Thursday, December 24, 2009

There might be carrot cake in Heaven today.... would have been my mother's 65th birthday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Enforcers vs. the Geneva Convention

FratersLibertas links and comments on a Wall Street Journal piece about soldiers technically violating the Geneva Convention, but in doing so, probably preventing war from becoming even more brutal.

The author's poignant example is of his father's unit finding that 100 American POWs had been massacred by the SS, and the response was to not take prisoners for the next two weeks--in other words, to kill those who tried to surrender. It sounds brutal, and it was--until you realize that had they not done this, what would the fate of further American POWs have been?

In the same way, what message was sent to genocidal maniacs when an Army unit opened fire on SS guards at Dachau? Violation of the Geneva Convention? Absolutely. Reminder that barbaric cruelty to the defenseless will be returned to the offender? Priceless.

It's akin to the tradition of the "enforcer" in hockey. Ever hear of Claude Lemieux taking cheap shots against the Red Wings after this?

I rest my case. Free the Seals who punched the barbarian.

Crime rate to drop in Chicago,

at least for a day. Now if only we could persuade DC to do the same on Christmas Eve.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happiness is....

....zipping through fresh snow in the neighborhood on freshly waxed nordic (cross country) skis. I got five pairs of skis (just need a couple more for the rest of the family!) and the toboggan waxed last night. Even happier is using my old decrepit iron to melt the wax instead of my wife's Rowenta. :^) (this would have been a nice, posthumous memory if I had, I think)

A nice sad memory is....

....remembering how my late mother, not having a ton of money to spare at the time, bought me one of those pairs of skis when I shot up to six feet, along with a new winter coat (down-filled!) to make sure that those skiing outings would be fun--even at 25 below zero with 75 below windchill. (yes, I have skied in such conditions....and it was great!)

And yes, those skis are still in good shape despite a lot of use....if you doubt that parents can inculcate good lifelong habits with a simple investment in children, there you go.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tough gal

In reading Luke 2, have you ever noticed that it appears that Mary was the one to wrap our infant Savior in swaddling clothes and put Him in the manger? And I thought that labor alone was tough enough duty--somehow Mary found the energy after all that to get up and tend to Him as well.

Tough gal. Wonderful Savior. Merry Christmas!

(Joseph obviously wasn't a sensitive new age guy.....or maybe he was interacting with the shepherds? )

Covering for the Muckraker

Evidently, one of DC's finest has been videotaped drawing his gun after being hit by a snowball or two. Ayup, they're the ones mature and responsible enough to be carrying such a weapon, and you are not, according the the gun control types.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Now this is shocking

Well, not exactly. Apparently, districts which voted Democratic got twice the spend-u-more funding from Dear Leader and his minions as those which voted Republican, and there is no correlation whatsoever between need for help and the help actually delivered. This is, of course, exactly what we would expect if we put a corrupt community organizer from Chicago into the White House. Stimulus? Hardly. Payoff for votes? You betcha. Now exactly why is this not prosecuted as bribery?

It might not turn out all bad, though. Studies of the Marshall Plan found that there is an inverse correlation between government aid and prosperity--a correlation that gets additional support from the situation in the South Side of Chicago.

Honourable mention, woman of the year.....

....goes this year to Elin Nordegren, who used a nine iron to remind adulterers everywhere that somebody was paying attention when then-Congressman Dick Armey noted that had he done what Bill Clinton had done, he'd be lying on his back in a pool of his own blood while his wife asked herself "now how do I reload this thing?". "Cheetah" Woods is very fortunate that his sport is golf and not competitive shooting, to put it mildly.

To be certain, the situation is tragic, but one silver lining in this dark cloud is that Mrs. Woods is NOT standing meekly behind her philanderer trying to cover over the damage. Well done!

And yes, Mrs. Woods only gets "honourable mention," as the Bike Bubba Woman of the Year Prize always goes to Mrs. Bike Bubba, and first runner up always goes to Bike Bubba's Mom. In that light, "honourable mention" is pretty good.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why every bill should be read in the Senate

And, of course, the House of Representatives, too. Apparently, a recently signed law requires Amtrak passengers carrying firearms to be locked in boxes. To be sure, it would probably be more comfortable to be locked in a metal box than in one of their 30 year old seats, and it would definitely be a bonus to not use their bathrooms or canteen service. However, this sometimes Amtrak passenger still thinks that there is something a bit amiss here that maybe, just maybe, actually bothering to READ a bill might help.

Not to mention that if bills, and amendments, were read to the whole body, it would seriously cut down on the amount of infringement they could do on our rights.

Read every bill, every amendment, to the whole body.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's a "doodlebug"

Regarding my earlier post about light rail, I learned the proper name for a self-propelled passenger rail car. "Doodlebug."

To make them competitive with buses, though, I still think you'd need to make the rail gauge 7' or so instead of the standard gauge of 4' 8.5". Again, the chief driver of the weight of a rail carriage is the need to keep the center of mass/force between the rails, so a wider gauge allows lighter weight, better stability, higher speed, less vibration, and more.

Your government at work

Apparently, those 800,000 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine were recalled not because they posed any danger, but rather because they apparently weren't quite strong enough.

So instead of providing partial protection to 800,000 people, or increasing the dosage and providing good protection to 500,000 people, the government decided that 800,000 people would go without protection at all--and their neighbors would also be more exposed.

Their neighbors, you ask? Yes. Remember that a vaccine doesn't work primarily by protecting you from a disease, but rather by reducing the chance that you'll pass the disease on to others. If each infected person infects more than one person on average, you have an epidemic. If they infect less than one person, the disease fizzles out quickly. So even a "weak" vaccine can provide substantial protection and confer a degree of "herd immunity."

"Kudos" to the "experts" in Washington for forgetting the most basic principle of vaccines. Hopefully it doesn't have catastrophic consequences, but this is definitely something you want to consider when you ask yourself "how much influence do I want government to have in medicine?" For me, the answer is rapidly approaching a perfectly round number. 0.

This explains the chip on Obama's shoulder!

Apparently, Dear Leader made comments recently to the effect of "insulation is sexy," but his home in Chicago is a largely uninsulated brick edifice with wall and window R values of about 1. I must conclude the Obamas' marriage is loveless, and this would explain his consistent attacks on his political opponents.

Or something like that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Till grits do you part.....

Apparently, a woman in Louisiana retaliated against her sleeping soon to be ex-boyfriend by throwing grits on him, causing second degree burns. I would guess that, even in Louisiana, this is not a good way to try to "make up". Maybe if they were cheese grits....

On the serious side, those who live in sin are 3x more likely to have domestic violence than those who get married....taking the milk from the cow without paying does not appear to be the best way to domestic bliss.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Revoke his tenure....

One of the most irritating things about President Obama's "professorial" air is that he doesn't actually know very much, and what he does "know," he tends to get dead wrong. In his recent diatribe against bankers, he demonstrates this very clearly; on the one hand, he's blaming "irresponsible lending" for the current economic difficulties, and on the other, he's beating on bankers to get them to loosen lending standards and make more loans. Either he is unaware, or doesn't care, that these statements--made in the same speech--are contradictory. They used to teach "logic" at Harvard Law, but that's not apparent in Dear Leader's rantings--or TOTUS's, if that be the case.

In the same way, he's blithely "forgotten" that TARP (or more accurately, "TRAP") was not wanted by most sound banks, who literally had to be forced by former Treasury Secretary Paulson to take the money. Not exactly the kind of "help" that the financial industry needed, and hence it's no surprise that another seven million people lost their jobs even after "TRAP" was passed and implemented.

And now he's mad that bankers--who also warned about the CRA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other issues--are also against the "reform" plan for financial services. Given his accuracy rate in the rest of his speech, I'm inclined to think that the surest way to be right is to disagree with him.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All Aboard?

Well, if an article Mitch links regarding Minnesota's new commuter rail line is indicative, I think I'll pass. After only three weeks, the locomotive had a breakdown, and commuters were left quite literally in the cold.

Given that a well maintained diesel engine is incredibly reliable (most ships have only one, despite the need to power through storms), this is not exactly good news for the program. The news gets worse, though; all five locomotives have had the same part, a throttle housing, replaced.

In short, somebody really screwed up in procurement, and this was compounded by failures in maintenance. Thankfully for the riders, a private company sent one of its own locomotives along the only transcontinental railroad line built without government subsidies (thanks Mr. Hill!) to pull the carriages to warmth. As Mitch notes, commuter rail has the best chance of success, but it doesn't appear that they're doing too well right now.

And if you really wanted to make rail work, I still think you'd put a small diesel (say the Cummins unit Dodge uses for pickups) in each carriage and have each one power itself--and others in case one engine has difficulties. You'd reduce the weight of the train by up to half, double its efficiency, and greatly improve its reliability as well.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mystery meat in the school lunch program?

You bet it was, and is. Apparently, most fast food chains and upscale markets are far more picky about what kind of meats they use than the USDA School Lunch program. So if you wondered whether you were eating "strawberry tart without so much rat in it" in 5th grade, well yes, absolutely.

My favorite part is the fact that even Campbell's soup would not accept certain chickens being served at school cafeterias; given that the classic use of an old hen is in soup, it says a lot when a soup-maker won't use them, but the school lunch program will.

This surprised him exactly why?

Apparently, a young man trying to live as a woman was turned down for a job by a local McDonald's, and is now taking his (ahem, not "her") case to the press and possibly the courts. Somebody seriously need to take this boy aside and tell him that if his appearance induces nausea, there is an obvious reason he isn't going to be hired at "Chez Mac."

Side note: due in part to the loving care they received from their late grandmother--enjoying brie and chai with them by age three--my children would probably inform me that it would make perfect sense that a McDonald's worker would induce nausea. After all, doesn't their food do just that? It's just truth in advertising, after all. :^)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A question not asked

President Obama is creating what he bills as an ambitious small business jobs program from $200 billion not needed for the TARP program. My question; exactly what in the law allows him to appropriate this amount of money for his pet projects without the express approval of Congress? It seems to me that Article 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the right to appropriate money, not the President.

Time to impeach Dear Leader. He's obviously not taking his oath to uphold the Constitution seriously.

How NOT to dispel a stereotype

If you're Italian and proud of your ancestry, and detest the stereotypes too often applied to Italians, it would be a good idea NOT to make death threats against MTV producers.

"Hey, we're mad youse making a TV show about sayin' bad things 'bout us Italians. Knock it off, or we make-a you some concrete shoes and dump you in the Hudson!"

Along similar lines, my brother had a friend in college whose family once made dinner reservations with another family at a New York City restaurant, only to find the restaurant vacant when they got there. Not being part of the famous "families" of their names, they hadn't reckoned on the restauranteurs taking precautions when they got a reservation for "Gambino and Columbo."

My stereotypes of Italians, for what it's worth, are people making some seriously good food....I would guess that won't get me too many threats.

A new genre of doggerel

"Pieku," or a haiku about pie. I may or may not have coined the name, but I'll proudly contribute a sample.

Take lard and flour, mix
well and roll. Add filling, bake.
Yummy, not kosher.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Speaking of Barnum's Law,

...check out this little bit by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who has evidently forgotten exactly which political party actually DID support slavery in the 19th Century. Hint; Harry, it wasn't the Republicans.

In honor of Barnum's Law modified by Scott Adams; never underestimate the power of stupidity. This thought came to me while I was considering why people would conspire--breathe together--to get socialized medicine to the United States (and its long lines for basic care), to cut payments to oncologists (while smoking up a storm in the White House), and destroy our economy with cap & trade.

I had thought that it was unthinkable that people would knowingly do collectivist action if they understood the history of the 20th Century--and it is--but yet we should not underestimate the power of stupidity and human sin.

Again, there's that "history of the 20th Century."

Friday, December 04, 2009


Michelle Malkin links to a Gateway Pundit report on Comrade Obama's "Safe Schools Czar," Kevin Jennings. Apparently, he's got an extensive history with the GLSEN, the "Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network," and that group has put forth a reading list of recommended books for youth of various ages.

The content is generally about young children having sexual relations, often with adults. Now there is a primary fact here that Kevin Jennings, if he truly has anything to do with this list, shouldn't be anywhere near any school anywhere in the country--he should be on Megan's List instead.

More tellingly, the number of books specifically about relationships between children/teens and adults of the same sex would suggest to us that, ahem, GLSEN's own work suggests a strong link between homosexuality, pedophilia, and pederasty. They can deny it all they want, but what does their reading list tell us?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fill up the whole card!

Fraters Libertas tells us that if you want to fill up your card quickly with "Buzzword Bingo" (thanks Scott Adams), you could do little better than to use this speech by our President.

Just make sure the little ones aren't listening when you stand up and"Bingo." If meaningless buzzwords created jobs, Obama would have full employment in minutes. Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

Scooped the Muckraker!

Another 10 year old child tased by the police, this time in Pueblo, Colorado. Now in their defense, the child was wielding a pipe and was wreaking havoc in the house, but are we seriously to believe that police could not handle a ten year old, even a large one?

Gone, apparently, are the days when a standard requirement for police officer was stature and strength--such as the famous requirement that England's "bobbies" be at least six feet tall. By choosing officers without regard to their ability to subdue unarmed suspects without the use of incapacitating and lethal force, are we setting up a situation where the Taser and the Glock are going to be used needlessly?

Now this is classic

Apparently, Senatrix Boxer (D-CA) is saying that any probe of the leaked "Climategate" emails ought to involve a criminal probe. She is apparently slow enough on the uptake to forget that Congress, and United States justice in general, does not have jurisdiction over emails stolen in England by people apparently living in Russia.

She also is fairly slow on the uptake to realize that the emails contain clear evidence that climatologists were defrauding the governments of the world by fabricating, hiding, and destoying evidence, and by exerting political pressure on the peer review process.

That would, of course, be something punishable in United States courts, though I don't anticipate Senatrix Boxer pushing for the prosecution of people like NASA's James Hansen, however much that would be deserved.

A good column from John Lott

Here. In it, he points out that the Obama administration's measure of "jobs created or saved" more or less means that if a dollar is spent to employ someone, it is a "job created or saved"--whether or not the person's employment depended on that program.

Of course, the little detail that each job "created or saved" is costing a cool million dollars or more doesn't seem to faze Dear Leader, but that isn't the important point; the important point is that honest accounting (as opposed to the government kind) wouldn't find anywhere near the 640,000 jobs claimed by the President.

Rather, the data seem to be indicating that taking eight hundred billion dollars out of the private sector has actually put about three million people out of work--a drastic example of what Bastiat noted as "that which is not seen." Had only Lott seen fit to reference that great work in his column, it might have helped many clue in to the true damage being done by Dear Leader.

Regarding that damage, I'd also like to point my readers (all five of you?) to some great posts by my friend "ColdFusionGuy" on the subjects of excessive debt and the decline of nations. Dear Leader may think that the nation can weather the debt burden he is imposing, but reality is that when debt exceeds income by a certain amount, merely paying the interest puts a serious crimp on one's economy.

Finally, I have a touch of pride in my alma mater, which appears to be one of very few colleges and universities which do not ban students and visitors from lawfully carrying a pistol. So people there are marginally safer from being attacked.

Of course, it does NOT protect students from the trauma of cheering for a football team that drops games to Central, from the stench wafting from Cedar Village, or from the fact that too many there are not terribly interested in obtaining an education. The sad news is that students will still need to deal with these hazards of being a Spartan.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More for the Trivium

The difficulties that Mike Huckabee is currently having answering why he commuted the sentence of a burglar after having served a typical sentence for burglary seems to indicate to me how badly rhetoric has fallon on hard times, as well as how badly our nation's capability for understanding has fallen. People are talking about the release of a burglar after 11 years as if it were a weekend pass for a murderer and rapist after only 10 years, and because our rhetorical skills are absent, too many are unable to see the difference.

If you want to do something great for our country, I can think of few things that would be more powerful than to actually teach grammar, logic, and rhetoric--either picking it up yourself, or teaching it to your (or someone else's) children.

In similar thoughts, remember that earlier comment about Jack Chick's "endorsement" of the KJV? I'm grateful that, even with my mediocre rhetorical skills, the careful presentation of facts in the case has pulled a number of people away from Chick's nonsense.

One correction, though. The most powerful argument against the booklet was not the preface, translator's notes, or even the text of the actual 1611 KJV. It was the title page. My apologies.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Conservatives are not exactly looking smart here.... attacking Mike Huckabee for commuting the sentence of Maurice Clemmons, murderer of four Washington police officers. Why?

He had been convicted to up to 108 years in prison for aggravated robbery, burglary, robbery and two counts of theft of property--crimes committed when he was 17. Now call me weird, but 108 years is usually a sentence given for forcible rape or first degree murder, not robbery and burglary. What Huckabee did was simply to commute part of the sentence (to an overall 48 years), making him eligible for parole in 11 years.

Which is, ahem, a typical sentence for burglary. So I don't fault Huckabee for setting the stage for his parole. I do, however, fault authorities for not taking firmer, "three strikes" kind of actions when it became clear that his crimes were not simply youthful sins--in 2001 and this year. Had they simply revoked the 2001 parole, he would have been in jail for another 36 years, plus a sentence for burglary.

And, ahem, four innocent victims of his crime spree would now be alive.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I hear Gerry Faust is available...

....Notre Dame has fired their head coach.

Now this is scary

Vox Day illustrates something that should scare the dickens out of us; overall debt levels in our country exceed levels seen at the peak of the Great Depression. Scarier; consumer spending didn't recover until over a decade after that peak of debt. Scariest; the only part of debt that appears to be declining, and that only marginally, is individual debt. One would infer that individuals right now are acting more intelligently than corporations, government, and government sponsored enterprises.

All in all, it seems that overall debt levels have gotten to the point where the only way out is mass repudiation of certain debts. Hopefully government allows this to happen before we "bail ourselves out" into poverty.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More to be thankful for

It's been a rough year with losing my mom, but there was a comfort this weekend as my family met relatives of my wife's we never knew existed. Apparently, her grandmother had had a child out of wedlock, allowed her to be adopted, and she'd grown up and come to know Christ just a few hours from us in Minnesota. We met four generations of faithful followers of Christ, including a cousin who had adopted eight children out of foster care after being told that one biological child was enough.

One of them had lost most of her hands and legs to an infection, but stole our hearts as she gamboled around the house almost as ably as any other child--my wife didn't even notice due to her activity and cheer.

How do they get to four faithful generations? I don't know completely, but I have a hunch it has something to do with worshipping together and then getting together each Sunday for a meal. Potlucks have an important part in (informal) Baptist theology, and our new family members sure showed us how powerful this can be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Now this is different

A pop-up screen showed me this new book from Zondervan; The Dude Abides, the Gospel According to the Coen Brothers. I guess that says something about our lives when a most powerful cultural connection to the Good News is a documentary like "Fargo," but I hesitate to speculate on what that message might be.

Reasons for thankfulness

It hasn't been an easy year for me--for that matter for a lot of people--but it still pays to be thankful.

I'm personally thankful that we get to worry about diseases of overeating instead of starvation.

I'm glad that I get to worry about cancer instead of cholera.

I'm grateful that as wrongheaded as many churches' theology is, we've got the right to worship according to our own conscience.

I'm grateful that as poor as I think our leaders are, we still have the right to vote them out of office in a few years.

I'm grateful for the Scriptures.

I'm grateful for long days at work instead of no days at work.

I'm grateful for plane tickets to say good bye in person.

I'm grateful for sometimes mischievous children when many have none.

And I'm grateful for the wife who still looks great after carrying and nursing all of them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The cost of immorality

Or, at least a little part of it, specifically a little procedure that women love to hate. I'm referring to the "pap smear," and this gynecologist indicates that the primary reason for that procedure is STD infection, specifically HPV. Evidently, about half of sexually active teens and young adults have it.

And so we can figure out one little part of the cost of fornication. Due to the legitimate fear of HPV and cervical cancer, approximately 100 million women at least ought to have this procedure done every year or so at a cost of around $100 plus the cost of the appointment--about another $100 or so. End result is that this STD--just one of 28--likely costs the nation somewhere between ten and twenty billion dollars annually (assuming some don't get it done), even before treatment costs for cervical cancer are accounted for.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Dr. Matt's blog. I also am tempted to see what kind of reaction my wife gets if she suggests to her ob/gyn that she'd like to reduce the frequency of testing due to the low risk we're blessed to have.

After seeing this,

I want to fly to Greenland or Murmansk and buy my dear sweet wife a coat made of polar bear fur. Right after I enjoy a large piece of meat for dinner while wearing leather shoes and praising God for the good things we have because of animal testing.

Or, put differently, if the IQ scale is truly a normal distribution, we know who occupies the negative portion of the curve. Environmentalists and animal rights activists.

(and just to make things clear, my friend ColdFusionGuy is not one of them!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A perfect picture of government health care.... the recent "study" that purported to provide evidence against routine mammographies and self-examinations. Now apart from the scientific evidence, which appears to be unequivocally on the OTHER side of the argument, there is a very interesting fact; no oncologists were included on the panel.

You read that right; a study about cancer did not bother to consult any doctors who are trained to treat it. It gets worse.

Nobody on the panel appeared to notice or care that this was happening. Certainly nobody resigned in protest, which would have been the responsible thing to do.

Government healthcare; where the untrained don't know or don't care that it's important to have somebody around who knows what they're doing. One would think that our nation's most famous smoker might clue in to possible consequences to disregarding oncologists, but apparently not.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Now this is interesting

Apparently a hacker has released a number of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climactic Research Centre--emails which seem to indicate that scientists there are actively manipulating data to make it seem as if the theory were valid when....real data actually would not indicate this. If you want to look at the evidence yourself, the link has a link to a zip file with the emails.

If true, it looks like any number of people should have research grants revoked about yesterday. This is also a great reason why science must be reproducible; when results are shared or duplicated--or not--shenanigans like this are exposed for the frauds they are.

Afterthought: given that the person who released the files apparently knew where to look for incriminating documents, I am guessing that the heroic party who released these documents is an IT professional at the University of East Anglia. Whoever you are, thank you!

A Puritan medication for depression.... a Biblical view of work, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal. Here's the author's weblog if you'd like to see more of her work. H/T Cold Fusion Guy, and I'm off to get some remunerative antidepressants!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why the government schools don't teach logic,

part MMMCXVII, courtesy of the IAAF, which claims that sex tests on runner Caster Semenya will be "kept secret."

Apparently, they expect us to believe that they wouldn't have been trumpeting the results--and decrying the need for a test--had the tests found Semenya was a girl. We will have our answer as Semenya does not participate in further world class track events, as this silence makes it pretty clear that Semenya is a boy.

Hopefully he gets the help he needs to live a relatively normal life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time for some good news

OK, no sense being relentlessly negative all day. Here are a couple of pieces of good news, as well as something quite absurd.

First of all, a Somali pirate attack on a Maersk container ship was repelled by armed guards. The only downside, IMO, is that they didn't have a few "ma deuces" to tear the pirate boats to shreds before they could even come within range of the pirates' AKs and RPGs. Well done, though.

Second, a Delaware store clerk has shot and killed at least one armed robber--and possibly wounded others--who apparently had no clue that liquor store clerks are often armed for this very reason. One thug off the streets, and no legal or incarceration bills for the taxpayer to pay.

Now something absurd; drug companies are apparently trying to develop drugs for women with "low sex drive" which apparently work by reducing inhibitions. Never mind the fact, of course, that alcohol, flowers, chocolate, backrubs, and other "inhibition reducers" are readily available without a prescription. Just consider the fact that SSRIs (this drug is one) aren't removed from the blood within hours like alcohol is, and the further reality that it's not exactly safe for a woman to be walking around with permanently reduced inhibitions. Rather, they're trying to develop a drug to cause one of the classic symptoms of manic depression.

More enemies in the mirror

I've been thinking about (H/T a lot of people like Mitch and ColdFusion Guy) the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Neuvo York, and the following thoughts come to mind.

1. Whose brilliant idea was it to try a POW in civilian courts, directly against the rules of the Geneva Convention?

2. Exactly why did this person think a 9/11 conspirator could get a fair jury in New York? The law allows change of venue for a reason, after all.

3. Exactly why does this person apparently think that Islamists here in the U.S. will not attempt to intimidate the jury once it's in place? Trials are, after all, public, as are the identities of jury members.

4. Exactly why does Mr. Holder think there will be no problems in the (likely) case he's acquitted?

5. Exactly why does Mr. Holder think that there will be no problems with presenting classified evidence in a public courtroom?

We have met the enemy, and he is one of us. Basic rules of evidence and law known to every first semester law student are being blatantly ignored by our Attorney General and President, both of whom have somehow passed the bar.

We have met the enemy,

and he is us. Older readers may recognize the reference; it's how Pogo would signal his disgust with the world. These days, it's more appropriate than ever.

Start with my alma mater's basketball team, which nearly blew a home game against unranked Gonzaga last night. How'd they do it? They came in there with adrenaline pumping, and Gonzaga used that fact to cajole them into playing Gonzaga's game instead of State's.

Well done, Gonzaga. Hopefully this wakes up the Spartans.

In similar manner, where is most of the most effective evidence against health insurance deform bills coming from? The Congressional Budget Office, of course. One would think that Madame Pelosi might consult some actuaries and accountants BEFORE submitting a bill, but then again, the thesis is, again, that the enemy is us.

Finally, I had the privilege of analyzing a little pamphlet from "Chick" publications recently that endorsed the exclusive use of the 1611 KJV. Guess where I got the best evidence against Chick?

You guessed it, the preface to and text of the 1611 KJV. One would think that someone who claims to love a translation might have actually read the notes from the translators and understood them, but apparently not.

Again, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good news for the Wolverines!

Word has it that American Standard has issued the University of Michigan a bowl invitation for the second straight year....and if the Spartans aren't careful vs. Penn State this weekend, they might have a rematch with the Wolverines this winter.

Monday, November 16, 2009


H/T Say Anything Blog. Evidently, Newsweak has come out with a cover story portraying Sarah Palin as a problem for the GOP and the country. Now apart from whether Palin is the next Reagan or the next Carter (my opinion; neither), and apart from the fact that Newsweak has been a fishwrapper for decades, consider the headline on the cover:

How do you solve a problem like Sarah?

Sound familiar? Yep, it's a play on the song from The Sound of Music, and ever oblivious to the implications of actual literature, Newsweak conveniently forgets the fact that Maria is the heroine (correction courtesy of Pentamom) of the story, undermining Evan Thomas' thesis.

One would figure that the liberal arts grads that work the editorial pages of Newsweak would be able to figure this one out more quickly than an engineer like myself, but I guess not.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here's a thought

Helmets might be the reason that there are so many head injuries in football. Counter-intuitive, to be sure, but think about it; if you didn't have an inch of foam around your head, would you bang it against another player?

I always thought that real men played rugby or Aussie rules anyways. You can't put on an extra 100 lbs of muscle and fat if you actually have to run around with it.

A possible cure for depression... least according to my wife, is knitting. Of course, when you give blood, you'll have to answer "yes" to this question:

Have you ever taken drugs by needle not prescribed by your doctor?

Any MDs out there willing to start prescribing this instead of this? As a man, of course, I'm hoping for a prescription for this or this or this. Or maybe even this.


If you suffer from depression.... might want to take a look at this article from Dr. Mercola. Yes, I know the man and his views are controversial, but in this case, I think he has a point. I've got several people in my extended family and among my friends who have been on antidepressants, and one thing that I've noticed is that help doesn't seem to come from a bottle of Prozac (apologies to my brother-in-law who works for Lilly). Rather, it comes when a man takes responsibility for his life and starts making healthy choices.

And for that matter, it looks like his prescription would do a lot of good for those at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and possibly even cancer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Say What?

Evidently, the Kasota police deputy who shot and killed an unarmed man after pursuing him in an unmarked vehicle and fighting with him in plain clothes has been cleared by a grand jury.

Call me puzzled; you have 19 witnesses who say unequivocally that the officer did not identify himself and shot a man who was retreating from him, and the testimony of the officer involved and a person driving past the situation in his car exonerates him? Keep in mind here that the person in the car is not likely to have even been able to hear the man identify himself as an officer because of road noise.

I hope that there are some exonerating circumstances for the grand jury--say like incredible conflicts between the testimony of the 19--but this sure looks like a classic coverup for police crime here. I also hope that the police get the hint and remind officers that people can't guess they're an officer if they're not in uniform.

About those "abstinence doesn't work" studies

Apparently, at least two people working for the CDC have raised an alarm that CDC studies of the effectiveness of abstinence based sex education were deliberately, and politically, manipulated to undermine data demonstrating statistically significant reductions in sexual experimentation after abstinence based sex education.

No surprise to me; I took a look at one such study from Minnesota back in 2004 or so, and what I found was that the "study" hadn't even bothered to select a control sample or perform any statistical tests. When I did so, I found exactly the opposite of what the study had--with 99% statistical confidence. A paltry nine weeks of sex ed significantly reduced sexual experimentation, even in our sex saturated culture.

As I've noted many times before, peer review doesn't guarantee competent research anymore, if it ever did.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thoughts on carbon emissions

Old home: 2x4 walls and R30 ceilings, good windows, heating bill of $60 last month without pulling much through the water heater.

New home: 2x6 walls and R50 ceiling, good windows, heating bill of $30 last month while using a LOT of hot water.

Conclusion; if you want to reduce the use of fossil fuels and related emissions, maybe the best thing to do is to build a home to today's building codes, or refurbish an older one to similar codes.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Watch out, global warming deniers?

Dear Leader is apparently going to "get you" somehow for being evil and standing in the way of the progress he desires.

But don't worry too much. Due to the actual climate change we've had (just the opposite of what the IPCC has predicted), his brownshirts are going to have to struggle through the snowdrifts to get to your house.

Update; apparently the first two people to be "silenced" are EPA lawyers who dared to point out that "cap and trade" simply creates a new bureaucracy and actually runs the real risk of making the problem far, far worse. (if you accept the global warming hypothesis, that is) SayAnythingBlog has a working link to their presentation.

While I don't agree that we need to phase out fossil fuels to avoid catastrophe, they do a wonderful job of explaining why cap and trade, carbon credits, and such do not and can not work.

The Senate moves to prolong the recession voting 98-0 to extend unemployment benefits for the nation's jobless. Now having participated in the Pelosi/Reid recession myself, I understand fully how comforting it is to have a safety net when you can't find work. On the other hand, studies have documented how many people "magically" seem to find work when their unemployment benefits run out. It suggests that the best way to help the economy is not to extend benefits, but rather to reform them to encourage, ya know, work.

In other news, Israel has accused Iran of a war crime in finagling a shipment of weapons to the PLO/Hamas that was mercifully intercepted by Israel. I have to wonder whether such acts of war would decrease if Israel really treated them as acts of war and took appropriate action.

The importance of architecture

My family has recently moved, and one thing we're noticing in our "new to us" home is that it's really important how the home is designed. With fewer rooms to go to, we're spending more time together. Musical instruments long left alone are coming out.

Having a tough time getting family time? Might be a good idea to take a look at whether your house makes sense for your family. My family is learning that a well designed, and somewhat smaller, home is making a difference in our family life.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Setting the stage for the next recession

Froma Harrop writes about something I've suspected for a long time; federal subsidies to prospective homebuyers with poor credit are likely setting the stage for the next round of foreclosures, and transitively the next recession--not that I'm anticipating getting out of this one any time soon.

If I were in government, my adage would be the from the Hippocratic Oath; "First, do no harm." I likely wouldn't get along with most Congressmen, either.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Rhetorical jujitsu in the Bible

Take a quick look--or a slow one if you like--at Acts 23, and consider what Paul was doing before the Sanhedrin. Ask yourself:

Is there any chance that Paul failed to recognize (vs. 3-5) the garments worn by the high priest after decades in rabbinical school? Doubtful; what Paul is more likely saying here is that the (Roman-installed) high priest really isn't a "high priest" in the Aaronic line. I'm guessing that the point was not lost on the Sanhedrin.

Paul doesn't stop there, though; he proceeds to set the Pharisees and Sadduccees against one another by declaring he is there because of his faith in the resurrection--instantly transforming an inquisition against him (where ordinary enemies might agree for the sake of "getting" Paul) into their old argument.

In short, he realized they weren't going to listen to the Gospel, and diverted his attention and time to more fruitful activities--using the Roman courts to go to the Gentiles. Innocent as a dove and wise as a serpent, Paul avoids a trap of the devil with rhetorical jujitsu. We should take the hint.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Your tax dollars at work

Part of the "spend-u-more" plan passed by the Democrats included $300,000 to map radioactive rabbit feces in Washington state. No, I am not making this.....stuff.....up.

Democratic thinking

First Fox, then The Wall Street Journal, then the AP, now it's Edmunds' turn to fall into the crosshairs of Dear Leader. (first the 2nd, then the 13th, now it's the 1st Amendment under attack by Obama...I'll be waiting for him to send soldiers to live at my house next)

It's pretty telling as well; more or less, the White House is actually arguing that the numbers for "cash for clunkers" are better than Edmunds' reports because people could be expected to enthusiastically go out and buy cars they didn't need even if they didn't have a "clunker" to trade in. Don't believe me? Take a look.

In other words, Democratic policy-making actively presumes that people don't actually work the numbers before making a decision; in other words, that people are just plain stupid--an opinion, I must admit, makes some sense in light of last fall's election results.

On the other hand, here is Edmunds' original article, and it clearly demonstrates that while nearly 400,000 more cars were sold than the baseline in August, 150,000 of those were given back in September, and I'd guess will also be "given back" in October. So Edmunds is right here, and thankfully people are smarter when they buy cars than when they vote.

Loving my high cholesterol!

Why? Well, not only do statins have some hope of reducing the risk of colon and skin cancer, they also appear to hold some hope of preventing influenza mortality. Praise the Lord, and pass the Zocor!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Government competence

My family recently received a request from the Census Bureau to participate in a medical survey, and of course I told the survey taker that I was not going to participate because it was not part of the Constitutional charter of the Census Bureau.

The next day, I got a FedEx overnight letter asking me to participate. Now this tells me a lot about our government. First of all, they don't trust the Postal Service to deliver a letter. Second, they really don't mind throwing taxpayer money down the toilet by sending needless letters via FedEx overnight service. Third, they really don't have a clue that the Census Bureau is really authorized to ask only one question; "how many people live at this address?".

And some people want people like this to handle medical care. Yikes!


President Obama is now picking a fight with the AP. Hopefully journalistic types take the hint and start writing about the kind of man he really is.

(keep going, Barack, if you want to make it a very, very long four years!)

Now that we've banned incandescent bulbs....

.....can we stop the madness of Daylight Savings Time, please? Studies have demonstrated that the extra air conditioning cost of people coming home earlier in the summer exceeds the savings of lighting during the evening.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What do do with a windfall

King's post about what people have done with stimulus checks (2008 and prior) brings up the question of responsibility in finances. When citizens get a windfall (say the 2001 or 2008 "stimulus" checks), they overwhelmingly saved it--or at least used it to pay down debt. When government gets a windfall, on the other hand.....

....why is it that we so consistently send our most fiscally irresponsible neighbors to the legislatures of our nation?

More thoughts on education

I picked up my clarinet (originally my Mom's) for the first time in years yesterday, and much to my surprise, I was able to remember the fingerings and play pretty well despite the fact that I'd rarely picked it up for the past 25 years or so. Credit memory and the education I got--both in the schools and also in private lessons.

Going further, I noticed something else; I was finally able to do some things I'd never managed back in high school. Specifically, I was able to sightread and transpose music. And so I wondered why I was able to do this now, but not then.

Probably maturity has something to do with it, but probably more importantly, I'd learned to learn music far more quickly singing in church (picking out tenor and bass parts) than I ever had in school. My high school had a good band program, especially the marching band, but what we'd done there was mostly to pick a few pieces of music and learn them backwards, forwards, and every which way. We got pretty good, but in doing so, certain key areas of musicality were never really addressed--like really reading music well and music theory.

Given that a marching band is essentially a militaristic--really Prussian--idea in the same way the entire government school system is, I've got to think that one huge reason homeschooling (as anti-Prussian as it gets) succeeds is that it teaches in the day to day--like singing hymns in church--as opposed to a big production, like preparation for tests.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You can't make this stuff up....

In the October 19th issue of Time Magazine, the cover article is about why it's supposedly time to get rid of the 401K, and they (incredibly) make the argument that somehow we need to move back to pensions and such for retirement because the 401k option is too exposed to the vagaries of markets.

As if pension funds aren't invested in the very same securities held in 401k and IRA plans.

One of these days, I'm hoping that people realize that if there are no corporate and personal profits to make stock and bond investments profitable, there are also no corporate and personal profits to make pension plans profitable, and most importantly there is no tax base to make Socialist Insecurity and Mediscare solvent.

I'm finding it amazing that a journalist with a college degree had such poor thinking, and even more incredible that his editors allowed him to publish such nonsense. Does the entire staff at Time have a collective economic IQ of seven?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jackbooted thug of the day...

....or, rather, drunken cop who "neglected" to disarm before going to the haunted house is Mr. Eric Janik of Baltimore County, who is accused of pulling his service weapon on a character in a haunted house who wielded a chainsaw.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but hopefully Sgt. Janik will get the opportunity to pursue a career outside of law enforcement. There is no excuse for carrying a firearm while drunk, especially for those also carrying badges.

A touch of irony

In the effort to prevent mass swine (H1N1, or "hiney") flu infections, my employer is working to prevent viral infection by putting a antibacterial hand cleanser on each desk.

OK, it'll probably reduce the chances of getting swine flu and "something bacterial" at the same time....but I still find humor in it.

It's also coming out (h/t Cold Fusion Guy) that swine flu vaccine is slow to get to the's as if the government took over distribution, and since the profit motive didn't spur work, it's not getting done.

Government healthcare is sounding more and more like that cart on Monty Python.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More thoughts on Geithner cutting executive pay

If tax cheat Tim Geithner can cut executive pay for costing the Treasury tens of billions of dollars, shouldn't we do the same for the people whose actions have cost the people trillions of dollars?

Just sayin'.

(ramen; it's what should be for dinner in executive and legislative offices)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It'll be a good time to be a hiring manager

...for executives at Toyota, Honda, Ford, and banks not participating in the TRAP ('oops,' TARP) program. Why?

The Treasury Department, headed by admitted tax cheat Tim Geithner, is deciding to cut the pay of top executives at GM, Chrysler, and banks which have taken TARP money by about half. Now I would tend to agree that the inbred nature of executive compensation probably results in exorbitant amounts of money going to the "good haired tall executives," as Scott Adams would put it, but the fact remains that every once in a while, there are things that only a seasoned executive can do.

You would figure that the owner of these companies would figure out that cutting everyone's pay would be a bad decision, as you've just told the ones who can get hired elsewhere that they'd better do so while the getting is good. However, if a man can't figure out Schedule SE, then probably he can't figure this out, either.

More from Comrade Zero

It appears that the health care "bill", despite being 1502 pages or so, is slated to be substantially rewritten in conference after it is passed. In similar news, Dear Leader is excoriating financial industry workers for standing against a yet-unwritten plan for "reform" (read "deform") of financial industry regulations.

The phrase "all hat and no cattle" seems to have been coined for Pharaoh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Almost as dumb...

as picking a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel is picking one with the people who run the nation's grocery stores, factories, and such. Evidently, having an Ivy League education is no insurance against such brilliance, however.

Barack Hussein Blagojevich Jackson Wright Pfleger Ayers Khalidi Rezko Daley Zedong Obama; making Carter look competent and Clinton look honest since January 20.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Missing the point of modesty

Evidently, Islamists in Somalia have taken to whipping women who wear a bra, and then force them to give their femininity a robust shake in front of men who are not their husband to prove their Sharia modesty.

To quote Dave Barry, no, I am not making this up. Sign the perpetrators up for a date with the business end of Iowa's hog doot cannon.

Proverbs not learned in the Ivy League

....include "never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel", apparently. I'm not always a fan of Fox News, but to pick a fight with a news organization--and demonstrably getting most of your facts wrong--is not behavior worthy of the office of the President.

Now that of "Dear Leader" or "Pharaoh," yes. Not a nation with a 1st Amendment, though. Make him pay, Fox.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Those efficient buses and trains?

Not really. Notice here that the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveals that airline, bus, and automobile transportation all use about the same energy per passenger-mile as the passenger car. Interestingly, 3500btu/mile corresponds to about 30mpg, or a passenger sedan with slightly more than one passenger. Add the second passenger (or the 7th in my family's case), and the standard passenger sedan excels all other modes of transportation in efficiency.

Never mind the fact that it appears that the "source" for Amtrak's efficiency is a "personal note." No uncertainty in that one, of course. No fudging in the number of passengers carried or anything.

Note also that transit trains are not mentioned; given the frequency of starting and stopping, it would appear that these are most likely the worst of all modes of transportation in terms of fuel usage and emissions. Mass transit and mass transportation is many things, but "ecologically responsible" is not one of them.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Say What?

Michelle Malkin notes an article which tries mightily to make the case that Comrade Obama's Presidency somehow makes interracial marriage socially acceptable.

Now, given that there is one human race, inter-"racial" marriage is absolutely acceptable, but I'm having trouble seeing how Obama's example changes anything. He's not in a classically "interracial" marriage himself, and the short marriage of his mother and father--characterized by his father's bigamy and neglect of his mother--is pretty much the stereotype portrayed by opponents of inter-"racial" marriage in the 1950s and 1960s.

On the other hand, the marriages of Phil Gramm, Clarence Thomas, Michelle Malkin, and other....conservatives....probably make the case a lot better, I think.

Perhaps Pharaoh's ascendance lets liberals know they can discard their old Jim Crow attitudes, finally? I guess it's a good thing, if it indeed happens, but I would hope that we might get a resurgence of logic sometime, too.

Another title for Comrade Obama

Having a very real Messiah, I hesitate to commit the blasphemy of referring to Dear Leader by that name, and of course, given Obama's socialist tendencies, "Dear Leader" and "Comrade" make perfect sense.

I heard a new one last night, courtesy of my new pastor, who cited the work of a black pastor regarding Genesis 47:13-26. The pastor, whose name regrettably I did not learn, noted that in that time, the pagan Egyptians gave up everything for a bit of bread from the government, while the God-fearing Hebrews actually gained prosperity by following Him instead.

It suggests that those who believe that Obama will bring hope, prosperity, bread, and change to the country ought not refer to him in terms reflecting the Messiah, but rather..... Pharaoh, perfectly in keeping with his history as one who would do some serious damage to the 13th Amendment in his policies.

Yet another reason to homeschool

Apparently, the superintendent of a school district that assigned "young skulls full of mush" to sing a nauseating song of praise to Dear Leader is claiming that it didn't indoctrinate. Here's the original video: to claim that this isn't worthy of a campaign ad, and thus indoctrination, is the work of a man who cannot process basic logic.

And this is the superintendent, not a kindergarten teacher. If you want your children to learn how to think, and not just what the government wants them to think, you'll do well to keep your children away from the government's schools.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In praise of paternalism

I've been thinking some lately about the way the word "paternalism" is used today, and how it's apparently a negative thing to act like a father. How strange; Jesus told us to pray to "Our Father." He spoke lovingly of His Father, and how He wanted to do His will. He describes, through the apostles, how our loving Father disciplines those He loves, and describes the role of apostles and elders in those terms as well.

And yet we describe it as a bad thing when a person acts as a father. Now while granting that at times (Obama administration) it's a bad thing when an unworthy person acts this way, I have to think that maybe, just maybe, our world would be a far better place if.....

.....we had a bit more paternalism in our world.

If you doubted....

.....that climatologists associated with the IPCC and elsewhere have completely forgotten basic scientific concepts, take a look at this description of recent work by the IPCC and its German affiliate, WBGU. Apparently, they're saying that in the next eleven years, the United States "needs" to cut its carbon emissions by up to 100%.

Based on climate models that have yet to actually come up with a reasonable match to historical data, along with monitoring stations that have a high tendency to be installed by air conditioner vents and parking lots, they're more or less saying that the entire world needs to be dead by 2050. People are not, after all, "carbon-free."

And of course, even if you were to drop a cyanide bomb over the whole world, that wouldn't stop the corpses from rotting, and it certainly wouldn't stop the 95% or so of carbon emissions from non human sources.

Peer review is so dead. H/T SayAnythingBlog

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why we homeschool, part 1,325,342,337

Six year old is about to be sent to reform school because he carried a Cub Scout eating kit to school. H/T just about everybody. Get your kid a Victorinox in honor of this insanity.

And here is another. Eagle Scout banned from school for 20 days for a 2 inch knife. Hopefully he still gets his 1911 and M16 at the USMA. The young man did well by pointing out that in a conflict, readily available items like baseball bats, track and field spikes, screwdrivers, and such could be far more damaging than his pocketknife.

It's amazing that people don't put two and two together and withdraw their children from such "no common sense" zones.

Ole, Lena, and Sven are hitting the aquavit again

Nobel Prize committee tells the world that Obama's peace prize was about what he did, when the nomination came less than two weeks after his inauguration, long before he'd done anything of note diplomatically. I'll concede that this one was better than Arafat, or Le Duc Tho, or a host of others who actually did harm to the peace process, but to claim the man had earned a prize before doing anything requires either insanity of intoxicants. I'm assuming it was Aquavit.

And another Bike Bubba Peace Prize to Boeing, which developed the B29, B50, B47, and B52, which have done more for peace than all the disarmament conferences in history.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Action movies save lives!

....or at least probably did in this instance, where at least 17 rounds were fired without apparently hitting anyone. Thank you, John Woo and others, for your tireless efforts to tell the gangbangers of the world that it really doesn't matter how you hold your firearm.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why the Nobel Peace Prize doesn't matter

...or, rather, why it so consistently chooses the person who promotes war in the long run over the person who actually promotes peace; Nobel specifically wanted the prize to go to a person who would work to reduce and abolish standing armies and have peace congresses.

Now compare that with what Bastiat said about the issue; if goods do not cross borders, armies will. Nobel's tragic failure is to try to tinker with the size of armies instead of encouraging real peace--through trade--is why so many recipients are connected with disastrous initiatives like the Oslo accords and Kellogg-Briand--and so few recipients have had lasting fruit in their endeavors.

OK, a Bike Bubba Peace Prize to Bastiat, if only we could get people to listen to him.

On the Nobel Peace Prize

I had something of a shocking wake up this morning, as WCCO informed me that, despite having no major peace related accomplishments to his name, President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

And then I got to thinking that maybe this was something of an improvement, as at least this time, they've awarded the prize to someone who hasn't yet done major damage, like Yasser Arafat or Al Gore, or the numerous winners who sponsored the Kellogg-Briand pact that made World War Two far worse than it needed to be, or the numerous winners who stood against the nuclear shield that prevented World War Three for over half a century, or United Nations "peacekeeping" efforts that serve only to roast children over fires (yes it happened, by UN personnel) and allow the warring sides to re-arm.

So here's a list of people who should have won the Peace Prize for real peacemaking, but did not.

11. John Browning, inventor of the 1911 pistol and .50 BMG that made war less thinkable.
10. Douglas MacArthur, who defeated Imperial Japan with the island-hopping scheme.
9. Uziel Gal, inventor of the Uzi machine pistol that helped save Israel from invasion many times.
8. John F. Kennedy, whose space program created the knowledge for the ICBMs and SLBMs that preserved the world from Communist tyrranny.
7. Robert Welch, who warned the world about the real consequences of Communism and the United Nations. (no I'm not a Bircher, but credit given where credit is due)
6. Joe McCarthy, who warned our nation that the State Department was working for Moscow too often.
5. Harold Briggs, who devised the strategies that prevented a Communist bloodbath in Malaysia.
4. Dutch Kindelberger, whose P-51 Mustang enabled U.S. and British bombers to help stop Hitler and Hirohito.
3. Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, whose atomic bomb prevented full scale war between superpowers from 1945 until the fall of the Soviet Union. (and arguably still does today between Russia or China and the U.S.)
2. Dwight Eisenhower, whose western offensive crushed Nazi Germany.
1. Ronald Reagan, whose "peace through strength" initiatives crushed the Warsaw Pact.

Congratulations to this year's winners of the "Bike Bubba Peace Prize."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Why praise songs to Obama ought to give us the creeps

Try this one on for size: to "O Store Gud" is the approximate tune. ("How Great Thou Art")

The flag high! The ranks tightly closed!
Obama marches with a calm, firm pace.
Comrades whom the GOP and reactionaries exposed
March in spirit within our ranks.

Clear the streets for the Czar battalions,
Clear the streets for the Obama Youth!
Already millions look with hope to the Obam-O
The day of freedom and bread is dawning!

Rollcall has sounded for the last time
We are all prepared for the fight!
Soon Obama flags will flutter over barricades.
Our servitude will not last much longer now!

The flag high! The ranks tightly closed!
Obama marches with a calm, firm pace.
Comrades whom the GOP and reactionaries exposed
March in spirit within our ranks.

Now here's the source. I only changed 11 words from the original, and it's got a decided similarity to the songs being sung in schools to the praise of Dear Leader. Hopefully one of these days, liberals will wake up to the possible consequences they're encouraging with the Obama cult of personality.

You knew it, but now it's official

I am a grumpy old man. First a MOBster, now this. Life is good, and I just had a cup of coffee and a raspberry donut. I want Matlock!

Kids these days....

A word to us all

This article here is written with the Jewish community in mind, but his point is well taken for all of us. We can have organization, but do we have something to be passionate about?

Say what?

Regulatory czar suggests that Americans may be "too racist" for socialism. I guess that would explain why all the socialist unions in the U.S. excluded blacks and Jews until the GOP got the votes together for civil rights legislation in the 1960s. It might also explain why socialist Robert Mugabe is using anti-white bigotry to bankrupt his country, why socialists Lenin and Stalin waged incessant war on the entrepreneurial classes, and why socialist Adolf Hitler actually diverted war material in 1944 and 1945 to make sure that the trains were arriving at Auschwitz on time.

Example 1, 324, 576 or so why the knowledge of "history" is essential for the proper exercise of logic. Mr. Sunstein, please learn some.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A song of tribute to the President

With all the kids being forced to sing songs of tribute to Dear Leader, I figure that I ought to get in the fun as well. One stanza didn't have to be changed at all--brownie points to the person who figures out which one it was.

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a shameful trip
That started from south Chicago
Aboard an ACORN ship

The Veep was a gaffey Senator
Dear Leader way too self-sure
Fifty-seven states set sail that day
For a four year tour, a four year tour

Economy was getting rough
Employment sure was lost
If not for the spending of the spendthrift crew
Recession would be lost, recession would be lost

Our land ran aground on the shore of the Great Depression isle
With Bidengin
Dear Leader too
Not the Bubba, but his wife
The talk show host
Eugenics prof and tax cheats
Here on Liberal Isle

So this is the tale of the tax evades,
They're here for a long, long time,
They'll help us make the worst of things,
It's an uphill climb.

The plagiarist and Dear Leader too,
Will do their very worst,
To make the others comfortable,
In a death panel hearse.

No phone, no lights no motor cars,
Not a single luxury,
Like Robinson Crusoe,
As primitive as can be.

So join us here each week my friends,
You’ll be taxed every mile,
By tax evading renegades,
Here on “Liberal Isle."

Monday, October 05, 2009

The real cost of socialized medicine

Take a look at the chart presented (H/T Gary Gross) by SCSU Scholars of the average wait times for a number of conditions. Notice that each procedure notes something pretty debilitating--you're not going to work if you need hip or knee replacement surgery, for example--at least not very comfortably.

It would suggest that there is an additional cost of socialized medicine; lost productivity and life due to the wait for necessary surgeries. I would, for example, might still be waiting to get my gallbladder out--or, as King notes, his and my gallstones might have disabled or killed us. My mother might never have lived to get a colonoscopy--in 2005--let alone the surgery and chemotherapy that extended her life until this year.

In other words, the death panels of Canadian health insurance would have had, most likely, some very negative effects on my family, both in terms of the health and lives of those we love, and also in terms of lost income from likely debilitation and/or premature death. When one adds these costs in, I dare suggest that our health care system isn't so expensive after all.

Yet again, on financial accountability

It appears that the blackmailer of David Letterman was deeply in debt. As pastors have told me for a long time, if you want a picture of a man's heart, look at his checkbook. Voting for a person for office, or considering someone to run your company? It might be a good idea to run a credit check or look at his financial disclosures before glancing at his positions, resume, or CV.

The same article features statements from Letterman's publicist that should win an award for "meaningless claim of the millenium"; that Letterman was not in violation of his own company's policies. In similar fashion, I believe Hobbes' buddy never ever committed a foul while playing "Calvin-ball."

Friday, October 02, 2009

No Chicago Olympics

The Northern Muckraker tells me that Chicago has (thankfully) been removed as a contender for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games, despite 100% turnout in favor of the proposal from the Burr Oak, Graceland, Rosehill, Oak Woods, Saint Boniface, and other fine Chicago neighborhoods.

And yes, "thankfully," as Hizzoner Daley has, with the help of the board of aldermen, run the city into the ground. Hosting the Olympics (with innumerable lies and paybacks and such) was simply a way that Mr. Daley hoped to cover up the results of his spendthrift incompetence.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Another reason to homeschool

Frater Libertas links some fascinating comments by sportscasters joking that a prominent quarterback might not be able to read because he was homeschooled. Of course, if the same sportscasters had not been educated in the government schools, they might have been able to read the study that demonstrates that if you want to find illiterate adults, you look for the products of the government schools.

Please, let's have compassion on the poor illiterate, uneducated sportscasters. Maybe if they're lucky, they'll meet a homeschooled child who will be willing to teach them their phonics, grammar, and logic.

Barking up the wrong tree?

When I see things like this--an Obama appointee under fire for counseling a boy to "use a condom" instead of reporting statutory rape--I have to wonder if "sex ed" programs would do well to start not with diagrams of the human body and such, but rather with a review of laws surrounding what ought to be the marital act. If we teach them what is and is not legal and why, perhaps they might respect their sexuality a little bit more.

And, forced to learn the laws so they could teach them to students, maybe teachers and school staff would be more likely to report things like suspected statutory rape.

Reflections on a funeral

If you wonder why people in nursing homes love children so much, spend a few hours with someone who is dying. After that, a toddler throwing a fit is sweeter music than von Karajan.

If you want free rein to quote God's promises in the Bible, minister to the dying. People want to hear hope at this time--and not just the one facing streets of gold or sulfur.

If you want to know the difference between vague promises of being "in a better place" and the real impact of the Word, attend to the dying and quote those promises.

If you want to know what it's like to serve another with no chance of earthly reward, attend to the dying.

If you want to know who really cared about a person, look at the guest book for their viewing and funeral.

If you want to know how important it is to study and memorize Scripture, visit the dying in a hospital room where the Gideons are not welcome.

If you want to know where paraphrases of the Scripture are not welcome, go to a funeral service. You will hear the KJV or other word for word translation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This one will be interesting

Evidently, the Supreme Court has acccepted a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Chicago's gun bans. It would be refreshing to see a strong rebuke to the idea (endorsed by the 7th Circuit) that somehow citizens have (Heller) the right to keep and bear arms, but that right can be arbitrarily rejected by states and cities. Yes, you can count me as one who views anti-incorporation arguments as legally dubious, to put it mildly.

Put differently, exactly how do we have the right to free speech, assembly, religion, to keep and bear arms, and so on if the city of Chicago can decide that only aldermen and the mayor have these rights? It's preposterous.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sign of someone with a great sense of humor

A coworker who is six months pregnant wore this shirt to work today.

Good or bad news?

Fraters Libertas links a number of reasons why one man feels that the Pelosi/Reid/Obama recession will last quite a long time. While some of the reasons seem quite indicative of a long recession, others bode quite well if one thinks Biblically. Specifically, lending is down quite a bit, and if a good portion of that is people wising up to the bondage that is debt, we can expect many of those people to enjoy far better long term prosperity and help their neighbors out of the recession.

The article lists some very ominous signs as well, such as incredible inflation of the money supply and B. Hussein's version of Smoot-Hawley, but I have the hope that people are indeed figuring out that bondage to the Federal Reserve and debt is a bad thing, and acting accordingly.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let no man separate

One of the things that became very clear to me as my family held the funeral for my mother is that, although my parents had divorced 26 years ago, many of the affections and wounds from that far back were still working. No, we did not have a scene, thankfully. Rather, it was touching to see my father--parted from my mother for that long--stop to pay his respects. Prior to that, he had done what little things he could to provide a bit of comfort for my mother.

It seems that some wounds just don't heal. In the same way, my wife and I just bought a home from an older divorced man, who commented that the divorce had just about killed him. It leads me to contemplate the possibility that when He said "let no man separate", He wasn't just referring to something we should not do. In a manner of speaking, He was telling us about something we could not do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In honor of my mom; a cake recipe

Since my wife seems to have put this together better than I, I'll just send you to her blog. The cake is really good, especially when one uses dark cocoa and espresso.

How not to teach gun safety

Like this. If there is anyone confused out there about this, there is really only one rule of gun safety; always treat every gun as if it were loaded and ready to fire the moment your finger brushes against the trigger.

That means you never trust the safety. You never point it at anything you're not willing to destroy. You keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire. Never, ever hand a firearm to someone who doesn't know and appreciate this. Let that person handle an unloaded firearm and get the "hang" of not pointing it at your head (or his own) before you give him ammunition.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prayer Update

Pray for those of us who are not walking on streets of gold and sitting at the best banquet table ever created, especially my stepdad.

My mom entered into rest sometime between 10pm Sunday and 4am Monday, probably towards the latter. About a dozen family members and friends spent most of the last three days of her life holding her hand, talking to her in the 5% of so of the time she was awake, reminding her of God's promises to His people regarding death and Heaven, and helping the nurses keeping her comfortable. There is a certain, huge, blessing in getting to spend three full days together helping someone who really can't say "thank you" in any significant way--and especially without the TV blaring in the background.

Friday, September 18, 2009

NIV update

This account suggests that the gender-neutered changes for which the NIrV and TNIV/NGV are rightly infamous may not survive in the next revision of the NIV. Now I should be happy about this, but I'm not, as the source indicates that political pressure, not principle, may be the reason. I'm far happier with an honest Zondervan/Biblica collaboration that rejects my view that translation ought to be "essentially literal" than with the same groups privately rejecting my views, but publicly appeasing them.

Seems that there was something in Exodus 20 about this, and I tend to agree with Ehrmann; Biblica was saying one thing publicly in 2005, now they're saying the opposite, and they've not released a significant document explaining their change of course. That would tend to indicate pragmatism (Zondervan saying "you're killing our profit margins!") instead of principle.

I hope I'm wrong here--who wants to accuse brothers in Christ of lying?--but that's where the evidence points now.

Whatever the outcome, I think I'll be sticking with the KJV, NKJV, Luther translation, and Berlenburger Bibel portions that I've got now. And hopefully learning a bit more Hebrew and Greek as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A gentle reminder

Dey tell me dat Saturday's "Talk like a Pirate Day." Vell, ya know, dose Vikings vere pirates, too, so here are some books dat vill help you talk like a real pirate. Don't forget da hotdish ven ya go pillaging!

Arr, yashure youbetcha.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prayer request

Things are not going real well for my mom right now. Right when they thought the cancer was in control, other things are happening.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here's a cool idea

Back as an undergrad at Michigan State, all electrical engineering students took a trip out to the campus power plant and learned exactly why the dorm rooms were so hot in the winter and into the spring; the waste heat from the power plant was being used to heat--and cool--all buildings on campus. Although a great deal of the heat went through the single pane windows of Bryan Hall and other dorms (we left the windows open when it was zero outside, it was so hot), the efficiency of the "cogeneration" system was said to be about 60%--roughly twice that of the average coal fired power plant of the day. Even today, it's about 50% better efficiency than the best coal and gas fired power plants.

Enter Volkswagen, which has developed a nifty little natural gas fired power plant that will be sufficient to power a few homes, and will produce waste heat for hot water and heat. Now it's a hefty price at 5000 euros (roughly $7500), but if it indeed replaces a $2000 heater, a $500 water heater, and $100 or so a month in electric bills, this could indeed be the first thing that actually comes close to being an ecologically and economically sound replacement for centralized generation and distribution of electricity.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Well, it's not like they were using them....

....NFL players to donate their brains to science.

To be fair, they're only donating them after they die, of course, but I just couldn't if only they can get Kanye West to help out, too....

Some other recommended censures

Apparently House Speakress Nancy Pelosi has decided that since Joe Wilson was not sufficiently "contrite" in her opinion, she's going to pursue censure unless he humiliates himself on the House floor.

OK, fine, she's doing this. But what about far more significant realities of bribery (William "Cold Cash" Jefferson), tax evasion (Charles Schumer), corrupt associations (Barnett Frank sleeping with Fannie Mae executive and not recusing himself from Fannie Mae-related votes), or the forty or so Democrats who mocked President Bush in 2005?

I guess we need to assume here that what's important to Mrs. Pelosi is not the dignity of Congress, but rather making cheap political points. After all, she's remarkably silent when it comes to the things Democrats are doing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Win at all costs?

Evidently, a South African sports minister is threatening "world war" if runner Caster Semenya is banned from competing as a woman, even though an IAAF gender test has allegedly revealed that she has no womb, no ovaries, and two (internal) testicles. Apparently South African sports authorities never thought anything was amiss when a young lady built like a linebacker and with the voice of Richard Sterban started running times close to those of Jarmila Kratochilova, all the while being coached by a former East German track coach and showing sky-high testosterone readings on doping tests. Nobody ever bothered to ask questions about why she'd never had "that time of the month," why people who had known her for years didn't know her sex, and why her face (and waist) is clearly that of a man.

Now it is certain that this person's life is being trashed, but let's place blame where it belongs; on the sports authorities who ignored clear signs that something was very wrong because "she" could run a blazing 800 meters.

Regarding "You Lie"

The best justification I can figure out for prohibiting Congressmen from shouting "you lie" to an obviously lying President giving a speech is that if they did that consistently, it could shut down Washington, DC.

Sounds like a good idea to me. :^)

Let's be serious here; one of the biggest problems in politics today is that the perceived requirements of civility prevent people from pointing out that fertilizer is indeed fertilizer. I think it's time to remember that there is a point where someone's dishonesty can cross a line where one is not only not prohibited from immediately pointing out the lie, but is morally required to point it out. See Proverbs 26:4-5.

Now there is of course a fine line between Proverbs 26:4 and 26:5, and of course there is also the reality that one objecting to the speech of a lying fool can also become one himself. However, I see no purpose served in simply listening politely to speech one knows to be false. It simply creates the perception that wicked speech, like Obama's health care speech, is somehow respectable, and that is also wicked.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lessee if I got this one straight

Joe Wilson says something obviously true, if gauche, about the President during Obama's speech last night, and Democrats are calling for a censure. On the other hand, House member Charles Rangel gets brother in law pricing on mortgages he's supposed to be regulating, fails to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets on financial disclosure statements, fraudulently and illegally keeps rent controlled apartments in New York City, and cheats on his taxes. No response from Democratic leaders.

Actions speak louder than words, and the Democrats are shouting "corruption" right now.

How to really fix health insurance

If you want an analysis of Obama's speech, go here. Suffice it to say that it was not a speech directed at thinking people who understand some of the realities of health insurance, and had I been there, it would have required mighty restraint not to shout a quaint country phrase relating to manure from male bovines about once every 30 seconds.

Perhaps it would be good for Mr. Obama had a few people there done so.

That noted, I did do some thinking about how one could really fix health insurance costs, and came up with the following list.

1. Stop subsidizing grain and sugar. If indeed obesity costs $1400 per obese person in excess medical costs, this should be a no-brainer. You'd also end up cleaning up aquifers.

2. Build the border fence and enforce immigration laws so the load on medical services, especially emergency rooms, is reduced. Could save hundreds of billions of dollars.

3. End the special tax treatment for employer paid insurance, and require employers to offer half what they would pay to employees who want to get their own insurance (usually far cheaper if you're under 50 and don't smoke).

4. Reform the tort system so that the loser pays reasonable legal bills for the winner, always.

5. Reform medical tort law to put a reasonable limit on damages.

6. Admit that unfunded liabilities for Medicare cannot be paid out of reasonable economic estimates, and end it over the next few decades. Let people know that they will be on the hook for significant diseases and watch behavior change.

7. Stop subsidizing daycare. Seriously; how many infections occur because baby is taken away from mother and put in the petri dishes we call "daycare centers," especially since that generally means that baby isn't breast-fed anymore?

8. End lifelong gold-plated insurance for current and former members of Congress, the President, and judges. What we get, they get.

9. Allow interstate commerce in health insurance. Competition saves money.

10. Stop subsidizing air travel and shift the tax burden to tariffs from the income tax. How many diseases reach our shores on a 747 from Asia? Why should people pay income taxes to pay for a Navy and Coast Guard to keep sea lanes open, but no duties should be assessed on imported goods?

11. Reduce government insurance mandates.

Of course, this is about exactly the opposite of what Comrade Obama is proposing, so I won't be holding my breath. Since it's the opposite of what he proposes, though, it would actually reduce costs.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The new NIV? Think NTNIV, or "NNGV"

Dr. Veith links a this article, and this article, that make it appear that the revised NIV will be a new "New Gelded Version," sad to say. I'll be glad to be wrong, but signs are pointing that way.

How not to give a speech

No, I didn't listen to the whole speech Pres. Obama gave to the young skulls full of mush, but I did hear excerpts and read it, and it relates to something I've noticed about politicians speaking in the past few years. Specifically, Obama was giving a stern lecture--in some places more or less yelling--at kids. The best part was when he angrily tells kids that if they do get a bad grade, it doesn't mean they're stupid--his tone saying exactly the opposite thing to any sensitive soul.

Communicating the magic and wonder of learning? Not in there. Wisdom for its own sake? TOTUS apparently forgot to include that one. Grouchy lecture about struggling through boring classes to get a good job and be a good servant to the government? That you got.

If many classrooms heard many students sobbing quietly after that speech, I wouldn't be surprised. The speech belongs on those "demotivational" posters saying "despair".

Politicians need to learn what fundamental Baptist preachers have learned (too often the hard way) over the past few years, it seems; that increasing the volume doesn't mean that you're communicating effectively.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I'm seeing a pattern here

Appointment of Communist Van Jones to position of "czar" in White House. Rejection of Honduras' application of its own Constitution and threatened non-recognition of new government after legitimate election--a position shared with (Marxist) Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Casual acceptance of Marxist book from Mr. Chavez with no complaint or mockery. Attempted implementation of major steps to single payer healthcare without allowing debate, or even reading of bill.

Life as a community organizer. Membership in Trinity UCC. Friendship with (Marxist) Bill Ayers. Money to ACORN. Cap and trade. It's looking more and more like the hammer and sickle in the White House aren't just for Michelle's garden.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Book review: Reforming Marriage

At the advice of some of my readers, I took a look (three times through actually ) at Douglas Wilson's "Reforming Marriage," and...the long and short of it is that it's well worth twenty bucks (or fifty, or one hundred) to get it on your doorstep. Why so?

Wilson builds from creation (who does he think he is, Ken Ham?) to really build the case that we really do have a reason for the way things are, and more than any other person I've read, he does so while avoiding the usual (H. Norman Wright or Gary [Stuart?] Smalley) "do this list and have a happy marriage" pelagian error.

Well, he almost completely avoids it; the only criticism that I have is that at times...he doesn' t make the connections between the Creation and the Gospel as clear as they ought to be, and so it somewhat appears to be lapsing slightly in to H. Norman territory. And so perhaps I will make my plea for a revised edition where he could clean that up.

Or perhaps I'll read through it a fourth time. Probably a good bet for both.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fatness Friday: State Fair on a Budget

This time of year, many of us would love to go to the "Great Minnesota Get Together," but for sad reasons like "I live 1000 miles away" or "I've been hit hard by the Pelosi/Reid/Obama recession," not all of us can make it. So here's a way to have a big portion of the State Fair experience on a budget.

Go shopping, and get 1-2 lbs of hot dogs (we did Ambassador), cornbread mix, a bottle of oil, flour, eggs, milk, wooden sticks, flour, and powdered sugar. Mushrooms are a double bonus, or you could even do hard boiled ("Scotch") eggs.

Make 1 batch of cornbread mix very thick. Test thickness with hot dog (it should coat it well), and then pour about 1 quart of oil into large dutch oven. Heat until a slight haze forms over the oil. Stick sticks into hot dogs (1-2 per adult), coat with cornbread batter, and place into dutch oven to fry. Turn to get even coating.

While the corn dogs are cooking, put sticks into mushrooms or hard boiled eggs and dip them in cornbread batter. Place them into dutch oven for cooking when corn dogs are done. Drain corn dogs on paper towels and serve. Do the same with mushrooms or eggs. Serve with lemonade or other desired beverage; bonus if the lemonade is made with real lemon juice, of course. Turn off stove while eating!

After the first sumptuous repast, reheat oil, and add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of flour to remainder of cornbread batter, add 1 egg, 1 tsp baking powder, and milk to make a slightly "runny" pancake like batter. Pour through funnel to make your own funnel cakes at home. Top with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar and enjoy.

There you go. The essential Minnesota State Fair experience without the crowds, and for $20 or less for a family of seven.


Apparently, the agency that would do the most to operate health care reform regulations would be none other than the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Washington Examiner's review of H.R. 3200. Yes, the most rogue agency outside of the BATFE--and probably the most feared--would be handling a great portion of your healthcare.

I usually try to refrain from vulgar humor here, but this one merits an exception. Whoever came up with this idea had better not eat too much spicy food or beans, lest he blow his head right off.

On the bright side, it gives a very real objection to "Obama-care"; the IRS would indeed be handling your healthcare and gaining access to portions of your medical records. I think even liberals can figure out why that might not be a good thing.

H/T Cold Fusion Guy.