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Friday, February 27, 2004

VDH Friday


I have to go to work in a few minutes, early day. I haven't had a chance to review this, Words that Don't Matter but I'm sure it's up to the standard that we expect out of Mr. Hanson.

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School choice


Ah, yes. Our wonderful public school system. The Separation of School and State.

First of all, what started out the story:
In the wake of a fatal shooting, the security for a D.C. high school was officially turned over to the city's police department last week. Armed officers will patrol the halls.
I'm sorry to say that schools like this will never go away. Even if we were able to get the best and brightest students out and away from hellholes such as this, the students that create the situation in the first place will still be there, necessitating such measures. But that is no excuse to sacrifice those who have a chance to escape in the name of those who don't have that chance.
Two of the most viable ones are homeschooling and apprenticeships. Neither prevents anyone from choosing public schools; each merely offers a choice at no public expense. How could anyone reasonably object to that?
I'll tell you right now the teachers and NEA have a problem with things like this. They realize that every success undermines their position, and they are the masters of incrementalism. If they allow this today, they'll have to take another step back when the first step proves successful. Before you know it, people will think they have the right to teach their own children, or to send them to whatever school they want to.

This must not be allowed to happen. People by and large are too stupid to raise their children or to make such decisions.

Of course, if you believe the above, you are hopelessly Liberal. It is a basic tenet of this country that people are NOT stupid, and must be empowered to make their own decisions. Just like there is a freedom to starve, there is a freedom to make the wrong choice. This freedom must never be taken away from us.

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Misspellings


In a related story: This concerns me. Gaffes spell doom: Students’ sloppy letters aid charter schools’ approval.

I think this quote sums it up, emphasis mine.
[Board of Education member Roberta] Schaefer ridiculed the letters against a proposed school in Marlboro for their missing punctuation and sloppy spelling - including a misspelling of the word "school'' in one missive.

"If I didn't think a charter school was necessary, these letters have convinced me the high school was not doing an adequate job in teaching English language arts,'' Schaefer said.
Misspelling simple words at the high school level, especially in a letter to an important person, shows the sloppiness not only of the student, but of the teacher as well. These letters were supposed to show that these charter schools weren't needed, but proved the very point that they are desperately needed. Anything to get away from the monolithic bureaucracy that is the public schools. And, of course, the teachers union opposes any kind of opposition. They would never put the welfare of the children above their own petty agenda, would they?

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More Kerry Waffling


Here's two stories, Kerry's View on Israel's Fence: 'Legitimate' or 'Barrier to Peace'? and Kerry Donors Include 'Benedict Arnolds' show just who he isn't.

The first article talks about his standard giving the audience what they want to hear, and in doing that he comes down on both side of the issue. The second article is all about biting the hand that feeds him.

Kerry couldn't make up his mind and stick to it if his life depended on it, and in this time and place it does.

What strikes me as odd is Clinton did the same thing, but never got the same level of coverage about his flip-flops. It's like the media are in league with Hillary and her 2008 bid that I've talked about before. It seems like the media is trying to shave points away from Kerry without being too obvious about it.

Heh.

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Thursday, February 26, 2004

WOW


I have a ton on stuff to comment on, but I have to go into work today, I have some mandatory annual training to take, so I'm working half-days today and tomorrow. After a visit and errand by my case manager, I'll be back and working off my queue of stories.

Later.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Humor Wednesday


I have to admit, I wonder how they get these stunning pictures.




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39 Percent


Well, I have two tactical squads done, plus a rhino and a dreadnought. I also have my HQ squad done, except for the apothecary which is coming in the mail. I have two rhinos, a predator (heavily armed rhino) a dreadnought, my assault squad and another tactical squad left to go, and only 31 days left to go. I might make it. I really want to get this done quickly because I want to practice a game or two so I really know how Warhammer works. I've watched a few games, but that's been it.

Here's what I have to date:




Thanks for looking.
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This scares me


I'll say it again: This scares me. This article, Socialism Lite is being enacted today and most people don't know it.

This quote:
"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."
Enough of this quote rings true that it doesn't matter if someone actually said it or not. This is what is happening today, right now, this second.

This is not how the Founding Fathers envisioned the United States:
What does the DSA believe? According to the Greater Detroit DSA local : "We believe that everyone has a right to . . .

  • Affordable quality health care, quality education, food and shelter, and childcare;
  • A full-time job at a living wage;
  • Living-level disability and retirement income (Social Security);
  • Meaningful participation in public affairs and politics;
  • Meaningful participation in workplace decisions; and
  • A healthy, clean environment
. . . regardless of income, education, gender, race, or sexual orientation."
Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers, we here in the US have many freedoms. But one of the most important one has been taken away from many of us: The Freedom to starve. This very basic tenet of life is one of the founding freedoms. It is upon this freedom that our greatness has been born from. Many people do face this freedom every day, but there are enough charity programs out there that not many actually do stare this freedom in the face.

You know, it used to be, "Want a house? Here's an axe. There's some trees over there. Want fast food? Here's a gun. There's an elk. Don't miss."

When I was separated from my family over a year ago, I already had a job, else I would be working at a pizza place, a Kroger or a stop-n-rob. I faced the freedom to starve and I passed the test. All of my disability money goes to my family, none to me.

There are many that are unable to pass this test. Those people deserve the charity they receive. There are many that are able to pass the test. Those that can, but won't should starve. Won't being the operative word. Those who refuse to help themselves are not worthy of public support. If they want to get their GED, get some schooling and find a good job, I have no problem with that. But to languish around and do nothing, let them starve. Either they will pass the test or they won't, it's all up to them.

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Anti-Gun Stuff


I happened across this on Newsmax, Senate Democrats Push Anti-gun Measures and I picked it for two reasons.

First, it is a continuation of one of yesterdays entries about the anti-lawsuit legislation. This desperately needs to get through.

Second, is an erroneous quote from a Republican Senator:
"Although I voted against the ban a decade ago, over the past 10 years it has reduced crime dramatically and has made our streets safer," [Virginia Senator John]Warner said. "The legislation also has protected the rights of gun owners better than many of us predicted."
Semi-automatic rifles with the cosmetic features as described in the "Assault Weapons Ban" are used in less than 2% of crimes. They are unwieldy, difficult to conceal, and the bullets of the military issue rifles(7.62x39, .308, 5.56) are designed to wound, not kill.

What has reduced crime is actions like Project Exile where repeat felons caught with guns, even ammunition, have their parole revoked and are hauled back to prison to serve their full terms. Keeping the people who do the crimes off the streets, not "limiting" an unused type of firearm has put the dampers on crime.

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Slavery in the US


I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Don't complain about history when it's current events. This article, Report: Slavery Alive and Well in Florida talks about how people are being forced into labor.

Sure, they don't wear steel collars and leg chains, but forced labor is forced labor. From prostitution to farm workers to house staff, people are undergoing the demeaning existence of slavery TODAY.

Do what you can to stop it. Please.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Malaise has taken over


There's more I want to comment upon, but I'm running out of time before I have to go to work. It takes time for me to muster up the vitriol and get my words straight before I hit post and I don't have it this morning. While the pills are lessening and even occasionally stopping the attacks, a malaise has settled over me.

The Warhammer paining has done good for me in the fact that it gives me a specific detail-oriented project for me to do, but there are times that I can't face it. The two tactical squads I have been putting together have taken more time than I thought they would. I'm doing it right in the sense that I'm taking my time and not duplicating my actions like I did with the first squad, but I thought it would be easier. I still have lots of time before the tournament, but I would like to get some practice in before I go. I don't want to look like a total newbie.

That's all. Gotta go.
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How bad it really was


It's all over all of the news sources today, Clinton's FBI had a lead on one of the 9/11 terrorists in 1999. 9/11 Commission Probes Clinton Administration's Failure to Track Hijacker.

The flawed philosophy of treating terrorism as a crime and waiting for an attack to respond is the worst possible thing to do. When dealing with people like this, you kill them before they can kill you, because nothing short of death will stop them. Which is why we must change the middle east, not beat it into submission.

The next terrorist attack will make 9/11 look like a garden party. Recall the emotions and horror you felt on 9/11 and multiply them several times to think of what you will feel when a mushroom cloud appears over NY or LA. Or webcams showing thousands lying dead in the streets after a biological or chemical attack.

The only way to stop the next attack is either to kill every last terrorist, or surrender to their twisted vision of Islam. And Americans don't surrender.

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Monday, February 23, 2004

Core Values Monday


Unless I get some suggestions from you dear readers, I am almost done with my list of core values. This list was not easy to come up with, nor to write for each subject. Here's today's installment:
Don't look for glory. The soldier who looks for glory and medals gets killed quickly and takes his buddies with him. The worker who looks for glory will not do the job completely and truly earn the glory for a job done right. A good manager is always on the look out for jobs well done and will award glory appropriately. A bad manager expects perfection from his workers and does not reward their subordinates with the appropriate kudos when they are earned. In all cases, those who look for glory first will be disappointed. This does not mean that you should not point out your jobs done well. Record them in your calendar so you have them when it comes time for your performance review. Those who work for a good job first and glory second will be rewarded in the end.


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I'm a real Type A


*Sigh* more Warhammer news. Just to tell you how anal I am, I spent about 3 hours yesterday painting 15 rifles. They are painted rather lovely. I wish I had a macro function on my camera so I could show you. It took so long because these guys are less than an inch long and required a fine painting skill. Which I don't have, I muddled through as best I could. It took about two minutes per rifle, per color and there are four colors each. All on an item about 3/4" long.

I told you my second series of Marines would be better painted than the first. I should be done with these Marines today, I'll post pictures of them later on tonight or tomorrow.

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Gun News


Congress has two gun bills in front of them. Gun bills may trigger split.

First is a proposed law to exempt gun manufacturers from product safety lawsuits. States and cities have been brining lawsuits against gun manufacturers on the basis that guns are unsafe and demand monetary compensation and unreasonable design changes to weapons.

Second, is a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, pushed by the anti-gun groups and given full backing by President Clinton. It bans 19 semi-automatic weapons by name, plus those who have too many cosmetic features.

The House really wants the first passed, while the Senate really wants the second extended, and it is causing a real headache.

It is really important that the first be passed. So far, every lawsuit against the gun manufacturers has failed. If one were to succeed, it would open up a floodgate of product safety lawsuits, and the courts know it, which is why they've been ruling in favor of the manufacturers. Imagine every product getting sued under this precedent if someone gets hurt. And I've always said there are people so stupid that I don't know how they draw breath.

The second thing is a matter of pride for the gun industry and the NRA. While we have survived under it for 7 or 8 years now, it is time for it to go. I would be prepared to extend the ban for another couple of years to get the lawsuit law passed, but that's just me. I would definitely not make the Assault Weapons Ban permanent. That is just bad, knee-jerk lawmaking and doesn't deserve to be on the books.

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Liberals show up at UCLA


I loved this article, UCLA Republicans Fight Campus Hate Groups for this poignant, yet ironically correct passage:
Yes, the left does love diversity of everything but opinion.
So true, so true.

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More Recess Time


Good for the President! He has made another recess appointment, this time William Pryor to the 11th Circuit. He is now safe until the next Congress in January 2005, when he gets an up-or-down vote, filibustering is now useless since he's already there. Here's the article: Pryor Appointed to 11th Circuit Court

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Friday, February 20, 2004

VDH Friday


I'm sorry that I don't have more entries today, but a mild attack is preventing me from being interested in anything other than Mr. Hanson. Today's' essay: The Coming of Nemesis
Irony, paradox, hubris, and nemesis are all Greek words. They reflect an early Western fascination with natural, immutable laws of destiny, perhaps akin to something like the eastern idea of karma - that excess and haughtiness can set off a chain of events that are neither predicable nor welcome.


Enjoy.

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Thursday, February 19, 2004

The tone of the future


Found on Newsmax: Who Can You Trust – Bush or Kerry? asks a not-so-rhetorical question.

Bush will hammer Kerry every day for his waffling. Honestly, Kerry changes his position faster than I change my underwear. And that's fairly fast. Kerry has voted to cut every major weapon system that we use to protect ourselves, plus massive intelligence cuts, even after the first WTC attack.

The real question you need to ask is who would our enemies vote for? The man who has been killing terrorists wholesale, or the man who wants to make us defenseless and blind?

Get used to it, this is what you are going to see.

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More stupid ideas


Found via Drudge: A Breathalizer in every car?

Actually, I have no idea about the article, the entire website is down, but from what I get from what Drudge put up, some governmental idiot wants to put a breathalizer in every car to cut down on drunk drivers. The technology exists, you have to pass a breathalizer test before you can start the vehicle. I think it is used in some locales on people who have repeated drunk driving convictions, but it has been a while since I have heard about it one way or the other.

This is another example between good, sound ideas and ideas that sound good. The cost for mass conversions is prohibitive, plus the last I heard there is a disposable component to the analyzer, which would cost every time you started your car.

This reminds me about back when I was stationed in California, the state DOT head wanted to put seatbelts on motorcycles. Believe me, the last place you want to be is strapped to a motorcycle sliding on its' side going down the street.

Sorry, but I don't think so.

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ROTFLOL


The first part of this article had me laughing so hard the conures joined in. Cash Family Draws Line Around 'Ring of Fire'.

This was about the proposed use of 'Ring of Fire' for Preparation H ads. While (I think) I don't have 'rhoids, I know all about the ring of fire, especially after a night of drinking and garlic burgers.

I just thought you'd find this as funny as I did.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Humor Wednesday


As a former consultant, I can truthfully say this is sooo true...




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Housekeeping


I noticed that I am getting a big hit on returning visitors on Mondays, probably in response to my Core Values column. Thank you, all *5* of you!

The medication has been helping lately. The severity of my attacks are down. I don't have to crawl into the closet and whimper like I used to, I can just sit in my chair and hold my head for a while. I will nee next month if I can't take the Trileptal up a little higher to combat this further.

I found out that there is a Warhammer 40K tournament during the MidSouthCon at the end of March. I'm 600 points shy of a battleforce for the tournament. If you would like to donate to Marks Warhammer Fund, please email me and I'll tell you where to send the donations! :-).

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California News


This article, Laws Be Damned discusses the "civil disobedience" of California officials.
The public and the law be damned, the mayor will do what he wants. Meantime, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a “no comment” for the media when asked about it, and the state’s attorney general musters a statement that no one has asked him to issue a legal opinion. Are they serious?

Imagine for a moment if some local public official started giving out gun licenses en masse because he did not like California’s oppressive anti-gun laws. The entire weight of the media elite and the state would be down upon his head. The irony is there is in fact a right to bear arms, as stated in the now ignored Second Amendment to the Unites States Constitution. There is no right to get married.
I liked the tie in to the gun laws. Of course, if the mayor was doing that, they would be all over him like a cheap suit.

Of course, if this were truly civil disobedience, the mayor would be willing to go to jail for his crimes. There is a very small chance he actually will go to jail for this. I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Monday, February 16, 2004

Core values Monday


How is the homework assignment going? Not very easy, is it?

Here's this weeks entry:
Do the right thing for the right reason. It is always important to do the right thing. It is even more important to do it for the right reasons. To perform a good act for bad or selfish reasons will corrupt the good act and ultimately nothing good will come of your efforts. It might take years, but it will come back to you corrupted in the end.


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Friday, February 13, 2004

My Geekness


My friend Mike told me I admitted to the world my geekness when I posted the picture of my Warhammer Space Marines. Well, I'm doing it all over again, because I wanted to show you just how bad of a job I did painting them.

I had to do something all day today, so I've been touching up models all day. I actually went and got the paints I needed Tuesday and have been painting them all week. I have learned a lot and will assemble and paint the other models differently so I can do a better job of them. I told you I would get better as time went on.

Here they are, the original and current.


Before:

After:



I know the pictures are out of focus, my camera doesn't take closeups too well. Sorry.

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Feeling sick


I must have picked up something during the bloggers bash because I have a sore throat and I'm feeling pretty crappy. Maybe something this afternoon if I feel better.

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Thursday, February 12, 2004

Gay Marriage


I have already wrote on this subject, but my blog lacks the necessary search function and I don't want to spend the time looking for it. The beginning of the end for America?.

My position then and now is I am against gay marriage. Not because I am anti-gay, but because they cannot produce children without external help. The purpose of marriage is to legitimately produce children as part of a nuclear family. Children when raised in a nuclear family learn more about how to deal with life than those not in a nuclear family.
To redefine marriage - the very core of what we know as family - is to wreak havoc on every other institution that holds our country together. From the legal system, to interstate commerce, to health care, to your neighborhood, everything would eventually fall apart. Why? Because the nuclear family - starting with the marriage of one man and one woman - is the very foundation of the entire human race and every single civil society since the beginning of time.

Ask the leaders of Old Europe. There, thanks to readily available abortions and wide acceptance of homosexual families, birth rates have dropped below what is known as the "replacement level" meaning that in the future there will be insufficient numbers of workers to pay, through their tax dollars, for pensions and medical care for the elderly.
These activist judges have opened a rather large can of worms and it will take a miracle to solve the problem. It will take a Constitutional Amendment (to the Mass. State Constitution) to define marriage and exclude other forms.

As mentioned in the bloggers bash last night over this subject, "if you can let marriage be extended to include same sex, what about by number? What about by age? I'm sure NAMBLA would start pushing for it if this decision stands."

That made my blood run cold. If you allow same sex marriages, why not allow two men to marry, even if one is 40 and the other is 6? When you start down a slippery slope like this, where will it stop?

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This could be trouble


I found this article, Constitutional Amendment Proposes to Aid Victims.

THIS IS A BAD IDEA. I just want to make sure my position is known on this.

First of all, there is a difference between good, sound ideas and ideas that sound good. This is definitely in the latter category. It sounds good, how can you deny things like this to the families of the victims? But to make it a Constitutional Amendment is overkill. It does not rise to the level of an Amendment. To do so would federalize a State issue.

Please, please don't let this happen.

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Bloggers Bash


The first Memphis Bloggers Bash was held and a fun time was had by all. Mike Hollihan was the sponsor and has a good rendition of the people and events.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Bloggers Bash


I'm off soon to join some local Memphis bloggers and put faces to names and enjoy the company.

Back in the 80's when I ran a bulletin board (way back in the pre-internet days), we (my users and I) would get together and have a MUPT, Modem Users Pizza Thingie. Much fun was always had by all.

Talk to you later.

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Humor Wednesday


I think I'll add this one to my wallpaper rotation.




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Your choice in November


President Bush acted in a long term plan to end terrorism, not by killing all of the terrorists, but by changing the conditions that create them in the first place.

John Kerry would, like Wes Clark here where I quoted from Gen. Clark,
And I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we'll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We'll bring you in.
This is the kind of person that some people want in the White House. Hopefully it isn't enough.
President Bush has been under intense pressure from the State Department and allied governments to do what John Kerry would apparently do — rely on the U.N. bureaucracy to safeguard us from nuclear-armed mullahs in Iran and lunatic despots in places like Baghdad, Tripoli and Pyongyang. Fortunately, Mr. Bush has acted, instead, on his conviction peace through American strength is a far better guarantee of our security than clueless — or worse, malfeasant — international organizations and officials.
You have your choice. Somebody who will act in the best interests of the country, or someone who will listen to people who have openly admitted to having an agenda against us. Your choice.

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More on the DeMar case


I wrote about Hale DeMar here and his letter to the editor concerning his defensive gun use.

Now, the Illinois Legislature is considering a law protecting people like Mr. DeMar, even when he is violating local laws. Legislators weigh exemption to local gun bans.
The measure, which advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6-4 vote, would allow residents in communities that prohibit handgun ownership to use handguns in their home for self-defense, even though local law may bar them from owning the weapons in the first place.
[...]
The proposal amounts to an election-year headache for many lawmakers wary of taking sides in the volatile gun-control debate. Its fate now rests with Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), an ardent supporter of handgun restrictions on the books in Chicago and several suburbs.

"Even though I'm for gun control, I regret to think what might have happened had he not had the gun," the Chicago Democrat said, adding that he had not taken a position on the bill.
I hope this passes, but in the anti-gun state that Illinois is, I'm doubtful.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I've gone over to the Dark Side


Not quite what you think. One of the reasons why I like Mechwarrior:Dark Age is the fact that the pieces are playable right out of the box, no assembly or painting needed.

Well, then there's Warhammer. You have several flavors, such as Warhammer fantasy, 40,000, epic and so on. They all use the same core rules. With Warhammer you have the pick of literally hundreds of figures, all of them you must assemble and paint. Well, you don't have to paint them, but they look crappy without a paint job.

I have been considering a start in Warhammer 40,000 for a while now. I bought a Space Marines Tactical Squad several months ago on eBay, but never assembled them until Monday. I used the excuse of not having the instructions, but when there's only 7 pieces to assemble a Space Marine, it isn't hard.

Over the weekend I actually bought most of the paints necessary and put on order a boxed starter set, so I will have enough figures for a respectably small force. I hope I'm not going to go overboard with this, I've seen guys with collections that number over 500 pieces, each assembled and hand painted. By the way, it costs between $2-4 a figure for 40k stuff. I bought the boxed starter set because it gives a good price break. It's been said before that there is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." When I look at some of these sets, that line becomes awful thin, believe me.

Anyway, here's a picture of some of my figures. The guy on the left has a rocket launcher, middle is a standard Marine (I've got 8 in the squad) and the guy on the right is the sergeant. That long thing in his left hand is a cross between a sword and a chainsaw. Ouch.



I'm missing a couple of the colors that I wanted to use, so I'll pick them up the next time I hit Midtown Toys, which will be Sunday. It'll probably take a week or two to paint because the starter set should be in by Sunday as well.

This will be my first foray into painting miniatures since I painted my battalion of BattleMechs for BattleTech (older related game to MWDA) about 15 years ago. I'll probably have to paint some of my 40k figures twice, just because I'll do poorly the first time and gain experience as I go along. I'll post a picture of my finished work in 2-3 weeks. It will take me that long to assemble and paint everything.

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Speaking of Jane and John


I found this blog entry about the POW-MIA flag. Please read. Look at this Bullshit.

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Good news, bad news


During my medication appointment last week, we decided to up my Trileptal dose to 1200 mg/day. It seems to be helping with the attacks, but at a cost. Either there isn't a lot of interesting news (for me) to comment upon, or I have some general malaise. I just don't know.

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The picture you must see


Here it is. From Newsmax.com, a picture of that Traitorous bitch Hanoi Jane, and the Democrat front-runner sitting about 4 rows behind her. It just goes to show you what kind of company he used to keep, and how he feels about the military. As a veteran myself, I am disgusted by this.




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Monday, February 09, 2004

Core Value Monday


Do you know what your core values are? Do you have a solid center from which important decisions are derived? I task you to develop your own mission statement where you can publicly post where your decisions come from.

Here's my latest installment:

Be Responsible
Do the right thing
Attitude

Be good for something It is not enough to be good, to just do the right thing. Does your efforts help others who do not have the ability to help themselves? Donate blood, help out with Habitats for Humanity, whatever you can. Do your best to give a hand up, not a hand out to your fellow man.


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Friday, February 06, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mr. President


May you have a happy 93rd birthday.


Image courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, all rights reserved.


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VDH Friday


I especially liked this essay by Victor Davis Hanson, Weapons of Mass Hysteria.
Therefore as long as Saddam Hussein was in power it mattered little what the professed status of his chemical and biological arsenal was at any particular time, since our only certain knowledge was that he had a proven desire and ability to purchase, recreate, and use them on any given day - and that day would be mostly unknown to everyone outside of Iraq. He may have had thousands of tons of weapons in 1980, hundreds of tons in 1990, and tens of tons in 1995, almost zero in 2003 - and yet once again perhaps hundreds in 2005 and thousands again in 2010. Thus the cliche that Saddam Hussein himself was the weapon of mass destruction was in fact entirely accurate.
Read it all. It's worth it.

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Bush to the left


President Bush has a plan. That plan is to win voters from the Democrats over to his camp. He is doing this by acting as a Democrat. The bad news is he is moving so far left that he's starting to alienate his own base. GOP slams Bush policies at retreat is the Republicans effort to pull the President back to the right to keep him steady on his Republican base.
Growing frustration over President Bush's immigration plan and lack of fiscal discipline came to a head behind closed doors at last weekend's Republican retreat in Philadelphia.

House lawmakers, stunned by the intensity of their constituents' displeasure at some of Mr. Bush's key domestic policies, gave his political strategist Karl Rove an earful behind closed doors.
His spending policies and his stand on illegal immigration will get President Bush up to his armpits in hot water. He will lose more Republican votes than he will gain Democrat votes over these issues.

I hope he wakes up to this reality soon, or he will be a one-term President like his father.

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What is the real crime here?


The headline says it all. Carlie Brucia Found Dead.

But what is the real crime here?
A state Department of Corrections official said Thursday that a probation officer had asked a judge on Dec. 30 to declare Smith in violation of his probation because he had not paid all his fines and court costs.

Probation official Joe Papy said Circuit Judge Harry Rapkin declined to find Smith in violation, which could have returned him to jail.
An action that would have prevented this death was not taken. While you and I now have that famous 20/20 hindsight, I think you could look at this mans record and seen this coming. He already had a charge of kidnapping against him, but he beat that charge. Even still, he had a long rap sheet and should have been behind bars when he kidnapped and killed Carlie.

I hope Jeb gives him the needle.

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Thursday, February 05, 2004

Censorship?


The word "Censorship" gets thrown about pretty freely, every time someone is made to make a choice they don't want (or forced to face the consequences of their stupid actions) they throw out the "C" word. Flags Keep Dropping on Super Bowl Stunt doesn't talk about censorship until the very end, which is where I want to talk about it. I don't want to talk about Janet Jackson's exposed breast, or Justin Timberlake, or the Super Bowl Half Time Show (those ought to help the hit counter).

Here's the part that I wanted to talk about:
ESPN has canceled its first scripted series, "Playmakers," and the show's creator says it was the NFL's doing.

The cable sports network announced yesterday that the drama series about a pro football team, which the NFL blasted for its sometimes unflattering portrayal of players, will not return for a second season despite record ratings for ESPN.

"Many considerations went into this decision, not the least of which was the reaction from a longtime and valued partner," ESPN executive Mark Shapiro said in a statement. He was referring to the NFL, with which ESPN has a $4.8 billion contract to televise its Sunday night games.

Shapiro told The Post's John Maynard yesterday that the final decision was solely ESPN's. The NFL "did not put a gun to our head," he said.

The NFL in a statement said the cancellation "was an ESPN decision and now we can all move on."

But "Playmakers" creator and executive producer John Eisendrath said: "The NFL canceled the show. Implicitly or explicitly, [the NFL] let it be known that the future of football on ESPN and [corporate parent] ABC hinged on the decision that they made about 'Playmakers,' " he told Maynard.

"This is an example of censorship. There is no way to sugarcoat it."
The NFL has a reputation to protect. They are actively working to do so. Their reputation was sorely hurt by Janet Jackson and her "wardrobe malfunction." The NFL sees something else that casts a negative light on their activities in "Playmakers." If this series was on TNT, then there wouldn't be a thing that the NFL could do about it. Oh, sure, they could drag it into court, but that could take years and the series could naturally end before the case was resolved. But it isn't.

Playmakers is on a network that the NFL does business with. The NFL merely said, "As long as that series airs on your network, we will not permit you to televise our games. The choice is up to you." That is not censorship. That is a business decision. ESPN is being forced to make a choice, one or the other. Censorship would be to take Playmakers off the air without any choice of anything. ESPN is totally free to continue showing Playmakers, but there is a $4.8 billion consequence to that action. Again, that is not censorship, but a forced business decision. I am reasonably sure that if ESPN felt they could make $4.9 billion off of Playmakers, they would go that way and say goodbye to the NFL.

So what do you think? Is this censorship or not? Let me know and I'll consider updating this post with your comments.

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"Civil Rights" gone too far


I found this on Fox News, Civil Rights Undermined by Antidiscrimination Laws.

There are two kinds of equality, that of opportunity and that of result. The 1964 Civil Rights Act (pushed by Republicans, opposed by Democrats) strove for equality of opportunity. That is good, because that is the principle that the United States was founded upon.

In the years since then, the law has changed to a dangerous precedent of equality of result. This unfairly penalizes the hard-working and unfairly rewards the lazy.
In yet another show of concern for civil liberties, Congress exempted landlords from the 1968 Fair Housing Act (search) if they rented four or fewer units and lived on the premises. This "Mrs. Murphy exception" is a reasonable compromise between the goals of antidiscrimination law and privacy concerns. Recently, however, the laws of several jurisdictions have been interpreted to ban discrimination in the selection of roommates. And the Fair Housing Act's ban on discriminatory advertising has been interpreted so broadly that it's almost impossible to convey useful information in a real estate advertisement.

It's illegal, for example, to advertise that a house is in a neighborhood with many churches, lest the advertisement be interpreted as expressing an illicit preference for Christians. For fear of liability, some realtors even avoid using such phrases as master bedroom (either sexist or purportedly evocative of slavery and therefore insulting to African Americans), great view (allegedly expresses preference for the nonblind), and walk-up (supposedly discourages the disabled).
It is plain wrong when we can force other people to acquiesce to our demands through the courts on such "discriminatory" grounds. Everybody discriminates against something every time we make a choice. To force that choice for frivolous reasons poisons and corrupts the original intent of the law.
Forty years ago, Congress responded to the moral urgency of ending Jim Crow and bringing African Americans and other minorities into the American mainstream by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then, the primary justification for antidiscrimination laws has shifted from this relatively limited goal to an authoritarian agenda aimed at eliminating all forms of supposedly invidious discrimination. Such a goal cannot possibly be achieved-or even pursued-without grave consequences for civil liberties.
Amen.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Humor Wednesday


Ah, yes. Another installment of Demotivators. This one shows up as wallpaper on my desktop every so often.





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Bad teacher


Here is an article that will sink your stomach. Teflon Teacher is the story about a teacher who has spent 12 of the last 15 years on administrative leave (at full pay of $77,000 a year) for various offenses. Stuff that would get you or me fired in a heartbeat gets him put on leave while the mess is sorted out over several months or years. The litany of charges is long and, outside of the world of education, worthy of termination.

Judge for yourself. Read the article.

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Prisons


Fox News had this article, The Problem With Prisons.

The article talks about the burden of "three strikes" and "mandatory sentencing" laws. Both of these are designed to take the hard-core career criminals off the streets and keep them in prison. But now states want to seriously degrade or dispose of them all together.
But if Alan Elsner, an author who focuses on criminal-justice issues, was correct in a recent op-ed for The Washington Post that our "love affair" with incarcerating dangerous criminals is waning, those proposing the changes are going to find that breaking up is hard to do. Americans have come to rely on the criminal-justice system to keep hard-core offenders locked up, and they won't think it's worth it when-- in the name of cost-cutting-- rapes, murders and other violent crimes go up by the thousands as a result of any veiled efforts to extend leniency to offenders who clearly don't deserve it.
It has been proven in study after study that 7 percent of the criminal population commits nearly 80 percent of the violent felonies. We need to keep them locked up no matter what, even if we have to drop them off on a Pacific island and let them fend for themselves. The cost of letting them loose on our streets is too high.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Nothing tonight


I just haven't been right all day today, from the time I got up until now. Put me down as a minus 8. I did something stupid and ate an entire tube of Pringles chips, so I have a headache from that. I think I'll go to bed early and hope for a better day tomorrow.

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Light posting today


While I do have some stuff to comment upon, I am having difficulty getting myself together this morning. The birds aren't helping any either. Just not doing well, but I still have to go to work. Hopefully I will feel better on the road.

Gotta go.

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Monday, February 02, 2004

Core Values Monday


How is your core values development going? Have I been spawning any good ideas? Do you have an interim copy posted somewhere?

Here's this weeks installment:
Be Responsible
Do the Right Thing

Attitude. My attitude determines how far and how high I will go. My attitude is the drive behind my will to grow and succeed. My attitude is contagious and will spread to those around me. My attitude, positive or negative, is up to me.


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Sunday, February 01, 2004

Goodbye, Columbia


Let us never forget.



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