today.

Let's just suppose, for the sake of argument, that everyone in the country comes to an agreement that the Constitution is indeed a living document. Ok? It's a fantasy. Stay with me here.

Certainly, one of the first things that might happen in this scenario, is that the President or the Congress or both (if they are the same party) will change the Constitution giving the Supreme Court full authority to change the document at the whim of the powers that be.

At this point, The SCOTUS can make any law they want. For example, They can decide to repeal the amendment limiting the term of President. Or they can overturn Roe vs Wade. They could conceivably rule that all Conservatives have to wear propeller beanies to distinguish them from Liberals, or vice versa.

What would stop them?

They can say, "Well, the framers of the constitution were mostly Christians, but now that the United States is no longer a Christian nation, we will decree that anyone practicing Christianity can be put to death". Or, they can ban the death penalty altogether. Or, they could make a law making the Lutheran Church the state church and make it illegal to worship in any other kind of church.

What about National security? They can decide that wiretapping al-Qaida is illegal regardless of the circumstances, and release all the current al-Qaida prisoners into the general population. Or, They can round up all Middle Eastern looking people everywhere within the borders of the United States and put them all into internment camps.

They can outlaw any dissension from either Conservatives or Liberals. They could put Cindy Sheehan in jail. (hey, that's not a bad idea!) Or, they could put Rush Limbaugh in jail.

Why not? After all, it is a living document. Many of the accepted rules of civil behavior are no longer accepted. So let's just eliminate them. Nevermind that some people still believe in the principles this country was founded on. And while we're at it, let's just lower the age of consent to 8. After all, our kids are maturing earlier these days.

Make rape legal. The MTV generation doesn't think anything's wrong with that, as long as the guy buys the girl dinner first. (That is a fact. Look it up! It was in the results of a poll.)

Repeal abortion, or make it mandatory for all women who already have 2 children.

The Communist Chinese do that. It works for them!

Here's an idea that I like: Make a law that requires that everyone in the country has to marry someone from another race. Eventually, after a couple of generations, everyone in the country would be equally racially mixed.

No more racism. Right?

Then, after all these changes and/or any others you can think of, we elect another President from the other party. He proceeds to use his authority, given to him by the Justices that he appointed, to fire all justices and any others who don't see things his way. And then, he reverses all the changes made by the previous administration.

And so on and on and on.

Wait. This sounds like a dictatorship. Do you suppose a dictatorship was what the founders had in mind?

Of course, this is an extreme scenario. Naturally, we as Americans know better than that. It can't happen here.

Can it?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Scalia Speaks Frankly

"I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few." ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Several months ago, I posted some quotes from Democratic party chairman Howard Dean to illustrate just exactly how looney he really is. One of the comments left on that post said, among other things:

"he could be saying what the democrats won't say. ..i think he is their attack dog so that they don't look bad, so their message of hate and intolerance gets out."

Later, on another post, another commentator said he thought Dean says what all Democrats think, but are afraid to say aloud for fear of being ostracized.

As if that is something for which the Democrats should be proud.

Yesterday, I found a news item on AOL news, about an interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution "as it was originally written and intended."
"Scalia does have a philosophy, it's called originalism," he said. "That's what prevents him from doing the things he would like to do," he said.
According to his judicial philosophy, he said, there can be no room for personal, political or religious beliefs.
Scalia criticized those who believe in what he called the "living Constitution."
"That's the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break."
"But you would have to be an idiot to believe that," Scalia said. "The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn't say other things."
Proponents of the living constitution want matters to be decided "not by the people, but by the justices of the Supreme Court."
"They are not looking for legal flexibility, they are looking for rigidity, whether it's the right to abortion or the right to homosexual activity, they want that right to be embedded from coast to coast and to be unchangeable," he said.

I agree with the two commentators on my previous posts, and I agree with Justice Scalia. And, I'm glad that finally someone in the Government has the guts to say what most of us Conservatives think.

In my opinion, Liberals only insist the Constitution is a living document because they want a government governed by the Judiciary, as long as the Justices rule the way they want them to,. If the Judiciary rules against the Liberal agenda, they want to start impeachment proceedings.

I am proud to be a Conservative and I am proud of Justice Scalia.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Real Scoop On Quailgate

"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." ~ George Carlin

Ever since the story of Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of his friend while hunting quail, I have been suspicious. Something just wasn't adding up, but I couldn't seem to put my finger on it.

So I decided to do a little investigating on my own. I have come up with some startling findings. The following is a summary of what I have learned after intensive investigation:

First of all, the victim, Harry Whittington, a 78 year old attorney from Austin, Texas, has a somewhat questionable past. According to a source close to Vice President Cheney, who has asked to remain anonymous, in the 60's, Whittington served as the attorney in a small claims court case against Halliburton. There is some speculation that Cheney never forgave him for winning the $250.00 settlement in that case.

This writer managed to find three people, who were actually present at the time of the shooting, or at least they knew someone who was. They have agreed to speak to me under conditions of anonymity. For the sake of this article we will just call them Larry, Moe, and Curly.

This is the transcript of the interview this writer conducted. It has only been slightly altered.

4 rows: I want to thank you gentlemen for agreeing to this interview. I know you are risking a great deal to expose this scandal.

Moe: Not all of us are gentlemen!

4 rows: I apologize for that. I was trying to keep your identities secret. I didn't want to leave any hints as to your true identities for your own safety... Uh, which of you are female?

Curly: (angrily) None of us are women! He didn't say we were female, he said not all of us are gentlemen!

4 rows: Oh, I do apologize. Let's move on to the questions now, ok? What, exactly, did any of you see, if anything?

Larry: Well, I saw that Cheney was wearing a very nice Mossy Oak brand camouflage hunting jacket with patches of hunters orange on the front. It was very attractive.

4 row: Yes, well... What about the shooting? Did any of you witness the actual shooting?

Moe: well, I wasn't actually there, but my friend Morty was and he said Cheney deliberately aimed at...Uh...What did you say his name was?

4 rows: Whittington?

Moe: Oh yeah...Well, Morty said Cheney shot him on purpose!

4 rows: And will Morty be willing to swear to that in a court of law? I mean....That's a pretty serious charge.

Curly: I know Cheney personally. He and I are good personal friends.

4 rows: Really? How long have you known him?

Curly: Well, actually, I met him last Saturday in the bathroom, but my second cousin has known him for years.

4 rows: Thanks for sharing, Curly. Did any of you actually witness the shooting with your own eyes?

Larry: Oh! Oh! Oh! I did! I did! I was about 300 yards away watching from behind a tree. The secret service wouldn't let me get any closer. But I saw it all clearly!

4 rows: Good! Now, we're getting somewhere. Tell me what you saw exactly.

Larry: Well, sir, When he shot, I was ...Uh...Doing my business behind the tree, you know, but I heard the shot, and I looked up and the guy was on the ground holding his head.

4 rows: What was Cheney doing?

Larry: He ran over to him and knelt down beside him. That's when I sneaked up real close so I could hear what they were saying.

4 rows: Did you hear anything?

Larry: Yes sir, I heard Cheney say to one of the secret service guys, "You know what they say, keep your friends close and your enemies closer." And then he laughed, real evil like.

Curly: My cousin said that ain't what he said. What he said was, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Moe: I heard he said both those things, and he had a real evil smirk on his face when he said it, too. Then he said, "That'll learn you to mess with Halliburton." except he didn't say "mess with", if you get my meaning.

4 rows: Will you men be willing to swear to these things in a court of law?

Moe: I'd sure like to, I really would, but I got to go to Lubbock on Wednesday, and I don't know when I'll be back.

Larry: I'm sorry. I have to get my cattle branded before the big cattle drive up to Kansas.

Curly: Yeah, what they said.

Upon further investigation, the writer has determined that the reason for the delay in reporting the story to the press was, according to one knowledgeable source, Cheney's assertion that, "If Teddy can wait until the next day, so can I. After all, I didn't kill anyone, like he did".

The investigation continues. I will not rest until Cheney is convicted and frog marched off to jail, or until my keepers catch up with me, whatever comes first.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


"Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still." ~ Robert Sternberg

I was going to post a short summary of the history of Valentines day today, but I found this instead, which explains it better than I can.

Read it and understand what Valentines day is all about.

Eve Ensler, the authoress of "the Vagina monologues", has proclaimed St. Valentines Day as V-day. I don't suppose I have to explain what the "V" stands for. You can read about that here.

Read it and understand.

I frankly don't know what to say about this. Or rather, I don't know where to begin describing how offensive this idea is to me. There are many things I could say, but the emotions overwhelm me.

I will say this:

I am all for creating awareness of the horror of rape, and all other kinds of sexual abuse, and I agree with Ms. Ensler that it is indeed a serious problem all over the world. But I do not see the perversion of St Valentine's Day as a solution.

Speaking as a red-blooded heterosexual male, I can admit that the emotion I feel when hearing a woman talk frankly about her vagina is not one of heart felt sympathy for sexual abuse victims. No, the emotion I begin to feel is centered in a different part of my anatomy. And it's not sympathy. And it's not for victims.

I knew this would be difficult to convey.

It occurs to me that women describing their vaginas to a room full of hormonally driven men and emotionally charged women serves better to exacerbate the problem instead of solving the problem. Women may be able to get the message Ms Ensler seeks to convey much easier than men. I don't know. I don't understand women.

But I do understand men. And I know that when a man hears a woman talking dirty, it excites him. It doesn't automatically cause concern for the plight of sexually abused women. In fact, in some of the more unstable men, hearing a woman talk dirty might even encourage violence against women.

Personally, I love and respect women. And I understand the difference between love and lust. I think that too many people confuse the two. Watch any movie that has come out of Hollywood in the last several decades. The scenario is usually the same. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl have sex. boy and girl fall in love. They rarely fall in love before having sex.

Love and lust. Lust and love. The two are interchangable in today's society. That's not what God intended.

I think Valentines Day should stay Valentines Day. A celebration of love and romance. Not sexual perversion.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Put Up Or Shut Up

"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you." ~ Eric Hoffer

There is something I don't understand. There has been a lot of discussion lately about the legality of the wireless wiretapping that the National Security Administration has been doing in it's efforts to prevent further 9/11 style attacks on America.

There are a myriad of charges being made both for and against this program.

Some are calling it "Domestic Surveillance", meaning they think the NSA is wiretapping all American citizens, or at least, many of them, without just cause in a direct violation of their civil rights. Some say it is only the wiretapping of known al-Qaida operatives, monitoring phone calls between al-Qaida in the Middle East and here in America.

Regardless of what it is called, the discussion is not centered around the wiretapping itself, but around it's legality.

Personally, I see this as a red herring. Opponents of the wiretapping program are throwing any thing they can use out there to distract the American people from the real issue, and that is to get rid of George W. Bush, or, failing that, at least make his efforts to secure peace in the Middle East ineffectual, for the purposes of regaining political power.

Whatever the reason, here is what I am having a difficult time understanding:

If, indeed, there is a law that is being broken by the Bush administration, why can't someone produce the law in question for the perusal of the American people? Surely it is printed out in text somewhere. If it exists.

If it does exist, is there some ambiguity to it, that even law experts and legal scholars can't grasp the legal language found therein? Can't someone somewhere produce, for the benefit of the American people, and to put our minds at ease, the very law that the President is supposedly breaking? Wouldn't that production put an end to any argument concerning the legality of the law?

Some years ago, my then wife was the victim of "assault", a crime usually coupled with the charge of "battery". The perpetrator wasn't charged with battery, only assault. I asked the arresting officer what is the difference. She informed me that the charge of assault can be applied anytime someone confronts another person in a threatening manner, without actually touching the victim, usually being manifested in the form of verbal threats. If the perp proceeds to follow through with the threat by placing hands on the victim, even if it's only a gentle shove, it becomes battery. Thus, one may assault another without committing battery, and vice versa.

That is an example of a definitive distinction that permeates every facet of law in the United States. Everything is very well defined in absolute terms, to insure no possible misunderstanding of the law in question.

Indeed, the definitions are so completely detailed that they border on absurd redundancy. You can often times find several pages of text explaining the minutest of details.

So, again I ask, why can't the opponents of the NSA surveillance program produce the actual law they claim the President is breaking? If it exists, it must be defined in absolute terms so that there can be no doubt as to the exact meaning and intent.

I'll tell you what I think. I think there is no such law, or the Democrats that are charging the President of breaking it would produce it and end the discussion once and for all.

So, to all of you who say the President is breaking the law, I say: Put up or shut up!

Addendum: I have made some changes to my side bar. I have replaced a couple of links to blogs that haven't posted in over a month with links to some other sites, like Rush and Hannity and Mark Levin. If you haven't heard of Mark Levin, I urge you to check out his site, and, if you can get his radio show in your part of the country, listen to it once. You'll get hooked!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What The Democrats Want

“If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.” ~ George W. Bush

This is the last of a three part series of vignettes depicting what the NSA is doing, what the Democrats claim they are doing, and what the Democrats seemingly want the NSA to do. If you haven't read the first two vignettes, they are the two posts immediately preceding today's.

Scenario 3. What the Democrats seemingly want the NSA to do.

Same scene. Same three men.

(An alarm sounds.)

Tom: Oh there goes one now, Harry. Here’s your first chance to help protect our country. Go ahead and flip that switch there, and listen in.

(After a few seconds, Harry looks up at Tom and Dick, with a look of alarm on his face.)

Harry: Oh wow! They are talking about setting a bomb off at the White house! What do I do?

Dick: Now, we go to the FISA Court and get the warrant.

(Tom tears off a strip of continuous feed computer paper from the printer and sprints out of the room as Dick picks up the nearest phone.)

Dick (speaking into phone): Ben, We’ve got a priority code 1 here….Yes Sir….10-4. (then turning to Harry) See? That’s how it’s done.

Harry: What now?

Dick: We wait.

Harry: For how long?

Dick: As long as it takes to get the warrant and act on it. Might as well get comfortable. This will take a while.

Harry: But what about the terrorists on the phone?

Dick: Hopefully we will get the necessary paperwork to stop it before it happens. If not….

Harry (finishing Dicks thought for him): Bye-bye to the Whitehouse.

Dick: (sigh) Yup.

(72 hours later. Dick and Harry are sitting in chairs, their chairs propped up with their backs against the wall. Tom enters, with a sheaf of papers in his hand. Dick and Harry stand up)

Tom (dropping the papers on the desk) Well, here’s the warrant.

Harry: Great! Now we can get those terrorists!

Tom: No. It’s too late now. There’s nothing left of the White house now but a crater. The President and half the legislators are dead.

Dick (shaking head, in resignation): I hope the Democrats are happy, now. They got what they wanted.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

What The Democrats Claim The NSA Is Doing

“If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.” ~ George W. Bush

The Following is the second installment of a three part series of vignettes depicting -- 1. What the NSA is doing; 2. What the Democrats claim the NSA is doing; and 3. What the Democrats apparently want the NSA to do. If you haven't read the 1st scenario yet, read the previous post first. Tomorrow I will post the third in the series.

Scenario 2. Same scene. Same three men as before.

An alarm sounds.

Harry throws the switch and puts his ear phones on, and listens in. In a few seconds, he looks up at Tom and Dick., with a quizzical look on his face.
Harry: What am I to make of this?

(He reaches over and flips another switch, and the sound of a telephone conversation fills the cubicle.)

Voice on phone: Hello, Richard?

Richard’s voice: Hi, Jack. Listen. I saw the way you were looking at my woman last night. What’s up with that? You hittin’ my squeeze?

Dick, (reaching over and squelching the speaker phone): That’s nothing to worry about.. The computer picked it up because the guy said “Hi, Jack” You can get off now.

Tom: Wait a minute. (he switches the speaker back on) I want to hear if they’re going to fight.

(As soon as he says that, another alarm sounds.)

Dick: Here, Harry try this one.

(Harry switches on another switch and listens in.)

Harry: Oh, this is just two teenage girls talking about the prom.

Dick: Put it on speaker. You never can tell.

Voice on phone: Oh Gawd, Jeremy is just awwwwwwesome!

Other voice: He is, Rachel, but Chris is the bomb!

Dick: OK, that’s enough. Turn it off.

Harry. Wait a minute. I want to hear who Rachel’s going to the prom with.

All three: Ha ha ha ha!


Friday, February 10, 2006

What The NSA Does

"If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.” ~ George W. Bush

The following is the first of three short one act skits depicting, fictionally… 1. What the NSA does, 2. What the Democrats claim the NSA does, and 3. What the Democrats seemingly want the NSA to do.

Scenario 1:

The scene opens on a room full of cubicles, a computer, and an NSA employee with a pair of ear phones in each cubicle. At Center stage there are three men, Tom, Dick, and Harry, the latter being a trainee. They are each in their separate but adjoining cubicles.

Tom and Dick are training the new employee, Harry.

Tom: These computers are programmed to alert us when certain words and phrases are used during phone conversations between known al-Qaida operatives in the Middle East and known al-Qaida operatives inside the United States.

Harry: You mean words like “bomb” or “Hijack”?

Dick: Yes, and phrases like…uh…”The explosion is set for 9:00 AM” , things like that, you know.

Tom: That’s right, and we don’t have to do anything until the alert sounds, the computer automatically starts recording the calls and the information like where it’s coming from, going to, and things like that.

(An alarm sounds.)

Tom: Oh, there goes one now, Harry. Here’s your first chance to help protect our country. Go ahead and flip that switch there, and listen in.

Harry (dons the earphones and listens intently for a minute.): It’s from Tora Bora, Afghanistan, to Waldorf. Maryland. It’s definitely al-Qaida.

(After a few seconds, Harry looks up at Tom and Dick, with a look of alarm on his face.)

Harry: Oh wow! They are talking about setting a bomb off at the White house! What do I do?

Tom: Make a note of the precise time and particulars just in case the computer loses the information.

Dick: Make sure you document everything. That’s of utmost importance!

Harry: Everything?

Tom: Everything, even if you don’t think it’s particularly important.

Harry: OK, then what?

Dick: Leave that to us for now. We have to notify the supervisor and then he has to notify his superiors and on and on up to the President. But in matters of this importance, the process goes through in seconds.

Tom tears off a strip of continuous feed computer paper from the printer and sprints out of the room as Dick picks up the nearest phone.

Dick (speaking into phone): Ben, We’ve got a priority code 1 here….Yes Sir….10-4. (then turning to Harry) See? That’s how it’s done.

(20 minutes later) Tom walks back in the room and shakes hands with Dick and Harry.

Tom: Well, I just heard from the field officers. The terrorists are now in custody. Good work, Harry.

Harry: Wow, It sure makes a guy feel good to know he just saved hundreds of lives!

Tom and Dick: It sure does, Harry. It sure does!


Scenario 2, tommorrow

Thursday, February 09, 2006

In Defense Of Clinton

"We will never have great leaders as long as we mistake education for intelligence, ambition for ability, and lack of transgression for integrity!" ~ seen on a bumper sticker

A Conservative friend of mine e-mailed me with this question:

"How did you end up having so many hostile liberals commenting on your blog?"

I have to honestly say I don't know. But I am starting to wonder if the presence of hostile Liberals in my comments is the reason I don't get as many Conservatives commenting as I used to.

The same person who sent that e-mail didn't comment on my blog. Perhaps the presence of hostility keeps friendly commentators away. I myself, have stopped commenting on at least one other blog because of the number of hostile commentators who attack everything I say regardless of lucidity and logic. They take even the most factual of facts and spin them to, in effect, imply that I'm an idiot.

So, I rarely comment over there anymore. When I do, it's as a stealth commentator, sneaking in, laying down a bomb, and making a hasty exit.

I just get weary of the incessant attacks on my credibility.

I get particularly incensed over allegations that I am a liar. I am many things, but a liar is not one of them. I will tell the truth if a lie will save my life. I may be mistaken often, or unknowingly give erroneous information, but I never lie.

As my older brother, who is now a college professor, says, "I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong". I might amend that to say, "I may not always tell the truth, but I never lie". It looks self-contradictory, but it isn't.

But I digress. I didn't intend to make this post about me.

I wanted to address something that happened recently that I haven't heard much about on Conservative talk radio.

A lot of Conservative talk show hosts have condemned the politicization of Coretta Scott King's funeral, and rightly so. It was indeed deplorable for Former President Jimmy Carter and Dr. Lowry to turn the funeral into a political rally. I have said in the past, that I like Jimmy Carter, but he was wrong to do what he did. Lowry's remarks didn't surprise me.

I hesitate to discuss this in light of my recent meltdown over at Trixie's place, which spilled over into mine, but I can argue that instead of making me hypocritical, it makes me an expert on proper decorum under a funereal situation. In other words, I have learned my lesson and seek to now instruct others.

But the subject of Carter and Lowry's insensitivity is not my focus today. There have been more than enough comments made about that.

I will focus instead, on the remarks that President Bill Clinton made at the funeral, which were highly appropriate and eloquent.

He did an admirable job. Congratulations to him for taking the high ground. He is not one I would normally consider to have that much integrity. But, as I said in a previous post, never let it be said that I am not intellectually honest.

I will give credit where credit is due everytime, and Bill Clinton is due every bit of that credit.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton also maintained the high level of respect that Ms. King deserved. But her remarks appeared rather disengenous, in my humble opinion. Not for what she said in her remarks, but how she said them. She had some very nice things to say, but it seemed to me as if she was reading the words for the first time, and without putting on her reading glasses first.

So there you have it. I have parted from my Conservative friends for one brief instant. But never fear, friends. I am still very much Conservative.

I just felt, since the Conservative talk show hosts had glossed over Clinton's remarks, that someone had to stand up for him, and I hope that this wasn't the last time he does something right.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Conservative Celebrities I'd Like To Date

"When I think of talking, it is of course with a woman. For talking at its best being an inspiration, it wants a corresponding divine quality of receptiveness, and where will you find this but in a woman?" ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

About 310 posts ago, I posted a list of "Babes" I'd like to date. The criteria at the time was basically, intelligence first, and then beauty. On that early list were 2 women that definitely are not Conservative, Geena Davis and (gasp) Paris Hilton. (Ok, I didn't pick her for her brains. I just have a thing for her. Don't ask me why.) Geena, in case you hadn't heard, is a member of Mensa, and that I found attractive, and that is the only reason she was on the list.

I have often said that I find intelligence in women very sexy, but a new criteria for this list is the Babe has to be Conservative. So now, the criteria for making it on my "Babes I want to Date" list is intelligence, beauty and a Conservative.

Anyway, here is the updated list:

1. Laura Ingraham: My favorite of all of them. I listen to her radio show religiously. She is intelligent, funny, beautiful, and really has a heart for people. Last year, she underwent surgery for breast cancer, and it appears she came out ok. Let's hope it doesn't come back. She is currently touring our military bases in Iraq and conveying the well wishes of the American people to the troops, at great personal risk to herself. She is incredible! I want her to have my children.

2. Gabrielle Reilly: I just discovered her a few days ago. She is a Conservative Commentator, fitness Guru, political pundit, and reluctant swimsuit model. And she lives in my home state, Kansas!

3. Ann Coulter: She is Brilliant, witty, and beautiful, but she has an annoying voice, as far as I'm concerned, which is why she is listed third.

4. Bo Derek: Bo is a "10". Imagine my joy when I found out she is Conservative! I don't know how smart she is, but she can't be too dumb, if she's Conservative.

5. Lara Flynn Boyle: Played the D.A. in "The Practice". Dedicated to putting the bad guys behind bars, and Conservative, the way all good D.A.'s should be.

6. Heather Locklear: I've always had a thing for this woman, so it was a real pleasure to find out she is a Conservative. She surely has poor taste in men, but that's why I might have a chance with this one. She's getting a little old, though.

7. Jaci Velasquez; Beautiful Latina Contemporary Christian singer. She has a voice of an angel and looks like one, too!

8. Gladys Knight: My favorite singer for years. I always said, "When I grow up, I want to be a PIP!" I know the background part for "Midnight Train to Georgia" by heart.

9. Kim Komando: Smart and what a wiz at computers! She could help me with blogger issues.

10. Condoleeza Rice. Classy. Classical pianist. Intelligent. Loves Football. Rich. A little old for my taste, but pretty good looking for her age. She's almost as old as I am!

Many of these women can be interchanged in order. For instance, I may decide Jaci Velasquez is too low on the list, and Lara Flynn Boyle too high. Laura Ingraham will remain where she is regardless, unless Gabrielle calls me and asks me out, but that's my list.

Does anyone have any favorites I didn't list? Who are they?

Hat in Hand

"In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility." ~ William Shakespeare

I have been under some stress lately. And partly because of that, I let myself get all worked up over an issue that I feel very passionate about, and it led to some very heated blog arguments that I have been regretting since I made yesterdays post.

I hate myself when I get angry. I don't like the way it makes me feel when I lose my temper, and I always end up making enemies.

That is the last thing I want to do. Really.

Additionally, I made some rash statements that I didn't bother to research since I was so sure they were accurate. I had no time to do research on my posts, anyway. Still, that is no excuse. A responsible blogger would take the time to make sure his assertions are true and accurate. If he cannot, for some reason, do that, he should perhaps look for another topic to address.

Plus, I have been busy this weekend. I have a neighbor, who lives in this building, that seems to take some kind of perverse pleasure in complaining about me and my son every chance he gets, to the apartment management. He lies, even when the truth will work better for him.

Since I drive my car for my living, It is easier for me to just bring the rent check by the office rather than mail it in. On the 1st, I stopped into the office to pay my rent and I found, to my surprise, the Management company's owner standing there. He usually isn't in the office. At this point he told me he had received more complaints about me and my son. The complaints don't have a word of truth to them, which I haughtily explained to him. But he told me, nevertheless, he was coming by on Monday to inspect my apartment.

This, in spite of my evil neighbor, was the number one source of my stress. I am a horrible housekeeper. And my son is worse. I spent all weekend just trying to make my apartment presentable, to avoid being evicted. And I worked very hard at it, only to find that the bathroom is impossible to clean satisfactorily. So, I wasn't online much over the weekend, and when I was, I found myself in a textual free for all with a couple of fellow bloggers.

Trixie found statistics that appear to prove that sexual depravity in this country is in "sharp decline". So, I stand corrected on my premise that comprehensive sex education leads to promiscuity. Apparently, it does lessen the incidence of unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. But I stand by my assertion that there is more promiscuity today than there was a couple of decades ago. And there are many factors to blame, chiefly, the lack of good parenting skills.

That said, I am still angry that Trixie resorted to name calling, something which I never did to her, even at my angriest. She called me an idiot. She called me boneheaded. She implied that I was not a "real" man.

I am very much a real man. It has been said that it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong. I leave it to you, my loyal readers, to decide if I am a big man or not.

I will admit that sometimes I can be boneheaded, but can't we all?

OK. So, I am sorry.

I know that many of my readers were probably uncomfortable reading the snarky little comments between Trixie and I, and for that, I apologize.

I also apologize for anything I might have said to Trixie that may have offended her. As difficult as it is for me to bury this pride of mine to apologize, it is even harder to bear the shame I always feel from losing my temper and saying things I later regret.

I am changing some of the remarks I made in this post earlier. Some of what the commentators are referring to, I have taken out. So some of the later readers of this post will not have any idea what I'm talking about. I do this because of what Sheila, and Tech, and Timothy has said. They are right. I am wrong. I will attempt, from this day forward, to counter anger with kindness. I lost my way. I was behaving like a heathen.

Never let it be said that I am not intellectually honest.

P.S. I passed the inspection, even though I was unable to get my bath as clean as I had hoped.

Monday, February 06, 2006


"Mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step; for lasting passion is the dream of a harlot and from it we wake in despair." ~ C. S. Lewis

This is a two parter. First, I am disturbed by the latest series of comments left as a result of my last post, which was an observation that I made concerning the prevalence of uninhibited teen sex in America these days. The focal point of my post was these words:

"I really cannot understand anyone that could see how far this country has sunk with their own eyes and not see a problem".

And yet, I was presented with a number of statistics that appear to show the incidents of unwanted pregnancies and abortions among teens were on the decrease. If they are accurate statistics, I really don't know what to say.

But I know, when I go out and about, everywhere I go, I see teenage girls dressed like prostitutes, and acting like them in public. I see many more pregnant teens in public than I ever did 30 years ago or so. 2 weeks ago I personally met a young lady who was pregnant with her 7th kid, and she's never been married. And the abortion industry is still quite healthy in this country. I go to the mall and see and hear teenagers half dressed, hanging around with their hands all over each other, and using the most vile, paint blistering language one can imagine. My Pont is that this country has degenerated over the last few decades and I don't see how people can disagree with that statement.

I suppose the statistics don't lie, but neither do my own eyes.

I am also disturbed because a comment I left on another blog was deleted, the administrator accusing me of insensitivity. This is the background:

The post was mourning the death of a family friend, and also mourned the death of Betty Friedan, the Feminist who founded NARAL, which stands for National ABORTION Rights something. She also co-founded NOW, which also champions the so-called right for a woman to kill her baby. At the same time, I do not argue the fact that Ms. Friedan has done many good things for women.

This is my comment, as far as I can remember, about that post:

"I am sorry for your loss. My prayers are with the family. As for Betty Friedan, She co-founded NOW and founded NARAL, making her at least partially but directly responsible for the slaughter of 45 million unborn babies since the Roe vs. Wade decision. Those are the facts. I am sure that Ms Friedan had many good points as well."

I was called insensitive for stating facts. Notice I didn't say anything about Ms Friedan that wasn't true. And also notice I said she had good points as well.

Now I ask you, my friends. Is it insensitive to mourn for the murder of 45,000,000 innocent babies? It seems to me it is much more insensitive to agree that the killing of unborn babies is a reasonable alternative to birth control, or that it is a way to erase the mistakes caused by living a promiscuous lifestyle. How can someone mourn the loss of one woman who caused the deaths of so many innocents, and not say a word about all those babies?

I find that very disturbing.

2nd part.

Over the weekend, I discovered a Conservative Republican website, hosted by a most extraordinary young woman, Gabrielle Reilly. Ms Reilly is a swimsuit model, fitness guru, and a Conservative political commentator with an amazing grasp of Conservative versus Liberal ideologies. She was born in Australia, but now resides in the United States. In Kansas, as a matter of fact. She travels all over the world and discourses with national and world leaders. She is a remarkable woman.

I have added her to my "Babes I'd like to date list."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Re-Enabling Comment Verification

"'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." ~ Various authors, including my Father

I am so sorry, friends, but due to a certain blogger who doesn't seem to have anything better to do than to lurk around my blog just to make fun of me and my serious commentators by calling us names and leaving immature off-topic comments, I have had to re-enable comment moderation. Feel free to leave whatever comments you wish without fear of being attacked and called names.

He thinks he's funny. He is not. He is just annoying. I don't hate the guy, I just think he needs to grow up. He can be respectful when he chooses, but for every respectful comment he makes, he makes 10 that aren't. And no, I will not supply quotes. This is my blog. My opinion is the only one that matters in this case. If I want to exaggerate, I will. Get the point?

Some people never seem to learn.

By the way, this particular commentator I mentioned apparently doesn't have a problem with the moral decline in America. I can't help but wonder out loud how this person reconciles the inherent problems associated with teen-age promiscuity. Most people who have only a tiny bit of common sense know nothing good will result from this hedonistic lifestyle.

Is it any wonder he identifies himself with the Liberals? If there were no other reason than that kind of attitude for me to be a Conservative, that would be enough.

I really cannot understand anyone that could see how far this country has sunk with their own eyes and not see a problem. Maybe, at 54 years of age, I'm just an old fuddy-duddy, but I remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty, to repeat the time worn phrase. And we had far less crime, and unwanted pregnancies, and abortions, and pedophilia, and sexual predators. Just last night there was a special report on MSNBC about sexual predators who cruise the internet looking for sex with underage boys and girls. They caught 51 men in one location in one day! 30 years ago we didn't have these problems nearly as much as we do now. Not even close. Even if we had had the internet then, we still wouldn't.

I do not understand how this new permissive attitude can possibly be a good thing.

As I said before, if you can't see there is a real problem here, turn in your common sense card, and stay away from my kids.

OH, I almost forgot. Lores, from Just a Woman blog, has been given her own talk radio show. It will air tonight on KRLA, Los Angeles at 12 midnight, Pacific time. You can go to their website and listen to it. Do that. Listen I mean.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Perversion in America Part 2

"It is a wise father that knows his own child." ~ William Shakespeare

A couple of weeks ago, I enrolled my son in a drivers school that was meeting at his school. I paid a down payment of $140.00, which is half of the total cost, the rest payable before he drove for the first time. The class meets 3 days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Then, I found out, in the state of Maryland, the price of a learners permit is $50.00.

I consider both of those fees legalized extortion, because drivers school is required in this state in order for a new driver to get a license. But that isn't what this post is about.

He went to class the first day, then skipped the next day to go to a church youth gathering. He told me his teacher allowed one day off from class, but I called the school and asked them if that was true anyway. It was.

But the next week he skipped again.

Once again, I called his teacher and found out, this time, that he wasn't given permission to miss another drivers class. So I went to his High school, and pulled him out of his regularly scheduled class, and chewed him out for skipping drivers class. I told him if he wasn't going to go to class, I would withdraw him and get my money back.

He chose to withdraw.

So why am I telling this story?

Well, I am the first to admit that I am not a good father. Fortunately, my son is a pretty good kid. He makes good choices overall. He doesn't consider himself responsible enough to drive a car yet. But at least I try to teach him right from wrong.

In yesterday's post, I discussed the crumbling sense of morality that is becoming all too prevalent in America today. But I didn't affix blame for the problem. I did list some factors that I believe contribute to the problem.

We can blame the porn industry or the media. All of it; newspapers, TV, radio, magazines, movies, internet. We can blame peer pressure. We can blame a permissive society, and the attempts by certain special interest groups that pervert the original intent of the Constitution, to excuse perversion by calling it "free speech".

But in the end it all comes down to personal responsibility. And making the right choices. And employing some common sense.

And being a parent.

Our society has a way of shooting itself in the foot sometimes. It backs off whenever someone complains they are being discriminated against or not being allowed to express themselves, in spite of the fact that in the act of expressing themselves, they are ultimately destroying their own lives. And those of their children.

We are so afraid of inhibiting the emotional growth of our children that we are creating a society that has no moral compass. Parents have forgotten how to say, "NO".

And it's not only the parents. Government has failed our children, too.

Dr. Jocelyn Elder, President Clinton's surgeon General, once said, "We've taught our children in driver's education what to do in the front seat, and now we've got to teach them what to do in the back seat."

The idea that comprehensive sex education will prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases has been disproven. Since sex education was introduced as part of every schools curriculum, the incidents of both have increased, not decreased.

President Bill Clinton himself, in the act of attempting to cover up his illicit sexual escapades in the oval office, indirectly gave our young people permission to engage in oral sex by declaring that oral sex isn't "real" sex.

If it wasn't real, how did those stains on that blue dress get there? Don't answer that. It's a rhetorical question.

Recently, The Washington Post reported, "Slightly more than half of American teenagers ages 15 to 19 have engaged in oral sex, with females and males reporting similar levels of experience, according to the most comprehensive national survey of sexual behaviors ever released by the federal government".

Additionally, USA Today reports, "Ten years after Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky's relationship made oral sex a mainstream topic, there's still plenty of debate over whether oral sex is really sex.

The latest fuss is spurred by new federal data that found that more than half of 15- to 19-year-olds have received or given oral sex. Although the study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not ask the particulars of these encounters, research conducted in pre-Clinton times, along with more recent studies, suggests that teens largely fall on the 'it's not sex'

In the same article, we read, "In Questions Kids Ask About Sex, oral sex is clearly sex".

"Sex occurs when one person touches another person's genitals and causes that person to get sexually excited," the book states. "A girl or boy who's had oral sex doesn't feel or think like a virgin anymore, because he or she has had a form of sex."

Out of the 45 million unborn babies that have been slaughtered since the infamous Roe vs Wade decision, the majority have been teens and young unmarried women, who wanted to have sex but didn't want to deal with the consequences. They don't want to accept the responsibilty for their promiscuity.

It is a destructive lifestyle.

So what's the solution? How do we take America once again to the moral high ground?

I submit that we need to return to active and responsible parenting. We cannot allow our children to run their own lives. They simply are not mature enough to make those decisions for themselves, no matter how mature they convince us they are. They do not have the life experience or the acqured common sense that comes with maturity.

It is our responsibilty to raise our children with a healthy respect for themselves and their bodies. It is up to us, as parents, to make sure they understand the sanctity of human life and the consequences of failing to respect that precept.

It starts with a hands-on involvement in the lives of our children. Get in there and find out what is going on when you aren't around. Go to their teachers and their friends parents. teach your children to cultivate a sense of responsibilty and make sure they know that all life is sacred. Ask questions. Listen to your children. Practice what you preach. Lead by example.

And above all, make sure your children know you love them.

For that is the beginning of respect.