Saturday, March 31, 2007

Polyticks

"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'." ~ Larry Hardiman

I don't normally sleep all through the night. I usually wake up at least once during the night to attend to "business". I'll spare you the nasty details. It's not just personal needs that drive my nocturnal habits, though. We have dogs. Five of them, to be exact.

At least one of the dogs, Chelsea, a fourteen year old Golden Retriever, has roughly the same middle of the night needs as I do, and a rather loud, persistent bark. I usually have to get up at least once to let her outside.

Give me some time. I will get to the point.

We live in a wooded area, on five acres, about a mile or more to the nearest cluster of businesses and, in this case, government buildings. I have only lived here since October, and I have always lived in metropolitan areas, so I was unprepared for my encounter with some of the less pleasant denizens of rural Virginia:

All four stages of Ixodes scapularis, the black-legged or deer tick with dime for size comparison.

Ticks. Deer Ticks, specifically.

Here's the point:

The other night, I awoke, as usual, about one o'clock in the morning, and stumbled through the dark towards the bathroom. As I walked, I scratched my belly, when I noticed what felt like a small growth on the right side, front, of my abdomen.

When I turned on the light, I was surprised to see what appeared to be a blood blister on my stomach. I prodded it, squeezed it, and finally succeeded in popping it...off. It wasn't a blood blister at all. It was a tick.

All the horror stories about ticks and the diseases they cause came rushing back to me like a good snort of scotch. Did I leave the head inside my skin? If I did, will it become infected? If it becomes infected, will it turn into Lyme's disease? Will I get really sick and will I eventually die a painful and torturous death?

So, at approximately 1:15 in the morning, I searched the internet to find information on Ticks and Lyme's disease.

Turns out I have little to worry about. According to what I read through bleary eyes, the deer tick only feeds three times in it's lifetime, which is two years. It cannot infect anything with any disease the first time it feeds. Only if it picks up the bacteria that causes disease on it's first feeding can it spread disease. If it happens to contract a bacteria that causes a disease during the first or second feeding, it may infect it's host on the second and third feedings. And then, usually, only the female tick infects anything. The male tick feeds for only a short time before dropping off. The female tick stays there until it engorges itself. The female is most likely to do the infecting.

One could say something derogative about females of every species here, but I will not stoop to that level.

"OK", said I, to myself as I perused the fountain of information before my eyes, "that's not as bad as I thought." But then came the really good news. It said even if it carries the bacteria, Ticks don't infect their host until it has been feeding for at least about 36 hours.

I know my little guest hadn't been on me for more than a few hours. I was safe.

I went back to bed and blissful, carefree, welcome, sleep.

About two hours later, when Chelsea (see? I told you I'd make things clear) began her obnoxious barking, wanting to go outside, I again got up and stumbled through the dark once more to let the canine octogenarian outside.

Again, scratching myself, I noticed another growth, this time on the other side of my belly on the side. Turning on the light, I found, to my chagrin, another tick there.

This time, however, armed with more knowledge about these parasites than I had before, I simply picked it off, disposed of it, and went back to bed.

In the morning, while scratching Beast's (our pug) belly, I found a tick on him.

We have, at our house, poly ticks.

By the way, in case you are wondering, many of the techniques for ridding ourselves of ticks don't work, according to the various web sites I studied. Petroleum jelly doesn't really suffocate them. They can still breathe. Burning them off is not advised. It can lead to more problems unrelated to infection.

They say the best way to get them off you is to pick them off with tweezers.

So now, my morning routine has a new wrinkle. Now, in addition to scratching myself and showering and making myself smell not so bad, and making a breakfast sandwich, I also check myself thoroughly for parasites.

So far so good. I haven't been invaded since that horrible night. But I still wake up at least once a night.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Abdul And Achmed Part 3

"We can't accommodate terrorism. When someone uses the slaughter of innocent people to advance a so-called political cause, at that point the political cause becomes immoral and unjust and they should be eliminated from any serious discussion, any serious debate." ~ RUDOLPH GIULIANI

The scene is a small room somewhere in the Middle East, probably Iraq or Afghanistan. There is a bank of television screens almost covering one wall, with news programs from all over the world showing on every screen. Achmed Hassan is monitoring the world news broadcasts as Abdul Mohammed enters.

Abdul: Praise Allah and Mohammed his prophet! Why do you look so happy, my friend?

Achmed: Allah has indeed been good to His faithful, my comrade, Our American ally, the New York Times, has reported the infidels will surrender at the end of August, 2008! We have won!

Abdul: Ah yes, my friend, I have heard this wonderful news already. Our ally, the Times, printed the news on Friday. Praise be it ever to Allah! But alas, the bill also calls for an increase in funding the murderers of Allah's faithful, the infidel soldiers.

Achmed: That is true, but that is only an excuse to call for the eventual withdrawal of Allah's enemies in Iraq. Trust Allah, my friend, the end is in sight. Allah has secured victory in this war against the Great Satan.

Abdul: Praise Allah if that is true, my friend, but the accursed infidel leader Bush has threatened to veto that bill. I fear the hope of victory is merely an illusion.

Achmed: Have you lost faith in Allah, my friend? Has He not promised we would be victorious against the Great Satan that and our people will rule the infidels?

Abdul: Forgive me, my comrade. You are right. I had forgotten Allah's promise of deliverance. the recent surge against us had raised doubts in me. I temporarily lost faith. May I be forgiven for my lack of faith in Allah. Allah is great! Bush will not prevail.

Achmed: Have faith, my friend, our allies in the American media and the Democratic party will find a way to pressure Bush into signing the bill. Do not underestimate the power of Allah and the American Democrats.

Abdul: Ah yes, my friend, and let me not forget again that Allah has the American press in his all powerful hand. They will not fail our cause. They will change Bush's evil plans, by the will of almighty Allah!

Achmed: Yes, my comrade, Allah is great! Now all we have to do is wait. That is indeed a blessing from Allah. I need a vacation.

Abdul: A Vacation? Oh no, my friend, We must never rest until Allah is victorius! We must continue to fight.

Achmed: Allah be praised! Yes the fight continues, but if we stop our attacks against the infidels until August 2008, we will lure the cowardly Democrats into thinking they are safe to go ahead and pull out of Iraq. And then our victory will be complete and final!

Abdul: Yes, and then we can wipe our enemies off the face of the map, as Allah has commanded.

Achmed: Allah be praised!

Abdul: Yes, Allah be praised!

Friday, March 23, 2007

What About Legal Immigrants?

"Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

On my job, I often have to market to residents of Northern Virginia, an area that I refer to as "Immigrantville". That is because it seems there are more immigrants living there than natural born Americans.

Wow.

I don't even know how to phrase that statement without appearing biased against immigrants.

I have nothing against immigrants, and by that I mean legal immigrants.

I am descended from immigrants. And unless you are 100% Native American, so are you.

My ancestors emigrated to America from Scotland in the late 1600's and settled, to begin with, in what is now North Carolina. Later, in the 1800's, my Great Great Grandfather, together with his brother, migrated west, at last settling in Missouri, while his brother continued on his way to California. That was the last my ancestor ever heard of his brother.

My boss brought up the fact that most immigrants are very hard working people, willing to take the lowest paying menial jobs to support their families. Jobs that most Americans won't do, like picking grapes and lettuce, etc. for three or four dollars an hour. They don't get benefits and they sometimes work over 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

I won't disagree with that assessment.

He obviously has no problem with immigrants, either legal or illegal. The one thing he expresses frustration with is that so many immigrants are allowed to procure customer service positions in banks and restaurants and retail stores, etc.

How are we supposed to get proper customer service from people with whom we can't communicate? We can't explain what we want from them, and they can't communicate what they need from us.

Why would companies even hire people for positions in which they have to interact with people who don't speak or understand their language? It's insane!

It is unfair of us to paint, with a broad brush, a picture of lazy immigrants that suck up our tax money by sponging off welfare and getting free health care without pointing out the enormous contributions other immigrants have made, and are continuing to make to our economy. There is no doubt that they have enriched our country in many ways.

My current problem with immigrants, both legal and illegal, is their tacit refusal to even try to learn our language. Call me ignorant and boorish if you want, but I find it frustrating and annoying that I can't communicate with half or more of northern Virginia.

And our own government is compounding the problem. Instead of insisting that immigrants learn English, they instead are spending millions of our tax dollars attempting to communicate with them in their language.

What's wrong with this picture?

I try to look at it as if I am the immigrant and they are the nationals. If I move to another country, I would like to know at least enough of their language to be able to communicate with them. For me, that's not only common sense, it's the best way I know to prevent me from being victimized in some way. How many times have we stood by while immigrants talked to each other in their own language and wondered if they were talking about or making fun of us?

OK. Maybe I'm just paranoid. But paranoia has kept me from being swindled for many years.

If President Bush, or the Democrats, or anyone else want to offer any form of amnesty to illegal immigrants, I suppose we can't stop them, but is it too much to ask them if they would at least include a provision that they learn English in order to stay in this country?

Is that unreasonable?

There are more than enough reasons to protect our borders against illegal immigration. But when are we going to deal with the problem of legal immigrants? This is our country. We shouldn't have to change our customs and learn new languages to accommodate them. They are our guests, here because we have given them the right to choose to live here. But doesn't that right come with some accountability?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Release The Hounds!

"Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist." ~ Edmund Burke




Over on Lone Rangers blog, he has posted an interesting story about Washington DC "Madam", Deborah Jeanne Palfrey, who has indicated she may sell her client list to the news media to pay her legal expenses. The judge has ruled that she will not be allowed to do that.

Besides the possibility that the reason he has ruled thus, could be because he himself, or some of his closest colleagues may be on the list, there are other potentially embarrassing possibilities as well.

I made a portion of this point over in his comments section.

If Ms. Palfrey's list becomes public, and we all know it will, eventually, I hereby make some predictions:

First, there will be many more Democrat politicians on the list than Republicans, a point that Lone Ranger made himself.

But the press will conveniently forget that fact, opting to focus on the perceived corruption of the Republican politicians on the list. They will misrepresent the facts although, in cases such as this, misrepresentation is unnecessary. Just being on the list is indictment enough.

Next will be the inevitable investigations and hearings that will go on for months, probably years, into just how hypocritical and corrupt the Republican party is, and the Lib bloggers will be in seventh heaven, chortling with glee over the perception that they have at last been vindicated, and that there now exists proof positive of true Republican perversion.

During all this, a few Republican politicians will proffer their resignations in disgrace, releasing statements to the press that they are resigning for the "good of the party".

Many Republicans will be indicted, tried, and in some extreme cases, actually jailed.

There is a possibility that some Republicans will try unsuccessfully to hold on to their seats. Those are the Republicans that consistently side with their Democrat colleagues.

On the Democratic side, little will be reported on, and those that are named will be excused for any and all misconduct on the grounds that they have done nothing illegal, or at least, nothing that amounts to anything more than a misdemeanor.

Liberal bloggers will grudgingly address the issue, and then downplay it, saying things like, "Since when is sex between two consenting adults a crime?" or "Oh yeah, The senator is a criminal because he gets a blowjob!" snarlingly dismissing the fact that what their heroes have done is commit adultery and, in some cases, all manner of perversions up to and possibly including illegal sex practices such as bestiality, etc.

After perfunctory investigations into "alleged" impropriety and malfeasance of the Democratic politicians who are included on the list, the "alleged perpetrators" will be exonerated, or perhaps given the proverbial slap on the wrist, and upon re-entering the House and Senate chambers, receive a standing ovation from their Democrat colleagues.

Whereupon, they will proceed in prosecuting the Republican politicians on the list with religious fervor and sanctimonious tongue-clicking.

And they will remain in office to continue their righteous campaign against the dreaded Republican "Culture of Corruption."

All of this will lead to the press alluding to a serious turning point in the history of this great nation, and the usual call for the impeachment of President Bush, because, as everyone knows, any Republican who has any smirch on his record, is a reflection on the integrity of the President himself, regardless of how tenuous the connection may be.

Years afterwards, Liberal and Conservative bloggers will repeatedly reference this scandal to illustrate their opinions that the other side is corrupt, the difference being that Liberals will point to the fact that none of their heroes were imprisoned, and the Conservatives will point to the fact that Democrats got off light.

Mark my words. Bookmark this site. It is unlikely that these predictions will turn out to be wrong.

Unless, of course, Ms Palfrey mysteriously winds up dead, and the records lost or burned.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Surge To Get Bush

"People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news." ~ A. J. Liebling

The Democrats are once again calling for the resignation of a Bush administration Cabinet member. This time it's Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that has somehow fueled the Democrats feigned outrage. I say feigned because if the Democrats were truly interested in doing what's right, they would all resign out of remorse for their failure to serve the American people.

William Jefferson would be gone. So would Alcee Hastings. So would Harry Reid. So would Hillary. So would...well, you get the idea. In fact, if all the Democrats were fired for unethical and/or illegal conduct, there would likely be few Democrats left in the halls of Congress. If any.

But I digress.

One thing that keeps leaping out at me is that this seems to be another attempt to oust a member of Bush's administration. One by one, the Democrats are attacking Bush's Cabinet and calling for their firing, resignation, or impeachment. Obviously, their aim is the eventual impeachment of the President. But since they have nothing on him (such as perjury before a Grand jury) they are content in trying to undermine his appointed office holders.

They went after Karl Rove, Condoleeza Rice, they got John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfield, they are continuing to go after Dick Cheney, and of course, President Bush himself. It is painfully obvious what their agenda is.

Of course, it has been pretty much common knowledge among Conservatives that the Democrats have been angling to get rid of Gonzales even before he was appointed AG.

Which influential Democratic leader said Gonzales was a poor choice for AG because he is Hispanic? I confess I don't remember who it was, but that's only because the Democrats say so many racist and outrageous things I can't keep track of them.

I came across an interesting article about this latest brouhaha. It references the LA Slimes article that ostensibly blows the whistle on poor old Alberto.

The problem is, apparently the LA Slimes left out some very important information that was also found in the e-mails from whence they got their incriminating circumstantial evidence of malfeasance on Gonzales's part.

The following paragraphs are a teaser intended to draw your attention to the aforementioned article:

The L.A. Times has a big story about internal White House e-mails regarding the Bush Administration’s decision to oust eight U.S. Attorneys. But as far as the actual firings themselves go, the real story appears to be that the White House had legitimate reasons for firing many of these folks.

The e-mails certainly don’t appear to corroborate the allegation Democrats keep repeating: that U.S. Attorneys were fired for going after Republicans, or for failing to go after Democrats. Instead, judging from the e-mails, it appears that the White House was genuinely concerned with performance issues, such as a failure to go after drug smugglers, and — hold onto your hat — an insufficient focus on illegal immigration cases. Yes: the White House fired a U.S. Attorney for going too easy on those illegal aliens!



The article referenced here simply points out more typical misinformation from the Liberal LA Slimes.

Now, this morning, the AP has picked up the ball and begun running with it. When I signed on to AOL this morning, this story hit me in the face. following is an excerpt from that article that exemplifies what the Democrats and again, their willing accomplices in the media are continually trying to do, which is to "get Bush". That is the real agenda here. They care nothing for these eight prosecutors.

It's customary for new presidents to bring in their own team of prosecutors when they take office. Democrats say the Bush administration singled out some of its own nominees because they chafed at the president's priorities and Republican efforts to influence political corruption investigations.

"Eight U.S. attorneys who did not play ball with the political agenda of this administration were dropped from the team," said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois. "We have a right to ask what that political agenda was and whether or not it was a reasonable firing and dismissal."


This, I agree with, except if Durbin and his Democratic cohorts really wanted to know, all they would have to do is read the e-mails in their entirety, instead of reading only the parts the media chose to publish. Then they would see, and probably already have, that the prosecutors were fired for not doing their jobs. The same reason most people get fired in this country.

But see? That would only serve to prove there is nothing behind the latest charges of corruption in the Bush administration. They can't have that.

That wouldn't provide them with the ammunition necessary to impeach Bush, which, as I said, is their true agenda.

Personally, I think if the Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media like The New york Slimes, The Washington Compost, and the LA Slimes, spent half as much energy supporting our troops and the war on terror as they do in trying to "get Bush", this war might well be won and over, and the international terror syndicate would be destroyed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Making The Irresponsible Responsible

"He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires and fears is more than a king." ~ John Milton

Perhaps nothing makes us more aware of the growing problem of the irresponsibility and lack of discipline of our kids than when the kid in question is your own child.

While discussing my own son's behavior with my fiancee, she made the point that I am not as forceful in holding him accountable for his behavior as I should, and she is right. I'm not.

It is an ongoing battle for me to impose and enforce discipline on him when he needs to be disciplined. I blame myself for letting him get away with so much. I am, as she said, not firm enough.

But I am not the only one.

His mother, my ex-wife, was permissive to the point of absurdity. Her natural son, my stepson, was completely out of control when I met her. He was three years old at the time. I reluctantly accepted the role of his father even though I knew that it would eventually cause division in the marriage. I had no choice. I legally adopted him, and as his adoptive father, if I wanted the child to ever amount to anything at all, I knew he would have to be disciplined, whether she wanted him to be or not.

By the time his brother was born two years later, it had already become apparent that she was going to contradict me whenever I tried to discipline him. In spite of all the experts advice to take disagreements about the methods of discipline behind closed doors, away from the children, she disagreed with me right in front of the children, always taking the children's side against me.

It is no wonder they both grew up with so little respect for me.

Some of my regular readers know some of what has happened since then. Here is a refresher, and here.

He called me the other night from Florida. He is well, and still trying to gain a foothold in society without a support system of criminals.

His brother is a pretty good kid, overall, in spite of the fact that he is way to irresponsible for a kid his age. By this time, he should be graduating from school and be at least part time gainfully employed, but he's not. He seems to have little interest in procuring employment, getting an education, or even getting his driver's license. He is only interested in skateboarding, at which, I must say, he is very good.

At least he does have some aspirations.

He hopes to one day become a videographer or photographer specializing in skateboarding videos and photographs. He does have the talent and I support him in his pursuit of his dream. But I am concerned with his irresponsibility.

His mother no doubt had a tremendous influence during his formative years.

Lastly, I can't help but believe the public schools have contributed to this overall lack of discipline and irresponsibility. After all, my son is not the only kid around who has this problem. Many children of responsible, disciplinarian parents are also afflicted with this malady.

I don't know how it is happening, but I am convinced the schools are failing to teach children the importance of responsibility.

The schools say the parents have the responsibility to instill values in their children, and parents, to some extent, say part of that responsibility belongs to the schools.

Some leave it to the schools entirely.

I believe it should be a concerted effort between the two. The schools have our kids for much of the productive hours of the day, and during those hours, the parents have no control over what the teachers are teaching, or not teaching them.

What are the schools teaching our kids?

I work in an office with several young people, many of whom have graduated from high school within the last three years. Since I've been employed there, not one day have all employees been present and on time. Some one is always absent and/or late. I have never seen such irresponsibility in my life. Several have been fired for excessive absences and tardiness.

I don't know the family history of these young people but I am convinced the prevalence of irresponsibility in young people today cannot possibly be only the fault of inadequate parenting skills.

If it's true that the schools are failing the children, there remains the question of why?

One google search will help answer that question. Google the phrase "Parents sue school" (parentheses included), and your search will return 749 hits. Admittedly, some of the lawsuits include suits I deem necessary to keep Liberal ideology from being indoctrinated into our children's heads. But many of them are about parents who object to the schools disciplining their children.

Schools had to stop using corporal punishment long ago, due to pressure from feel good Liberal activists. Now, there are complaints about the use of suspensions and time outs.

Where will this insanity end?

It isn't entirely the schools fault that they don't instill personal responsibility and self discipline into our children. It is also a repercussion of the litigious society we live in these days.

The sad fact is the schools are simply afraid to discipline students anymore.

In the end, personal responsibility is always up to the individual, regardless of the factors that shape our personalities.

But we have to acknowledge that not holding children to accountability is certainly not helping the transition to adulthood.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Catching Up

"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." ~ Elbert Hubbard

I have been busy, and haven't had time to create new posts on here. I still don't have much time, but I do want to make a comment on a couple of things I've been thinking about.

The trouble is, I don't know what's been going on.

I habitually listen to talk radio whenever I drive somewhere, but never listen to it at home. But lately, since my car trouble, I have been driving a small pick-up truck that has no radio. (I sing my favorite songs as I drive.) At home, I watch TV, mostly movies, and reruns of old comedies, and not usually news. I am not a news hound. I do hear tidbits of news now and again while channel surfing, and most times what news I hear is from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news.

I don't often hear news that isn't Liberally slanted, anyway.

Nevertheless. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the surge is working. I say that because I haven't been hearing as much of the casualty count in Iraq as I used to. Knowing how much the Liberally biased news media loves to trumpet the bad news of the war and ignore the good news, it seems to me that they have had precious little to say on the subject lately.

But, as I say, I may be wrong. I am sure my Liberal readers will be quick to correct me if I am.

Also, I have something to say about the latest Ann Coulter controversy.

I like Ann Coulter. I think she is a brilliant analyst and commentator. She has a unique way of pointing out absurdity. Especially Liberal absurdity. And she does it with humor, which, as many have pointed out, is a characteristic sadly lacking in most Conservative commentaries. I have also seen her point out absurdity in Conservatives at times.

This latest unfortunate choice of words was, in my opinion, a mistake on her part. Liberals love to catch a Conservative making a remark that they can blow up out of proportion and this time, they didn't have to use much powder.

Nevertheless it was just a joke. I don't care who you are, it was funny. As Coulter said, “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”

That's funny, too.

However....

That is the kind of joke a small group of Conservatives make when standing around the water cooler at work or in the back room of a Conservative caucus or something. Out of the earshot of any media. For that reason, I agree. It was not an intelligent remark. No, I take that back. It was an intelligent remark, but not made at the right time and place.

And that brings up another point. Why is it that Conservatives are forever being crucified by the media for every little poor choice of words they use, when Liberals can literally run their mouths non-stop, making all kinds of intentional offensive comments, not only about Conservatives, but about the very people who support them, and very little fuss is made over them?

Look at the shameful way Hillary sucked up to black people at the church in Selma, Alabama. Did they think her affected accent was genuine? Or were they insulted, as they should have been?

I'm not even black but I was offended.

Ann Coulter tells a funny joke about John Edwards and the media goes ballistic and holds every Conservative in America personally responsible for the offense.

John Kerry insults the American soldiers in Iraq with a so-called joke that isn't even funny and he gets a pass.

Conservatives must choose every word very carefully if they are to avoid offending someone. Remember George Allen's use of a word no body knew the meaning of, until some enterprising Liberal decided to look up the definition? It may have cost him the election. If it didn't, it certainly contributed to it.

It has been said that Liberals often ignore the elephant in the room. Meaning they can't seem to see the obvious. This metaphor is used in reference to things like the war, or the abortion issue, et al.

I think the Elephant, in this case, refers to Republican and Conservative rhetoric so often ignored by the Libs and the news media until they say something thoughtless. Then, all of a sudden, the elephant is the biggest thing in the room.

So, I guess the question that begs to be answered is this:

Why is it that no one knows the elephant is in the room until the elephant farts?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Life Is Good

"For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, for those that are the called, according to His purpose" --Rom. 8:28

Abouna, who is the newest addition to my blogroll, has an interesting post today entitled, "Why isn’t God treating me fair?"

In it, he says this:

"There are so many of us, going through life today, who cannot seem to understand why we are not getting the type of life that we keep wishing for."

Read the rest here.

I started to make a comment on it, but as usual, My comment went too long, so again, I am publishing my comment as a blog entry. Here it is:

I too, am one of those who never seem to get the breaks. I have a brother who is exactly the opposite. As I often say, he could fall through the hole in a privy and come up smelling like a rose. I, on the other hand, would climb, stinking to high heaven out of the privy, simply to slip and fall back in.

I have also often said, my life is an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel without the adventure.

He and I discussed this once. He said he never knew anyone who had so much bad luck and I said I never knew anyone with such good luck. But, I said, If he was ever faced with some catastrophe, he would fall apart. On the other hand, catastrophe's happen to me every day. They are like water off a ducks back to me.

God knows what each of us can handle. He will never give us more adversity than we can take.

On my new job, I had to man a booth at a local Home and garden show, for the purpose of procuring sales leads. My day in the booth was on a Sunday.

Friday at the show was a good day. the weather was beautiful. So was Saturday. My co-workers got lots of leads those two days. Sunday came with snow, ice and freezing rain. The home show was almost empty of potential customers that day. I got one lead.

My boss was complaining about the weather causing such a bad turnout. I jokingly informed him that the bad weather was my fault, because God doesn't want me to succeed.

He took it as a joke and laughed but the truth be known, I wasn't joking.

I believe and have believed for some time that since God knows me, and knows that I would not be a good steward of any thing He might bless me with, He has decided in His wisdom, that I should remain as I am, until I finally learn to be responsible with what He gives me.

Sometimes lessons take a lifetime to learn.

I am comfortable with that, knowing that I have treasures laid up for me in Heaven. Given that this life time is only a twinkling of an eye in comparison to an eternity with God, This life is only a minor inconvenience.

Of course, it could be argued that I do these things to myself, and there would be ample evidence to suggest this theory is true.

In just the last couple of years, I have made the same mistakes in not exercising good judgement in stewardship, to wit:

I had a great job as a Lawn service Technician. I was making the most money I made in my life. The boss liked me, and I was doing a very good job. My customers were pleased with my performance. I had very few complaints with my work, either from customers or management, and those I had were taken care of promptly. I was flying high and feeling secure with my future.

Then, I bought a new car. Brand new, right off the lot, with 5 miles on the odometer.

In short, I got cocky and began to feel as if I had control of my life.

That was a mistake.

Within a week I had wrecked the company van. That wasn't enough to knock me down a notch or two. So, the very next day on the job, I did it again.

(This is the actual picture of the actual first accident. That's me, talking to the police officer there on the right)

Two weeks after I had made a 5 year commitment to pay enormous monthly payments on a new car, I was laid off, with a promise that in a couple of months, I could possibly come back to work again. That didn't happen, needless to say. Now, before I even made my first car payment, I had no money to pay it with.

Now, this is the way God works with me:

Two months later, I finally got a job that paid me enough to pay the car payments, although I had to work a couple of weeks before I got my first paycheck. Mere hours before the finance company repossessed my car (which I had to use on my new job), I caught my car payment up.

God had both blessed me and taught me a valuable lesson.

God may not always be on time, but He's never late.

The new job was better than the old one. I made more money than the former, and the hours were better. The work was thousands of times easier. I had a two hour lunch period, and was completely on my own, with no boss hovering over me. On top of all that, my expenses were deductible and I ended up not having to pay a cent in taxes, and got a huge tax refund!

I caught up on all my other bills, and was even able to start saving money.

Then, I began feeling cocky again, and against my better judgement, went out one weekend night and blew about $300.00 on a night of pure base debauchery. I won't go into details.

And, within a week after this one night of self gratification and self worship (for this is indeed what it was), I suddenly and without warning, lost my job. I went from wealthy to nearly penniless in mere days.

These examples are indicative of my whole life.

I have yet to learn, apparently.

But it's OK, really. I have learned one thing, although it may not be the only thing I need to learn, and that is, I am terribly irresponsible with God's gifts. Will I ever learn to be a good steward? Yes, I think so. I believe it is God's purpose for me to learn this lesson. And I believe God always fulfills His purpose.

If nothing else, as long as I fail to learn God's lessons, I am assured of a long life. He won't let me die without fulfilling God's purpose for my life.

Or maybe He will. Maybe that will be the final lesson. I don't know.

I am content with the knowledge that God will keep me safe, though bruised and battered, until I have fulfilled His purpose for my life.

Life is good.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

How To Reform Welfare

"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages." ~ H. L. Mencken

I received the following letter to the editor of an Oregon Newspaper (I don't know which one)in a recent e-mail, and I thought it was a pretty unique idea. It came to me in the form of a newspaper clipping that was scanned and then sent to me in e-mail:




In case the text is too small for you to read, I have re-typed it out in it's entirety:

Don't help people sit on their rears

I have a question, not only for Douglas County, but for the entire state of Oregon. Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as they see fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test, which I have no problem with.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check, because I have to pass one to go earn it for them?

Please understand, I have nothing against helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sit on their butt.

Could you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?



Now, this is the kind of unique thinking I like! What if all of us like minded people copied and sent the same letter to our editors?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Don't Ask

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." ~ Frank Zappa

Heard on the radio this morning while I was taking my son to school because the bus was late again:

Some county school system in Virginia (I forgot which one) has reported they have no way to track which students are "illegal immigrants". This is because...are you ready for this one?...it is illegal to ask an immigrant whether he is illegal or not.

Excuse me?

What part of the word "illegal" don't they understand?

Is it also illegal to ask a child molestor if he is a pedophile? Is it illegal to ask a murder suspect if he is a murderer? Is it illegal to ask an Islamic Jihadist if he is a terrorist?

WHOOSH!

That sound of rushing wind you just heard is millions of naturalized American citizens throwing up their hands.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

On Technology and Ms. Smith

"For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three." ~ Alice Kahn

I have been MIA the last couple of days due to a internet cable connection problem. For some unknown reason, the cable company decided to tweak something which resulted in a reduction in output power, or something like that. I am a techno-moron, so I don't understand what the problem was. Is. Whatever.

(The long driveway)

All I know is now we have a cable wire lying on the ground from the entrance to our driveway, stretching all the way to the back of the house, draped over the chain link fence, and through a hole in the backside of the house. They are supposed to come out and bury it eventually, but they haven't said when. (sigh)

I could have still logged on using dial up, but my AOL account charges me an un-Godly amount of money for dial up usage over 5 hours a month, and between my son and I, we quickly reached the limit. So that's why I haven't been blogging.

I have a lot of catching up to do. Bear with me.

Also, I have been driving to work in a borrowed 1986 Toyota pickup truck that has no radio or tape or CD player. And, I've been working. 13 days in a row to date. Not much time to keep up with events in the news without much access to media of all sorts.

About the only thing I've been hearing much about is the news that Anna Nicole Smith is finally going to get a funeral.


(Some of my original artwork)

Finally something that I believe really does qualify to be a quagmire!

The thing that bothers me the most about this is the fact that several men are fighting over who is her baby's father while no one stepped forward to claim her body for several days.

In my humble opinion, I find it shameful the way people are behaving over this thing. Howard K Stern, Anna Nicole's boyfriend/husband/attorney is nothing more than an ambulance chasing, slip and fall lawyer who has nothing but his own wallet on his mind. He cares nothing for the disposition of Anna's body, or of her infant daughter, who may even be his own child! All he wants is the lion's share of the 400 million dollar baby"s trust fund.

The same goes for those other men who are claiming paternity.

Shame on every one of them. Not one of them is a real man. I feel very sorry for that poor child, who has lost her mother and now has no one who will take care of her and raise her right.

She is almost doomed from the start. The only chance she has, if things continue to go the way they are, is if she can somehow manage to overcome the difficulties of the coming years surrounded by people who only want to spend her money.

This whole unfortunate situation is a sad commentary on the greed and selfishness of today's modern society.

God help us all!