Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Random Bits and Bytes

Here are some tidbits from crawling the blogsphere:

Surprise, surprise, surprise. A study from UCLA and the University of Missouri finds bias in the media.

Darminisim is a dying cult, a book report by Patrick Buchanon on the “Politically Correct Guide to Science” from Tom Bethell as reported by Uncommon Descent.

Modern art, I love it.

And finally, some winter-time fun for the slightly twisted.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Multi-Stage Airbags Work Well

Last Sunday evening I personally experienced a multi-stage airbag deployment. It did it's job without the attendant minor injuries often associated with airbag deployments. I thank the Lord that he was watching over us that evening.

A business colleague and I were driving to Morgantown, WV. It was snowing and the interstate was untreated and snow covered. I was doing ~30 mph on a downhill grade in the left hand lane when a small pickup headed the other direction lost control, slid across the median, clipped the vehicle in front of us and spun directly into our path. We hit it head-on.

Everyone was OK. My passenger and I ended up with bumps and bruises, nothing serious. The car, a rented Pontiac G6, was totaled. The front end was crushed to the front wheels. The hood and fenders were also folded back. The passenger compartment was intact except the passenger window shattered and the front doors were hard to open.

The Monongahela Sheriff's deputy that responded to our accident was very good: He went above and beyond the call of duty. He took control of the situation. He checked all the vehicles and occupants, got flares out to redirect traffic and had tow trucks on the way in short order. He let us sit in his vehicle out of the weather because ours was not safe to be in. Once he had taken statements from everyone and the accident was cleaned up he gave us a lift to our hotel, which he didn't have to do.

On the other hand I saw some real idiots that evening. The driver who caused it for one. I guess he had to be going at least 45-50 MPH to come uphill all the way across median ditch like he did. If he hadn't hit the vehicle in front of us he probably would have slid all the way across our lanes into the guardrail, and likely would have missed us. His pickup ended up across both lanes of the interstate with traffic creeping by in the breakdown lane. He was clearly driving too fast for conditions, and was driving with a suspended license. We thought they would lock him up for the evening, but the second officer at the accident just ticketed him and let him go because they were too busy.

The second idiot of the night came whipping through the accident site at 45 MPH or so 15 or 20 minutes after the accident. He clipped the front of the pickup, maybe hit the guardrail, did a couple of 180's and 360's, and ended up sideways half in the median about 150-200 yards down the road from us. He drove off before the deputy could get down to where he was. This was after flares had been put out at the site, but the road was still snow covered. There was also another accident about a mile behind us that should have slowed him up.

Everything appears to be working out OK. Avis had another car to us by the next afternoon and my company insurance will cover everything. Airbags and seatbelts will be important considerations in the next vehicle I buy.

Weapon Retention Failure

What a bungled attempted robbery! Knowing my luck that's what would happen to me if I ever tried to rob someplace.

Update: I've added the clip itself. The original appears to have aged off the Uncommon Descent site.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Public School Arithmetic

Ran across this little tidbit about elementary school students that had their Christmas tree removed from Oklahoma state Capitol because it was "decorated with discarded lottery tickets". Sounds like another case of PC gone overboard, right? Not so quick:
The teachers went to various convenience stores and got used lottery tickets, which were cut into various geometric shapes and placed on the tree. 'They had been studying about the lottery and understood that the lottery money benefits public schools," Fair said. "They came up with a theme about the gift of education." [emphasis mine]
These so-called teachers were "teaching" these elementary school students that the lottery, which is a most regressive tax on those that are poor with math and can least afford it, is a good thing because some of the money pays their salaries. What a self-serving piece of crock. Not only should that tree never have been done, but the teachers that organized their sly little "exercise" ought to be fired for non-performance, conflict of interest and child abuse by emotional manipulation.

Yet another reason to homeschool.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Verizon Bluetooth is Cripple-Ware

I used to have a Kyocera Smartphone, which is combined Palm Pilot and cell phone, provided by my employer. What a great integrated device that was. But it was getting old and mechanically breaking down.

Off I went to find a replacement. I tried to order a Treo 650, but could not because it is not a corporate-approved wireless email device. I tried to explain that I did not want or need wireless email, I wanted a single device that was both a cell phone and Palm PDA, but alas the rules were unbendable, at least for someone of my lowly stature.

So I ordered a Palm T5 and a Motorola E815, both purportedly Bluetooth enabled. I figured I could share information between the two, including dialing phone numbers from the Palm via the cell phone.

The T5 showed up several weeks ago. It works quite well. The cell phone showed up this week. As a cell phone it seems to work quite well. As an information appliance, it sucks. It seems the only thing Verizon wants you to be able to do with Bluetooth is use a wireless headset.

They specifically disable the file transfer capabilities of Bluetooth on their phone. This means getting files into and out of the phone is not possible using Bluetooth. As a work-around you can use the micro memory card to get pictures in and out, but ringtones and applications apparently cannot be brought in via the card. Verizon wants you to use their service through the phone to get ringtones and apps, for a nominal fee of course.

Verizon also does not make it easy to dial through their phone using Bluetooth. I finally got it working with the T5, but it took multiple magic incantations. Palm doesn't help in that they don't provide a Bluetooth device configuration for the Motorola E815. I had to use the TP280 configuration to bind the phone and T5. It seemed they would only bind using a passcode of "0000". I then had to change the connection type to the Standard GSM Phone setting to get it to dial through the phone. I also had to replace the Init String with "+MODE=2" under the details for the connection configuration.

If you want a real Bluetooth phone, don't get one from Verizon. But if you must, I hope these tips help.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sadly, Nothing We Didn't Already Know

Yet another reason why we homeschool. According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this is "entirely within the mainstream of educational practice". Sadly, you just know this study would have been squashed if it were Biblical names, roles and prayers that the students were adopting. Not that I am surprised, but this is certainly one of the most blatant pieces of evidence that our society is developing more and more of a double standard.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Brainstorming on Failures

The Global Language Monitor catalogs political incorrect speech. It would be a hoot of a read if it wasn't actually serious. The two that caught my eye were "Thought Shower or Word Shower substituting for brainstorm so as not to offend those with brain disorders such as epilepsy" and "Deferred Success as a euphemism for the word fail."

I work in the computer software industry and brainstorming is a valuable and frequently used method for coming up with a variety of potential solutions to problems. I just cannot use "Thought Shower" or "Word Shower" with a straight face. I suppose these terms attempt to capture the verbal effect of a brainstorming session, but they in no way accurately reflect the true underlying activity. A key aspect is using your brain, not just saying a bunch of words. To top it all off the so called offendees don't find the term offensive at all.

"Deferred success" is even funnier. I can just see trying to use that term at the next system test: "That system didn't fail the test, it was just a deferred success". The howls of laughter would be deafening. People need to relearn personal responsibility.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Lech L'Cha - Go Forth, Yourself!

It's been a while since I did a Bible study here. I was working on one for Sukkot but did not get it finished in time.

Here are some notes on todays Parashiot, Gen. 12:1-17:27, from the service this morning.
"Gen 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram,
" Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father's house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
Note how many times the word "bless" is used. As children of Abraham we are blessed. We are also called to be a blessing.

Gen 15:6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him,
"I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it."
8 He said,
"O LordGOD, how may I know that I will possess it?"
9 So He said to him,
" Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 God said to Abram,
"Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 "As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 "Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."
17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,
" To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21 and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite."
Here God makes a covenant with Abram. The form used is that of a blood covenant. The parties of the covenant would walk between the pieces of the sacrifice, through the blood of the sacrifice, to seal the covenant. The interesting thing is that Abram was asleep and did not walk through: God made the covenant with himself. He promised Himself that Abram and his descendents would inherit the land. And Abram saw and believed.

Gen 17:5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram,
But your name shall be Abraham;
For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
In changing Abram's name God put His name, "ha", into Abrahams name.

Also, "many nations" is "goyim" in Hebrew. That is the Hebrew word for Gentiles. God's promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations includes all the nations, including Gentiles.

Furthermore, Abraham's name is a merger of Hebrew and Arabic: "aham" is Arabic in origin. God was saying that Abraham would be the father of both the Hebrew and Arab nations. It is too bad that so many of God's Arabic children are chasing after a false god.

God, the God of Abraham, has provided salvation for all who will follow him. Praise the Lord.

All quotes NASU from PC Study Bible

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Violence, Guns, Religion and Justice

It's been a while, so even though I don't have anything big and profound to say I thought I'd put up a few tidbits of what has been catching my attention:

Riots in France: This post over at the Nation of Riflemen pretty much sums up my opinion: It serves them right. New Sisyphus provides an erudite analysis of the racial aspect of what is going on. In my opinion the violence in Europe in an object lesson on the consequences of the inevitable failure of racist class-structured societies based on socialist welfare economies with liberal helps of appeasement policies thrown in. Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to me that the main stream media is this country is dropping this topic faster than a hot potato because it doesn't fit their worldview. Once the novelty wore off, out it went.

2nd Amendment: It looks like the flower children in San Francisco actually voted for a firearms ban. Such bans have been declared unconstitutional before and hopefully will again. The Gun Guy at NOR offers up an interesting treatise on 2nd Amendment defense arguing that the first line of defense is in the realm of law. He also argues that when unconstitutional laws are passed they can and should be ignored. I agree, but sometimes, in practice, such laws cannot be ignored. Then they must be resisted.

Alito for SCOTUS: Good second choice. I just wish President Bush had received a fair shake on his first choice.

Anglican Church: The American Anglican Council blogsite has an article about the meeting between the homosexual bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. During the meeting "Dr Rowan Williams and Bishop Robinson discussed the crisis and also prayed together "[emphasis mine]. That brings up the simple question; Did they both pray to the same god, and if so what god?

If anyone had any questions about what the head of the Anglican church thinks about having homosexual clergy in the Anglican church this meeting should have resolved those questions. I'm sure Dr. Williams is upset about the divisions created in his church by Gene Robinson's election to bishop, but I don't think he actually has any fundamental problem with homosexual clergy, as long as they stay quiet and don't cause waves. Appeasement doesn't work for countries, nor does it work for churches.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What's Next?

Well I hope everyone is happy (NOT) to have scuttled a very good nomination. I believe Harriet Miers would have made a very good, conservative Supreme Court Justice. I think it was the Democrats who were getting suckered into supporting someone they thought was a closet liberal, but who really had become a converted conservative.

What next? I suspect the rabid, radical conservatives who wanted a fight might actually get one now. I wish we could have slid one over on the Democrats and liberals without having to risk a filibuster, but who knows now.

I guess we'll just have to wait and watch.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I Think It Will Be OK

I've been perusing the blogsphere reading all the woe and dismay among many so called conservatives regarding Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. I have one word for them "THINK!". Think before you speak, before you write, before you go off the deep end and scuttle another smart move by our President.

I believe she is a socially conservative Christian with a strict conservative legal view. Check out Marv Olasky's blog over at World Magazine and this article for some clues. She may be a Bush confidant but she is no syncophant. Nobody reaches her level of professional achievement without a backbone: For goodness sake she took on the American BAR Association from within. The more I think about it the personal connection to President Bush is a positive thing: I believe he knows the depth of her personal convictions that will drive her decisions and that she's no fading lily pseudo-conservative.

Regarding her law degree; cut the snobbery. Do you really want a lawyer trained in one of the Ivy League bastions of liberalism? Some like John Roberts rise above it, but better to be free from the taint to begin with. I suspect SMU is a good enough program. Besides as anyone who has worked for a living will tell you it's what you do with your degree after you get it that counts.

I suspect the conservative reaction is as much one of surprise versus any real opposition. At least I hope so. Once people get over it I think they'll start seeing the strengths in what they are reacting to as weaknesses. And they'll thank our President for another very smart choice. He may not be the most articulate President we've ever had, and I do wish he could rein in government spending somehow, but he is looking like one of the smarter Presidents we've had.

Monday, September 26, 2005

FS: Registered American Nubian GoatsA

Break, break for a commercial message:

We have several registered American Nubian goats we're trying to sell. These are primarily milking goats, with very good dairy bloodlines. Nubian goat milk is high in butterfat content and tastes as good or better than cows milk.

The first is Aurora, a 2 year old first-freshener. She is putting out a little over 1/2 gallon a day 5 1/2 months into her lactation cycle. She is on test and is expected to earn her star in the next month or two on butterfat quantity.

The other two, Lucky and Rosemary, are doelings born this spring. They have very good dairy bloodlines and can be expected to be good, strong milk producers.

Please go to http://yeshuasglory.blogspot.com/ for more details, including prices. We are located in Central MA and can transport within a reasonable distance for a small fee to cover gas. Contact me at kevinjmiller@yahoo.com if you are interested or want more information.

You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.

UPDATE: [Bump]

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Way to Go Charlie!

I'm not usually one to put sports figures up as role models, but this case certain warrants it. Coaches who are successful at the highest levels of their sport and who have a heart tend to be rather rare. Charlie Weis was one of the big reasons that the Patriots won 3 out of the last 4 Super Bowls, and this I think is the kind of reason why.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

RIP: Du Toit's

The Du Toit's have left the blogsphere. I'm very sorry to see them go, particularly without much explaination. Here is what little information that is available. Good luck Kim and Connie and hope you both resurface soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What's Next for the SCOTUS

Captain Ed has posted a very insightful analysis of the John Roberts nomination end-game and what it might mean for the next SCOTUS nomination. Given that the rabid BHLs in the Senate have decided to pick up their marbles and go home I really hope that President Bush picks a Scalia/Thomas soul-mate to replace Justice O'Conner. He has no reason to do otherwise.

Who might that be? Captain Ed suggests one name. I think there are a few others that might be good also, as long as their name doesn't start with A.G. and end in Gonzales. One of the women or ethnic minority candidates would be nice, but not required, particularly if it is as a sop to the left. George Bush owes them NOTHING.

We shall see.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina Anthology

This is mostly a list of news sources and blogs with information regarding the mishandling of Katrina relief efforts. There's not much to say, the facts mostly speak for themselves.
I'll update this as more comes to light.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Quicker Way to Have Sealed the Levee

Saw these two posts[1, 2] over at Two-Four about helicopters dropping 3,000 lb sandbags one at a time to seal the break in a levee. Got me thinking there might have been quicker way:

~23 3,000lb bombs sandbags in one pass

~16 3,000lb bombs sandbags in one pass

A couple of passes from one of these bad boys would have had the levee closed up in no time, right?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Black = Mayhem NOT

I was clued into this report from Kim du Toit's blog. As Kim points out if Mr. Levy were writing this:
"I am beginning to believe that black people, no matter where in the world they are, are cursed with a genetic predisposition to steal, murder, and create mayhem."
in America instead of Jamaica he'd be strung up by now. He has some interesting observations but he doesn't really ask why. The "genetic predisposition" line is just a lazy cop-out: "It's not my fault, I'm just black".

I really think it has nothing to do with ones race. The fundamental reason is that people who have grown up in an culture of despair, without respect for authority, without hope for something better are going to react badly in times of crisis.

Too many black people here and elsewhere have been abandoned spiritually and politically. They get a "social gospel" from ministers charlatans like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton that blames others for their personal condition rather than pointing them to the real cure.

Then the BHLs [spit] feed them the affirmative action line causing them to expect something for nothing. Add that to a government welfare and aid system that makes it easier to stay on the dole than not, and you get people who are lazy, demanding and personally irresponsible. Then take away the structure that's been giving to them and you get lawlessness. It has nothing to do really with being black. Put anyone in this situation over time and you will get the same behavior.

Quit blaming your race, or your minister, or your mother, or your neighbor. Get right with The Man, then get to work.

Update: I wrote this then went off to check my usually list of suspects bloggers. Lo and behold here are others that have written on this subject far more eloquently than I. If this post whet your appetite then try these:
From a woman's perspective.
In depth sociological analysis.
Detailed Katrina response timeline. In case you need some facts.

Promotion to Chief

Chief Justice Rehnquist has passed on, God rest his soul. Thank you sir for your service to this nation.

I was going to post some bloviations about who our President might pick to replace Justice Rehnquist and how he might go about it, but he beat me to it. It is nice to see Mr. Bush knows when to take his time and when to move quickly. I think it was a good move, tactically. John Roberts is likely to be confirmed fairly quickly.

I am a bit nervous about putting someone in the Chief seat without a track record on the Court. Nothing I've seen or heard in the weeks since his nomination calls into question his basic judicial conservatism; however, there's this little voice in the back of my head that keeps chanting "Da-vid, Da-vid, Da-vid". I hope it is wrong, but the hand has been dealt so we'll have to see how it plays out.

Stay tuned.

Update: Again, others in the blogsphere wax eloquent:
Captain's Quarters analysis.
New Sisyphus Requium for Rehnquist.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Not Everyone Who Says "Lord, Lord"

I really try to avoid making judgements about another persons status as a Christian. If they claim to be a Christian then I try to give them every benefit of doubt. However, there is no way these people can be considered Christians, regardless of what they call themselves. We as Christians are called to comfort those who mourn, not hold a unrelated protest at the funeral. Even if you believe there is a problem with the gay homsexual agenda in this country, the means of this protest in no way justifies its ends.

I shall be praying that the members of Westboro Baptist repent of their sin and make amends to those they have wronged.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Kinda Doctor

This seems to be becoming a political correctness watch lately; So much PC, so little time.

This "Live Free or Die" doctor gave his patient the straight skinny and she filed a complain?! And it sounds like the state medical board is actually considering it??! And the AG wanted him to take a course in response to the complaint???! What kind of course would that be? "How to make your patients feel good by lying to them" or "Boosting your patient's self-esteem at the expense of their health".

A patient complaining about being told they had a chronic medical condition that adversely affects their health because they didn't like the news is another example of the delusion that it is more important that people "feel affirmed" than they be told what they need to hear. This is the kind of pablum that has infected most of the public schools: We can't give Johnny the low grade he deserves to get his butt in gear because it might hurt his "self-esteem". It's behind the whole meritless affirmative action mess and many other socialist nanny-state ideas. Sometimes the truth hurts, so we won't tell the truth.

Dr. Bennett is the kind of doctor this country needs more of. Go get 'em Doctor!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

More Heights of Political Correctness

From Merriam-Webster Online:
Etymology: Middle English werriour, from Old North French werreieur, from werreier to make war, from werre war -- more at WAR
: a man engaged or experienced in warfare
You wouldn't know it from his biography but English must not be Admiral Timothy J. Keating's, Commander of NORAD, first language: He certainly does not understand it. Exhibit one: "Airspace exercises to drop references to U.S. Indians". And where did he get his stars, a Cracker Jack box?

As anyone can plainly see the definition of "warrior" has nothing to do with Indians American Natives. The word predates European contact with Indians American Natives and the fact that it was applied to Indian American Native warriors was really a sign of respect. Similarly the word "brave": Look up what the word means if you have any doubt.

Brave warriors are exactly what members of the military are supposed be, and that even includes NORAD. Warrior has been a term of honor and respect for every military person I've had contact with over the last 20 years. To attempt to remove it from the military lexicon is the worst form of misguided, ignorant censorship based on false information and fallacious reasoning.

Adm. Keating ought to be booted out of the Navy so fast his head swims because he obviously has no clue what it means to be in a warrior military officer. I'm sure he can find a position over at the UN: they wouldn't know a warrior if one landed in their laps; but that's another rant for another time.

UPDATE: AubreyTurner.org beat me to the UN rant here. I may elaborate sometime, but this is pretty good summary to start with.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Teaching: God's Plan

Today in service we finished going through Numbers in the weekly Torah readings. Our congregation leader at K'vod Yisrael, Ken Levitt, did a very good job of tying together the book of Numbers and showing one of its applications to our life today. Here was one of his key points, in my own words, that I would like to share:

In Numbers we see God bringing order to His people. There is a census to number them (twice actually). God then assigns the tribes and families places to camp, specific responsibilities (Num 3, 4) and their place in the marching order. The Lord gives many other laws and commands in Numbers, all designed to provide order and direction for the people at the current time and in the future.

The Israelites rebelled several times against God's order, most notably when they refused to believe that God could give them the land He had promised. In every case they were punished, but not as severely as was warranted. In the end His commands and directions provided the unity they needed to survive and grow as a people.

In Numbers 33:1-49 we read Moses's log of the journey of the Israelites. There was I believe a reason for each place they went to and stop they made. God had a plan and order for His people. He knew where they were to go and what each was to do. Not everyone did the same things. Each tribe and family had assigned responsibilities.

This same principle applies today. The Apostle Paul reiterates it in I Corinthians 12 where he talks about each person having a specific gift, but not all the same. Although we in our humanness will sometimes (often?) question why we or someone else has a gift we perceive to be better or worse, they all fit together to work God's plan. We should not be like the Israelites in rebellion but exercise the gifts we are given and continually seek the Lord's guidance and direction.

New Heights of Political Correctness

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a fan of men's college basketball. For example, I run a March Madness pool over on Yahoo every year. But this coming year I may not. This madness from the NCAA, "NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events", might just be enough to make me swear off college basketball.

How is having an Indian Native American nickname, image or mascot associated with an athletic program abusive or hostile? I just don't understand. It is PC at its worst. Every mention of Indians Native Americans related to college athletic programs that I am aware of is in relationship to their warrior ethos. I would think that is a part of their heritage that Indians Native Americans would be proud of and want celebrated.

There is lots of negative sterotypes and imagery of Indians Native Americans that should be avoided; that of being considered "savages" in past centuries, or the prevalance of poverty and alcholism on many reservations, or even the association with casinos and gambling, but that is not what is happening. The NCAA wants no mention whatsoever of Indians Native Americans. Ridiculous.

There are plenty of other things related to athletics that they should be worrying about instead of this misguided, misinformed interference in normal college affairs. Clearly nicknames of a religious nature are next, then they'll probably go after the weather phenomena names, after that who knows, maybe names with colors in them since they might offend the colorblind.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Have it Your Way, Maybe

Is this a step in the Westernization of Islam, or is it Muslims taking on the facade of Western culture but not the spirit? I guess I should be encouraged to see signs of Muslims taking positive part in the cultural activities of the Western world, but I'm not sure they really are.

First off, if you look at this version you can see it does not appear to be a real Burger King: It's knock-off with a play on the name. Make me wonder who is assimilating who.

Second, it's in France. Put a couple of these in Gaza and Tehran and then we'll see.

Third, and I really hate to think this way, but ... When a Muslim rats out another Muslim that was planning to, or God forbid did, bomb a BKM because of it's "Satanic threat to all true Muslims" then I'll think about considering Islam a religion of peace. There are too many Muslims inciting or committing violence in the name of their religion, or sheltering those that do, for me to really believe that now. I know many Muslims are peaceful people, but I think that's just because there are a lot of generally peaceful people regardless of their religion.

As they say, the jury is still out, updates at 11.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Congratulations Lance!

Lance Armstrong takes his seventh Tour de France. Here are the final standings. Even more interesting to note is that there are 3 Americans in the top 10 and not 1 Frenchman. That's got to hurt in Paris, and I'm glad it does after all the hassle they've given Lance over the years. Not to mention thei behavior over Iraq. They just cannot accept the fact that a Texan can whip them at their own game, and there are more to come.

p.s. Some advice Mr. Armstrong. You won the Tour 7 times by putting together the best team. If you want to go into politics join the right side. Lose the loser J.K. He's the political equivalent of a failed domestique on a toddler tricycle team.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Second Amendment Comeback

This one is good; very good. Here's an excerpt (and it gets better):
"She went into a rant about how violence creates violence, war is for people who don'’t know how to negotiate (or some such BS) and I was waiting for the famous "You can'’t hug a child with nuclear arms"” drivel, but it never arrived. It probably would have except that as she got a couple sentences into her rant, I started unfolding my Shotgun News and that really made her mad.

Her last line something like "And stupid stickers like that one and stupid people like you will never understand and that really pisses me off!" and it was at full volume, so that folks still sitting in their vehicles around us were able to take notice.

I calmly folded my Shotgun News back up and asked if it made her pissed off enough to try and hit me."

I love it when irony exposes hypocrisy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

And We Have a Winner...

We now have a Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts. I'm actually impressed with the wisdom of President Bush's choice, and a little surprised. I really though he might go for a minority. He appears to be very smart,with impeccable legal credentials, a constitutionalist, and a conservative, but not radically so. Looks like President Bush went for a confirmable choice, and very well may have gotten a good justice to boot.

Let the games begin, but I don't think the radicals on either side will find much traction.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Family Prayer Request Update

My father-in-law passed away on July 7th. We are in Pennsylvania for the funeral. Please keep the whole family in your prayers.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bullpen, What Bullpen?

The Red Sox bullpen blows another one; surprise, surprise. Then this morning I see this article in one of the trade rags I get at work. Interesting story, but it's a lie: They can't use IP to call the bullpen because they have no bullpen!!!

Good thing I don't care that much about baseball otherwise I'd be really upset.

Monday, July 04, 2005

It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn

I think the recent increase in violence in Iraq is a last-gasp kind of thing. The Captain in Red on Red in Iraq point out that the tide is starting to turn at the grass roots level. It's about time.

I certainly wouldn't want to live in Saudia Arabia, but as the Anti-Idiotarian points out in Another Splodeydoper Goes To Meet His 72 Goats they do know how to take care of terrorists.

Earlier I mentioned Kim duToit and his Nation of Riflemen blog. He's decided to take a hiatus. Kim, you have leave from a grateful nation to take your 7 days R&R. Use it wisely and return rested and ready for battle.

Family Prayer Request

I ask that you keep our family in your prayers. My father-in-law, Kim, needs heart valve replacement surgery, but his physical condition is currently such that they cannot do the surgery. Please be in prayer that his condition improves so that the doctors can do the necessary operation. His prognosis is good, if they can get the surgery done.

Thank you and God Bless

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sports Spots

I generally like to spread my posts out instead of two in one day. Ah well, consider it a bonus.

Three sports events caught my notice today:

I was disappointed that Serena, one half of the tennis machine duo, won at Wimbledon. It's better than one of the Belgian tomboys, but I had hoped that the girl next door Lindsey Davenport would win.

I have little use for the French, except that they do put on THE bicycle race. I just wish they'd quit whining and accept the fact that the best, clean cyclist in the last 7 years is an American. Go Lance! That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

The Red Sox need a bullpen. 10 runs in 3 innings has got to be some kind of record for runs given up by a bullpen. Once Schilling gets back they'll have some room to maneuver. If they can find a decent reliever somewhere, somehow, I think they'll make a real good run at putting 2 stakes in the heart of the curse.

Requiem for O'Connor

Some on the right, particularly pro-life folks, are glad to see her resign. While I am most certainly pro-life, I'm not sure her resignation is the best thing right now. Obviously one cannot second-guess her personal situation that would cause her to resign, however I would rather see one or more of the liberal justices leave before Justice O'Connor, particularly given the expected resignation of Justice Rehnquist. Although she was more liberal than I like on issues like abortion, she was on the right side of many other cases. I wish her the best.

I don't envy President Bush his choice. He has one vacancy to fill now with another even more important one to come sometime soon. Does he take on the fight now and nominate a clear, hard-core conservative, or go a bit more centrist and save his chips for the bigger battle. Lots of groups, including the Democracts and their far left feminazis are choosing up sides already.

I have no clue who he'll pick. Here's an article that describes some of the potential candidates. Given what I've been reading I'm not sure Alberto Gonzales would be a very good pick. There are better choices, including minorities. He's weak on judical experience and would not generate strong support from either side. Besides, he already has a good job. Somebody like Alito, Garza, Jones, Olson, or Wilkinson would be better IMNSHO. We shall see.

What say you on a replacement?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Supreme Court Bad Behavior

The Supreme Court closed out this session with a trio of baffling decisions. Rather than come clean and make clear that Ten Commandment displays do not constitute making an unconstitutional "law respecting an establishment of religion", regardless of where they are displayed, they muddied the waters further with legalistic hair-splitting questions of "inside" or "outside" and "intent". Plaques, papers and monuments do not constitute laws. Nor are the Ten Commandments or other similar documents a religious establishment or organization. Read the English, it's really quite plain, "establishment" is being used as a noun and not a verb. Get back to the written meaning of the Constitution and quit ruling that is says something it doesn't.

Then in the Grokster case the (In)Justices continue their practicing of siding with government and big business versus the inherent and explicit rights of the people, including freedom of speech. This despite their own prior legal precedent in the Betamax case. Even more baffling is the fact that such a decision was unanimous. I just don't get it. How can they be so bought and paid for?

What to do now becomes the question. Article III, Section 1 says "The Judges, ..., shall hold their Offices during good Behavior". It also appears to say they can be impeached. In the real world not doing your job properly and exceeding your authority would certainly be considered bad behavior. Recent rulings provide clearer and clearer evidence that a number of (in)justices on this court have no clue what their job is.

Therefore, let us begin the call for impeachment. We'll start with Souter, if for no other reason than his deceptive confirmation behavior, most everything since then is just grist for the mill. Next would be Ginsberg, Stevens and Breyer. That ought to clean the court out quite nicely and even allow for a mistake or two along the way. Call your Representatives and urge an immediate start. Return our government to the people.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Psalm 121

Today's teaching comes from Psalm 121:

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;

He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel

Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;

The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will protect you from all evil;

He will keep your soul.

The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in

From this time forth and forever.

This passage is not just a piece of nice ancient poetry. It is a promise from God to the Psalmist that he would be Israel's always vigilant close at hand protector, guarding their activities and their souls from threats both spiritually and earthly. He will watch over His People.

As believers, grafted into the olive tree of His People (Rom 17:18), we too are partakers of this promise. It applies to all who believe and follow Him. This is strength and comfort, an rock to hold to, in a time when the actions and decisions of our fellow human beings cause us distress. I pray that we will hold onto His promises even when the way is rocky and sky dark. He will protect and guide.

God Bless.

*all quotes from New American Standard Bible-Updated and PC Study Bible

Friday, June 24, 2005

Open Letter to (In)Justice Anthony Kennedy

Dear Injustice Kennedy; What were your thinking ?!?!? KELO et al. v. CITY OF NEW LONDON et al. was oh so clearly a Big-Daddy-Nanny-Government versus The-Constitutional-Rights-of-da-People issue how could you vote for it? The fact that the 4 libs on the court were for it should have been your first clue.

What part of "Public" and "Private" do you not understand? You quote the trial court who said "Where the purpose [of a taking] is economic development and that development is to be carried out by private parties or private parties will be benefited..." You should have stopped right there and said no!

Next time someone calls you "a conservative" you should go sue them for libel/slander. I'm sure you'd win great sums of money.

I realize this may be a lost plea, but if you get the chance please retire soon and take at least one of your liberal buddies with you. Maybe we can then get a couple of more justices on the court that understand the Constitution means what says and doesn't need reinterpretation or extension.

Thank you

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What's the Real "Truth about Hillary"

Ed Klein's new book "The Truth about Hillary" appears to be causing quite a stir before it's even out. I heard an interview with Mr. Klein by Sean Hannity this evening on the radio. It sounded like he's pulled together some very interesting information.

However, Mr. Hannity seemed to think some (many?) of the allegations were "too personal". And many so-called conservative bloggers are saying that Republicans should run away from this book because some of the excerpts sound undocumented and too salacious, or because somebody else said so. That seems suspicious to me. The book is not even out yet and it's being judged based on limited information and hearsay. The Clinton machine cannot easily attack Mr. Klein for being card-carrying member of the vast right wing conspiracy; makes me wonder whether there's a more round-about smear campaign underway.

Frankly, I think conservative Republicans have become too timid, scared by the failure of President Clinton's impeachment. We should stick to our principles, speak out minds, and make our own decisions about what we believe. Personal behavior does matter: It's a pretty good indicator of public and political actions.

Get the book, read it, and make up your own mind. That's what I plan to do

Friday, June 17, 2005

Terri Schiavo, Murder or Not?

I know I'm going to be out of step with most of my conservative friends on this issue. The Terri Schiavo autopsy report resolved a big "if" in my mind; that of whether there was any hope of recovery for her. Miracles do happen, but it's clear to me that this was not one of those cases. Her husband and doctors were dealing with facts whereas her parents were operating purely on their hopes.

The other "if" was determining what she would have wanted. I guess I have to accept the determination of the courts that there was sufficient evident that she would not want to have continued in the state she was in. Given that I have to conclude that letting her die was not murder.

In fairness to those who would disagree, she was still a person and she was still alive. I just don't think this particular unique case rises to standard of murder. Also, I agree she was killed in a particularly painful and poor manner, and I wish there were some way to have made her more comfortable in her passing, but it wasn't criminally wrong.

I realize I've not articulated an entirely consistent position here. I still think that society is too quick to condone murder in various forms because it is convenient or easy. This is a very tough issue that I think sometimes defies neat, pat answers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Mr. White Glove

"Not guilty" = "Innocent", NOT. Enough said.

2nd Amendment Blog

I found this blog, "A Nation of Riflemen" by Kim du Toit, a week or so ago. Imagine a blog written by a conservative, homeschooling, atheist, anti-racist, South African emigrant, rock musician and writer named Kim. I don't entirely agree with him, but if you are into preserving our 2nd Amendment rights then this will be an interesting read for you. He's also go lotsa links to various other similar blogs and related information.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Mark Felt, Hero or Villan?

Was Mark Felt a virtuous whistle-blower exposing government corruption, or a venial traitor acting out of selfish revenge? There clearly was reason for personal animosity against President Nixon. On the other hand there was plenty of evidence to leak. His motives may be suspect, but I think almost everyone today agrees that the information provided was not false. He may have been an angry snitch, but he wasn't a liar.

At the same time I don't think he was any kind of hero. By comparison look at the people who have released information about Presidential misbehavior in the last 10 years or so. Almost every one of them did so in public or under oath using their real name. They put their money, their jobs and their reputations where their mouth was. Mr. Felt slunk around in the shadows like some kind of criminal most likely because he didn't want to hurt his precious career. That's not the behavior of a hero.

Nor do I think he was solely responsible for the fall of the Nixon administration. Who knows what would have come out. Somebody might have openly come forward to tell what they knew and saw. The Press might have actually found more information from other sources. One or more of the government investigations might have actually resulted in action. There are too many "ifs" to make this one man the sole reason for what followed.

So, I think Mark Felt was an ambitious angry man who leaked the facts he had at his disposal for his own purposes. The end result was what needed to happen, but I wonder whether the chain of events might have unfolded with less pain for the country if the facts had come out in a more open manner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Fungus Amoung Us

It's been a tough couple of days. All nine of the children came down with a cold last Friday. It's not a bad cold, but the sheer numbers made it trying. They are all getting over it, but then my DW came down with is on Sunday, and it was my turn last night and today. Ah well, lots of tea and rest and I should be back on my feet tomorrow.

Take care and keep well,

Saturday, May 07, 2005

K'Doshim - Holy Ones

From time to time I'll be posting a Bible teaching.

Todays Parashiot+ has an interesting point that I'd like to expound on for a minute. Leviticus 19:33, 34 states:
"When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. "The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God."*
Sometimes we as Christians have forgotten that we are commanded to love those who are not Christians; to treat them fairly and honestly, as we would treat ourselves.

That doesn't mean we overlook sinful behavior. For example, Leviticus 19:18, 18 states:
"You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. "
The Lord indicates we are to reprove our neighbor if they are sinning, not turn our back or ignore them, but in doing so we are not to sin against them. This admonition is bracketed by commands to love and not hate them and I believe this command has preminence.

Yeshua extended this principle as recorded in Matthew 5:43-47:
"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"
We are to love our neighbors and the strangers who live around us even if they hate us. That is one of the hardest things to do. We want to be treated as we treat others, but that is not God's command: We are to treat others as we wish to be treated, regardless of what they do.

Why do this? Because, God is our Lord and most holy and we as his followers and people are to be holy like him.

God Bless.

*all Bible quotes NASU, from PC Study Bible*
+Todays Parashiot readings from the Torah, Haftarah and B'rit Chadashah are Lev 10:1-20:27, Amos 9:7-15, Ex. 20:2-20, Matt. 5:43-48. A complete listing of 2004-05 Parashiot readings can be found here.+

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Springtime on the Farm

It's been a busy week around the homestead. All four of our Nubian does have finally kidded. One went several weeks ago, one kidded on Wednesday, and two did so today.

Wednesday was a real rollercoaster. Star had some problems with the first kid, but my DW and a friend were able to get him out. They thought there was one more, but could not get it out and had to call a vet. She was concerned that the kid was dead and that she might lose Star as well. The vet was able to get the TWO remaining kids out, and doeling and a buckling, and Star was fine.

Today was very long and tiring. Usually Saturday is a day of rest for us, but the 2 remaining does both went into labor today. Rose had two kids, a doeling and a buckling. The doeling is fine, but the buckling had trouble coming out and was born dead.

Then our queen doe, Dawn, went into labor. She had one doeling and seemed like she was going to have more, but no more came out. We were quite surprised because she was very large, but she passed the placenta and we checked her over very carefully and there are no more kids. She never ceases to amaze us in different ways.

The grand total is four live doelings, three live bucklings, and one dead buckling. We expected two or three more, particularly given that Dawn has given three or four kids her previous kiddings, but are happy with what we have.

Enough for now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A New Pope

So much for my belly-button prediction. It looks like the cardinals went very conventional this time. I am glad they choose a conservative to continue John Paul II's theological direction.

We shall see what happens in the coming years. It wasn't that long ago that a "transitional pope" really shook up the Roman Catholic church. I kind-of hope Benedict XVI lives to be 90 or something. I've always believed God has a sense of humor.


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Picking a Pope and Spring has Sprung

Tomorrow at The Vatican the cardinals of the Roman Catholic church gather to select a successor to John Paul II. Now I'm no Catholic, but I do find it interesting to read the take of the newsies on the conclave. They seem to think the selection process is some kind of political party chief selection; kind of like Dean and the Democrats. They really have no appreciation of the religious aspect of all this. I have no doubt that church politics will play a role, but I also like to believe that the cardinals will truly seek God's direction in their selection. I wouldn't be surprised if another "dark horse" is selected.

Now to Spring. It was lovely day, almost too warm, here in New England. The snows of winter are long gone, except for the piles of dirt and gravel where the snow banks were and the broken fence posts that I slide into while plowing. Didn't get much done about the dirt and stone, but I did get the fence posts replaced. Maybe some of the children can start working on the gravel in the yard this week.

Enough for this evening.
Take care and God Bless.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Come on in the Water's Fine

Been hearing about blogging for a while now. I've decided to take the leap and see what there is to this phenomena. Don't know if anyone will be interested in reading what I might have to say, but you don't know until you try.

So who am I? Here are some words that apply: male, white Caucasian, husband, father, nine children, Massachusetts, software engineer, program manager, Christian... More will come up as we go along.

I make no promises as to how often I'll update here so as to tell no lies :)

That's enough to start with.
Welcome aboard, enjoy the ride