Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Insane or Just Despicable

The flood waters are still rising in New Orleans. The rescue attempts continue. Clean up, body count, and recovery are still days to weeks away. But that hasn't stopped the lunatics from crawling out from under their rocks and lining up targets to blame for Hurricane Katrina.

Matt Szabo has a report on the first slimball, whacko nutjob, lunatic halfwit - Reverend Lewis E. Logan II, senior pastor of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church - Los Angeles CA.

it is no a coincidence that it is exactly 50 years from the time of (inaudible) lynching and murder. That it is not a coincidence that the storm’s name is a sister. Katrina. For she represents the collective cries of mothers who have lost their sons (applause) to the brutality (louder applause) and the murderous grip of this racist white supremacist American culture (frenzied applause).

That's right folks the Reverend Repulsive Lewis E. Logan II thinks that hurricane Katrina is revenge for years of southern white supremacy.

Our next contestant in the How-Low-Can-You-Go Award is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, it’s worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush’s iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2.

That's right, the hurricane Katrina destruction in Mississippi is directly the fault of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

If you have a strong stomach or tend to exhibit strong sado-masochistic tendancies read the comments his article has collected. The number of people out there that agree with him is truely frightening.

Using tags like lunatic, whako or insane to describe Germany's Environmental Minister, Jürgen Trittin wouldn't be nice or friendly towards our friends in the European Union. It would also be redundant.

Green Party member, Jürgen Trittin, writes in the Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper friendly with the Social Democrats:

"The Bush government rejects international climate protection goals by insisting that imposing them would negatively impact the American economy. The American president is closing his eyes to the economic and human costs his land and the world economy are suffering under natural catastrophes like Katrina and because of neglected environmental policies."

That's right, it's all Bush's fault.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Updates

If you are looking for the latest in Katrina news my dear wife's cousin Bonnie sent us these links:

WWL TV New Orleans

Katrina Blog

The latest from the Katrina Blog:

6:41 P.M. - Efforts to stop the levee break at the 17th Street Canal have ended unsuccessfully and the water is expected to soon overwhelm the pumps in that area, allowing water to pour into the east bank of Metairie and Orleans to an expected height of 12-15 feet.

This is not good news. As Bonnie asked, keep the prayers coming. Anything you can do to help those folks, do it. Contributions, Donations, prayers, they need it all.

A letter from Louisiana

My dear wife has family scattered across much of southern Louisiana. We have been concerned and worried about all of them since Hurricane Katrina hit.

Most of the family is in the Lafayette area which is west and inland from New Orleans and was spared the full force of the hurricane. But we do have friends and family in the New Orleans area as well.

Late last night we got this letter from her cousin Bonnie. Fortunately it sounds like most of our family were smart enough to evacuate early. Those who didn't stayed behind to work at the Veteran's Hospital.

We got tropical storm winds here in Sunset, a bit of rain, and not much else but a mess of leaves and small branches all over the yard. We were well west of landfall so that's what saved us. We've been concerned about Dianne and Paul, though. She decided to stay in New Orleans with Paul who was on call at Veterans Hospital. She didn't have the heart to evacuate without him. Thanks be to God, they are okay and still at the hospital, but nobody knows yet about their house in Slidell. The local newscasters announced that hardly a home in Slidell is without some kind of structural damage. The interstate between New Orleans and Slidell is impassable, so no telling how long before anyone will be able to return to the area. One of the hardest hit areas was St. Bernard Parish. There's some pretty substantial suspicions that there will be numbers of fatalities. It's been heartwarming, though, to watch footage of the Coast Guard rescuing people from rooftops via helicopter. Such bravery and heroism. I don't know how much you've seen on TV, but New Orleans has been tragically struck. Tom's girlfriend Chrissy is from New Orleans; her family is almost certain that their homes are flooded. It could be weeks before they're allowed to return. Please continue to pray for everyone; it will be a long, long road to recovery, but thanks be to God that the city didn't take the direct hit that was expected. It would have been even worse.

... (personal stuff) ...

I'll try to keep you posted when I hear more from Dianne. Her son Paul and his family also live in New Orleans, but they are staying in Beaumont. They evacuated early as they have two young children.

My niece in Baton Rouge is a pediatrician; she is without power. She told me that they're expecting lots of injuries from the New Orleans area as they N.O. hospitals are almost too crippled to operate. Many have broken windows, etc.

The state needs lots of prayer.

God bless and thanks again for your concern.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

God-Forsaken Kern County

From the LA Daily News - Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks, expressed reservations about the willingness of Ventura County workers to make the transfer

"from a civilized world out to god-forsaken Kern County."

"The decision makes no economic sense," he said. "This is certainly not what any of us wanted."

This quote was about the BRAC committee's decision to move about 2000 jobs from the Naval Base Ventura County up here to the Naval Air Warfare Center - China Lake.

I'm most likely to be the last resident of Ridgecrest to complain about someone saying this town is god-forsaken. Much of the time I agree. When I moved to Ridgecrest in 1985. I hated it. But not as badly as I hated the working conditions at my old job. So I moved.

I have been here 20 years now and much of the time I still hate it here. But I have resigned myself to living here. There are some aspects of the desert that I like. Winter for one. I haven't shoveled snow in 20 years. If I never have to shovel it again that would be just fine by me. I really don't find the desert pretty. I prefer green, tree covered hills, not dry brown desert. But there are some people who love the desert. There are others who move here, hating it, and end up loving the place. There are some people who are born here like my dear wife, and my three beautiful children. I object to any SOB calling the place that they call home, god-forsaken.

Yeah most of the time I think of Ridgecrest as a God-forsaken place. But it's still my home dammit, and no spoiled, snotty, little politician from down south had better call it god-forsaken. If he wants to see god-forsaken he should take a stroll around his own county for a while. Look at the trash, smell the smog, sit in traffic, read about the crime rate in the papers. Then sit down and count how many people within 2 blocks of his home he can name, or has talked to in the last week. How many parents at his kid's school does he know on sight and can talk to when he meets them on the street. Better yet when was the last time he talked to anyone on the street? Look at the homeless living under the overpasses. Look at the grafitti littering the walls, look at the litter. Look at the crowded streets, the crowded schools, the crowded stores and the crowded lives they lead. When was the last time he took an evening stroll around his neighborhood - after dark?

In the last two days I have seen quail, ravens, doves, a hawk, chucker, lizards, rabbits, a rosey boa (snake), a black widow spider, a toad and a coyote. Not counting cockroaches what was the last wildlife you saw in your neighborhood Rep. Gallegly?

Really now, god-forsaken? Isn't that just a bit like calling the kettle black?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Good Saturday

Today was a good Saturday. Actually it was a good day for any day of the week.

My day started with a three hour volleyball camp. We had a great turnout. Only one player wasn't able to make it. We had 15 ladies show up. We started out with about 30 minutes of conditioning. After we got them all dragging and tired we hit the court for about 2 hours of drills and skills. Then we finished up with a 30 minute scrimmage.

I'm really impressed with our players. The eighth grade is getting the hang of the 6-2 offense even though I'm still hoping that one of them will step up into the second setter spot. They still run the offense best with one of my seventh graders in the second setter spot. If I don't get one of the eighth graders to fill that spot in the next week I'm just going to get my all-star seventh graders to play both teams.

After camp and a quick lunch I took a short unintentinal nap for about an hour then headed for the golf course. My friend Scot and I had decided to get in a round. I really wasn't feeling up to it after the busy morning but figured that I had more time today then I would tomorrow.

I shot a 95. Which for a 26 handicap works out to about 3 strokes under par - net.

I had three birdies today. I have never had three birdies in a single round before. Unfortunately I also had three 8s to counter the three birdies. Now this isn't the first round that I shot three 8s in. Actually only 3 of them is pretty good considering some of the days I've had out there.

We started on the back nine because there was a foursome and a fivesome that got out the front ahead of us. I got my first birdie on the 12th hole. I was laying in the rough about 15 feet off the left front of the green. I took a couple practice swings then concentrated all my efforts on getting the chip into the air and heading at the pin. The ball jumped out of the rough cleaner than I expected and I immediately knew it was going to be long. I was hoping it would hit the pole because it was headed straight at it. Scot who what on the green looking at the chip from the side immediately saw that it was going to land near the cup and probably release well past it, yelled "Sit!" at the ball. Sit it did, the ball landed directly in the cup, no bounce and no roll. Nothing but cup.

My next two birdies were on the first and seventh holes. Both par 5s. I made a good chip from the rough on one to about 2 feet from the pin. And made the putt for my four. On seven I actually played the fairway for my first two shots, then stuck my approach shot in about 7 feet from the pin. A nice straight downhill seven footer for my third birdie of the day.

I spent the evening watching TV with my dear wife and kids.

I was a good Saturday.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Volleyball Practice Surprises

This afternoon was the second volleyball practice that I have held since taking over both teams. I was really nervous about handling both teams as the head coach. I have one assistant who prefers to work behind the scenes. She does a lot, and had helped a lot in practice by supervising one team during scrimmages while I watch the other.

This week's practices have been blessed with 3 wonderful surprises. Today while running through hitting lines. I had two players (one sixth grader and one seventh grader) ask if they could take a try at the setter position. I have watched both these players during drills and they have thus far not exhibited the kind of setting ability that I would expect in a setter.

But it was late in the drill and I figured what the heck, let them take a shot. We're ending this in a couple minutes anyway.

Well suddenly both these young ladies started looking like setters. Granted they aren't fantastic. But they showed an ability that I hadn't seen in them so far.

So now I have to revamp my practice plans to get these two ladies worked into the setter rotations during practices. If it turns out that this wasn't just a fluke day, I will have a couple extra setters to work with.

I just wish I could find another reliable 8th grade setter. If I can't get one of the 8th graders to step up by the middle of next week I may have to bite the bullit and make one of my 7th grade setters a regular setter on the 8th grade team.

However if I have to do that I have one really good candidate. During the last two practice sessions I have seen a real team leader blossum out of one of my 7th grade players. At the beginning practice she asked if she could lead the stretching and warmups. Since I needed a minute to talk with the other coach I let her. She did a good complete job. Then today, she didn't ask, she just got into place and stood there waiting for me to tell her to start. I did, and she led them through a good complete warmup session.

Once we got into practice I have caught her several times coaching the 6th grade players who were struggling with specific skills.

I have been pushing my 8th graders hard expecting one of them to step up into the team leader role. I didn't expect that leader to step up out of the 7th grade. Then in just one week I find that my three severth grade players who were turning out to be two pretty good setters and one pretty good hitter are suddenly transforming into two pretty good hitters, and one potential team leader, and all three of them can set.

We have a three hour camp tomorrow but regardless of what happens there, so far it has been a really good week.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Michael Yon : Online Magazine

I've mentioned him before and I'm going to do it again.

If you aren't reading Michael Yon's : Online Magaizine reports from Iraq you are missing a lot.

They are informative, interesting and educational. Just today I learned what the universal signal for stop is:

The Kiowa swooped and banked hard in front of the car, firing three more shots through the front hood, the universal sign for "stop."

His newest article has a blow by blow, shot for shot description of an urban gun fight that ends with the wounding of two U.S. Soldiers and the recapture of a terrorist:

The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.

That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

That was in December.

About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe's case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.

It's bad enough that our troops are over there capturing and stopping terrorists but that they have to fight them more than once is ridiculus. Why is an animal who was captured running from a US base with weapons, explosives, and maps of the base being let loose to shoot American heros like LTC Kurilla.

Read this and Michael's other reports.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Best Movie Quote Ever?

Thank you to Mr. Bob Hope for this gem from the 1940 movie The Ghost Breakers:

Richard Carlson: "A zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes, walking around blindly, with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring."

Bob Hope : "You mean like Democrats?"

Brutally Honest has the movie clip this line is from.

Greg Gray has a link to it also up on his site.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Baby Cradle

This is why I haven't been blogging much the last couple days. I had to finish building this cradle for my niece's new baby.


The baby blanket was hand crocheted by my dear wife for the baby.

Now we have to decide whether we are driving over to Bakersfield to deliver it or if we're going to wait till Vetern's Day weekend when they are in town.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Raise the Bar - Lower the Integrity

Back on June 17th I was complaining about Victor Elementary School District Superintendent Ralph Baker's 78 percent pay raise that resulted in his new four-year, $1.2 million contract. At the time I was ticked off because all the teacher's unions were protesting the Governor's projected education budget at the same time that a superintendant was getting a 78% pay raise. Back then this overpaid jerk was telling his teachers, "$1.2 million wouldn't have a negative impact on the district, the teachers or the classrooms."

Well apparently Superintendent Baker feels he didn't quite convince everyone that he was worth his new salary. Now he is trying to convince us all that all superintendents are worth his new salary. An article in wednesday's Victorvalley Daily Press quotes Superintendent Baker:

"This is a superintendent's market. Boards need to pay more because (superintendents) will be able to write their ticket up and down this state and in this nation,"

Baker went on to say that if his board hadn't met his contract demands, he would have sought employment elsewhere.

Senior fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College, Steven Frates, had this to say about Superintendent Baker's new contract:

"Anytime something like this happens it raises the bar. Now the issue is simply — to what degree?"

Yep, Superintendent Baker raised the bar, too bad he didn't do anything about raising the integrity of the educational bureaucracy at the same time.

We are being bombarded daily with ads from teachers screaming that they need more money. Of course they need more money. Guys like Ralph Baker are the reason our public school systems are in the financial mess they are. Too much money being spent on administration and not enough being spent on teachers and classrooms.

The Victor Elementary School District now has a Superintendent that thinks that he is the key figure in our education system. He is lobbying for even more money to be spent to increase the salaries of the other administrators in the high desert. I feel sorry for the teachers in this district. They are working for a guy who is definately putting himself and his fellow superintendents ahead of the well being of all his teachers and the students in his district.

Our public school system doesn't need more money, it just needs to stop wasting the money it has now. Stop lining the pockets of idiots like Ralph Baker who think:

"the pressures of accountability coupled with the fact that an entire generation of baby boomers are gearing up for retirement will also play a role in newer higher contracts."

Excuse my french but what the hell does an entire generation of baby boomers getting ready to retire have to do with School Superintendent Salaries?

To the voters in Victorville - Your school board members: Karen Morgan, Ernie Moran, Willie Pringle and Gabriel Stine all voted for this salary increase. Remember those names at the next school board election. Those four incumbants don't deserve your vote.

One last little bit of cud to chew. According to the California Ed-data website The teachers in Superintendent Bakers district received the following salary increases over the last 6 years:

1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04
4.0% 1.0% 7.0% 2.7% 1.0% 0.0%

That works out to a 16.58% increase in salary over a 6 year period, and yet Ralph Baker thinks he deserves a 78% increase. This man is not taking care of his employees! When he does discuss salary it is only to say that he and his peers deserve more than they are getting.

Ralph Baker's salary increase of $90,000 a year could have given every teacher in his district an additional $211 per year to spend on classroom supplies. But Ralph Baker and the school board felt that keeping Mr. Baker employed was more inportant than the education of your children.

Instead of pandering to highwaymen like Ralph Baker and the Victor Valley School District, the citizens of this country need to stop yelling for more money for education and start looking at where the money is being spent. Paying Ralph Baker $250,000 a year while his teacher's average one-forth of that will not improve the education level in our schools. We need to stop throwing money at administrators, they don't teach your children. Instead we need to put the money into the classrooms and the hands of the teachers. They are the only ones in the entire educational system that teach our children.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Global War on Terror

On Feb 10, 2003 my mother sent out this email. I normally don't reply to her ranting emails but this one just hit me wrong and I started a reply. It took me two days to put this reply together. Then I broke a personal rule of mine and clicked on the "reply to all" button and sent it out.

Now two and a half years later I still see and hear a lot of people ranting and raving about this 'illegal war'. So I figured I'd just post my mother's original e-mail and my reply.

Dear friends and relations, I got this today, and I pray everyday, we will not go to war, for all the normal reasons, but mostly for two very selfish reasons. I have two grandsons who preregistered for the military before this threat, and the thought of them as moving targets is really hard on grandma and grandpa. Christopher signed up for the navy and leaves for basic the end of June, and then 32 weeks of school, so we will have a little more than nine months of him, safely attending school. Adam signed up for the Marines, to leave the end of October, now they are pushing him for July, he wants to stick to the original October agreement, but our worst nightmare is that after basic, he will be a convenient moving target -- they need a lot of them and we don't want our grandson's in this nightmare of killing our sons and fathers and grandchildren. I don't have a solution, but I wish my grandson's would have chosen a different post high school path, just too high a price for an education, there are other ways of funding it. Well, off my soap box, but wanted to encourage everyone to pray for no war so our grandson's and millions of others would not have to die.

I respect and share my parents concerns for the welfare of my nephews. Yes the military can be a dangerous career choice. But these days just being an American is a dangerous life choice.

My mother has asked you to pray for no war. Instead I’m asking you to pray that my nephews stay safe. The difference being that like so many individuals in this country my folks don’t seem to realize that the war has already started. As Americans we have been under attack by terrorists since 1975. Between 1975 and September 10, 2001, approximately 700 Americans have been killed in car bombings, suicide bombings, drive-by shootings and assassinations. Many of the deceased were members of our military who were stationed abroad. But many of them were diplomats or private citizens who committed no more heinous crime than to be born American.

Then on September 11, 2001 the worldwide terrorist organization Al-Qaeda brought the war that had been going on for years overseas to New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. Another 3000 Americans died that day. In the eyes of our enemies, those innocent civilians were sacrificed on the altar of islamoterrorist hatred for committing the most horrific crime of all - they exercised their freedom to get up, leave their homes and families and go to work.

Until the 9/11 attacks the United States’ responses to the random and unwarranted attacks on Americans had been to complain diplomatically, maybe shoot a few cruise missiles into some abandoned desert locations, and then memorialize and bury our dead. We chose to ignore that fact that we were under attack on a worldwide level and we went on with our safe little lives misguidedly secure in the fact that the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans would protect us.

Unfortunately some people seemed to forget that our government is a Constitutional Democratic Republic - “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Therefore an attack against any American is an attack against our government, and any attack against our government is an attack against every man woman and child in this country. This is exactly the reason that several terrorist organizations have giving for attacking civilian populations in Israel and the United States instead of the respective militaries of those two democracies. They claim that since Israel and the United States are Democracies their citizens are accountable for the actions of their governments. And it is therefore OK to attack the civilian population. I say that if this is the reasoning they want to use to justify their cowardly acts of terrorism then they should not be too surprised when the civilian population fights back by supporting our government when they mobilize the full might and power of the United States military and order them to eliminate this threat to our lives and our freedom.

We have been at war for over a quarter century. We have just refused to admit it to ourselves. But rest assured, the enemy knew it. It took a catastrophe like 9/11 to convince the people of this country and our elected leaders that we are in a war against an enemy that will not go away just because we don’t understand why they hate us.

On September 20, 2001 our president while addressing a join session of congress had these words to say:

“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

That is the very heart of this conflict. We are already at war, and that war will not go away if we just pray about it hard enough. The Islamic God Allah, the Jewish God of Abraham, and the Christian God, the father of Jesus are all the same deity. Our enemy is praying just as hard to the same God that we pray to, asking him to wipe every single human being who believes in freedom off the face of this planet. But they are not content to sit by and wait for God to answer their prayers; they are actively prosecuting a war of fear, hatred, deceit and murder. It’s time for us to augment our prayers with the same determination and strength of will to defend ourselves against this terrorist threat.

The days of facing an army of well-armed well-trained soldiers who wore uniforms, followed orders, and prosecuted their war against the United States military are gone. The cold war days of mutually assured destruction as a deterrent are also gone. We now face an enemy that is well-trained, well-armed and well-funded. But this enemy does not make war against the military of the United States, they make war against every man, woman and child in this country. We’re engaged in a fight against an enemy that will kill indiscriminately. Our enemy will hide themselves and their weapons in schools, churches and hospitals. They will surround themselves with children and shoot at armed troops. Then when the armed troops return fire they will scream to the world that we are baby killers. Our enemy would rather attack innocent civilians than our military, because the military shoots back. Civilians just die, sometimes by the thousands.

We face an enemy that will use any weapon, and advantage to hurt us. Can we do anything less to protect ourselves? We face an enemy that won’t be frightened off with threats or shows of force. They can only be defeated by the total destruction of their militant leadership, their mind warping teachings, and the complete dismantlement of the repressive governments that support them. Killing Usama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein won’t end this war, but it will be a good first step. This war will only end when all the terrorists who started and continue it are dead. It will only end when the governments that support, supply and harbor these animals have been replaced with a government that will respect the individual rights of all the world’s citizens. A government that will encourage their citizens to develop their nation, to protect their families, and to live free and pursue happiness.

When people only live to kill or destroy that which confuses or scares them then they aren’t living at all. The terrorists want nothing more than the total destruction of our way of life. We want nothing more than for every human being on this planet to have the same basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that we enjoy. The difference between us is that the terrorists believe that they should spread their philosophy by creating terror, murder and destruction. We believe that we should spread our philosophy with diplomacy, example and aide. But when faced with death and destruction we will defend ourselves. Praying for the war to go away is not a defense; it is only giving the terrorists more time to arrange the deaths of more innocent civilians.

My parents are afraid that my nephews are going to be turned into moving targets. Well we are all moving targets. Every time we drive on a crowded freeway, gather together to worship, get on an airplane, ride a subway, shop in supermarket or crawl out of our underground bunkers we are moving targets. Sure our children in the military are a lot more accessible to the enemy. But they are also better trained, better equipped, and more capable of defending themselves than any other group of people on this planet.

The days of civil war generals lining up tens of thousands of men and charging them on foot across open terrain to attack cannon emplacements are over. The military of yesterday often expended human life in frighten quantity to gain a strategic advantage. Today we expend smart bombs, surveillance resources, rockets, missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to gain the same advantage.

I’m not naïve enough to believe that my nephews will be safe in the military. But they aren’t safe at home where they are right now. I don’t want my nephews to be killed in this war. But I’m damned proud that they are willing to go fight this war. I have spent my entire professional career working to better the offensive and defensive capabilities of our military. But we can only design so many smart bombs and deadly accurate long-range missiles. All the high tech weapons in the world will not win this war without the men and women of our military who are willing to put themselves on the firing line to fight for our country, our lives and our freedom.

So instead of praying for “no war so our grandson's and millions of others would not have to die.” Instead, pray that our grandsons and nephews finish this war and return home safe. The war has been going on a long time and it’s a war we can’t afford to lose. Our very existence depends on it. If the terrorist organizations and the governments that support them are not stopped then millions will die, and they will be millions of American civilians.

If you doubt for a second that any terrorist would hesitate to use a nuclear device against an American City then you should crawl back under which ever rock you have been living under for the last couple years. It may be the only place you will be safe. 9/11 had most of the Arab world dancing in the streets celebrating. Imagine how happy they will be to see mushroom clouds rising over Tel Aviv or the west coast of the United States. It’s down to do or die time folks. The terrorists have made it clear that they want nothing more than the total annihilation of the United States. While I’d like to say that we should settle for no less than the total annihilation of their organizations and the governments that support them, I can’t. Just as the world trade centers were filled with thousands of innocent civilians, so are all the countries that are supporting terrorism. So this is going to be a long war. There will be deaths on both sides. I’m confident that our military leaders will do all that is possible to minimize the loss of military life on our behalf. They will also try their best to limit the civilian casualties on the other side. War, however is war, people die on both sides.

We didn’t start this war but I hope we sure as hell finish it. The very existence of our society depends on it. This war didn’t start with the destruction of the world trade centers. It won’t end with the removal of Saddam Hussein. So pray for the safety of all our men and women in the armed services. But then get up off your knees, and tell them that you support and thank them for the job they have chosen to do. Hang a flag outside your door. Write your congressman demanding better pay, and benefits for the uniformed service, demand more support for the scientists and engineers that are developing the new weapons that will be used to defend this country. Then most importantly – live free. Be vigilant, be careful, be aware of what is going on around you, but revel in your freedom, enjoy the liberties you have. Spend each day appreciating the opportunities that exist in this country. My nephews are going to be fighting to defend your freedom. Don’t waste it, and don’t surrender it to fear and terror.

Cindy Sheehan...

I have thus far abstained from writing anything about Cindy Sheehan. I have been trying to get my thoughts about her and her antics in Texas organized. I would be so easy to become just another member of the Cindy bashing crowd. However, when I listen to Cindy Sheehan talk it sounds a lot like listening to my mother.

My mother is a life long Republican. Granted politics was never a major subject in our house when I was growing up. Like sports it was just something we didn’t talk about. Except for my Grandfather, he was a strict party line Democrat. I have previously written about my Grandfather’s voting practices.

My mother has bragged several times that she took great delight in disagreeing with her father-in-law’s politics. It was one of the few things they ever disagreed on.

Unfortunately over the last few years I have noticed that my mother sounds more like a left wing moonbat than a loyal Republican.

Now I don’t think that George Bush being President alone was enough to change her attitudes. Her prime concern is the fact that two of my nephews enlisted in the military just before the Iraq front of the Global War on Terror started. Since then my mother has been very verbal in her belief that this war is wrong, her grandchildren are just targets and it is all George Bush’s fault.

While I recognize that my mother started out as a conservative Republican and Cindy Sheehan was always a liberal Democrat. But today they sound a lot alike.

"My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11..." -- Cindy Sheehan

“Maybe my two grandsons will not be shipped to hell to die in a war I and millions of others don't believe in. I don't think they should have to do or participate in such a fruitless mission as they will be stuck in for someone to be proud of them.” -- My Mother

"And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for." -- Cindy Sheehan

“…our worst nightmare is that after basic, he will be a convenient moving target -- they need a lot of them and we don't want our grandsons in this nightmare of killing our sons and fathers and grandchildren.” – My Mother

“You tell me the truth. You tell me that my son died for oil. You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East. You tell me that, you don't tell me my son died for freedom and democracy." -- Cindy Sheehan

“Killing Saddam Hussain and Osama bin Laden is not going to stop the terrorists, it is impossible to kill all of them, and sacrificing our young men is not going to stop them. Only God and prayer will stop this reign of terror, and I don't want my grandson's sacrificed for my safety.” – My Mother

I have tried to explain to my mother that I believe this war is not only a just war, it is a necessary war. While I also worry about my nephews I respect and support their decisions to join the Navy and the Marines. I have tried writing responses to my mother’s ranting e-mails. But if she even reads them, she never responds to them. She only sends out messages to her entire mail list begging us to pray that God protects her grandsons before George Bush manages to kill them.

I can’t even begin to understand what and how my Mother’s and Cindy Sheehan’s brains are working or what they are thinking. I only know that to my way of thinking they both sound unhinged, irrational and at times insane.

So I will not indulge in any Cindy Sheehan bashing here. As with my mother, I don’t understand her and I doubt that we could sit down and partake in a rational exchange of ideas. I just wish that every time the main stream media would let her speak they would give equal time to an opposing view. But then I also wish I could win the Super Lotto on Saturday. I expect that I’m going to disappointed on both accounts.

Losing my Lutheran Identity

At last week's biannual churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America there were at lot of changes discussed and voted in for my Lutheran Church.

Included in those changes is going to be a new book of worship that will go into printing in 2006. The process of re-writing our book of worship has been a five year process called "Renewing Worship".

A preassembly report called Recomendations: Renewing Worship mentions several assumptions that the unfolding process has been shaped by. The second of these assumptions I found rather amusing.

2. Lutheran identity. Worship renewal that is
authentically Lutheran contributes to a more broadly
shared sense of identity. In addition to the Lutheran sense
of a freedom that welcomes variety, there is a confessional
and historical identity that contributes to the shape and
content of Lutheran worship. Renewing Worship honors
both the instinct for freedom and the value of worshiping
in ways that are consistent with our church’s teaching.

To hear the ELCA talk about our Lutheran Identity is laughable. To date the ELCA has signed agreements of full communion with:
  • Lutheran World Federation
  • The Episcopal Church, USA
  • The Moravian Church in America
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
  • Reformed Church in America
  • United Church of Christ

The latest assembly found the ELCA once again diluting our beliefs, traditions, and customs in order to woo another church into full communion with the ELCA. This time it is the United Methodist Church.

So I have to ask? What is the ELCA and what is our Lutheran identity? If we are in full communion agreement with so many different churches how do we keep track of our Lutheran identity?

I just don't see how we can be authentically Lutheran when we are also Episcopal, Moravian, Presbyterian, Reformed, United and maybe Methodist. Perhaps we should change our name from the ELCA to the Evangelical Lutheran Episcopal Moravian Presbyterian Reformed United Methodist Church of America (ELEPMPRUMCA).

As I said here I once again find myself watching my church wander off into the wilderness without me. I have nothing against the Methodists, but if the ELCA really wants to get as many churchs into common communion with themselves maybe the should start with the members of the Word Alone Network. It seems self-defeating for an organization like the ELCA to be out courting other churchs when they can't even come to agreement with such a large portion of thier own membership.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Lutheran Carnival

If you have spent any time at all online reading blogs you will have eventually run into a carnival. There is the Carnival of the Vanities, Cat Carnivals, etc. There is practically a carnival for just about any subject.

A Blog Carnival works like this, an author of a blog chooses their best post from last week and sends it to the carnival host. The host, which rotates from week to week takes all the links collected and turns them into a single post that is posted on the host's blog. Then people can go to the host's site and find out what other people are saying about the carnival topic.

Carnvals are great for everyone. The host gets a lot of traffic for his site. The carnival participants get a chance to be noticed by other bloggers who write about the same topics they enjoy. Visitors to the carnival find a nice collection of information about their interests.

So that said the newest Carnival out there is the Lutheran Carnival.

I didn't contribute a link to this weeks carnival. But I may in the future, if I get around to posting more Lutheran related thoughts, that preferably won't get me run out of church on a rail.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

ELCA Direction and Focus

I was born and raised Lutheran. My family and I are still members of an ELCA congregation but that is mostly because we live in a small town and our options are limited. In recent years, several decisions made by the ELCA heirarchy have led me to feel that my church is rapidly abandoning me. More and more I find my church mandating or supporting thoughts and ideas that I am very uncomfortable with, or that I flat out disagree with. This weekend the ELCA churchwide assembly took one more step further away from me.

Yesterday (8/13) The ELCA churchwide Assembly voted to adopt the campaign - Peace Not Walls: Stand for Justice in the Holy Land

This camgaign is a three part process of the ELCA condemning Israel for their attempts to defend themselves from suicide Palistinian bombers.

The first part of the campaign in the ELCA's own words is:

designed to build awareness, and engage in accompaniment and advocacy activities for "peace with justice" between Israel and Palestine.

Sounds good huh? Peace with justice between Israel and Palestine. What a wonderful idea. However the ELCA seems to believe that the main obsticle to peace between Israel and Palestine is a fence being built by the Israelis. Apparently the ELCA doesn't think that Palestinians wrapping themselves and thier children with explosives and then blowing themselves up in order to kill Israeli citizens contributes to the violence.

Of course no one connected with this champaign would ever admit to anti-semitic thoughts. But it is telling that an amendment to eliminating the words "Peace Not Walls" and change the name of the campaign to just "Stand for Justice in the Holy Land" -- was handily defeated by the voting members. This tells me that at heart this is a campaign against the Israeli wall. Not a campaign for peace.

I haven't read the full details of this campaign that we are supposed to support yet. But some of the comments reported on the ELCA website are disturbing:

Speaking against the amendment Karen J. Zeile, voting member, ELCA Southeast Michigan Synod, told the assembly that "Israel has every right to protect itself from acts of terrorism," but the barrier "isolates and intimidates" the Palestinian people.

I wonder if Rev. Zeile thinks busloads of Iraeli children blowing up makes the Israeli's feel "isolated and intimidated".

Then the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Jordan, Holy Land addressed the assembly live from Jerusalem via telephone:

"It is my fervent prayer that my children and grandchildren will live one day side by side with their Israeli sisters and brothers in a just peace.

Lutherans in the Holy Land believe in justice, peace and reconciliation and condemn every kind of brutality, spiral violence, suicide attacks and terrorism. The only way to move forward, is through peaceful and respectful negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

This sounds good also. But then he goes on to exhibit the one sided nature of this campaign once again.

"The current route of the wall will make freedom for Palestinians impossible by cutting deeply into Palestinian land, separating people from work, church, family and their own land," Younan told the assembly. "Our church believes in bridges, not walls; trust, not fear; dialogue for justice and peace, not more reason for division," he said. "If Israel feels it has a need to build a wall, we would understand it" in association with the "1967 borders. But, we cannot understand their decision to build it within Palestinian land."

So that's it then. The wall is OK as long as Israel goes back to the 1967 borders.

So is the wall damamging to the peace process or not?

If you follow this link to another ELCA site you will see that this campaign is all about the removal of the wall. Nothing else. This is a campaign dedicated to the weakening of Israel's defense against a terrorist enemy that my Church leadership is blatently siding with.

The second part of this campaign is a process where each synod of the ELCA will receive a set of communion ware that is made in Bethlehem. This set of communion ware will travel around the synod and be used by all the churchs in the synod.

Again this sounds like an innocent enough plan. But as experience has shown nothing the ELCA does ever does is as straight forward as it sounds.

The communion ware is being supplied by the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB). The ICB is a Lutheran institution serving the whole Palestinian community through developing human resources, cultivating artistic talents and facilitating intercultural encounters.

So we are going to promote peace between the Palistinians and the Israelis by using commmunion ware made by Palistinian artists. How is this supposed to help? Maybe if the artists are busy making communion ware for us they will be too busy to strap bombs to their kids and send them across the border to murder innocent civilians. Afterall if there is no wall to stop these terrorists we will need a different plan.

Finally the third part of the campaign is to communicate the actions and concerns of the assembly to the U.S. Secretary of State. This is an attempt to make the people of the United States aware of the 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly and its concern for both Palestinians and Israelis.

What a joke. With all that is facing the ELCA and the Lutheran church as a whole we are taking it upon ourselves to attempt to dictate policy to the Secretary of State.

I think the leadership of the ELCA should stick to what they do best - alienating their own membership not start trying to dictate US foreign policy. The ELCA can't even handle the 236 churchs of the Word Alone Network who have gotten together to cambat the historic episcopate. Now they want to dictate US foreign policy and solve the middle east crisis yet they can't even get their own membership to agree on the direction of the ELCA itself.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Misunderstanding Lutherans

Josh S over at Here We Stand was asking some pretty good questions about a resolution passed at the current ELCA National Convention.

He asked some pretty pointed questions about the apparent anti-semitism that seems to be rampant in many of today's evangelical congregations. But then with this one little sentence he stepped over the line:

Let's see, who's more informed about the Middle East...the guy with the direct line to the CIA and who gets daily briefings on the status of US interests abroad, or a bunch of clerics who sit around and drink weak coffee on Sunday morning while they teach people why the Bible doesn't matter?

The church that I was brought up in would consider those to be fighting words.

Lutherans do not drink weak coffee.

You can say what you want about the ELCA and our clerics. But you better not get uppity about our coffee. The coffee my pastor made for us in high school could be used to degrease engines, patch tires, and strip floor wax. Ahh, the fond memories of childhood.

The coffee served at our church is so good that my very Catholic Mother-in-law will go to events there just for the coffee.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Day of Networking

I spent the day today, with two other fathers, working on the network at our children's school. We had done most of the rough wiring for the campus wide network right after school got out for the summer. Today we finished pulling the last couple cables and getting all the cables terminated with either RJ45 connectors or terminated in keystones.

I started out getting all the rough wiring in the middle school and parish hall placed into surface mount conduits and boxes. Gordon spent most of his day putting on connectors. Jim worked back and forth between the to jobs.

Once we had all the wiring finished we got to start the science part of our project. We had four wireless access points to install. We planned on using them as paired bridges between the different buildings on campus. None of us had ever worked with these access points and we just aren't the kind of guys to spend too much time reading directions. Which was good because we didn't have many instructions. So we got to do some experimentation.

We got one set of the APs working as a bridge. But when we headed home for the day we were having trouble with the seoond set. We suspect that we are trying to transmit through just too much block wall and too much distance. We're hoping that tomorrow will have the three of us rested and thinking a bit clearer so we can finish this job.

We have been working on getting the school wired for internet connectivity in every classroom for two years. Finding funding, equipment, and manpower had taken longer than we ever hoped. But we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now we're hoping that light isn't some SOB with a torch bringing us more work.

Redistricting is back

The Southern California Law Blog is reporting that the California Supreme Court has ordered that Prop 77 the redistricting initiative is to be placed back on the ballot for the November Special Election.

I really didn't expect this to happen. I guess every now and then even the California State Supreme Court gets it right. Now we all have to get to work, getting the word out and getting the voters out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Football Wife?

I just want everyone to know that my dear wife loves football. She prefers college ball while I prefer the NFL. But lacking a college game to watch she will watch the NFL with me.

I have never won the lottery. I don't win raffles or doorprizes. But I have a wife who sees nothing wrong with having football playing on the TV all weekend.

I'm a lucky man.

T.O. = Time Out

NFL football is finally back. Well, preseason is here at least. Yesterday Philadephia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens (T.O.) and his head coach Andy Reid had a heated exchange of words that resulted in T.O. being sent away from training camp for a week.

Tonight during the Chargers - Packers preseason game ESPN aired a statement by Andy Reid and an interview with T.O. about the incedent. Andy Reid simply said that it was an Eagles' internal matter and would be dealt with internally. He said that it was a matter between himself and T.O. and would be handled accordingly.

Then we got to hear T.O.'s side of the story. That is when we learned that T.O. stands for Time Out. Which is what Andy Reid gave him. A one week time out. Today's kinder gentler society that we live in frowns on corporal punishment of misbehaving children. Instead we are told that we should put unruly children into a time out.

Terrell Owens interview showed him to be a spoiled, unruly child who is in bad need of a spanking. But instead Andy Reid gave him a time out.

I listened to TO's ranting about being a man, demanding respect and letting us know how valuable and hardworking a player he is, what a team player he is and how much he puts out for the team. Then he admits that the verbal altercation with Andy Reid were the first words he has exchanged with Reid since camp started.

Well I have news for Mr. Owens real men don't have to tell people that they are a man. People will know it by how you behave. You can't demand respect, you have to earn respect. You are only valuable to the team when you are with the team. Apparently you aren't all that valuable this week. A team player doesn't spend 10 days in camp without speaking to the coach.

Andy Reid proved himself to be the bigger man tonight. Now he has to do what is best for the team he is coaching. Get whatever you can in trade for Terrell Owens. He may be a talented wide receiver, but no amount of talent is worth the emotional effort of dealing with a spoiled child when you need a man to play wide receiver.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Life Outside of Blogging

I haven't been blogging much the last few days - writing or reading. I have lots of things I want to write about and several news articles to comment on. But it seems that everytime I put my fingers on the keyboard I am interupted. My life outside blogging seems to want my attention these days. From trips out of town, my youngest daughter's ear infection, the search for a new volleyball coach and my job to my dear wife, and my lovely kids there are just a lot of distractions going on right now.

I'll write more as I get the chance, hopefully soon. Now off to work....

Monday, August 08, 2005

Traveling With Lonely Drivers

We made it home from San Ramon this evening. Everyone is safe, well and glad to be home. We're also all tired of being in the Caravan. If we weren't all involved it would have been funny watching all five of us hobbling around on stiff and sore legs. I told the kids to be careful of their knees. Because how they felt just climbing out of the car after 6 hours is how Daddy feels everyday.

The trip home was fairly uneventful except that I seemed to run into a lot of lonely drivers. Lonely drivers are the ones who when you are traveling on the interstate with your cruise control set, come speeding up behind you like a bat out of hell and then instead of passing you they slow down, match your speed while traveling in the passing lane. Usually they don't drive right next to you, be just off your rear quarterpanel. You know that place on the road that most drivers education teachers call your 'blind spot'. Well these 'lonely drivers' will shadow you regardless of what speed you drive until you approach another car in your lane. Then as you catch up with the car in front of you, your lonely drvier will stay right next to you until you have to disengage your cruise control to avoid tailending the car in front of you. You can't pass the car in front of you because your lonely driver is pacing you in the lane next to you.

Once you disengage your cruise control your lonely driver will then resume the speed they were traveling when they sped up behind you. In a matter of a couple minutes they will have disappeared out of sight up the road ahead of you.

Normally when we travel I meet about one loney driver an hour. I doubt that this behaviour is intentional. At least I hope it isn't. Because if it is intentional then there are alot of very bored and stupid people on the roads.

Today however we were on the road traveling for 6 hours. 5 hours of that time was on divided highway - the land of 'lonely drivers'. At first I thought that I was imagining things so after about an hour I started keeping track. In the last 4 hours I was driving on divided highway today I was the 'companion' to a lonely driver 12 times. And that is just the ones I counted I think that there was at least 4 more in the first hour. I averaged about one lonely driver every 15 minutes.

I normally don't get irritated when traffic requires me to disengage my cruise control. But when I have to disengage it to avoid tailending a vehicle because some moron who minutes earlier was traveling significantly faster than I am suddenly decides to match my speed. Then once I've been forced to slow down they take off driving fast again I get a little short tempered.

OK, so I complained about the morons on the road today. It won't do any good. It won't cut down on the number of idiots on the freeways. It doesn't even make me feel any better. But then just getting out of that car seat made me feel a lot better.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Weekend in San Ramon

The twins have spent the last week in San Ramon with their Aunt and Uncle. So this weekend we had to drive up and pick them up.

We got in around midnight on thursday night. We slept in Friday morning. But since we were in the big city we decided to get up and get some shopping done. We still needed some back to school supplies plus my wife wanted to hit a couple crafts stores. The only place I had on my shopping list was Bay Books. A half priced book store that is just down the road aways from my sister-in-law's. I think the lightest load I ever walked out of there with was about 6 books. My haul this time was 9 books. Now I have something to keep me busy for at least 9 days. Hopefully a few more.

My brother-in-law and I got in a round of golf this afternoon. Not a bad round. I golfed much better than I did when we were here over Memorial Day.

I found out yesterday that our head coach for the volleyball team at school isn't going to be coaching this season. So I've been assigned the head coach's job and now I have to scare up another coach or two to replace him. Fortunately I have a couple moms who expressed an interest in coaching next year. So I'm going to see if I can recruit them a year early. My friend who is leaving will be really missed. We have worked well together the last couple years. Very rarely have we ever had to look at each other and ask "What the heck are you doing?" He's going to be tough to replace, but that's life.

Tomorrow is the boring 6 hour drive home on the I5. Then we have to start retraining our children. They just had a week with Auntie trying to spoil them rotten. Unfortunately for us she is just to good at her job.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Harry Potter Finally Beat Me

I like the Harry Potter books. I'm not a rabid fan. I don't line up at the bookstore in my pajama's at midnight to buy the newest book. When the Half Blood Prince came out it didn't bother me at all to have to wait 2 weeks to read it.

I have never really enjoyed books with child protagonists. The last books I enjoyed like that were the Bobsey Twins and the Hardy Boys when I was in grade school and junior high school. So the Harry Potter books were for me a turn off before I ever read the first one. They were books about kids.

But after reading the first one they didn't bother me too much because the kids in the books didn't act all that much like kids. In the beginning Harry Potter and his contemporaries are 11 or 12 years old. But they make decisions that are a lot more mature than they generally act. Where I have noticed that in the real world (while coaching middle school girls volleyball) that most girls that age think they are a lot more mature than they act. Boys neither act nor think as maturely as the girls.

In spite of that bias I enjoyed the first five Harry Potter books and the first three movies. I visually liked the first movie best.

Inspite of enjoying the books and movies I never really connected with the characters. I suspect this was because J. K. Rowling was a beginning writer. As such she tends to rely way to much on cliches and plot tricks that I have never cared for. I didn't like the end of the first book when a minor character (Dumbledore) in the book has to explain to the hero how he won the day. The hero once again carries the day in the second book when he receives help late in the fight from an outside agency because of his faith and dedication. Sorry if I want that kind of resolutions to stories I'll start reading pulp mysteries.

While Rowling had created a wonderfully entertaining world to read about, her gaps in plot logic, reliance on last minute miracles to aid the hero (Harry Potter) and logical inconsistancies never let me really connect with her characters.

Through 6 books Rowling's writing style has improved. I still have some complaints about the style and plot in the 6th book. But unlike the other 5 books, this time I found myself inexplicably connecting with the characters.

In the past I would finish her newest book and it didn't bother me having to wait a year or more for the next one. But this time I'm going nuts. I finally get to the point where I'm interested in these characters. I want to know how they turn out, and she hasn't even started writing the last book yet.

My dear wife and daugher seem to be handling this so much better than I am. In the past they have fretted waiting for the next book. I didn't care. This time we're all three going nuts but they seem to be getting over it much quicker that I am.

We have discussed what we think will happen next. They are both being pessimistic. They think that there will not be a happy ending for Harry Potter. I'm afraid that they might be right. But I will remain hopeful. I'm a romantic at heart. As sappy as they might be, I like stories where the hero wins the day, wins the girl and the two of them ride away into the sunset to live happily ever after. So I'm hoping that my dear wife and daughter are wrong. After all, J. K. Rowlings spent 6 books getting me to really connect with her characters she wouldn't take that happy ending away from me now. Would She?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

First SB 357 and now AB 352

The level in ignorance that is currently on display in the State Assembly in Sacramento is astonishing.

Back on April 28th I blogged about State Senate Bill SB 357. This is a bill that would require every piece of ammunition sold in the state of California to have a serial number etched on the bullit.

Now the State Assembly has decided that they can get into the act also. They have come up with Assembly Bill No. 352.

This bill would, commencing January 1, 2009, expand the definition of unsafe handgun to include semiautomatic pistols that are not designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters, that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol, etched into the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and which are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired.

I cannot begin to explain how stupid this idea really is. The idea here is that when you fire the weapon, it will stamp an ID number on the cartridge. If this bill passes then starting in 2009 every handgun in the state of California will be built with a small metal stamping device inside of it. Heck why stop there? Why don't they require that every handgun in the state have a laser built into it that will automatically burn the shooters name, address, phone number, blood type and e-mail address into whatever target is shot with that weapon. That way when a criminal shoots someone, all the criminals personal information will be written right there on the victims forehead.

It should be obvious to anyone smart enough to get a paying job so that they don't have to be a member of the State Assembly to support themselves why THIS IDEA WILL NOT WORK!

How many criminals are going to get rid of their old firearms and trade up to the new cartridge stamping weapons? Answer is.... None of them. Does the Assembly really think that criminals worry about how many laws they break on their way to kill someone?

This law will require that the weapon stamps a serial number on every cartridge it fires. All the criminal has to do after he shoots someone is pick up his expended brass and take it with him. This law will solve any murder where the criminal is smart enough to not leave their brass behind.

Once again our whacko left wing controled State Assembly is trying to prevent crime by passing laws that punish honest citizens but do nothing to deter criminals.

This bill was proposed by Attorney General Bill Lockyer. You know the guy in Sacramento who defended an art exhibit in California Department of Justice's headquarters building in Sacramento that included a picture of an American Flag painted cutout of the United States tossed in a toliet bowl by saying:

"Sometimes, it's tempting to turn our backs on the freedoms and liberties provided by our Constitution. But we have to keep faith in the First Amendment and the free marketplace of ideas. They protect every American, and we have fought and died to preserve them. It's because of them our country stands as the world's greatest nation."

It's too bad that our esteemed Attorney General doesn't respect and honor the Second Amendment as much as he loves the first one.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

News from Iraq

If you really want to know how the peace process in Iraq is proceeding then Michael Yon's Online Magazine is what you want to be reading.

Michael Yon is an independent, informed observer chronicling the monumentally important events in the efforts to stabilize Iraq. His dispatches have the benefit of his life experiences without drawbacks based on deadlines or demands of marketplace.

Michael's converage in Iraq is intellegent and well written, without a hidden agenda or corporate bias.

Michael Yon's Online Magazine

Read it and support it.

Marriage Advice

Mark Daniels who authors the blog - Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels is celebrating his 31st anniversary. He has posted a list of 10 things that he has learned from his marriage. Good Advice there, go read it.

Now that said, I've only been married 16 years but I think he may have missed a few things. Several years ago My dear wife and I were invited to a friend's informal wedding reception and asked, as one of the few married couples, to give the bride and groom a few words of advice. We tried to be humorous while offering advice. This is what we told them:

For the Groom:
1. Never let her go to bed angry - you're defenseless when you sleep.
2. Don't let her know that you think your couch is comfortable - or you'll be sleeping on the patio.
3. If she says, "Do whatever you want to" - You'd better figure out what it is she wants you to do.
4. "Do it when you get a minute" - Means "It should have been done already, and without me telling you."
5. Any meal you don't have to cook is a good one. If you don't have to cleanup - it's a great one.
6. Don't expect a night out with the guys - unless you're willing to let her have a night out with them also.
7. When you say "I do" she owns you from the nose down. What you think, and look at, is your own business.
8. What you think, and look at, can still get you in trouble - if she catches you thinking it, or looking at it.
9. Learn to change diapers, and feed babies.
10. The best gift a man can give his children - is to show them how much he loves their mother.
11. The second best gift he can give them - is his time.
12. There is no right answer to: "Does this make me look fat?" If she thought it looked okay she wouldn't be asking.
13. If you go shopping with her, she will always leave you alone in the bra and panty section - Don't Browse.
14. Don't ever criticize your wife in public - the world should know that you believe she is perfect.
15. Don't fight or argue over the little stuff. It is never worth the effort.
16. Tell her you love her, buy her jewelry, and rub her feet. Everything else is little stuff.

For the Bride:
1. When he asks if he can change channels - no matter how you answer, it sounds like "yes".
2. If he asks you what he should wear - He really wants you to say "Your jeans and Bear Whiz Beer T-shirt".
3. "Would you be mad if I decided to......." - means he already did it, and doesn't know how to hide it.
4. Men don't spend money on expensive toys just to make you mad - it's genetic, they can't help it.
5. If you ask his opinion, and he says "I don't care", or "I don't know" - he really doesn't care, or know.
6. Let him pretend he's in charge. It may take him 5 or more years to figure out that he isn't. By then, it's too late.
7. If you catch him sneaking a peak at another woman - let him. If he just stares - smack the snot out of him.
8. The way to a man's heart is not through his stomach - you'll get further with back rubs, or new golf clubs.
9. Yes, a man really can decide if he wants to watch a TV channel in less than 1 second.
10 Criteria for stopping while channel surfing: 1) women in bikinis, 2) a karate fight scene, 3) a truck commercial.
11. Men don't have to know the rules of a sporting event to enjoy watching it.
12 Don't ever criticize your husband in public - the world should know that you believe that he tries really hard.
13. Men really believe that: mowing the lawn, changing the oil, and reading the paper, is doing their fair share.
14. Don't let him plan your summer vacation. Unless you really like Bar-B-Qing in your own backyard.
15. Don't fight or argue over the little stuff. It's never worth the effort.
16. Tell him you love him, scratch his back, and let him have the remote. Everything else is little stuff.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bolton to the United Nations

President Bush used his constitutionally protected authority to name John Bolton as a recess appointment as the Ambassador to the United Nations.

Of course the radical left wing and the main stream media are having kittens over this.

TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent reported Bolton's appointment this way:

President Bush sidestepped the Senate and installed embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the
United Nations on Monday, ending a five-month impasse with Democrats who accused Bolton of abusing subordinates and twisting intelligence to fit his conservative ideology.

Of course the "five month impasse with the Democrats" isn't spelled out as a obstructionist fillibuster designed to avoid allowing the whole Senate to vote on the appointment. But when the President uses his constitutionally granted power to make recess appontments it's reported as "sidestepping the Senate".

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., sharply criticized the move.

"It's a devious maneuver that evades the constitutional requirement of Senate consent and only further darkens the cloud over Mr. Bolton's credibility at the U.N," Kennedy said."

Senator you swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States when you took office. I would like to reaquaint you with a section of the constution that you have apparently forgotten.

Article II Section 2 Paragraph 3 - The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Can we infer from Senator Kennady's comments that he believes that following the Constitution of the United States is a "devious maneuver" designed to evade Senate Authority? Or is he just too stupid to understand what the document that he swore to uphold says? Or does he fully understand that President Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton is allowed under the Constitution but he is such a political hack, who will pass up no chance to slander and defame the President that he will tell any lie that comes to mind?

My opinion of President Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton?

About Damned Time!

Blog Free Weekend

I suppose its about time that I get my nose out of a book and get back to my keyboard. I decided to have a blog free weekend.

One of my favorite pasttimes since I was in third grade has been to just sit and read. I read a lot these days, but its sporatic. Somedays I get in a couple hundred pages, other days I don't get in much more than 10-20 pages. I decided that I needed a weekend with a good book.

So other than dinner Saturday night with my in-laws (sister-in-law was in town) and a little lawn work I pretty much spent the weekend reading while some silly old movies played on the TV.

I don't really remember the movies, I was engrossed in the books.

Chaos and I had a minor competition going for a while. When the new Harry Potter book arrived two weekends ago my dear wife had first dibs on it. So to get ready, Chaos decided to re-read book 5 first.

I also wanted to re-read book 5 before I read book 6. Well my dear wife finished the Half Blood Prince (book 6) the same weekend it arrived. I was waiting for Chaos to finish book 5 so I could read it. Once Chaos figured out that her mother wasn't going to tell her anything about what was in book 6 she got serious and finished book 5 so she could start 6.

I was reading a different book so I wasn't able to start book 5 until Thursday evening. By this time, Chaos was half way through book 6. So we were had a minor contest going as to who was going to finish their book first.

She won. Chaos finished book 6 Saturday evening. I didn't get finished with book 5 until midday Sunday. I'm reading book 6 now. Both my dear wife and Chaos are anxiously waiting for me to finish so we can talk about it. They have been threatened with pain and torture worse than death if they give away any of the secrets before I get a chance to read them myself.

But I guess my reading weekend is over and its time to get back to work. I'll probably start using my lunch hours and evenings to watching the news, blogs and writing more here again.

So did anything happen over the weekend that I missed?