Saturday, December 27, 2008

Real Topics Today

I'm working graveyard and it's literally freezing at night and the site is running smooth, so rounds are exceptionally quick. Gives me lots of time for bouncing round the web.

Found these last night:

Video - Political Correctness Vs. Freedom Of Thought

A man's life just about destroyed with no hearing and damn near no recourse. If FIRE hadn't gotten involved Mr. Sampson would have had to deal with being branded a racist for reading a book (available in the college's library) about the Klan being driven out of Illinois.

I wonder if I could file racial harassment charges for finding someone reading a Malcolm X book near me?

The next two are stunners:

First from (OMG) the L.A. Times:

Joel Stein:
Republicans are blinded by love
Lefties just don't have the same feeling about America as the hard right does.

“But I’ve come to believe conservatives are right. They do love America more. Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws. But calling your wife fat isn’t love. True love is the blind belief that your child is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, one you would gladly die for. I’m more in ‘like’ with my country."

Real love is not blindly believing the object of your affection is perfect, but know the flaws and still care deeply anyway. I love my country, without question! Flaws and all. I know we always strive to be better.

I wish I felt such certainty. Sure, it makes life less interesting and nuanced, and absolute conviction can lead to dangerous extremism, but I suspect it makes people happier. I'll never experience the joy of Hannity-level patriotism. I'm the type who always wonders if some other idea or place or system is better and I'm missing out. And, as I figured out shortly after meeting my wife, that is no way to love.

Will Stein change his love of country? I doubt it.

Another revelation that I ran across:

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God
Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset

Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

This is coming from someone who grew up in Africa.

Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more open.

Like Stein above, I have to wonder if Parris after having an epiphany, will change?

No, I don't. They will continue to look for a new way to express love of country or that religion hasn't a proven message that should be heeded. They will go through life unsatisfied. Always feeling that there is an answer just around the corner that will allow them to prove they were right by rejecting the basic ideals that drug mankind into enlightenment. We aren't perfect, never will be, but we strive forward, looking to the past for where we screwed up, so as not to repeat the mistake, but also to remember the things we did that were right and good.

We'll finish this up on a lighter note.

I love hockey....BUT....when they had the lockout, they lost me. I've got football (a post coming on why no football posts this year at the end of the season) which takes up enough of the year, but I stumbled into this video. If there are going to be more plays like this, I may consider getting out my Kings jersey again.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jesus and John Wayne

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Mine was quiet. The wife is in Montana and what's left of my family is in Oregon, so it was just me, my boy and the animals.

My heater crapped out a while ago so it's pretty damn cold, we've figured out the insulation on the house is pretty good, but it's working in reverse. It's colder inside than it is outside. I was going to make a fire, I have a really cool brick mantled fireplace that if you get those bricks heated up, the heat will last radiate for two days...but my boy and his friends burned all my firewood in a little fire pot in the backyard over the summer.

Due to covering a vacation an extra shift and two holidays, that I didn't work for a change (good paycheck 40 hours OT), I've got the repairman coming Tuesday to fix it.

Which brings me to "Jesus and John Wayne". I don't do well in the cold, and it's been freezing, so Christmas was quick this year, just Merry Christmas and Chris ran off to his friends house that have heat, and I jumped back into bed with a big comforter and the dog and cat. AMC was running a John Wayne marathon, so I just let that run in the background because I love those movies, but have seen them hundreds of times and would let my mind drift onto the meaning of the day.

I was able to recall all those Christmas' past, the gatherings at relative's houses on Christmas Eve. My Dad's side of the family was spread all over hell and gone, so we didn't gather as a clan on his side, and my Mom's side was more like a formal dinner party.

But way, way back, we had two other Christmas parties that were more like what Christmas should be.

One was my parents circle of friends from the different places they worked over the years. Lots of kids, lot's of drinking (by the adults), lot's of laughter.

The other Christmas gathering, that I remember most fondly was given every year by close friends of my parents, "Uncle Bob" and "Tante Rae". Bob worked with my Dad from right after the war in aerospace, and he had married Rae who was quite a bit older than him and had a grown child, but Rae loved children and every year would have a gathering of her friends kids. This was a party for the kids.

It was Christmas carols and stories. Sugar cookies and Pfeffernüsse. Angel chimes and love.

Over the years the real celebration of the day has waxed and waned for me. I go from despising the commercialism and giving up on the holiday, to trying to reach back and reclaim Tante Rae's message of what a special day this is and you should enjoy it for it's own sake It is so much more than "us".

I'll leave with this, not a Christmas song, per se, but one of my favorites and fitting.

Celtic Woman - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring (live)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pet Peeves and Helping A Friend

The Imperial Tech Wizard over at the Rott is setting up the site for the new year and is running a test on the server. He's asking us to post as much as we can to test the server so glitches show up now rather than when we need it. I've been trying to swing by and post something when I get the chance and I got this little rant and decided to save it for proserity

LC cmblake6 sez:

$1.499 Here on base!

Round here we call that $1.50. :em93:

That is one thing about the oil industry I can’t stand. People drive by and go “Oh, it’s $1.49″,. NO! it’s not. I know it’s just a penny, but with a 30 gallon tank, those pennies add up over a year.

Now that I’m on a pet peeve rant…I hate digital time too. I don’t really care if it’s 9:48 PM. It’s 10 minutes to 10, or 9:50. Hell, “it’s coming up on 10 o’clock is close enough. :em12:

And people who are late really fry my bacon. :em96: Going back to the digital time thing, if you are managing your time that closely that minutes or seconds are important, you’re probably going to be late. The guy hitting the office door at 30 seconds before shift change is an inconsiderate a**hole. The guy being relieved has to stay longer to give the shift report. I shoot for twenty minutes before being someplace, then if traffic is bad I’m 15 minutes early, if traffic sucks, I’m there 10 minutes early. If it’s a fast report, the guy I relieve is free to go…early. I’m not going to hold him there until the second hand sweeps twelve. I have one guy that relieves me, and I’m lucky to get out 25 minutes after my shift should be over. The fact that he keeps interrupting with useless crap of what he would do if he were the owner makes what should be a 10 minute discussion into 30 minutes. :em98: Heard it before and would probably do the same myself…IF!!! I were the owner.

I drive by two of the four entrances to Dodger Stadium on my commute and in 5 years, I’ve only been late twice (less than 5 minutes).

OK…I feel better. :em95:

I tried to include all kinds of things in this post. Links, bold, the quote button, smiley things.

The bolding and links and I went back and blockquoted and the smiley's (those :em?: things) didn't cross, but what the hell.

The last line was sincere.

Merry Christmas!!! We've actually got SoCal snow's raining. ;)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

11 Days

I suck at this blogging thing.

Part of it is the season. I get depressed this time of year.

Everyone gets all caught up in the "Xmas Spirit", but seem to forget what that happy feeling is suppose to be about. The getting together, the gifts, the sparkly lights are meant as a day to reflect on one thing, the birth of Jesus.

If the actual date we celebrate is off, I don't care!! We stole the date from the Druids, but like April Fool's Day, them guys thought the year started on the 1st of April (ha ha, you...fools).

I work next to the wholesale district in downtown L.A.(What do you want? Clothes electronics, jewelry, mannequins? They're on sale, buy now!!). The traffic was unbelievable. Horns honking, sirens whizzing by, a lot of stress going on that has nothing to do with the real point.

I'll pull out of my funk. It usually works out that the closer to the 25th we get, the more the other crap falls away. So after putting a dent into your good mood I offer this:

May you, your family and friends, have a very heartfelt Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


When I got home this morning, I was just bouncing around the net looking at stuff and I came across this at

Posted by: Michael Medved at 1:53 PM

At first I thought I was just going to read about some tacky crap like the Obama Victory Plate,but this one really stunned me.

Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s most strident supporters of abortion on demand, is offering a novel Christmas present for its supporters this year: gift certificates for “reproductive services” – including abortion. The Indiana branch of the national organization suggests that families should buy generous credits to cover contraception of every kind, including abortion, and then present these certificates under the tree to grateful daughters, sisters or even wives. Can you imagine the reaction of a family member who holds a brand new abortion certificate, and chortles: “I’ve always wanted one of these!”

It’s ironic that Planned Parenthood wants to associate these services with a sacred holiday that focuses on a miraculous birth—not a termination of pregnancy. The secular left remains hopelessly out of touch with the American people and their most cherished traditions.

Remember that little sojourn in the supply closet at the office Christmas Party? Show her you remember her by giving her a gift certificate to deal with that "burden" you hadn't planned on, or if she didn't get knocked up, at least she can turn it in for the pill, or least she could have some condoms next time.

Why is it that anything religious the atheist's feel they have to mock and/or spit upon? They can't understand the simple wording of the Constitution?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Ah! The phrase that is always ignored. "Or the free exercise thereof:".

Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists is always cited as intent with the line "...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

His intent was was to assure the Baptists that the Constitution prohibits the US gov't or the state of Connecticut passing a law that any one religion would be made a national or state mandated religion.

If I decided to proselytize my beliefs to you against your wishes, you are free to tell me to "fuck off!" ("or abridging the freedom of speech").

That the atheists claim that they suffer depression and sleepless nights because they have to walk by a creche or menorah...give me a break. You're so upset about something you don't beleive exists?

One more thing about Christmas.

I'm sick and tired of hearing that Christmas Day isn't really the day Jesus was born on. So what!!

It's the day chosen to celebrate his birth. If more people were convinced to celebrate Christmas than the winter solstice, guess that message was more compelling.

Was MLK born on the third Tuesday of January (birth: January 15)? Does it demean him by using the wrong day? Don't know, don't care, it's the day we chose to celebrate the man.

Now I need something to cleanse my soul and get me into the Christmas spirit (not easy any year).

Monday, December 01, 2008

Somehow I Knew It was My Fault

"If you have happy thoughts, then you make happy molecules."

Blockquotes from: Deepak Blames America


Ah, the intellectual mind!

The font of wisdom that is a "healer, New Age philosopher and digestion guru, advocate of aromatherapy and regular enemas", Deepak Chopra, has pointed out the real reason for the Mumbai massacre.

In his CNN interview, he was no less clear. What happened in Mumbai, he told the interviewer, was a product of the U.S. war on terrorism, that "our policies, our foreign policies" had alienated the Muslim population, that we had "gone after the wrong people" and inflamed moderates. And "that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay."

See, I told you it was my fault. My desire to stop people that will settle for nothing less that killing or subjugating me caused these people to attack a city in India.

Funny thing though, when asked why they were doing this, the terrorists told their hostages that they should remember some mosque that was burned down decades ago.

When called on this being solely the U.S.'s fault, dr. Chopra backed up a bit...for a bit:

The Mumbai catastrophe was not Washington's fault, it was everybody's fault. Which didn't prevent Dr. Chopra from returning soon to his central theme -- the grave offense posed to Muslims by the United States' war on terror, a point accompanied by consistent emphatic reminders that Muslims are the world's fastest growing population -- 25% of the globe's inhabitants -- and that the U.S. had better heed that fact. In Dr. Chopra's moral universe, numbers are apparently central. It's tempting to imagine his view of offenses against a much smaller sliver of the world's inhabitants -- not so offensive, perhaps?

What the hell has changed here? I guess now being a major (22.4%) make up of the worlds population makes it OK to do whatever you feel you should do. I'm getting confused. They keep changing the rules on me.

A faithful adherent of the root-causes theory of crime -- mass murder, in the case at hand -- Dr. Chopra pointed out, quite unnecessarily, that most of the terrorism in the world came from Muslims. It was mandatory, then, to address their grievances -- "humiliation," "poverty," "lack of education." The U.S., he recommended, should undertake a Marshall Plan for Muslims.

Why is it our responsibility to address their grievances? Perhaps their "humiliation," "poverty," and "lack of education" have something to do with their choice to follow Islam. They send their children over here and get western educations, yet can't seem to develop anything when they get back home to better the plight of the people.

Nowhere in this citation of the root causes of Muslim terrorism was there any mention of Islamic fundamentalism -- the religious fanaticism that has sent fevered mobs rioting, burning and killing over alleged slights to the Quran or the prophet. Not to mention the countless others enlisted to blow themselves and others up in the name of God.

Well, if you mention it, they riot, burn and kill. It's another slight against them that must be avenged.

The author, Rabinowitz, sums it up:

So unworthy is the U.S. -- an attitude solidly established in our media culture long before the war on terror -- that only it can be held responsible for the deranged fantasies cherished in large quarters of the Arab world. So natural does it feel, now, to hold such views that their expression has become second nature.

Which is how it happens also that the U.S. is linked to the bloodletting in Mumbai, with scarcely anyone batting an eye, and Larry King -- awash perhaps, in happy molecules -- thanking guest Dr. Chopra for his extraordinary enlightenment.

God help us.


A journalist who was braver than the police during the attacks. He pointed out where the terrorists were and tried to get the cops to shoot back, they didn't.