Friday, March 31

Slap A Cop, Get Arrested


Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) pitched a hissy the other day when she was not waved through the security checkpoint at the Capitol building by a Capitol Hill Police officer. Members of Congress have some sort of badge or pin that allows them to pass unscreened, but in this case the officer either didn't see the identification or didn't understand its meaning, so he asked McKinney to pass through the metal detector. Instead of complying with the officer's request to submit to the securty screen (which is there for her saftey and the safety of the others who work in the building), she slapped the officer.

Word comes that Capitol Hill police plan to issue an arrest warrant today. Charges could range from assault on a police officer, which is a felony carrying a possible five year prison term, to simple assault, which is a misdeamenor.

And what is the response to all of this?

"I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, and I appreciate the work that they do. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now," she said in the statement on her Web site.


And what does the Democratic leadership have to say?


Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday labeled it "a mistake, an unfortunate lack of recognition of a member of Congress." She added that the police officer was not at fault.

"I would not make a big deal of this," said Pelosi, D-Calif.


A mistake made on the officer's part because he didn't recognize her. Not her mistake for over reacting and assualting the officer.


Merle Black, a professor of politics at Emory University, says that while the scuffle was rare for an elected politician, it's unlikely to cost McKinney more than a few votes. Black says McKinney is in damage control -- cutting her losses by not insisting on right or wrong.


Okay, so what the hell is wrong with this picture!?! Her assault on an officer is unlikely to cost her more that a few votes?!? Why aren't these people demanding a public apology, and some form of censure for her? If she was a Republican, she'd be run out of town on a rail. The fact that anyone is suggesting that she be (for all intents and purposes) given a pass on this, or that she should not be held to account by those who elected her, says more about those who would condone this behavior or accept it from their elected representative than it does about her and her behavior.

If this is the best the Democratic party can do, then we as a nation are in real trouble if they are ever elected back into power. The Republicans have their own problems to deal with and had best be getting to down to business on those issues. Unlike the democrats, the Republican base will not tolerate this type of behavior, nor will we look the other way come election time. Clean house, or hand the dems the reins for them to drive us to our destruction.

Thursday, March 30

And who remembers where they were today

For the flashback run to Ronald Reagan's website

http://www.ronaldreagan.com/march30.html

Wednesday, March 29

Beware of Lewis



Okay, this would be funny if it wasn't so... funny.




FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they have been terrorized by a crazy cat named Lewis. Lewis for his part has been uniquely cited, personally issued a restraining order by the town's animal control officer.

...

The neighbors said those weapons, along with catlike stealth, have allowed Lewis to attack at least a half dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.



Poor Avon lady. Bad kitty!

Nails


I received this in an e-mail a couple of years back, and once again about a month ago from a former work assoicate, so I thought I'd share it here.

Nails


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us."


Take whatever lesson from it you will, or dismiss it if you like. I think it speaks for itself.

Red State Horror Movies are Very Short

Presented without further comment.

Mcgyver, out

Tuesday, March 28

Whose Bright Idea Was This?!?

NewsMax is reporting today, that...

Fairfax County is taking part in an unusual White House drug study.

Wastewater from communities throughout the Potomac River Basin are being tested for the urinary byproducts of cocaine.


Okay, so we are dealing with sky-rocketing deficits and major issues concerning soaring gas prices, the war in Iraq, Muslim extremism, impinging political civil war in our own country (between the far, socialist left and "fly over" country also known as the rest of America) and now we're testing sewage for evidence of cocaine usage???

WTH is this all about! [/end rhetorical question]

Um, don't you think there are more important things we should be concerned about? And I'm really starting to wonder if President Bush knows what his people are working on.

Monday, March 27

Happy Birthday, Mom!


Today would have been my mom's 70th BD. Hope she's enjoying it where she is!

Sunday, March 26

A Good One!

I hadn't seen it before, but thought you all might like it.

Answer Carefully...

I got this from a friend of mine...some o' you might have seen it because I sent it to some folks. I got it totally wrong, and I hope y'all do too. I will post the answer in a couple of days:

Psycho Test


Read this question, come up with an answer and post it here. Check back in later for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.


A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met this guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, so much her dream guy she believed him to be just that! She fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive in killing her sister? (Give this some thought before you answer).


...

...

...

...

...

Okay, here's the scoop...she killed her sister because she was hoping that this unknown man would come to that funeral too, and she could see him again (although the undertaker was a good guess, she should be able to find him again, shouldn't she?!). Evidently if you thought that way, you're a psychopath and we should either ignore you or be verrrrry nice to you. I, fortunately for everyone who knows me, got it totally, completely, and absolutely wrong. So I feel much better about myself.

How 'bout you?! :)

Friday, March 24

One More Ride for the Kids



The biggest killer of children has been determined to be Pediatric Brain Tumors. Having been involved with a family who lost a precious child to this I have become heavily involved in trying to support the pbtfus.org and have fun doing it. Annually Honda supports this foundation with its ride4kids.org. Every year there are rides nationwide sponsored by Honda but attended by thousands of Motorcycle riders. Honda, Harley, Tykes, literally every kind of motorcycle. Personally I ride a Goldwing. In Houston last year the ride was great and we raised $ 206,000.00 last year. Nationwide it was 4.2 Million. Americans are great and the bikers love this ride.

A few of the highlights of the ride from 2005 in Houston follow.

The ride registration is something like 25 or 35 and up if you choose. Basic Registration you get a ride pin, from there up to tee shirts caps, Jackets etc.

The Blue Knights, half the law enforcements officers from 100 miles around escorted us on a country ride and they shut the routes down for us. In each city there are designated “chauffeurs” that are allowed to let one of the kids ride in this ride. Than we meandered back to Pasadena Fairgrounds for lunch. Barbecue from Lundsford’s Honda.

After lunch put on your heavy sunglasses. Because than we heard the stories from the "Stars", kids who are trying to beat Brain Tumor which is the largest killer of children today. Last year a woman almost dragged her husband up to the microphone and as he cried he said “Last Year I was here with my youngest son and now he is my only son" his other son died 2 weeks ago, and from than on there wasn't a dry eye in the house

I laughed my a$$ off last year when they announced that the Cut n Shoot Harley Davidson Chapter raised the most money in Houston. These are true Harley Bikers and the way they raised money was by printing and selling "Cookbooks"

This is Honda's biggest event of the year.

Afterwards we split up the different groups ride wherever. As we started to ride out I asked a friend through our headsets if he could hear me over the roar of those Harleys and a Harley rider responded in jest and told me to “leave them alone and go get back on my golf cart.”

Those of you who own a Motorcycle need to check out the Ride For Kids website at http://www.ride4kids.org/ and see when the ride is in your area. Check the pictures and browse a while. Those of you who don’t own a motorcycle don’t know what you are missing.

Make the ride one time and you'll never miss another one.

Thursday, March 23

I get hi-class spam


Of course, the next one in the que wanted to sell me viagra, then the next had a cure for my failure to satisfy my mate (buy penile implant, GI) and the next was selling land in Arizon, and next someone had found me and was looking for a foreigner to invest....

And I have filters and spam fighter software out the anal sphincter. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't. I only have to deal with maybe six or eight of the damn things a day...

Mcgyver, out

Church Sign Smackdown

Former Demo sent me the link to this. It is hysterically funny, but I admit I don't know what the last sign means. Anyone know?

Wednesday, March 22

This is for Cheyenne

Hello Folks,

I have been working on a slideshow presentation for the family of Master SGT Anthony R C Yost. Andy also known as Big Tony was killed near Mosul, Iraq on Nov. 19 2005 when a building exploded as he was entering it.
Andy has been missed by many especially his daughter Cheyenne.

I hope my friends at LGC will drop a note to Chey.
Here http://legacy.com/Flint/Guestbook.asp?Page=GuestBook&PersonId=15743723&GuestPage=1

The tribute is here it is a large file please be patient.
http://mjpconsults.net/

JP

Tuesday, March 21

This is Interesting

The Washington Post, in a shocking editorial, admitted that not only does the Post have a Liberal/Left bias, but once you get away from DC, New York, LA and San Francisco, they don't have a clue about who or what the real culture of the Country is.

Well, kind of :-) Today, to the dismay of Liberals and the bemusement of Conservatives, the Post has started a new 'blog. It is called Red America, although the author points out that in the tremulous run up to it's carefully prepared launch some L³ Moonbat wanted to call it Red Dawn. The author thinks it was just out of abysmal ignorance. I'm not so sure. I think it was a Freudian slip.

The Moonbats really do see average Americans as some kind of invasion that is perverting the Perfect Socialist America that would exist if only we would trust our betters in the aforementioned L³iberal Enclaves and in academia to run our lives for us. They look out over the sea of red in "fly-over" country, and can't imagine how the primitives survive.

Funny, I feel the same. I look at places where a house that around here would be torn down and replaced is worth a quarter of a million dollars, traffic is god awful (I have a 30 minute commute on a bad day), crime is high, and I wonder how they stand it. Last time I was in DC I thought to my self "If I owned this place and Hell, I'd rent this place out, and live in Hell".

OK, I stole that last line :-), but it is really how I felt then. Having visited some of the other L³eftist "Dream Cities" since, I have to say I feel that way about all of them.

It will be interesting to see how long this thing with the Post lasts. The first step in overcoming a problem, in this case institutionalized Liberal Bias, is admitting you have a problem. Here's wishing the Post a successful recovery.

How I did it

For a few years I have been making friends with Muslims and non Muslims living in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Through these contacts I have learned more about Islam and the conditions in these countries than from any other available source. Some of you are aware of some of the things I have discovered. I won't discuss what I've learned here. I'm sort of done with the entire effort. So heres how I did it. Very simple, nothing complicated, very time consuming and 99% of the time its a fruitless venture. Like finding a needle in a haystack.

This is Yahoo Instant Messenger's member search page. As you can see it has fields for entering Location, Age, Gender and Keywords, as well as Name and Age and other blank fields you can fill in. You can also select to see only members who are currently online.

Often when I am searching this source, I find member profiles which contain information the user has entered. Hobbies, Self Descriptions, Interests and links to homepages and other sites the user is interested in sharing.

By looking through the returns from my searches I am able to pick which members seem most interesting and which ones seem most likely to respond to my message. My initial message is always as plain as this, "Hi' I'm Danny, I'm an American living in America. How are you?". I don't keep statistics but I would estimate that only one out of a hundred people I message this way ever respond. But in that one in one hundred have been some amazing people.

I never lie to people I contact this way. I never portray myself as being anyone other than who I am. I never hide my beliefs or opinions on things from them. I don't create a false persona. As I like to say, "I take myself everywhere I go." And that is no different with the friends I make online. I'm perpetually me. If there is some kind of connection between myself and them, it is a real one and doesnt need any upkeep. Same as in meatspace (real world), a friendship based on honesty is the truest form of friendship. Trust follows quickly and must be respected by both parties.

In addition to using Yahoo Messnger, I also use a site which Charles posted about recently called Orkut. I have been using Orkut for a few years now. Making friends and "enemies" all over the world.For every post I have made at LGF, I have probably made twenty at Orkut. My main focus for the last few years being Iran, Orkut has been an invaluable source for keeping up with what is happening there. I have made friends living in Iran through Orkut, even though the service is banned there, many Iranians find a way to continue to use Orkut. And it is through those Iranians that I have gained the most knowledge about the reality of life on the ground there.

I make this post today because I have slowly stopped being involved with these efforts to understand Middle Eastern / Asian countries and peoples. The fire I once felt for this knowledge has been quenched over time and today I feel like I understand these places as well as I ever will. I'm not saying I have some kind of superior understanding. I'm just saying I've gotten out of it all that I can or want to at this stage. I will continue with a few friendships I have made because I truly love a few of these friends as much as a peron can grow to love someone as a friend online.

So if anyone ever wondered how it is I have found out any of the things I know about the ME/A and its peoples, this is how I did it.

Saturday, March 18

And So It Begins

I have long said that once they managed to ban legal possession of firearms that it was only a matter of time before they came after knives. However other than Japan, whose extremely restrictive weapons laws date to before the Tokugawa Shoganate, I had only a gut feeling to really go on. Various jurisdictions place restrictions on the type of blade you can carry in public, but in the United States you can own anything you want. I was begining to think that I was wrong in my hypothesis, but it seems I was mistaken.

Scots opposed to ban on sale of swords
THE sale of swords in Scotland should not be banned, according to a consultation exercise on plans to tackle violent crime.

Details of the survey, published yesterday, also show the public appears divided over whether to license shops selling non-domestic knives.
...
The consultation, issued last June, set out a range of proposals to tighten the sale of bladed weapons, including introducing a licensing scheme for the sale of non-domestic knives.

Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, said she would announce her final decision soon. She said: "We are determined to crack down on the knife-carrying culture, which has cut short too many young lives."

The desire to blame the weapon rather than the hand that wields it is almost a religion among the L³eft, and personal responsibility for one's own safety a heresy up there with human sacrifice.

Fortunately, at least for now, gun control is a dead issue in the United States (except in the Moonbat Hunting Preserve by the Bay). But the Brits lost the war on gun control in the '90's. Now they are coming for your knives.

Friday, March 17

Man, That Cat Can Jam!

[click the title]

10 Reasons To Love Palestine

by Goffaq Yussef


Golly gee, I am SOOOO proud to be Palestinian Arab from the West Bank. Let me tell you the reasons why I have such warm, fuzzy feelings about my people and culture:
  1. There is no such thing as Mothers Day. No worry about cards, gifts, and expensive meals. There is no honor in being a woman in our culture, so there is no reason to devote a day to her. We do, however, get to enjoy watching our fathers beat our mothers senseless for the slightest real or imagined infraction. Also, if Dad suspects that Mom spoke to a strange man in the street, he gets to kill her to preserve the family honor!
  2. Weapons. Every child, from the time he can grasp an object, is trained to feel comfortable with a rifle or pistol in his hand. And every Palestinian has a weapon: a gun, a rocket launcher, a pound of C-4. What good are hands if they aren't used to kill?
  3. Hate. Boy, we love to hate. Hate is the very basis and foundation of our culture. From the time a child is old enough to understand language, we teach him to hate. Hate Jews, hate the West, hate his fellow man, and most of all, hate himself. We have no love songs, we do not preach love, the word love does not appear anywhere in our society. Hate is the fuel that runs our motors.
  4. Death. The moment a Palestinian Arab child is born, his parents begin to plan his death. How will he die? Will he be struck by an Israeli bullet while being used as a human shield by Palestinian gunmen? Will he get shot while throwing rocks at Jewish soldiers? Will he be packed with explosives and sent to blow himself up, killing others? Or will he merely be one of the many Palestinians murdered by other Palestinians in the normal course of daily life in the death-culture of the Palestinian Arabs? Who knows? That's part of the thrill.
  5. Unemployment. Palestinians used to have jobs, working in Israel. But then, our leaders had a brilliant idea: suicide bombings! For their own protection, Israel had to close its borders, preventing Palestinians from going to their jobs, so they could sit around unemployed and blame the Jews for it. What great fun to be your own worst enemy!
  6. Martyrdom. Who in their right mind wants to be a martyr? Among normal people, a martyr complex is considered immature and obnoxious, if not downright crazy. With us, it's the central syndrome of our society! Hey, look at me, I'm gonna kill myself and become admired! And then, when we do kill ourselves, instead of being considered pathetic, we DO get admired! It's a whole complete cycle of sickness! American kids collect baseball cards; Palestinian kids collect martyr cards (really! no joke!).
  7. A feeling of entitlement. When Israel came into being, we declared war. We lost. We fought again. We lost. We fought again. We lost. Israel had the right to kill us all (we sure would kill all of them if we got the chance). Instead, they allow us to live on land they conquered. But we can't leave that alone. We have to claim entitlement to live on land that we lost in 6 wars. Since when does the loser of a war get to claim the land he fought over? They don't. But we do. Not only that, but we happily kill our kids over it! Hey, what's more important -- a chunk of dirt, or some worthless kid who isn't going to amount to anything anyway?
  8. Uselessness. The Jews have won more Nobel Prizes than all other ethnic groups combined. Their contributions to science, art, literature and the humanities is far out of proportion to their population. What have Palestinians produced? Nothing! Not a thing. We don't do anything productive. We're too busy rioting and killing and chanting and screaming and calling for everyone's death. And we blame the Jews for it, as though the Jews stop us from being productive.
  9. Friends. The Palestinian people sure know how to pick 'em. Saadam Hussein. The Taliban. Adolf Hitler. You name a psychopath, and we embrace him. And look who our supporters are! The American Nazi Party. The KKK. Just check their websites and see how they stand in solidarity with us. When you support the Palestinian "cause," you're in real good company. Bring your white sheet!
  10. Freedom. The biggest laugh in the world is when people call us "freedom fighters" or they say we're fighting for our freedom. Take a look at all 22 Arab countries. Do you see any freedom there? Well, that's what our country will be like if we ever get one. It will be a dictatorship run by armed, masked thugs who will kill anyone who dissents. Just like we are now. Freedom???? LOLOLOLOL The word doesn't even exist in our language. Hey, just like George Orwell said: "Freedom is slavery. Long live big brother!"

Remember: Israel is bad! LOLOL -- It's existence keeps reminding us what a bunch of losers we are.

[Sort of says it all, doesn't it. And yet, there will be those that say, "and your point is?"]

Thursday, March 16

Be Careful What You Say

We've all done it at one point in time, lost our cool on a blog and said things we shouldn't. Then there are those of us that seem to live in that place where we let our passion for a particular subject carry us to the place where our common sense disengages and our lesser demons express themselves in our posts and comments on a regular basis. I think we forget that our words can come back to haunt us, and some on the receiving end of our "threats" and "popping off" don't think we're funny or "just kidding."

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she and now-retired colleague Sandra Day O’Connor were the targets of an Internet death threat last year because of their citation of foreign law in decisions.


Hum, seems odd doesn't that someone would be so unhinged by a foreign law citation that they would actually make death threats against a sitting SC justice, but then again maybe one person's abortion-rights passion is another person's foregin-law passion.

“Although I doubt the current measures will garner sufficient votes to pass, it is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support,” said Ginsburg. “And one not-so-small concern — they fuel the irrational fringe.” She then revealed the online threat.


Disquieting is a interesting way to put it. The article continues:

...office of the marshal of the Court, who is in charge of security for the justices, alerted her to a Feb. 28, 2005, Web “chat” posting that began, “Okay commandoes, here is your first patriotic assignment.” After mentioning that Ginsburg and O’Connor invoke foreign laws and rulings, the posting continued, “This is a huge threat to our Republic and constitutional freedom . . . If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week.” Ginsburg did not indicate where on the Web the message appeared or if any investigation ensued.


I think the lesson we can take from this is we all need to remember that our words are very much public when we post and comment on the web. We may forget that while we are talking to those we consider to be friends, that the conversations are not "private" chats, and that our anonymous nics are no protection from prosecution. New provisions in the Violence Against Women act now provide protection from harassment of any individual by any individual even if that person is hiding behind an Internet nickname.

Ya'll be careful out there and remember the Iron Fist rule "If you think you are too drunk to post, then you are too drunk to post," or in this application, "If you think you are too angry to post, then you are too angry to post," so back away from the keyboard, take a walk, stand under a cold shower, or do whatever you have to do to chill out. The laws of this country are finally catching up to the trends in cyberstalking and harassment. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Happy Birthday Danny!


Happy, happy Birthday,
May all your dreams come true.
Happy happy Birthday from all of us to you!

Everybody, please wish Danny a happy, happy 44th birthday!!

Party time!

PS. That's not Danny in the picture. It's actually my sisters, my brother and me at the occasion of my bro's birthday. Pretty funny group, all with really weird expressions on our faces. This was when my parents only had 5 kids.

Wednesday, March 15

A song I found

Well folks I found something a little while back while cleaning out a desk in an office.
What was it you ask? It was a CD with no label on it. Me being curious stuck the thing in an old player on a boombox. To My surprise the thing played a song “Let it Rip Let it Fly” I would believe that is the title but there is no info on the disk.
While playing the song kinda loud Sue came by and said where on earth did you find that. I told her about the desk.
Sue had done some marketing work in Nashville a few years back and she was there on Sept.11 2001 and for a few weeks after. Sue had told me that the CD was made by some girls that worked for the recording studio. It was made shortly after 911. I do not know if it was ever produced if ya’ll heard it before let me know. It does have a catchy tune.

http://mjpconsults.net/911song.wma

Tuesday, March 14

This is Unbelievable

Google is a wonderful tool that most of us rely on a daily basis to quickly find facts and information that helps with our work, our entertainment, and our blogging :-) Unfortunately, there is a seamier side of the internet. I am not speaking generally about pornography, per se. More on that in a moment. You see, there's a seamier side to Google as well:
Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. also have been criticized for enforcing Chinese censorship guidelines. Google's China-based service limits online searches for sensitive topics and Microsoft shut down a Web log of a Chinese user at the demand of China's government.

(link)

Emphasis, as always, mine. Sensitive topics, you know, like things about Freedom or Democracy or the Chinese Government. Truly disgusting, that last one. I know. The Chinese have laws about that, and you obey the laws of your host Country. You go along to get along.

It sucks sometimes, but that is the way the world works. That is not what I am upset about. I give you that to serve as a background against which to compare this:
Judge to force Google's hand

Tuesday, March 14, 2006; Posted: 2:11 p.m. EST (19:11 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- A federal judge said Tuesday he intends to require Google Inc. to turn over some information to the Department of Justice in its quest to revive a law making it harder for children to see online pornography.

U.S. District Judge James Ware did not immediately say whether the data will include words that users entered into the Internet's leading search engine.

The legal showdown over how much of the Web's vast databases should be shared with the government has pitted the Bush administration against the Mountain View-based company, which resisted a subpoena to turn over any information because of user privacy and trade secret concerns.

Freedom isn't worth fighting for if it is the right of a Chinese peasant to learn how truly oppressed they really are, but keeping 14 year old boys from surfing porn without their parents consent, well now, there is a cause worth fighting for!

In the end, of course, it's not about the porn. It's all about the Benjamins:

Google seized on the case to underscore its commitment to privacy rights and differentiate itself from the Internet's other major search engines -- Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp.'s MSN and Time Warner Inc.'s America Online. All three say they complied with the Justice Department's request without revealing their users' personal information.

Look, I'm all for privacy rights, but this is sanctimonious posturing over a non-issue. Home users have dynamic IPs for the most part, and if you are surfing porn at work, well, there may be a time and a place for everything but I submit to you that work is neither for that activity.

I have long supported the idea of creating a .XXX domain, and requiring commercial porn to be posted there. If I opened a bait shop, I'd have to get a Business License, comply with a myriad of local, State, and Federal Laws, etc.

Why should on-line porn be any different?

At the end of the day, though, I found it interesting that Google chose this issue to use to differentiate their brand.

As opposed to, say, Freedom in China.

Monday, March 13

Bite Me, Yahoo



More warlike talk at Canis Iratus.

Why I Fly The American Flag


Someone told me that if I could express why showing respect to the U.S. flag was important, that he would consider flying his flag properly rather than upside-down as a protest of the current administration. This is what I wrote:

Throughout the history of the world, humanity has rarely tasted freedom. History is replete with tales of domination by rulers, kings, and tyrants. The suffering and oppression of one man at the whim of another is the typical state of affairs. We may not appreciate this since many do not have a historical perspective and most of us have never known anything but freedom. A common attitude seems to be: Freedom? It's like air; so what's the big deal?

Freedom is vital because it allows each of us to exercise free will, thus it allows us to achieve the level of self-actualization at the apex of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Free will is the essence of being human; it is the unique characteristic which exists nowhere else in creation as far as we know. I believe it is the divine reflection of God's image in each of us.

I fly the flag every day to show pride in my country. To me it represents the spirit of a proud and courageous group of people and their commitment to the noble and precarious ideal of freedom.

However, some of my countrymen are much too sophisticated to express a love of country. They don't find anything of which to be especially proud in the principles expressed in our Declaration of Independence, nor do they recognize the wisdom and genius of our founding fathers in writing the U.S. Constitution. They fancy themselves to be "citizens of the world" and look to the United Nations for principled leadership. Such folks consider flying our flag to be an expression of blustery, macho jingoism; an assertion that we are better than people of other countries. Such folks mock our country and prefer to dwell endlessly on all her mistakes and flaws.

But these folks miss the point. Every country has flaws; what really matters is whether we have made, and will continue to make, progress in acknowledging and overcoming those flaws. By any standard, we have done remarkably well in a very short period of time. So when someone disrespects the flag he shows that he doesn't value his country nor understand her unique contribution to the history of the world. It means he is not prepared to make sacrifices nor does he appreciate the sacrifices made of others in defending precious liberty.

When I see Old Glory wave, or see the Statue of Liberty, or hear the Star-Spangled Banner I feel a swelling in my chest and a lump in my throat. I feel an overwhelming sense of awe and love. I feel humility toward those whose sacrifice for liberty I can never possibly repay. I feel a profound sense of continuity with my departed father and others of the finest generation who served with honor in World War II. Because I fully grasp the horrors of war, I realize how courageous my ancestors truly must have been. I revere those who protected liberty from tyrants over the course of more than two centuries.

Some parts of the world still subsist in the Dark Ages; some countries have experienced the Enlightenment but seem to want to return to the dark. But when I see the Stars and Stripes wave, I feel hope that our noble experiment in freedom will not flicker out as a candle in the wind-- a mere fluke in the long timeline of history. I want to contribute my part throughout life to carry the flame so that our children will be able to breathe in the sweet smell of liberty, and pass it along to their children. I also want oppressed people of all other countries to experience this thrill called freedom. We are the strongest county in the world and as such we have a responsibility to lead and show others what is possible when a people embrace freedom coupled with individual responsibility and acting within the principles of the Golden Rule.

The flag is more than a piece of cloth. The flag represents much more than actions of any particular President; Presidents make mistakes; Presidents come and go. The flag represents much more than Republican or Democrat; it represents all of us regardless of political affiliation. The flag stands for our collective spirit and our shared values as a people.

I have a deep, abiding, unshakable love of my country and its people and our leadership role in the world. That's why I fly our flag. Proudly. Every day.

Sunday, March 12

Flushing

It was early Saturday morning when I turned onto Cherry Street near downtown Flushing, Michigan. The local townspeople had begun to gather on the sidewalk near Saint Roberts
Catholic Church. Nearby in the parking lot a group of men wearing bright red jackets appeared to be having a discussion, as I approached them the patches on their jackets became clear to me they were United States Marines.
While waiting for a pause in their conversation to introduce myself I looked over my camera checking the settings. One of the Marines asked me if I worked for the press my reply was that’s a negative sir I’m here to support the family of SGT. Youmans. We talked for a while and discussed the events of the previous week’s visit of the of the freaks from Kansas when a church usher asked us to move aside as the lot was beginning to fill.
I scouted out some vantage points to get my shots from then moved to the street. By this time the local people had put up their banners supporting Joshua Youmans some were carrying signs like the picketers use but the message was not the same, they wrote “support our troops” Believe in America” “God Loves our Soldiers” and “Thank You Joshua We Pray for You”. While crossing to the other side of the street to photograph the folks with their signs and banners I noticed a small group people on the corner moving towards the church, just then I thought I heard what sounded like thunder in the distance.
I was speaking to a homeowner on the block asking for permission to shoot some photos from his second story porch as we spoke we heard jeers from down the block the scum from Westborro Baptist Church had arrived.
The old Marines were heading their way when a Flushing police cruiser pulled in to block the street separating them. The Marines were having dialogue with the scum from Kansas as they unfurled the vile banners and signs. The police who are Veterans themselves had to protect the scum from Kansas for in this country that is their job.

By this time family members and friends along with men and woman from all branches of the service entered Saint Roberts Church through a corridor of rough looking men holding American Flags. This was the advance group of the Patriot Riders they were there to show their support for the family.
As the anti American protesters started to gather some steam I heard more thunder it was growing louder and heading this way. It came in the form of a shiny black pickup tuck leading what seemed to be hundreds of roaring motorcycles. The strike force of the Patriot Guards had arrived. The pickup paused in the street as team members clad in black leather jackets removed a large black package from the bed of the truck.
The truck pulled away as motorcyclist positioned themselves in front of the scum from Kansas drowning out the chanting from those deranged ones on the sidewalk. The team unfurled the huge black tarp to block from view those horrible messages the protesters held.
Neighbors came out of their homes to the sidewalk effectively blocking movement of the protesters. The motorcycles sound covered their chanting. The Guards with their shield made the signs useless. At this time they were completely ineffective. The Reporters had turned to interviewing the bikers and other patriots in the crowd. For them it was over they could only move one way on this street the way home. The police gave them safe passage to their vehicles I don’t think the crowd even gave them cheer when they left they were just gone. Now that’s Flushing.

Some of the photos I took are here http://webpages.charter.net/gcrcjim/

Revisitation

Warren hits the nail on the head. I do not see anything here that I disagree with.

The unfortunate truth of our current situation is that the Islamofascists are going to push until someone pushes back. Since the problem is their ideology and their religion, it is not going to change until we change that.

Most people recognize the year 1492 as the year that Columbus discovered the new world. It is also the year that Spain kicked the last Muslim out of Spain. It was the culmination of a long struggle with Islam. Here we are 500 years and we are fighting the same battles. I wonder if the title Revisitation does not eerily remind us that we are currently repeating history.

There Are No Words

(Hat Tip: Dewie)

Just go read it.

MY FEAR FOR AMERICA

We are all aware of the dangers lurking in some foreign lands and in America itself both at the hands of foreigners living here and those who have adopted the tenets of certain groups of foreigners (e.g., Muslims). We also know that madmen do seem to be near to getting control of nukes in Iran and of course the "sanity" of certain other nuclear nations can certainly be reasonably questioned. What do we do if Iran gets a Nuke and uses it against Israel? Suppose some terrorist organizations get a dirty bomb or a "clean nuke" what will we do? This nation has survived for well over 200 years. For many, many of those years our very survival as a nation has been at stake. But we have persevered and we have won. Always.
My fear for America is within us. I have lived long enough to have dim recollections of Eisenhower vs. Stevenson, and much brighter memories of all of our presidential campaigns since John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Nixon. I have NEVER seen so much anger, frustration and discord among ourselves in my lifetime.
Many folks seem to trace this to the 2000 election which the "Supreme Court" gave, GAVE, mind you, the victory to Bush. Things have been progressing downhill among ourselves ever since.
In the 1960 JFK vs. Nixon election, JFK won the Presidency only because he won the electoral votes of Illinois. There was absolutely irrefutable evidence that the original Mayor Daley of Chicago had in fact voted the graveyards for Kennedy. Several well know and respected political figures and attorneys urged Nixon to challenge the Illinois vote in court. Even the Ancient Media (which had been if favor of the "boyishly handsome Kennedy" over the "sweaty faced, always needed a shave, shifty eyed Nixon") raised questions about the legitimacy of the vote in Illinois. And Richard Nixon (yes, the same "I am not a Crook" Richard Nixon) declined to pursue the matter in the courts. His explanation was that the didn't want to tear the country apart, cause perhaps irreparable damage to our system of elections and mostly didn't want to REALLY set Americans against Americans.
For America to truly work, it requires two distinctly different, but altogether rational political parties. We've gone since 2000 without this. BDS seems to have permeated every level of the Democratic Party.
The "minority party" has, to my recollection, never proposed any specific plans for foreign policy or for domestic issues. They have merely taken the exact obverse course from Bush. That they had not addressed issues such as Social Security, Health Care, the Deficit and on and on is particularly shameful.
Lest any of you think this is just about "bashing Democrats" let me hasten to assure you that it not the case.
The Republican party, with majorities in the Senate, the House of Representatives and control of the White House has not exactly covered itself in glory either. The War on Terror has been conducted in a way that can be legitimately criticized - and not just on the basis of "pull the troops out now" either. Our national security from foreign foes, for which the Majority Party bears most of the responsibility because it controls the White House and both houses of Congress seems to this "old Man" to be more in peril than at anytime in my lifetime. The Dubai Ports deal is just one aspect of questionable decision making and horrible information dissemination from Congress and the White House. Neither, to my knowledge, have the Republicans proposed or done much domestically on the same issues of social security, health care and the deficit. They have succeeded, almost in spite of themselves, of replacing two Supreme Court Justices with men whom I believe will be judged by history as outstanding jurists. We have liberated Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm not making light of those victories, not at all. But Republicans have let the Democrats attack, attack, attack, when the Dem's have no ammunition. Iraq? "I have a plan" says Kerry. Nobody I know of except Kerry knows what that plan is. Murtha says immediate withdrawal NOW and the Republicans fumble away a chance to put that idiotic point of view to bed.
But more than all of the above, is the absence of IDEAS. How do we deal with the domestic issues I've mentioned? No answer seems to be forthcoming other than if Bush is for it the Democrats are against it. And frankly, although I like George Bush, I can't understand the lack of ideas coming out of his administration, nor out of the Republican controlled Congress either. There has even been, so far jocularly I hope, talk on various blogs of another Civil War in America. The prospect of that should make every true American cringe. Kill each other? Deliberately discard "ideas" because one party or the other floats them without even an attempt at a civil discussion of the merits of those ideas? We Americans used to be able to disagree without being overly disagreeable. When we worked together we always won, no matter the crisis du jour, domestic or foreign. When JFK ordered the embargo of Cuba to prohibit the Soviet Union from exporting ICBMs to Cuba, 90 miles off our shore, the Republicans in Congress stood firmly with the Democrats against that. We were united.
I remember. I was there.
Now we have the internet. The Ancient Media no longer has a stranglehold on what Mr. and Mrs. America hear or read concerning what is the "news". Nor can they "create" the news as freely as they are constantly being fisked by bloggers - right and left.
And in spite of (or, I fear maybe because of) the internet we seem more divided as Americans than ever before. And with certain notable exceptions (LGF being one of them) it seems almost impossible to disagree with someone without the whole thing becoming disagreeable, to put it mildly. Some blogs will throw you off if you offer ideas which run counter to the ideas of the blogmaster (see, e.g., DU - you'll have to go see, I've been thrown off). I mentioned the 2000 elections as a kicking off place for the lack of respect and civil discourse we see today. I don't honestly know if that's true, but I do know that the level of civil discourse is RIGHT NOW the lowest in my lifetime.
To quote Pogo "We have met the enemy and it is us".

Friday, March 10

Fear the American Street

In the run-up to the Iraq War, Americans were warned that the Arab Street would "explode", and that we should be afraid of their reaction. To which a majority of Americans simply shrugged, and said "What are they going to do that they haven't been doing?" After all, it's not like the Arab Street hasn't been chanting "Death to America!", blowing up embassies, hijacking planes (and occasionally ramming them into buildings) for the better part of thirty years.

It's not like they were suddenly going to love us for not invading Iraq.

This week saw the rise of the American Street. When word got out that some aspect of our ports were going to be put under the control of an entity that was owned by an Islamic Emirate, the American Street errupted. No, we didn't errupt into the "streets" and burn UAE flags, or storm their embassies or start burning down Mosques or any of the other acts of impotent rage lovely things the Arab Street is known for.

We called our Congressmen. Blogs on both the Left and the Right posted everything from the erudite polemics to raging screeds, but the resounding NO! was heard in the Halls of Power.

And the deal died before the week was out. There were crys of "Islamophobia" from both the Usual Suspects and some who should know better.

-phobia
suff.
An intense, abnormal, or illogical fear of a specified thing: xenophobia.

I would submit to you that it is not irrational to fear any control of ports, air terminals, or major infrastructure (Hey, why not let them run Savannah River Nuclear Plant while we are at it?) to a foreign power 96% of which's population belongs to a Religion that a majority of its adhearents have been calling for our deaths for decades, and some of its adhearents recently gave their lives to kill 3,000 of our fellow citizens.

There is a message to the Muslim world here. You have been sowing the seeds of American distrust for thirty years. Even now your mad mullahs in Iran are threatening the United States and Israel with nuclear fire. This is not in your best interest. There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, so you may think that you have the advantage in numbers. This is a miscalculation.

We can even the odds in thirty to forty-five minutes.

Americans are a patient, tolerant people, but as the Dubia Ports deal shows, our patience is wearing thin. We're growing tired of the infantile rants (not to mention riots) whenever your feelings get hurt. Grow up and get over it.

Moral Equivalence?

This is what happened at Istahan University in Iran this week:

Alireza Soltanshahi, a representative of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who heads the Presidential Office for the Study of the Palestinian Issue, addressed the gathering, telling participants that, the Holocaust myth has turned into an industry for the Zionists to gain money.

This is what happens at UC Berkeley - almost constantly:
[A student] remembers the glass front door of Berkeley's Hillel building -- where he attends Friday night services -- shattered by a cinderblock, with the message FUCK JEWS scrawled nearby. He remembers the spray-painted swastikas discovered one Monday morning last September on the walls of four lecture rooms in LeConte Hall accompanied by the chilling bilingual message, "Die, Juden. "

---

One flier making the rounds declared, "The neoconservatives and the Jewish Lobby ... planned the Iraq wars. ... Most of the US media ... are Jewish owned." Meanwhile, the largest sign said, "I Want You! to DIE for Israel. Israel sings: 'Onward christian soldiers.'" On the reverse side, in an attempted riff on "Pax Americana," the sign said, "I WANT YOU TO KILL FOR THE AMERA-ISRAELA POX!"

---

"Do you know what it's like to be on a bus, and to see that bus blow up and see heads roll down the street?" the older man shouted, arms wild at his sides. "I've seen it -- in Israel."

The sign-bearer stood firm. "Well, they should have been killed," he yelled, his voice rising. "They should have been killed! They should have been killed because it wasn't their land! They should have been killed and it should have been more."


---

One March day in 1996, a group of battle-fatigue-clad young men made their way across crowded Sproul Plaza chanting "Hezbollah! Hezbollah!" -- the name of the Lebanon-based organization in whose ranks suicide bombing is said to have been invented. When they reached Sproul Steps, the men took turns praising Palestinian suicide bombers who had carried out recent attacks in Israel: The preceding two weeks had been marked by two bus-bombings, a bus-stop bomb, and a shopping-mall bomb with a total of 67 killed. One of the demonstrators led the group in loudly declaring his willingness to become a martyr. The men then trampled and spat on an Israeli flag. In preparation for the event, "Zionism is fascism" had been chalked onto sidewalks surrounding the campus.

---

Later that year [2001], 23-year-old Aaron Schwartz was walking toward the Hillel building as part of an obviously Jewish group celebrating the annual holiday Simchas Torah. According to accounts in The Daily Californian and the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, one onlooker mocked the procession by goose-stepping in place, chanting "Heil Hitler," and performing the Nazi salute. After punching Schwartz in the face and knocking him to the ground, the man and his two companions strolled away.

---

At a rally on campus protesting the arrests [of violent pro-Palestinian demonstrators], Palestinian-born Islamic Studies lecturer Hatem Bazian spoke stirringly. Cal's administration, he reportedly told the crowd, was under pressure to punish the demonstrators. As for the source of that pressure, Micki Weinberg recalls Bazian telling his listeners that the answer lay in the names of UC Berkeley's buildings. Zellerbach, Bazian offered pointedly. And Haas. And Moses.

---

When [Daniel Pipes] went on to call for Palestinian acceptance of Israel's existence, hisses swirled in the hall like steam. "No!" shouted many in the crowd.

"Death to Zionism!" proclaimed a voice.

"I thought this was an institution of higher learning," Pipes said, baiting his hecklers.

"You racist Jew!" cried the protester who had been hoisting the Gandhi sign.

"Ra-cist! Ra-cist!"

---

A young woman in a kaffiyeh screamed up at a Jewish student significantly larger than herself. Her lips were wet with fury. "If I don't agree with you, then you call it anti-Semitism!" she shouted, as friends arrived to support her. The young man was surrounded. "You call it anti-Semitismmm!" she raged. "Why can't you tolerate anti-Semitismmm?"

---

"Liberation Through Islam" was the theme of the sixth annual Muslim Students Association West Conference, held on the Cal campus this February ... Clusters of young men, many in skullcaps and kaffiyehs, drifted in and out of Wheeler, but women and men entered and exited through separate doors marked "BROTHERS ENTRANCE" and "SISTERS ENTRANCE."

---

The weekend concluded with an evening program called "Muslim Students in the Struggle." A few officers and alumni took turns at the podium; one young man speculated about the day "when we are called upon to rock the West like it's never been rocked before." This is inevitable, he said. "Allah has promised the people that they will inherit this land."
I'd say Cal Berkeley has the Iranians beat by a mile. Iranian fascism is almost liberal in comparison.

Check This Out

I sometimes wonder about our commitment to free speech.

I personally am unafraid of any opinion that is contrary to my own. The importance of churches being allowed to speak on what is considered political matters is that they act as a conscience for the nation. Sometimes we need to hear comments that we might not neccesarily care for.

Thursday, March 9

Much Prettier Girls


You have to agree that these baby girls are much prettier than the s/he posted below. I'm posting this photo of my four legged daughters in order to cleanse the corneas of those who have been so unfortunate to have witnessed the scene below.

Nightmares be gone!!!


Hailey (tan/white long-nosed child) and Lucy (tri-color chihuahua/fruit bat/furbee) were bundled up last Friday night toasting in front of a roaring fire burning in the Chiminea. Spring had not arrived yet.

But tonight, it's the start of severe weather. Thunder boomers moving through and a little swirly cloud activity, too.

They say if you don't like the weather here in the Ohio Valley, just stick around. It will change.

Wednesday, March 8

It's Finally Happened!


And I think I'm gonna have nightmares now.

Under God the People Rule (On the South Dakota Abortion Ban)




My mother was a legislator in South Dakota for ten years, and I got to know many of that state's politicians when I was growing up. Some of them are still in office, and are partly responsible for the current attempt to ban abortion. Contrary to what some of their opponents may think, they do not carry bibles everywhere they go, and they have only one head each. They are farmers, ranchers, and small business-people who have real lives outside of politics. They have an annoying habit of saying that they are "tickled" rather than "pleased". Pro-Choice forces will note, with appropriate alarm, that an unnerving number of them are Democrats.

The outcome I'm hoping for is simple: I hope this goes to the Supreme Court, and that Roe V. Wade will be overturned. (Loading Blackmun's original document into a rocket and firing it into the sun would be a nice touch.) That's all I want. After that, the state itself might turn around and recind the ban under some future majority, as the issue will henceforth be at the mercy of democratic federalism.

I do not want a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. I want the federal government - congress, courts, and chief executives - to get out of the abortion business, and stay the hell out of it, forever.

This will not end abortion, not in Patricia Ireland's wildest paranoid dreams. It will continue indefinitely in the great majority of states. Pro-Lifers will have to live with that, because this is a nation subject to democratic rule. It is the greatest nation that anybody ever thought of, but it is not utopia and it is not the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Of course, Pro-Choicers will not be happy either, because they are generally opposed to any limits on abortion, or even the possibility of limits.

So why am I wishing so much unhappiness for everybody on both sides? For the same reason that teenagers have to pick up their rooms once in a while, and learn trigonometry. They don't like it, but they'll thank you for it some day - well, maybe they won't thank you, but they have to learn it anyway. That's the drill.

Roe V. Wade has been a clumsy dodge that has prevented this country from directly confronting the issue of abortion. That confrontation must come, and it must boil to equilibrium by democratic means and not by autocratic fiat. There is no shortage of opinion about abortion, but there is a serious lack of reason about it. We can't end the controversy by pretending that it is a done deal, one way or the other. We'll just suffer it forever, like the symptoms of a disease we are not allowed to diagnose.

UPDATE: For those who are wondering exactly how much impact this law would have if it survives: There is currently only one abortion provider in South Dakota. For many years there was none at all.

There was a single abortion provider in South Dakota during the 1970s, Dr. Benjamin Munson. In 1977 a South Dakota woman named Linda Padfield died after a botched abortion which left most of the fetus inside of her, causing infection. Munson was tried for manslaughter but acquitted because the state could not prove intent to kill. Abortion rights groups donated to his defense fund, but he might have been convicted if the judge had not instructed the jury to acquit.

Munson began performing abortions in 1967. He was the original back-alley coat-hanger guy. (And yet he was admitted as a member of the National Abortion Federation - how did that happen? Don't they frisk people for coat hangers?) Needless to say, Munson did not give abortion a good rep in South Dakota. He was easily the most hated man in the state for a long time.

The abortion rate in South Dakota is about 5 per 1000 births, compared to a national average of 20-25 per 1000.

Tuesday, March 7

The Price of Everything

I have a sister who is eight years older than I, and she has a son. It seems to me like he was born the day before yesterday, but today he is a Lance Corporal in the Marines.

I saw him this weekend for the first time since he went to San Diego, more than two years ago. He's been to Iraq, of course, riding convoys as a Humvee gunner and patrolling for IEDs. When his leave is up he'll be going back, and he's ready and willing to go back. He hasn't changed one single bit.

He has small respect for the Iraqi "insurgents". The Marines in his unit are unimpressed by the enemy's marksmanship: most of their AK-47 fire goes into the air. The one time he would admit to being scared was when the Army fired on his patrol by mistake: "Those guys can actually hit you. I'm still mad about that."

He has high hopes for the future of Iraq, and he spent some time trying to convince his father to invest in Iraqi currency. He was proud to have stood guard at a polling place in the last election where the turnout was 8000, up from 200 in the previous election. The voters celebrated by robbing an unmanned ration booth and setting fire to it, which the Marines found more amusing than annoying, apparently.

In the streets, rock-throwing Iraqis are an occasional problem. He says the rock-throwing punks always claim that they don't mean any real harm, they just like the sound that the rock makes when it hits kevlar. When the Marines pick up the rocks and throw them back, the rock-throwing stops.

I don't have to tell you how proud I am of him, even though he got a tattoo from some drunken son of a bitch in Hong Kong who couldn't even spell.

Having him there makes Iraq something more than an academic exercise to me. I want it over and I want him back home so he can go to school. His mother (and my mother) pay a price every day that he's there. But they're glad and proud that he went, and so is he, and so am I.

The other side wouldn't understand that. They're like the man who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. We know something about both of those things.

Sunday, March 5

My few travels

Looking at just my friends and family, its easy for me to say that I am the least traveled of all of them. And because nearly every person I know is the working class type who can't much afford to travel, I feel I can safely assume that I have traveled much less than anyone who reads this.

I would like to share with you a few of the sites I've seen.

Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee Oklahoma

What was so wonderful for me was a collection of photographs of Native American Indians. Wonderful perfectly preserved b/w portraits that captivated me.

Its a small place but is well worth an hour of some serious gazing and wowing at the displays.

Aztec Ruins (actually Anasazi) Monument in Aztec New Mexico

Wow, what an experience to walk alone among these ruins. If you have never seen ancient ruins, or have'nt seen Anasazi sites, this place is great. Its easy for your mind to wonder back to more primitive times and feel how the place must have felt back when.

If youre ever driving in south west Colorado or north west New Mexico, see the place!

Mount Desert Island, Maine & Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine

Next to Kentucky, this is the most beautiful place I have seen. When I was there it was off season, it was too cold and the ocean was rasing hell. I could have stood on the edge of those granite cliffs forever. Gulls swooping down and riding the wind just feet away. Looking at me like I was an alien. Winking and gliding away.

Its the kind of place that makes you think the whole Hobbit thing could be for real. Its easy to imagine them scampering around the picture perfect landscape with dragons flying by.

CBGB & OMFUG , 315 Bowery between 1st and 2nd Street NYC

Just go to the link and read History of CBGB by Hilly Kristal to see why I include this smelly, dirty, creepy, dark, scary tiny little bar in a bad part of New York City, among the other notable places I have been.

Unless you know the area well or have a reason to be there, as I did, don't go there. Every second that I was'nt working, I was freaked the hell out. I was there for six hours. I'll never go back. :)

Have you been to one of these places ?

Chicken and Dumplings - Northern Style

This is for JustDanny, who requested the recipe.

Danny, this is probably different than your Mom made, but well worth the extra steps. If you want to make this recipe and want to take shortcuts that won't affect the outcome, do this:

Buy a pre-roasted chicken from the deli at the grocery store. The ones that are lemon herb are great. This way you won't have to prep the chicken.

And, for southern style, instead of making the fluffy dumplings like I describe in my recipe, roll the biscuit dough out on a flour-dusted surface and cut it into pieces. Drop them into the boiling broth/chicken mixture, and stir. The dumplings will turn out southern style instead of northern style.

It's really that easy!

P.S. The link in the title goes to my new blog. Hope you all will visit!

Saturday, March 4

Like Bears to Honey?





















You mean this one ?

Amazing SPAM

I was just perusing the SPAM file on one of my g-mail accounts and saw a message that promised to enlarge my penis by TEN CENTIMETERS! I didn't actually read the message (I don't have a penis at all, so even if it were true it wouldn't do me any good), but 10 cm is about 4 inches, right? I am wracking my brain for all its mostly forgotten anatomical knowlege to see how it might be possible to achieve such a feat, and am coming up blank short of plastic surgery. But I have to wonder...who buys that kind of thing? Someone must, or the SPAMmers wouldn't bother, presumably.

So I am guessing that there are people out there who open these e-mails and think they really have a chance to get in on some free Nigerian assets or can legally get Cialis online without a prescription. Or the male enhancement possiblities, of course. Or software practically free.

What kind of people fall for this?

"A hip, contemporary version of "The Emperor's New Clothes"



...complete with election politics and news media spin." And, I think, a really terrible political message aimed at indoctrinating kids into a certain groupthink culture. And the Not-my-Kid is so over joyed with being selected as the Vice-President Character that he almost wet himself when he told us all about it and how it was funny and what happened in this and that scene.

So, since some of it sounded kinda hinky to me I looked it up. Now my Not-my-Kid is worried I'm gonna get his teacher in trouble. So, look at it a bit, please. Pay attention to the cast of characters. Follow the story line. Me, I'm stuck. I haven't made up my mind on it all. Do I complain to the school board? Let it ride? Try and explain to an eleven year old ADHD boy that he's being brainwashed? If so, how? He needs all the encouragement I can give him in order to become the man he should become.

And I'm not sure if I'm more upset at the teacher for choosing this play, the playwright for pushing a political agenda on kids, or for the blatant theft of a great Stooges joke.

Lemme know what you think, especially anyone who has some experience dealing with the public school system (Bob's Kid? You around?) I'll try to check in later tonight, after the stick actuators get done wasting precious fossil fuels (night flying this weekend).

Mcgyver, out

Update - The pdf freeview of the script is available if you scroll down the page. The url for the freeview is http://95churchcom.web128.discountasp.net/histage/pdf/1275f.pdf

Friday, March 3

Where's Your Political Compass Steering You?

This is kinda cool. It maps you on a two dimensional political scale, instead of just Left-Right-Center.

Interestingly enough, I'm considered a Centerist with Authoritarian Leftist tendancies. Heh.

Take that Kos Kidz. If I think you are L³eft-wing Whackos, you have to be pretty far from center.

:-P

Update:
Well, That's a relief :-)
Economic Left/Right: 6.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 1.85

That L³eftist shit had me worried. I didn't scroll down far enough :-)

Silly Post

Noticed that LGC has 666 posts. Couldn't let that sit - even though I know that number doesn't mean nuttin'.

But just in case, thought I'd post this to change the number.

Silly, I know.

Happy Friday!

Banned in Pakistan!

Now that blogspot is banned in Pakistan, we might as well talk about them behind their backs.

Did you hear the one about the dyslexic Pakistani cleric who got so mixed up that he kissed his daughter's face and beat his prayer rug to a pulp with a shovel?

Q: What do they call "wilding" in Pakistan?
A: Law School.

Q: In Pakistan, what do you give your girlfriend on Valentine's Day?
A: A little candy heart that says WHORE, and a jar of battery acid in the face.

Unpacking for the Journey

I was raised Roman Catholic from the beginning of time. My observation of many cradle Catholics (including me) is that we have a tendency to take our faith and our Church for granted. Over time, so much of what we do at Mass is automatic. It's easy to be lost in the routine and lose our focus on the spirituality, beauty and meaning of our faith traditions.

Our beliefs are challenged by those who claim to know better. Because the Church has been around for so long, the history of its management run the gamut from the bad to the good. Non-Catholics have a difficult time understanding the mysteries of our faith. It's so much a part of my spiritual makeup that it has also become part of the physical me. Sounds a little strange to describe it that way, but I don't know what else to say.

Not that I have always been a "good" Catholic. For several years I pushed God and my Church away. I was even defensive when anyone brought up God or the Church. "I'm not ready to hear that stuff!!", I would state. I knew I would come back in due time - in God's time. That in itself is an indication that I hadn't totally turned my back on God.

Ash Wednesday nearly 10 years ago, I had an ephiphany. It came to me in a dream. It was so strong, I woke up crying. That had never happened to me before and has not happened to me since. I knew then that my faith would never again be shaken. I wouldn't be shaken by scandals, by persons of other faith traditions bashing my faith tradition, by people dragging up things that happened hundreds of years ago.

So why am I going on and on about this? A couple of reasons.

First, I have seen so much bashing of Christians on LGF that it makes my stomach knot up. Seems that it's okay to do that. And some who bash Christian Catholics in particular, are of the Jewish faith. But you don't see us bashing them. We are strong supporters of the Jewish people and Israel. To deny Jews would be to deny who Catholics are. It's where we came from. I wish it would stop.

Second, the link to the title above takes you to the newest book written by my priest, Fr. Jerry Eifler, at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Fr. Jerry's sermons are fantastic. He never reads from prepared text. His sermons are funny, educational, spiritual and uplifting. In fact, even the children stay quiet when Fr. Jerry speaks. Priests like Fr. Jerry make it easy to attend Mass. He is a gem and a gift from God to us. He has reached the age of retirement for priests, but asked if he could stay on because he's just not ready. I hope you will consider buying his book if you are inclined. I am going to buy it this weekend and have him sign my copy. If you all don't mind, every once in a while, I might post a snippet here.

If you don't want me to, I won't. This is not a Catholic blog or religion blog, and I don't want us to feel like we have to get involved in those discussions. However, my impression is that our crew here at LGC accepts various viewpoints and opinions with respect and it might be appreciated.

However, I will continue to post recipes and other stuff, too. I'll post one this weekend.

Which recipe would you rather have - my grandmother's molasses cookies recipe or my chicken and dumplings recipe?

Your vote!!

Thursday, March 2

Suicide or Suicide Bomber Blooper?



Did the Oklahoma student who blew himself up outside a college football stadium while a game was being played last year mean to commit simple suicide, or did he intend to take as may of the 84,000 in attendance at that game with him as he could?

The "experts" can't seem to agree.


Contrary to statements by authorities and the conclusions of media, a police bomb expert says the explosion that killed a University of Oklahoma student outside a packed football stadium last fall was accidental.

According to the Oklahoman newspaper, Sgt. George Mauldin of the Norman, Okla., police department believes 21-year-old Joel Hinrichs III "accidentally blew himself up" Oct. 1 on a park bench 173 yards from OU stadium during the second quarter of a night game against Kansas State.

Asked if Hinrichs intended to enter the stadium with the explosives, Mauldin said: "I don't believe he intended for an explosion to occur at that spot (on the park bench)."

Some 84,000 people were at the game.


The article goes on to state that there was no conclusive evidence that young Hinrichs intended to enter the stadium. Hum. Okay, what about the earlier reports that the young man tried three times to get into the stadium but was turned away? (See LGC's Archives for our earlier reports on this story) Guess that doesn't count as evidence or speak to motivation.

And what of his motivations?


Hinrichs' father, Joel Hinrichs Jr., has insisted his son meant only to kill himself, and FBI investigators said they found no ties to terrorist organizations.

But as As WorldNetDaily reported, investigators found "Islamic jihad" material in Hinrichs' apartment, and the student reportedly attended a nearby mosque – the same one attended by Zacharias Moussaoui, the only person charged in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Also, the warrant used to execute a search of his apartment, where an undetermined amount of explosives were found, has been sealed by a federal court at the request of the Justice Department.

WND reported, in addition, a feed-store owner who refused to sell Hinrichs fertilizer that can be used to fashion explosives said an off-duty Norman police officer witnessed the attempted transaction. Ammonium nitrate was a principle ingredient in the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City April 19, 1995.

And, some investigators familiar with the case said they suspected authorities might have had some kind of advanced warning or concern about a potential bombing incident, based on witness accounts of tighter-than-normal security at the football game.

Mauldin said Hinrichs had two to three pounds of triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, in a backpack in his lap when it exploded.

The bomb expert pointed out TATP is "the explosive of choice" in the Middle East.


This young man attended the same mosque Zacharias Moussaoui attended. He had jihadis literature, bomb-making materials and instructions, was in possession of explovies favored by the Middle East, he attempted to purchase other bomb-making materials (a la Timothy McVei's present to Oklahoma City), and the authorities don't think there is any fire under all that smoke.

Seems to me the attitudes and complacency of pre-9/11 have returned to those charged with protecting us. Either that, or there is more here they aren't telling us.

For myself, I pray it is the latter.

Update:
It's possible he was a "work accident", and didn't even trigger himself:TATP.

"TATP and other explosives of the peroxide family are used extensively by terrorist organizations around the world because they are easy to prepare and very difficult to detect. Many of the devastating suicide attacks by terrorists over the past few years involved TATP, including the bus explosions in Israel," said lead researcher Professor Ehud Keinan of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. "They are also dangerous to those who prepare them. This is the reason for the frequent ‘work accidents’ that have occurred in the terrorists’ labs."

Now I somehow imagine that he didn't learn to make this in his High School chemistry class. So you have to ask yourself two questions:

  • Where did he learn to make it?

  • Why isn't his father demanding to know who taught him to make it?



Something smells here.

Mack

Wednesday, March 1

Airplane Security

Now, this is what I call security on an airplane!

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

Where does your state rank when it comes to the overall tax burden placed on its citizens?



Click on this post's title to go to the interactive version of this map if you want to find out.

Holy Blood, Holy Plagiarism

The only thing that surprises me about the lawsuit against author Dan Brown, by the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, is that it didn't happen a long time ago.

I read HBHG some 15 years ago, and found it a very entertaining book. The thesis of the book - that a secret organization named the Priory of Sion is guarding an eye-popping secret about the bloodline of Jesus Christ himself - has been long exposed as a hoax. The hoaxster himself, a Frenchman named Pierre Plantard, later repudiated the book. Its warped reasoning was satirized in Umberto Eco's novel Foucault's Pendulum. Still, it's a fun book.

Unlike The Da Vinci Code. Apparently only UK reviewers have the gonads to criticize this lead turkey, while my own benighted countrymen invariably begin with, "Whatever you think of his ideas, Dan Brown has written a first-rate thriller!" Yeah, and Stephen King is Dostoevsky.

There are writers who show you things, and writers who tell you things. Dan Brown is a most unfortunate example of a writer who tells you things. And he is so anxious to tell you things that he interrupts action and narrative to do so. It is unclear who is doing the telling: the main character, or the omniscient author. Whoever is doing the telling, they do not bother to explain the New Age jargon they use. (I can't understand how anyone who is not familiar with feminist "myth-makers" like Barbara Walker can even make an iota of sense out of The Da Vinci Code.) Finally, the little lectures that pop up on every other page are filled with the most outrageous absurdities, including all the stuff about Leonardo Da Vinci, most of which is dead wrong.

The only good thing about The Da Vinci Code is the unintentionally hilarious stuff, beginning with Robert Langdon, a professor of "Symbology". Of course there is no such academic discipline, not even at Ann Arbor. A symbology is actually a protocol for the creation of algorithms that can be read by a machine. The best known example of a symbology is the common bar code (a supermarket scanner is a "symbology reader"). So Langdon is like a Professor of Bar Codes. A novel about a bar code expert ("The Da Vinci Bar Code") might be pretty good, but Brown is too lame and humorless to write it.

What really amazed me about The Da Vinci Code, though, is that someone would copy (in very close detail) the thesis of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and present it as original fiction - apparently oblivious to the fact that the whole thing had been blown wide open more than a decade ago. Brown even plants clues to HBHG in the text (there is a character named Teabing, which is an anagram of HBHG author Biagent) that his lawyers are probably regretting right now.

There is an interesting question in this: Does the fact that HBHG's authors presented their work as historical fact entitle other authors to treat it as such? I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty confident that historical fact can't be copyrighted. Of course the "history" in HBHG is the product of the authors' imagination, but does the fact that they believe it to be true undercut their intellectual property rights?

Frankly, I couldn't care less. I hope Brown, Biagent, and Leigh all go broke from legal fees, and make huge asses out of themselves in public while doing so.

What really annoys me - and what has annoyed me since I read HBHG, fun as it was - is that the sick fantasies of a deranged Frenchman (a Vichy, an anti-Christian, and an anti-Semite) have survived so long. They are soon to become a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks. The resemblance of "The Priory of Sion" to the Elders of Zion is no accident, and was part of Plantard's explicit intention. We now have another Protocols on our hands, and like the other one it will never die.
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