Saturday, January 31, 2004

Dumb, dumb, Dumb

I got back to my apartment last night and it was around 50 degrees. I thought the gas had gone out because there was no pilot light. I finally determined that for some mysterious reason, the pilot light blew out. I relit it and waited for the apartment to get warm.

Well, the pilot light went out again. I got a wood skewer and lit it, pointing it towards the pilot light. Well, don't you know it, the main gas kicked on at that moment. Let's go over this again. I have a stick with fire on it, in the area where a flammable gas is coming out in copious amounts.

There was a soft woomph, followed by a Ka-WOOSH, and a big tongue of flame came out and licked my face like a big St. Bernard. Finally, a big *BANG* that rattled the furnace and me too. A whole bunch of soot shot out all over me and the floor.

Thanks be to God that I didn't even have a singed hair, and beyond having to clean out my shorts I was fine. I had the sensation of the flame on my face and in my nose for the rest of the night to remind me just what I had been through.

I thought you could use the laugh. And the warning.


Friday, January 30, 2004

Reading assignment

As always, Friday is VDH day. Please read The Mind of Our Enemies.
Things in the Middle East are hard precisely because the stakes there are gargantuan. But so are the rewards: The sanctuaries and patrons of murderers, suicide bombers, and terrorists are shrinking with the destruction of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. Autocracies like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria are terrified of consensual government in Iraq precisely because they are aware of its implications for their own deprived citizens.
Read it all.


The intelligence 'failure'

Congress is getting ready to drag the CIA over the coals for not being right about Iraq's WMD.
Hill Probers Fault Iraq Intelligence

While the CIA is getting all of the blame, it should be Bill Clinton who has to answer these questions. Along with his massive cutbacks of the military, Clinton also cut back HUMINT (Human Intelligence) for the CIA. HUMINT is actual agents on the ground in said countries. These assets take years to develop. Clinton looked at it as a prosecutor would, as in the manner that these sources be from trustworthy people. You just can't have it that way in the real world of clandestine intelligence. You get your best information from the people in the middle of everything, and those are the people doing evil. You take that information and cross check it against other sources to make sure that the information is correct.
The committees, working separately for the past seven months, have determined that the CIA relied too heavily on circumstantial, outdated intelligence and became overly dependent on satellite and spy-plane imagery and communications intercepts.
That is all they had to work with, because that was all they had, courtesy of Clinton.

It is much better to have a false positive than a false negative. I would rather have said and acted on the belief that Saddam had WMD when he really didn't, rather than say he didn't when he really did.
Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.), ...said..."Did the analysts fumble? I don't think so. They just didn't have enough pieces of the puzzle."
Again, no HUMINT to give the real picture.


Thursday, January 29, 2004

No posting today.

My internet connection was out from before I got up until I left to see the family. I just got back and it's up, but now I am backed up with other research, so no time for witty remarks today. Maybe one tonight if I can make time.



Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Humor Wednesday

I am serious when it comes to core values, because our core values (or lack thereof) defines who we are.

But there are also other things that define us, namely our sense of humor. Mine is somewhat...odd to say the least. Which is why I like Despair.com

I'm sure you've seen these hanging in your office or workplace somewhere. The breathtaking picture, the inspiring quotation. These are called Successories. I present to you Demotivators:


Loss of the language

This really disheartens me. In Online Auctions, Misspelling in Ads Often Spells Cash.

This is the story about people who misspell words when trying to sell them on eBay and other on-line auction houses. But I see this all the time when reading my message boards. People who don't care how they spell, simply because they didn't put enough time into re-reading what they wrote and checking for errors.

Myself, I am a terrible speller. While I have a voluminous vocabulary, actually spelling the words is sometimes a challenge. That's why I run every thing I write through a spell checker. Whenever I post to my message boards, no matter how long or short the message, the software provides a spell checking option and I am all too happy to take advantage of it. Every post here is spell checked twice, and words not in this dictionary are confirmed at dictionary.com.

When I see writing that is misspelled, bad grammar, IM language (or all three), I deduct 20 IQ points from the message. If the author does not take the time to care and make sure that they are clearly communicating what they are trying to say, why should I care about what they are trying to say?

I know English is one of the most complex languages on the planet. There, their and they're. To, too and two. Lose and loose. And the list goes on. The bad news is I see this kind of stuff increasing every day.

Make sure your kids learn the proper application of the language, it will make a deep difference in their life. People who clearly communicate make it a lot further in the world than those who don't. It doesn't matter what the message is, even garbage will make it a lot further correctly spelled and proper grammar over a superior idea that isn't clearly communicated.


Where's the news in this?

ABC's Stossel Condemns Networks for Hostility to Conservatives talks about the rampant left-wing bias present in the mainstream media today.
"Leftist thinking is just the culture that I live in and the culture the reporters who populate the mainstream media live in," he said. "Everybody just agrees: more safety regulation, gun control, higher taxes. Who could not want that? Everybody around here wants that. Anyone who disagrees is seen as not just wrong but selfish and cruel. If I try to discuss this with my peers, I get blank stares."

He added, "The press is so filled with hatred for capitalism that someone who advocates for free markets rather than government control is a conservative and a problem."
As you can plainly see, I am not "just wrong," for my conservative views, but selfish and cruel as well. I cannot compete against that. There is no room to agree to disagree. The only consensus that can be reached is on their terms.

We cannot destroy Liberalism, we can only defeat it every day. We must bring the facts to the people and let them make up their own minds. Once someone has taken on the religion of Liberalism (and it has been talked about it here there is not a lot you can do. The very definition of belief is belief despite facts to the contrary. All we can do is rescue the unconverted before they get in too deep.


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Conservative" Club

I wrote about this kid who started a Conservative Club at his school. I even entertained the notion to advertise in his newsletter. I'm glad I didn't. Teenager's Conservative Club Causes Uproar.

The kid has made some rather inflammatory statements that do not belong with (at least my) Conservative viewpoint.
In the newsletter, Bueler calls for a crackdown on "every Muhammad, Jamul and Jose who wishes to leave his third world state to come to America, mostly illegally."
This country was founded on immigration. We are the only country where everybody else wants to come. I respect that desire. You can be an American anywhere in the world, as long as you want to be free to do what you want to do, and are willing to sacrifice your life for that ideal.
Bueler defended his inflammatory rhetoric, saying: "We feel that liberalism is a mental disorder and they attack family, faith and country and military. And these are bullies we're dealing with and we need to fight against them and this is why we've come out so strong."
I do not condone this. I have been accused of my Conservatism stemming from my mental illness and it just isn't true. The United States is a wonderful place because you are free to express your views. You may be wrong, but you are free to be wrong without the police busting down your door in the middle of the night to drag you away to a mass grave.

You refute Liberals by confronting them with facts. The bad news is the true Liberals will ignore the truth when it's staring them in the face. The best you can do is convince the (small L) liberals who are following because of cute soundbites or the conviction that they "are doing the right thing."

Liberals will always attack "family, faith and country and military." That's part of their job description. I wouldn't have it any other way. It keeps me and other Conservatives on our toes.


Monday, January 26, 2004

Core Values Monday

I posted on this last Monday, and I am continuing the listing of my core values.

If you don't have rock-solid core values, things that you never violate, then what can be said about you?

You should be proud to post your core values on your wall where everybody can see them. But coming up with them is not easy. This is where I aim to help. I posted one of my core values last week, here is another.
Be Responsible.

Do the right thing. When faced with a decision, it is necessary to make it. When choosing options, look for the one that does the most good. This can be determined by the difficulty of the option. The best choice will most likely be the hardest road to take. The easy choice might have short-term gains, but it will most likely have long-term negative consequences. Avoid that at all cost.
More next week.



I found this article in the NY Post, Teachers Cheat.
"I'm sorry if it's shocking for laymen to hear. Scrubbing is something we do to help the kids get their asses out of high school," a Manhattan English teacher said unapologetically.
At least this teacher had the guts to say it, but had to do it anonymously.

This is what really scared me:
"The students of the school benefit because they pass. The school benefits because the pass rate is up," said a Staten Island high-school staffer, who, like others, requested anonymity.
The students do not benefit if they are passed when they are really sub-standard. It makes the teachers and school system look good, but it hurts the student because they don't have the full tools the school system says they have.

All it does is turn out another adult who has a wonderful level of self-esteem, but not much else beyond that. Which is not what the American job market is looking for. They are looking for people who have a good grounding in math and the ability to think analytically. They look for people who have a command of the language and are able to effectively communicate their thoughts by spoken word and on paper.

Too bad the workforce doesn't get what it needs.


Am I weak?

I had a major attack yesterday, 3 hours of crying, whimpering, rocking, banging my head, etc. My thoughts were out of control and whipping around like a merry-go-round at 100 miles per hour.

During these episodes, when my mind and body are overwhelmed, one of the thoughts that bounce around is, "Is this really happening to me? Can I control this, or am I just weak? Why can't I be like John Nash and control my "mental illness" through willpower alone?"

I certainly feel weak and ineffective. I can't control my own thoughts, and I must punish my body to give me something to hold on to in the maelstrom of my mind.

I used to be the master of my fate. Great things lay before me, and any setbacks were caused by my own recklessness and not anybodies malicious intent. I had a social life, I had a lot of friends, I used to do things. I had a wife and son.

Now, I am but a shadow of myself, afraid to even look at myself in the mirror. I have no social life outside of MW:DA, most of my friends and the people I interact with share my illness and I have no family to be with me. I am at best a visitor in my own home.

It is thoughts like these that make me want to hurt myself. It is the frustration that I am stuck where I am, frozen in place, unable to advance and nowhere to fall back to but death.

Sorry about the doom and gloom. The questions asked were mostly rhetorical. I know I am doing the best that I can under the circumstances. I am in this condition because my brain chemicals are severely out of whack and I am not "weak" for being unable to control what goes on in my brain. I am unable to advance my life because not only am I not ready to do so, but the welfare of my family comes first. As long as my family is dependent upon me for income, I can't advance my life.

It's hard to just sit here and know what I would have been If I had not sought help for a problem that wasn't a problem. That a bottle of little pills ruined my life and future, a life that I will probably never get back.

Thanks for listening.


Saturday, January 24, 2004

The "poor" are not poor

Poor May Not Be So Poor, After All
According to a recent study by the Heritage Foundation (search), 46 percent of the technically "poor" live in their own homes, most with more living space than the average person in Paris, London or Vienna. While 73 percent own at least one car, 30 percent own two or more, and 76 percent have air conditioning. Also, according to the study, 65 percent have a washing machine, 97 percent have a color TV and 78 percent have a DVD player or VCR.
I am most certainly considered poor, as I only make $800 a month. But for that money, I have a TV and VCR, a computer and a cable modem hookup for it. I can eat three meals a day and I live in a clean apartment. I even manage to sock some money away every month into savings.

While I might be poor according to some government bureaucrat, my life is comfortable and stable. I am not rich, but I do not live in squalor. I am lucky for my luxury and I am thankful for it.


In Memoriam of the Captain

I am saddened this day. Captain Kangaroo Dies at 76.

I was one of the millions of children who spent time with him and was wonderfully entertained. He didn't talk down to us, everything wasn't coated sugary-sweet. He treated us with respect, and I shall miss the man greatly.

Good Night Bob.


Conservatism vs. Republicans

This article is a thoughtful read, Success of GOP Stifles Conservatism

It's an article about how the GOP isn't as Conservative as they purport themselves to be. And I believe it to be true.
Veteran conservatives are reminding the White House that, as one of them puts it, "the Republican Party did not empower the conservative movement. The conservative movement empowered the Republican Party."
While Bush is wrong on a myriad of subjects such as immigration and spending, he is the best person for the job as far as the war on terrorism goes.

No candidate is perfect in all areas, they can't be. There are too many special interest groups that will raise holy hell about him "abandoning" them because he doesn't follow what they are saying.

I had a weird Geometry teacher in high school. Time and space does not allow me to delve into her weirdness, except for this: As a young lady, she was faced with three marriage prospects. She made a list of what she wanted and didn't want in a husband. She gave points for the wants, took away points for the didn'ts and married the guy with the highest total. While you might marvel at her analytical approach to love, you have to admit it's not a standard way of doing things. By the way, it worked. She had been married for over 10 years and two kids when I knew her.

While there are a good amount of single-issue voters, the majority picks who they vote for the same way as my Geometry teacher. It may not be quite as analytical, but the same principle applies.


VDH Writes again

This time on Better or Worse?:Should we believe the gloom of the Democrats?
And what about the locus of our purported catastrophe in Iraq? We cannot even compare the sniping, however wretched, to missiles raining across borders, no-fly zones, broken armistices, ignored U.N. mandates, U.N.-introduced food embargoes, massive foreign invasions, bounties awarded for suicide killings, genocide, destruction of the environment, and looting of oil revenues to buy imported weaponry. For all the chaos we supposedly created, we no longer have mass graves, but instead Shiites demonstrating for democratic elections and Kurds hammering out plans for a federal state. Instead of Baathists slaughtering students, the current controversy is whether to depose Saddamites from university faculties. And the full effect of the war remains to be seen, when the neighbors of Iraq will watch in horror at free elections and debates. It isn't easy there, but when or where has the creation of civilization in place of barbarism ever been effortless?
As always, read the whole thing.


Thursday, January 22, 2004

Minus 7.5

I've been in a rather depressed mood for the past week or so. Not so much to be suicidal, but enough so that everything is a grey haze that I can't see through. I've been trying to lift my mood, but it isn't working. I'm playing music, I've sold some things on eBay, I've kept busy, but as soon as I stop it's like I get caught in cement. I'm going to bed earlier and getting up later.

You may have well felt like this, but when it lasts for weeks it's not a good sign. Every change of mood for me is dangerous. Either I go manic and out of control, leading to erratic and dangerous behavior, or I dip deeper into depression and thoughts of suicide.

I'm trying to keep up with comment on the news, but when you're in a haze like I am it's hard. Now I know why Mike (Half-Bakered) takes frequent multi-week vacations from his blog. When it's all you can do to get up, get dressed and make it to work, luxuries like a blog don't make the list of things to do.

This is not to say I won't continue to try, I need to keep this up because my case manager and medication nurse are among my few repeat visitors. They use this as a tool to determine if my meds are working and if intervention is needed.


Taking control of your life

Hale DeMar continues to make the news. He was the guy who I documented about a successful Defensive Gun Use here and here. Here's the latest installment: Gun owner: I, not cops, got bad guy where he writes a letter to the editor.

I am quoting the entire letter here, because I don't want you to gloss over the link and miss the terror and frustration he felt in his own words.
Village Trustees ... Stick to Parade Schedules & Planting our Parks

Many of us have experienced a sense of violation upon returning to our homes, only to find that someone else has been there. Someone else has trespassed in our bedrooms, looting and stealing that which is readily replaced. Many of us, still haunted by that violation, will never again have a sense of security in our own homes. Few, however, have awakened to realize that they had been violated as they slept in their beds, doors locked, as family dogs patrolled their homes. For me, the seconds until I found my children still safely tucked in their beds were horrifying. The thought that a young child may have been hurt or abducted was incomprehensible.

The police were called and in routine fashion they came, took the report and with little concern left, promising to increase surveillance. Little comfort, since the invader now had keys to our home and our automobiles. The police informed me that this was not an uncommon event in east Wilmette and offered their condolences.

What is one to do when a criminal proceeds, undeterred by a 90-pound German shepherd, an alarm system and a property ... lit up like an outdoor stadium? And now, he had my house keys and an inventory of things he'd like to call his own. Would the police patrol my dead-end street as effectively the second time as they had the first? Would my small children be unharmed the next time? Would the career criminal be satisfied with another automobile, another television or would he feel the need, once again, to climb the staircase up to the bedrooms, perhaps for a watch or a ring or a wallet, again risking little?

Would my children wake to find a masked figure, clad in black, in their bedroom doorway, a vision that might haunt them for years? Would the police come again and fill out yet another report, and at what point should I feel comfortable that the 'bad guy' got everything he wanted and wouldn't return again, a third time?

I went to the safe where my licensed and registered gun was kept, loaded it for the very first time and tucked it under the mattress of my bed. I assured my frightened children ''that daddy would deal with the bad guy ... if he ever returned.'' Little did I imagine that this brazen animal was waiting in the backyard bushes as I tucked my children into bed.

Fifteen minutes after bedtime, the alarm went off. Three minutes after the alarm was triggered, the alarm company alerted the police to the situation and 10 minutes later the first police car pulled up to my home, but only after another call was made to 911, by a trembling, half-naked father. I suppose some would have grabbed their children and cowered in their bedroom for 13 minutes, praying that the police would get there in time to stop the criminal from climbing the stairs and confronting the family in their bedroom, dreading the sound of a bedroom door being kicked in. That's not the fear I wanted my children to experience, nor is it the cowardly act that I want my children to remember me by.

Until you are shocked by a piercing alarm in the middle of the night and met in your kitchen by a masked invader as your children shudder in their beds, until you confront that very real nightmare, please don't suggest that some village trustee knows better and he/she can effectively task the police to protect your family from the miscreants that this society has produced.

This career criminal had been arrested thirty times. He was wanted in Georgia and for parole violations in Minnesota. How many family homes had he violated, how many innocent lives were affected, how many police reports went into some back office file cabinet, only to become some abstract statistic? How is it that rabid animals like this are free to roam the streets, violating our homes and threatening the safety of our children?

If my actions have spared only one family from the distress and trauma that this habitual criminal has caused hundreds of others, then I have served my civic duty and taken one evil creature off of our streets, something that our impotent criminal justice system had failed to do, despite some thirty odd arrests, plea bargains and suspended sentences.

Hale DeMar, Wilmette
Are you prepared for when this happens to you? What will you do when you hear intruders in your house? Cower in your bedroom and hope the police get there in time, or take the actions necessary to protect your family?


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Bad immigration policy

President Bush is going to shoot himself in the foot with this: Bush Amnesty Plan Threatens U.S. Economy

Tennessee is one of the states where illegal immigrants can get drivers licenses without a Social Security number. Thus, Memphis has a booming Mexican population, complete with street gangs. My family can no longer go to the corner store, because of the gang wars that is taking place daily.

This policy is an attempt to shave Mexican votes away from the Democrats, but it may end up backfiring. The ones here legally will not cotton too well to this plan, because this gives a boost to the illegals that the legals never got.

There are no easy answers to this problem. The number one source of hard currency into the Mexican economy is the illegal workers sending dollars home. Mexican president Fox wants as many illegals streaming over the border as possible. It brings money into his country and relieves his population pressure at the same time.

President Bush is walking a fine line and all I can hope for is the people who are advising him know what they are doing.
When Republicans voted for Bush in 2000, they expected to get a president who would uphold the law, not change it in an ill-advised attempt to garner a few more votes. California’s last governor lost his job in part because core Democrat voters instantly saw his decision to grant illegal aliens driver’s licenses for what it was: blatant ethnic pandering in exchange for votes. In November, Republican voters may be faced with a similar choice.


Old bird

This is what I am in for, birds that might outlive me. F*** THE NAZIS, SAYS CHURCHILL'S PARROT.

Yes, the parrot that belonged to Winston Churchill is still kicking at 104. Birds in captivity have very long lives. I am looking at being at least 70 when my Sun Conures pass on, somewhere about 2032. That's a lot of bird food and squawking between then and now.

For those who are interested, here's a picture of my 'children.' Rocket is the one on top.


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

4th Amendment violation

I didn't find too much to comment upon today, but I did find this: A Man's (and Woman's) Home Is a Castle.

I have commented many times upon the various Childrens Services and how they operate on a commission basis when they yank children from their homes and put them into foster care, where they are at the mercy of people who are paid to look after the children. Some of them don't survive the 'care.'

The following is about as well said as I have seen on rights and responsibilities.
A right is an enforceable claim that an individual has against all other people; it carries a corresponding duty to respect those rights in others. For example, your right to freedom of religion comes with the corresponding duty to respect the right of others to reach their own conclusions. Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same social coin.
The 4th Amendment reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." This article brings forth the idea that Childrens Services be held to the same standard as police and be forced to swear out a warrant before a judge before a child may be removed.

I like that idea. Anything that gets rid of the capriciousness that exists today. Any time you think the IRS inserts their probes deep inside orifices meant for output only, Childrens Services inserts that probe about a foot deeper to illustrate the stuff that you have to go through to get your children back.

Don't think you are immune. An anonymous tip is all they need to take your kids, and there is nothing you can do to prove your innocence. It's like proving the sun comes up in the east at noon.


Monday, January 19, 2004

Core Values Monday

I wanted to do more original writing instead of just linking, so here is a start. I will be doing this every Monday for a couple of weeks. Your assignment is to follow in my footsteps and document your own core values.

Rock solid core values are important to a Conservative. It is what separates us from everybody else. We should be proud of our core values and should be able to display them for all to see. Thomas Jefferson said, "In matters of taste, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock."

Here is one of my core values:

Be Responsible. I will own up to the consequences to my actions, be they positive or negative. If I have negative consequences, I will do my best to immediately resolve them into a positive outcome. If I can't, I will admit my failure. If I am discovered, I will admit to my failure and show that I have been working on a positive outcome. When I have a positive outcome, I will share the consequences with those who have helped me.
You always have consequences to your actions. It is up to you if they are to be pleasant or unpleasant. I remember from my time in the Navy, when I would read results of Captain's Mast and Courts Martial in the base newspaper, they would always use the term "awarded" when handing out punishment.


Saturday, January 17, 2004

What it takes to be a man

I have a long -distance relationship with my family. Even though they only live 2.5 miles away, the only way to get there is to walk for an hour each way. So most of my conversations with my son are via phone and email. I have been fortunate that my wife has insisted that our son spend the weekends with me. This has given us a chance to bond and to have fun. It gets him out of the neighborhood and gives Mom a break from having to handle him. Positive results all around.

I am doing my best to instill values and self-discipline in my son. As with all 14 year-olds, he is rudderless and while he knows in a general sense what he wants to do, he doesn't know how to get there from here. I am lucky in the fact that he will do almost anything to please me. I am using that leverage while I can to develop his character and self-discipline.

Which brings me to this article, Wimps and Barbarians. This one particular paragraph jumped out at me:

Manhood is not simply a matter of being male and reaching a certain age. These are acts of nature; manhood is a sustained act of character. It is no easier to become a man than it is to become virtuous. In fact, the two are the same. The root of our old-fashioned word "virtue" is the Latin word virtus, a derivative of vir, or man. To be virtuous is to be "manly." As Aristotle understood it, virtue is a "golden mean" between the extremes of excess and deficiency. Too often among today's young males, the extremes seem to predominate. One extreme suffers from an excess of manliness, or from misdirected and unrefined manly energies. The other suffers from a lack of manliness, a total want of manly spirit. Call them barbarians and wimps. So prevalent are these two errant types that the prescription for what ails our young males might be reduced to two simple injunctions: Don't be a barbarian. Don't be a wimp. What is left, ceteris paribus, will be a man.
A true Conservative man thinks with his brain. While he can also feel with his heart, his heart does not have veto power over his brain. He derives his actions based upon a solid foundation of core values. These core values are not thought up over night, but brought about through years of thought and study, embodied by the learning of self-discipline. It is not easy to be so. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to be a man. It was told to me a while back that when you have a choice, the hardest one is most likely the best one to make.

Character can be best defined two ways: What you do on the third and fourth tries, and what you do when nobody is looking. It is in situations like these where character is best defined and earned.

What are your core values? Can you write them down? I learned through my management courses that the best companies and groups of workers that make up a company have a mission statement. This is a written document that is clearly posted for all to see that details what the company/division/shop is meant to do and how they intend on doing it in clear language. You should write them down, then post them on a wall of your office. Let everyone know what you will stand (and not stand) for. Of course, those without values will heckle you about it, but don't worry. Your clear cut values will remind them they have none, that is why they will give you a hard time about it.

Having your values posted helps you to live up to what you have written down, which is why the good companies post their mission statements where the customer can see them.

Homework assignment: Come up with one core value this week. Write them all down as they occur to you, but document one with at least a paragraph. Post it someplace where your family or coworkers can see it.


Good news over DGU

I reported here about a man who defended himself, his family and his home by using a handgun in a town that had banned them because they were 'evil.'

This story, Outrage Over Gun Case May Lead to New Law shows the forces being brought to bear to protect this man as he protected his family. I hope this comes quickly to a positive solution and those idiots that pass for a town council get a wake-up call about the realities of life.


Recess is fun time!

The ball is rolling. Bush Gives Recess Appointment to Pickering.

Let's hope the other beleaguered judicial appointees quickly follow suit.


Friday, January 16, 2004


It was always a big deal, in my family, to watch the odometers on the cars roll over to a new thousand or ten thousand. My mom would get mad because she would drive her car 990 miles, just to go out with my dad in her car and have the odometer roll over.

Well, I feel the same way now. My hit meter just rolled over 1,000. Thanks to those of you who continuously hit the reload button to punch up my numbers ;-).

Maybe one day I'll get a thousand hits a day. Hopefully it will be soon.

Thank you to all my visitors.


ACLU's true bias

I think this article, Christians Fight California's Muslim Indoctrination of Schoolchildren shows the true anti-Christian bias of the ACLU.

It's not okay to even think about the Christian God in school, but yet it is okay to "simulate" Muslim prayers and "holy wars"?
Such schoolroom activities as praying to Allah and simulating Islamic worship are not "devotional activities," District Judge Phyllis Hamilton decreed in a highly publicized lawsuit brought by Christian pupils and parents at Excelsior Elementary School in Byron, Calif.
If they are not devotional activities, then that means they have no religious value, and by extension they are saying that Islamic worship is not a religion. Boy, I would be steamed if my religion is treated like that. Oh, wait, it is. I'm not allowed to show my faith in any public space that might be controlled by the government. But really, which is worse, not being able to show your religion, or to have non-believers simulate your religious practices?

It must be worse for Muslims to see their faith mocked so by this school system.


Condi for Prez in 2008

I found a rather wonderful article on Why the Left Fears Condoleezza Rice.

The article contains a mini-biography of her, and what I read showed a gifted person make their own way through life by using nothing more than hard work. No wonder she is feared by the Left. If more blacks were like her, their voting block would disappear.

But what really caught my eye was this:
Racism is a collectivist idea that denies human dignity by defining individuals as members of mythical collective racial groups. Socialism and Marxism are collectivist ideas that deny human dignity by judging individuals only as members of mythical class groups and by declaring all human beings to be slaves whose lives and labors belong to the collectivist state, as in Castro's Cuba and increasingly in Chavez's Venezuela. The indoctrination of this dehumanizing idea, as we shall see, is what Chavez means by Marxist education.
These repressive forms of government abominable. In order to survive, they must crush all resistance, all individual thought and action. The only reason why they exist in the first place is the people think it was a good thing. By the time they found out different, it was too late and there is now nothing they can do to overthrow the government, because they hold all of the keys to power.

This is an interesting question, one that deserves an answer:
What if African-Americans notice that Democrats (the party of the slave owners, the Klan, Jim Crow and Bull Connor) talk about helping them but hold them down? And at the same time, the Republicans (party of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, who freed their ancestors from Democrat slave owners) have advanced blacks to the highest echelon of actual power in the Bush administration.

To prevent African-Americans from opening their hypnotized eyes to this self-evident truth and reconsidering why they vote for a party that chains and exploits them, Dr. Rice has been targeted for every kind of insult and attack possible. She must be politically assassinated.
The key here is education. As long as blacks can be kept dumb through terrible schools (thank you NEA), they must be dependent upon the good graces of the government, which is exactly where Liberals want them, to be dependent slaves beholden and indebted to their masters. The Democrats still like slavery, they just have changed tactics, and it has worked for 40 years.

If you think the economy is taking off now, train half of the unemployable black workforce and get them jobs. The economical ripple effect would quickly turn into tidal waves. Swing them from tax consumers to tax producers and a lot of governmental fiscal problems would be lessened or solved. With more money to spend, the economy would take off like a rocket.

We have to turn out literate, well-trained people out of the black inner-city schools and that just isn't happening. To solve it will take a crushing of the NEA today, then a decade more to train these kids as they go through the system. It would take a large investment to bring all of the adults back and bring them up to par as well. It will not be cheap, easy or quick, but it must be done.


Hansen strikes again

I finally figured out Victor Davis Hanson gets published every Friday in the National Review Online. This week, Our Primordial World.
Following September 11, our therapeutic industry — the campuses, the media, the intelligentsia, and many on the political Left — almost immediately sprung into action to insist that such hideous terrorist acts were symptomatic of wide-scale poverty and oppression in the Middle East, much of it caused by the United States. True, Islamic fascism scavenges on the self-induced misery of hereditary autocracy so endemic in the Arab world; but the hijacking murderers of September 11 were themselves hardly poor or illiterate. And their mastermind bin Laden talked of pride, envy, and power — seldom poverty or inequality. This was a creature, after all, who belonged to a world of the "strong horse," "honor" killings, throwing shoes, and fist-shaking, more at home in the tenth than 21st century.
As always, good, thought provoking reading.


Thursday, January 15, 2004

So it's not free after all

Found via Alpha Patriot: Army soon will have just 500 available troops.

This is an article about our northerly neighbors, the Canadians. It seems that what little military they have is imploding.

What got my attention was this:
Next year's entire budgetary surplus is expected to be no more than $5-billion, and there will be enormous pressure to send some of that money to provincial governments, most of which are being driven into deficit by escalating health costs.
So it seems that the supposed "free" health care system is not doing so well. There is already ample anecdotal evidence of people in ill health heading south to get tests done right away in the US instead of waiting 4-6 months in Canada. It is becoming evident that anything free is worth what you paid for it, i.e. nothing. Of course, those who love Bowling for Columbine and that bit about free health care in Canada don't think that's a bad thing... Until it's them or a family member in gravely ill health who's getting the short end of the stick.

I've had socialized health care inflicted on me and my family, that's what you get when you join the military. Sure it's free, but trust me you wouldn't want to be subjected to it. The Veterans Administration health care system is even worse. I've been there also.

I must admit something embarrassing: I watch Kim Possible. It's on TV right before I go to work Saturdays and it's the only thing watchable. Last week the main bad guy she faces wanted to take over Canada. I think she should have let him. A cartoon character can probably run Canada better than the current administration. It certainly couldn't do any worse.


Slavery is still around

For those of you who get your panties in a bind because we had slavery over 150 years ago, take a look at this article, Campaigners Hope Sudan Peace Deal Will Lead to End of Slavery.

Slavery still exists, people. And for those of you who get your panties in a bind over the slavery history of our country, what are you doing about this, where slavery is still going on?

Why are you whining about your great-great grandfather way back then, when your cousins are suffering it today? And it's going on more than just in the Sudan, there are other places where it still goes on. Maybe they'll get around to ending it next year.

Don't complain about history when it's current events.



I had to seriously think about reporting on this article, Murder charges expected in double shooting, but I felt I had to show that there are cases of irresponsible Defensive Gun Use as well.

One anecdotal incident like this however does not undo the 2,000,000 good uses, no matter how you spin it.

The only reason why this man is facing charges is his timing. If he would have shot these bastards in his home, that would have been one thing. If he had waited until they got out of the car with the baseball bat in hand, that would have been in the same vein. But to shoot these guys, between the threat and the imminence of carrying out that threat is where he went wrong.

I feel sorry for the man, I really do. But like I've said before, a great responsibility goes with firearms and when you violate that responsibility you have to stand up and take it. The two scumbags who got it I shed no tears for, and I can't hold out too much sympathy for this man who is guilty of nothing more than making a bad decision. But when two men lose their lives, no matter how much of a scumbag they were, someone must be held accountable.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

A DGU in the wrong part of town

Here's another Defensive Gun Use, this time in a town where handguns are not permitted. Wilmette Injustice talks about a town that banned handguns, but this man still had one and had the unfortunate chance to use it to protect his family and his home (in that order).

The most important part is near the end:
The war on terrorism has reminded previously complacent Americans of some ancient truths about human nature, making them suspicious of the old nostrum of appeasement. There are bad people in this world who will respond neither to reason nor to pleas, but only to force. Even one such offender is toxic to a whole community, as many anxious Wilmette citizens can attest. But even one defender provides a powerful antidote, granting a protective effect that radiates well beyond his own home. Conversely, it hurts us all to punish a courageous neighbor who is willing to stand up to a tyrant like the burglar of Wilmette.
Knee-jerk legislation to ban inanimate objects instead of punishing the person behind the tool is always bad law. It was a law that never should have been made in the first place, but when you have a large collection of holophobes in one place, what can you expect? People who believe that if you ban 'evil' things, evil will go away. Too bad that they don't know evil must always be beaten back. You must face it down daily, else it wins.

I wish this man good luck and hope the media attention prevents him from serving any time.


WMD's Found!

It's not much, just 200 shells full of blister agent, but it's a start. It confirms that at least some stockpiles are there.

What makes this newsworthy is the fact that it hasn't been covered by the media. Multiple Tests Confirming Iraq WMD Send Media Into Deep Spin. Those that have reported on it have buried it where no one ever looks. And of course, they will continue to ask on the front page, "WHERE ARE THE WMD'S?" Their expectations are 10 times more than the wildest estimate we have ever come up with.

There have been unsubstantiated reports of lower level Army officers taking such chemical munitions out into the desert and destroying them without permission, but they are unconfirmed.

Will more crop up? It's a fairly safe bet that we will find at least a little bit more in the same area, but I'm not holding out for several hundred liters of nerve agents in barrels all nice and lined up.

Time will tell.


Al Frankin on the air!

The infamous Liberal Radio Network (officially known as Progress Media) has taken a step forward, hiring Al Frankin as a radio host. Via Drudge: AL FRANKEN INKS DEAL WITH PROGRESS MEDIA TO HOST RADIO TALK SHOW

I must admit that I have only paged through a couple of his books in the book store, and I was not impressed. Like most things Liberal, it was full of vile invectiveness and constant spewings of hate. So much for the 'party of tolerance.'

I have no doubt that the network will launch, it has too many people and dollars behind it not to. But it will not last, because the average person will not listen to a constant eruption of irrational discourse of all things not Liberal. You couldn't line up sponsors with a cattle prod after the first couple of market surveys.

Just to show you the difference between Right and Left, I have never, to my direct knowledge, heard Rush call President Clinton stupid or any other personal derogatory remark. He called into question Clintons intentions and actions. He criticized what the man said. That I can recall, Rush never issued a personal attack upon Clinton.

But look at it the other way around. You hear all the time Bush=Hitler. You do not hear rational dialog about issues, you hear personal attacks on President Bushes character. Liberals hate, hate, hate the man personally, not just what he says or does.

Mainstream people will not put up with such ramblings for any length of time. They might disagree with Bush, but they can disagree with his policies while respecting the man himself. The relentless onslaught of hate from Progress Media will turn the mainstream against them, who will either continue or start listening to Rush and his cohorts.

I kind of wish I was in one of the markets they will be in, I would like to hear just how spiteful and vindictive they are. Then I would call in and see how berated and insulted I would be just because I have a different viewpoint than they do.


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Some good news

This is certainly a breath of fresh air: Less sex, more talk drive down teen births.

I had an earlier post on this subject here, but it is important to repeat the important part:

Anyhow, Mr. Goldberg mentioned three rules for young adults:

  • Graduate High School

  • Don't have a child before you turn 20

  • Don't have a child before you get married.

If you followed these simple rules, you had a 94% chance of staying above the poverty line.

If you broke even one of these rules, you had a 79% of ending up below the poverty line. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
6% chance to fail if you followed the rules, vs. 79% chance to fail if you broke the rules. While youth has that "It won't happen to me" mindset, hopefully enough of them will take this to heart to cut down on the number that do fail.

Beat these rules into your children, for their sake and yours.


When secrecy protects the bad ones

This article, Children Victimized By System Secrecy, talks about how the people who fail to check up on children in their charge are protected.

This is another story where a child is placed in a foster care home and is brutalized to death, this time through starvation and beatings. The case worker who was responsible for checking up on this child, who failed miserably at his job, is being protected by "confidentiality."

This is what happens when you have a child care system on the commission plan. The CPS agency is paid on how many kids are in their care, so in order to have as much money as possible, they maximize their efforts in taking children away from their homes and putting them into the system. I'm not saying there aren't a lot of cases where it is necessary, but there are a lot of cases where it is borderline or maybe even not necessary, but the children are taken anyways.

Then they are dumped into homes where the primary impetus of the caregivers is the money paid to take care of the children. The bad foster parents siphon that money into their own pockets and leave the children hanging. In this case the child got beaten for good measure.

This needs to stop. Put CPS on a flat budget and make them justify removal of children to a panel or something. Anything other than what is in place now. Hold the case managers responsible for their actions and add criminal charges on top of losing their jobs over not performing adequately.

Make them use common sense and get rid of the monolithic bureaucracy at least.

For the children.


Hillary, Interrupted

This article, Soros Devotes Millions to Defeat Bush talks about George Soros's efforts to unseat President Bush.

George Soros must be giving Hillary headaches. Her machinations are being interfered with because of George's millions he is pouring into moveon.org and other unregulated PACs. The problem lies in the fact that the Clintons can exert no leverage over Soros. He doesn't understand that the Clintons want Bush in the White House for another 4 years so Hillary has an unopposed shot in 2008. If Bush loses the election, then she would have to face a Democrat incumbent.

Oh, well, no plan survives contact with the enemy.


Monday, January 12, 2004

Augean stables

Victor Davis Hansen speaks again.The Same Old Thing.

I had to look up Augean. It reads thusly:

1. Exceedingly filthy from long neglect.
2. Requiring heroic efforts of cleaning or correction: the Augean task of reforming the bureaucracy.
[After Augeas, legendary Greek king who did not clean his stable for thirty years.]
Is there anything we can do to change the strategic calculus of decades past, inasmuch as we still protect a militarily weak Europe, and the Middle East is still undemocratic? In fact, we have already made good progress in unleashing cleansing waters through these Augean stables: carefully downsizing our troops in Western Europe; seeking to implant consensual government in Afghanistan and Iraq; and isolating an Arafat who is no different from his past or his present front groups that now do his killing.

As with all such VDH essays, it is highly recommended that you read the whole thing.


Successful DGU

Defensive Gun Uses occur over 2,000,000 times a year. Here is an example: Man opens fire on attempted armed robbers after work.
Kelly Royster, 21, a five-month employee of Nationwide Warehouse, said he and a female co-worker were leaving work around 8:15 p.m. when the two robbers approached them.

The pair went straight for the woman, who was carrying the night's deposit, and demanded the bank bag, Royster said...

"I just pulled it out and got to shooting at them," Royster said. "I was trying to keep track of how many I was firing, because I only had one clip."
This was one of the less than 5% of the DGU's where shots are fired. Make no mistake about it, the only reason why it made the news was the fact that shots were fired.

All I can say is I hope I would have done as well as this man did. I would like to say I would have dropped both of them before they know what happened, but reality is different from imagination. It is also a lot messier.

I can never bear arms legally again, so I hope I never have to face such a situation.


Forests are alive

I check National Review Online on a regular basis. I found this article today, Let It Burn (Once in a While) and liked what I read.

Contrary to what some so-called "environmental groups" proclaim, logging and controlled burning of forests is actually better for wild things and humans than immediately putting out every forest fire.
Just as man controls and maintains farmland, so must we do the same for the forests. Fires do essential work, but this work can be done by man as well. Maintenance, logging and controlled burns will prevent the massive burns that we see on a regular basis.

That's the responsible thing to do.


Another step towards INGSOC

Found on Drudge: Big Brother Britain, 2004: Four million CCTV cameras watch public. UK has the highest level of surveillance

This reminds me of a quip from Yakov Smirnoff. He was asked, "Is there television in the USSR?" His reply was, "Yes, but it watches you."

I've asked it before, are you truly free when you are watched almost every second, every movement scrutinized?

This is what I found disturbing enough to mention this article:
"Other countries have been much more wary about CCTV, because of long-held concepts such as freedom of expression and assembly. These seem to be alien concepts in here. [emphasis mine]"
The easiest way to destroy essential liberties is through apathy. Then again, the English have no rights except that which is given to them by the State.

How long will it be before your views begin to look the same way? How long will it take for our freedoms to be blunted and destroyed by the constant surveillance?

In fact, my son and I used the local transit system yesterday, to go play some MechWarrior:Dark Age. We took a bus that was brand new, complete with cameras watching our every move. There was one looking at who was coming on, one watching where the driver was going, one watching the rear exit and one watching those of us who were in the back of the bus. I admit I was uncomfortable the entire time we were on the bus.

But that is the new reality for partaking of public transit. It makes me want to spend the money to get the car fixed more than ever now.

I admit that cameras can do useful things. But at what cost?


Friday, January 09, 2004

My apologies

I'm sorry for not posting more, either of news analysis or my goings on, but my fast-cycling has been acting up. I have been having manic episodes and when I do, productivity drops to zero. Nothing to worry about, I've set myself up in here so even if I hit a Manic 10 there is nobody to hurt and no permanent damage can be done to anything.

I have been going to the stop-n-rob next door (Memphis slang for 'Convenience store') and impulsively buying a lot of Pepsi and other high sugar foods, knowing that it can bring on or exacerbate a manic swing. Impulse control has been really difficult of late. Like I said, measures are in place to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. The worst I can do is bounce off the walls, screaming and crying.

Now that all of the excitement of the holidays are over, hopefully I will settle back into a Depressed 3 or 4 and work from there.

Wish me luck.


I don't believe it

Hell has a good freeze warning, and I ain't talking about Hell, Michigan. Clinton believes Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: Portugal PM

"When Clinton was here recently he told me he was absolutely convinced, given his years in the White House and the access to privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the end of the Saddam regime," he said in an interview with Portuguese cable news channel SIC Noticias.
So Clinton actually comes down on the side of President Bush, but he does so quietly.

I think this is part of Hillary's calculations. Bill will continue to speak on this if it doesn't get more news coverage, undermining the Democrats running for President. This will further strengthen her stranglehold on running in 2008 by making sure Bush gets reelected.

Hillary is smart and ruthless. She bears watching. Hell, she would bear watching by me if she was a republican. She's like a magician, she keeps you looking at one hand while the other hand is under the table doing something else. She is as radical (in her own way) as Robertson or bin Laden, but is smart enough to keep up the facade of being a centrist. She's even more radical than Bill ever was.

Watch out. This one's dangerous.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

RTB Business

One of the things the Rocky Top Brigade does is host a Tailgate party. This week it's Mannish at Damn Foreigner. This week it's the best of 2003. Please read on and enjoy!


Relations are improving

Yesterday afternoon, I got a solid sign that relations are improving between me and my family. My wife called, and in an excited voice she says, "Mark! Mark! It's our son!" And I start thinking OMG, what happened, is he all right, and she continues, "He wants to build a particle accelerator!"

It turns out that my 14 year old son is interested in particle physics, so my wife bought him a DVD set of Stephen Hawking and his PBS mini-series about it. There is one part about a teenager in Memphis, TN who built a particle accelerator out of junk parts. My son now wants to meet this other guy and build one of his own accelerators.

So, my wife extracts a promise from me not to take him to any junkyards or parts warehouses where he could get the materials to assemble such a monstrosity.

When my wife can joke about such things with me, it means that she doesn't feel endangered by having contact with me. She has always loved me, but cannot trust me due to my erratic behavior. Limited contact under certain circumstances is okay right now, but it is on a case-by-case basis and always under review.

It's the best I can hope for. I'll take whatever I can get. Any contact time with the family under good conditions is good times for me.

In fact, I have a family outing with them in a couple of hours. Some lunch and a little grocery shopping. Who knows, it might take me to a Zero or even a Manic 1.


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The left side of the bell curve

I found this article, Man says he’s addicted to cable; wants to sue Charter
Cable TV made a West Bend man addicted to TV, caused his wife to be overweight and his kids to be lazy, he says.

And he’s threatening to sue the cable company.

Timothy Dumouchel of West Bend wants $5,000 or three computers, and a lifetime supply of free Internet service from Charter Communications to settle what he says will be a small claims suit.
The laughable thing about it is he wants to trade one sedimentary activity (TV) for another (Computers).

Actually, he's trying to pull a fast one, like the lady in Ohio who claims she lost the winning lottery ticket and it belongs to her instead of the lady who actually has the ticket.

The disgusting thing is that these people actually believe that they can get away with it. Usually they get tossed out of court on their ear and a bill for court costs in their pocket. The bad news is there are just enough times where they get a piece of the action to keep them filing.

I personally hope Mr. Dumouchel gets a bill for the four years he admits he stole cable. That's about $2,700 worth.


Todays comic

Can you tell who is the Liberal and who is the Conservative in this comic?


It's you, stupid

Here is an affront to everybody, no matter what your persuasion. The S factor explains Bush's popularity

It's the "Stupid factor," the S factor: Some people -- sometimes through no fault of their own -- are just not very bright.

It's not merely that some people are insufficiently intelligent to grasp the nuances of foreign policy, of constitutional law, of macroeconomics or of the variegated interplay of humans and the environment. These aren't the people I'm referring to. The people I'm referring to cannot understand the phenomenon of cause and effect. They're perplexed by issues comprising more than two sides. They don't have the wherewithal to expand the sources of their information. And above all -- far above all -- they don't think.
This is the standard Liberal evisceral hatred of All Things Bush. And when I mean hate, I mean HATE. Liberals hate the fact that the man draws breath. They hate everything Bush stands for, believes in, does, says, thinks and so on. And so, by extension, they must hate everybody around him and everybody who supports him. Thus you, dear reader, if you believe in the war in Iraq, approve of the war against terrorism, like the tax cut because it puts your money back into your pocket, then you are stupid, only by virtue of not agreeing with the Liberal mindset.

Of course, to be loved by Liberals, all you have to do is surrender all thinking to them. They will spoon feed you the issues, tell you want to think and how to vote. They view themselves as philosopher-kings and rightful rulers of all they survey. You will be more stupid under the Liberals because they expect you to be. If you are not stupid and dependent upon them for everything, then why do Liberals exist? Liberals can only exist as long as there are people dependent upon them. If you can get everybody to be self-sufficient, then Liberals cannot exist.

Conservatives on the other hand, give you the issues and let you decide. For once we have a man in office who is not driven by polls. He has a systematic plan and is implementing it. I admit I don't fully agree with it, but the only way I would fully agree with the president would be if I was the president.

What is funny is how Liberals actually expect to win a majority of the electorate by telling them how stupid they are. They make no effort to explain why their policies (of which they have none) are superior to the Conservatives. In fact, some of the very policies that they have been running on for years have been dealt with by the Republicans. How about that for stealing their thunder?


Another domino falls

Well, it seems like the word is spreading. Like the Marines say, "No better friend, no worse enemy. " N. Korea Offers to Halt Nuke Facilities shows a major caving in on their part.
North Korea has said before it is willing to freeze its "nuclear activities" in exchange for U.S. aid and being taken off Washington's roster of terrorism sponsoring nations.

On Tuesday it specified it was "set to refrain from testing and production of nuclear weapons and stop even operating (its) nuclear power industry for a peaceful purpose."
It appears that any (or all) of these events are playing in our favor:

In any event, it appears that serious concessions are being made. As with all such people, "Trust, but verify." I doubt there is very little substance, but it is a start and once one side in a diplomatic fight gives in, it snowballs from there.



I found this today, You Say You Want a Resolution and found the points discussed very poignant.

I especially liked #2
"Violence only leads to more violence."

This one is so stupid you usually have to be the president of an Ivy League university to say it. Here's the truth, which you know in your heads and hearts already:

Ineffective, unfocused violence leads to more violence. Limp, panicky, half-measures lead to more violence. However, complete, fully-thought-through, professional, well-executed violence never leads to more violence because, you see, afterwards, the other guys are all dead.

That's right, dead. Not "on trial," not "reeducated," not "nurtured back into the bosom of love." Dead. D-E--Well, you get the idea.
Naked violence that wipes out the opponent has always finally solved problems. I hope it doesn't come to that. I really don't want to wipe out an entire religion. We are going to have to wipe out one wing of it, as there is no compromise with the violent fundamentalists, but I hope it goes no farther than that.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004

More guns, less crime

I found this article, Why more senior citizens are carrying guns and I thought it bears mentioning.

First of all, the sub-title on the piece is, "They're protecting themselves from what they see as a rise in violence, even if crime statistics say otherwise."

You may think this is a pro-gun article, but it's not. I'll admit that armed seniors suffering from Alzheimer's can pose a threat to those around them, but I don't think that it is as widespread that the article implies.

The article also infers that, "because crime is down, nobody needs to arm themselves." They are not looking at the fact that it is armed citizens who are lowering the crime rate. Crime rates have steadily dropped because now 45 of 50 states have concealed weapons licenses for ordinary citizens. Every state that licenses citizens to carry see a decrease in crime across the board.

A criminal will commit crimes until they are stopped, that's a fact. If they come up against an armed citizen, that's a pretty solid wall to run into. Seniors are the weakest amongst us with the exception of children and are easy pickings for an aggressive criminal. When you arm them, they become a wall against crime. Once a criminal faces down an armed citizen, they think twice about taking on their next victim.
In the end, "the best insurance seniors can have against violent crime is a well-armed citizenry," says Van Vibber, gripping his pistol. "Besides, it's a God-given right."


Tech speak

Do you have a computer nerd in your life? From a family member to the not-quite-right guy at work, there are nerds all among us (Please do not confuse them with geeks. They are a whole different flavor).

Does your nerd use weird terminology? If so, you can use The Jargon Lexicon to decode what they are saying. From ABEND to zorkmid, you will likely find what you are looking for.

Good Luck. You'll need it.


Another Kissin' Cousin

Welcome to the roles of the RTB Orfinanny. She admits she's just one of the guys. Welcome aboard!


Monday, January 05, 2004

Morning Comic

As referenced by The party of tolerance, I give you this Day By Day cartoon:


See no bad

This is disturbing. Quarantining dissent: How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech

This smacks of Potemkin Villages and I as an American am offended by this. I realize and can understand that soldiers in proximity to the President have unloaded weapons, but this goes too far. At least let the pro- and con- forces line up on different sides of the street.

The media will always find the protesters and interview them rather than the pro-Bush people.

I don't like this at all, and I doubt that any explanation by the Secret Service will mollify me.


Brave New World

I include this article, Jersey's brave new world only because of its reference multiple times to the novel Brave New World.

For those of you who never read the book or seen the movie, I suggest you read the book. It talks about how everybody is grown in test tubes and conditioned as children. You have four groups of people, Alphas, Betas, Gammas and Deltas. Normal people today would be considered Alphas, while the IQ of the other groups go down in sequence. The Deltas are basically morons, enslaved to doing grunt work (assembly, floor sweeping, etc.) Everything about you, job, location, status, etc. is determined before you are even conceived. As you go through the assembly line, you are given vaccinations for what area of the world you'll be living in, have oxygen deprived to make you stupid and so on. Such a wonderful world.

Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should do it.


The party of tolerance

Ahh, yes, the party of love, peace and tolerance speaks once again. Two articles from Drudge give transcripts of the commercials, here and here.

GRAPHIC: Pictures Of Hitler
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: We have taken new measures to protect our homeland,

GRAPHIC: Pictures Of Hitler
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator,

GRAPHIC: Pictures Of Hitler
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them,

GRAPHIC: Pictures of President Bush
HITLER: (Speaking In German)
CHYRON: and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did.

BACKGROUND: Cheering German Crowd

The second one:
GRAPHIC: Nazi Flags In A Parade
HITLER: (Speaking In German)

GRAPHIC: German Troops Marching
GRAPHIC: Hitler In Car In Parade
GRAPHIC: German Troops Marching

GRAPHIC: German Tanks

GRAPHIC: German Artillery Firing
GRAPHIC: German Planes Dropping Bombs
GRAPHIC: German Tanks Firing

GRAPHIC: German Tanks Rolling Down Street

GRAPHIC: Hitler With Hand Raised
BACKGROUND: Sig Heil! Sig Heil!

GRAPHIC: President Bush With Hand Raised At Inauguration
BACKGROUND: Sig Heil! Sig Heil!

[sarcasm on]Yes, they are the most reasonable among us and they deserve to lead.[sarcasm off]


Unlikely allies

I am reluctant to go into Rush Limbaugh's life at all, let alone his addiction and subsequent problems. But this story just kind of leapt out at me.

Geraldo Rivera and Susan Estrich have come to the defense of Rush and his being persecuted by the local DA in Palm Beach County.

This is so unusual that the Devil himself must be turning up the thermostat.
Estrich contends the real issue is that "a lot of people are mad at Rush Limbaugh because they think he is a hypocrite."

She continued: "Well you may or may not agree on that, but the last time I checked hypocrisy is not a federal or state offense. And I don?t think that is a basis on which we should prosecute people."
Rush made one comment on drug users in 1993, long before he had back problems and years of untreatable pain. Even so, Rush was talking about the people who voluntarily choose to use drugs. His usage was based on a need to get rid of intolerable pain. I myself ruptured my L5S1 disk a few years ago and luckily the surgery was a complete success and I had no further pain. I can imagine myself hooked on opiates to get rid of the pain if I had to live with it. To live with the pain would take a Superman that I don't think anyone is.


For my friend Mike

I have a very good friend who is a recluse like me. He is one of my few regular readers. My family and I gave him one of our spare computers for Christmas a couple of years ago and it fits his needs perfectly, even though it's about 5 generations behind the current bleeding edge. He's running stable on Win 98 and has no plans to upgrade hardware or software.

Any how, I came across this article at Slashdot, Windows 98 Phased Out.

I wanted to give him (and anybody else who uses Win 98) a heads up to get whatever patches and updates there are before Bill pulls them.


Sunday, January 04, 2004

A whole Lott more

John Lott has written another fine article, Why People Fear Guns. Read it. It's good.

... If these events [Defensive Gun Use] were really happening, wouldn't we hear about them on the news? Many people tell me that they have never heard of an incident of defensive gun use. There is a good reason for their confusion. In 2001, the three major television networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ran 190,000 words' worth of gun-crime stories on their morning and evening national news broadcasts. But they ran not a single story mentioning a private citizen using a gun to stop a crime.
There is an actual phobia for the abnormal, irrational fear of guns, Holophobia.

Guns are power over life and death. As with all such powers, they are a final and irrevocable power. A lot of people are not prepared to make those kind of choices. They haven't had the experience in their lives to even think about such a decision.

Even for those people who have done the work and resolved themselves to take a life that threatens them or their family, it isn't as easily shaken off as they do in the action movies. PTSD can occur. While that is the bad news, the good news is you're still alive.

Over 2,000,000 crimes are prevented every year by armed citizens. You don't hear about 99% of them because nobody got hurt. Bad guy threatens, good guy shows firearm, bad guy runs away. Not a very exciting news report. That's why you only hear of the ones where somebody (usually the criminal) gets killed. As they say in the newspaper business, "If it bleeds, it leads." And when they do get reported, it's usually a small blurb on the back of the A section of the newspaper.

Defensive gun use makes the TV news only when it crosses into the spectacular. Here in Memphis last summer, we had a burglar running rampant in the city. It led the evening news whenever a new burglary was reported. He had over 20 homes to his credit when he finally broke into the home of an armed citizen who shot him dead. That led the TV news, but only because it had already been making the news for a couple of weeks. If (and I mean if) the TV news carries a regular DGU, it's a 15 second blurb after the weather. While gun murders lead the news. Too bad it can't be the other way around.

The two publications of the NRA, American Rifleman and American Sportsman, Each present a page of "The Armed Citizen," filled with a dozen or so DGU's every month. Most of them are small blurbs of only a couple of sentences long.

Of course, the blatant Liberal bias against guns doesn't help either. The rank-and-file Liberal has a solid case of holophobia and thinks everybody should not have a gun. The leaders of the anti-gun movement just don't want you to have a gun. They have a socialist agenda and the first step in order to institute it is the disarming of America. The Second Amendment was put there specifically so the citizen has the power to resist an overbearing government. But I digress.

Defensive gun uses are prevalent, and for the vast majority of incidents, non-violent. That doesn't mean you can't be prepared to kill to defend your life and the lives of your family. It took me several months to answer that question before I applied for my CCW license. It wasn't easy, let me tell you.

If you decide to arm yourself in whatever way for self defense, make sure you can pull that trigger before you buy the gun. Otherwise it will be taken away from you, with all of the negative results possible.


Friday, January 02, 2004

Another one gets it wrong

I just got back from work and decided to check out a news site or two. Don't you know, this one just jumped out at me. 'EU could have averted war' Yeah, right.

Another foreign politician sticks his foot in his mouth and shows his incompetence.

The views expressed by Mr. Prodi is purely delusional. Short of the armies of Europe rushing to the rescue of Iraq there was nothing anybody other than Saddam Hussein could do to stop it.

Everybody seems to forget the last time we got stabbed in the back we nuked those responsible. Sure, Saddam was not directly related to 9/11, but he has supplied money and offered training to terrorists. More important, Iraq is a linchpin to changing the entire middle east. We can (and will) wipe out Al Queda to the last fanatic. The problem is there is another 10-20 terrorist organizations willing to take their place. We must do more than kill kill kill. We must transform the middle east away from the hotbed of fundamentalism that it currently is. And our plan is working. We are making inroads in Libya, Iran and even North Korea. Despots around the world are beginning to realize that when we smile towards them, it is only to bare our teeth in preparation of ripping their throats out.

We have a man in office who is willing to do anything to protect this country. When it is necessary, he does not send letters of protest. He does not request UN resolutions. He does not lob a few token Tomahawks. He makes war. The rest of the world does not realize yet that we as Americans have displayed the greatest amount of restraint. So far.

There will be a WMD "event" in the next few years. Hopefully we will catch it before anything bad happens. If an event does occur, the rest of the world will come to realize there is no such thing as a "limited" nuclear strike. At that point all of the gloves are off and those on the other side of the issue will be lucky to live through it. Those that do survive should be down right friendly.

Let's hope it never come to that. I for one would not like to see multiple nuclear strikes anywhere.


Morning Comic

It would be nice if politicians behaved this way (and were caught more often like this).


"Moderate" Muslims

Cox and Forkum have a new panel out today. While it isn't spectacular, the write-up is the important part. Here is the panel: The Moderate Mahdis.

And that is precisely what makes Mahathir and his ilk all the more dangerous. The "extremists" like the Taliban doom themselves to insignificance by the very fact of their consistent adherence to their religious philosophy. But those who can make compromises with the demands of this world -- those who embrace the same moral and religious precepts, but implement them in a more reasonable, practical form -- are much more dangerous. They give their irrationalist philosophy some degree of power in the world.

But the biggest threat to the West is not the moderate Mahdis. It is the failure of our leaders to identify the malevolence of the Muslim "moderates" and see them as a threat.
Read the whole thing.


More Khaddafi

I've already talked about Khaddafi here in my blog, where I summed it up with "Trust, but verify."

Well, it seems that Khaddafi was caught red-handed trying to sneak nuclear weapons technology into Libya a few months ago and we seized the vessel. This probably has something significant to do with his "conversion." You can read about it here, Suspicion Still Surrounds Libyan Leader Qadhafi.

That decision followed a bust two months earlier of Qadhafi as he tried secretly to import components for nuclear weapons. The ship with the hidden instruments was interdicted by the United States and United Kingdom. U.S. officials said Wednesday that it was diverted to Italy in October, where authorities found its secret cargo of nuclear weapons equipment.

Khaddafi realized he got put very high on the shit list of the US and UK after getting his hand caught in the nuclear cookie jar. That is probably a very large part about why he is scared. He put himself on the 'Axis of Evil' and he is doing everything he can to get himself off of that list.

Good Luck. It ain't gonna happen.



As usual, the BBC is displaying its' bias by reporting stuff that is certain to be inflammatory. Case in point: Brazil to fingerprint US citizens.

This story is about how the US is requiring fingerprints of all people coming into the country and are using a visa. Reasonable in our post 9/11 world. Well, Brazil got huffy about it and is requiring that US citizens reciprocate.

Here's the money quote:
"I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis [emphasis mine]"
What can you say to this? We do a stateside background check to supplement the one done in the country of origin and all of a sudden we're Nazis? I also like the "absolutely brutal" bit as well, like we bludgeon people for good measure before we take their fingerprints.

This is, of course, the standard overstatement and smear to make us the bad guys. Like Dennis Miller said, "We're so busy calling everybody a Nazi that we ignore the guy with the funny moustache who tosses people he doesn't like into plastic shredders."

Save the term Nazi for the people who systematically murder thousands of people, would you please? Thanks.


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