Sunday, April 26, 2009
A Negativist's View
God loved birds and created trees. Man loved birds and created cagesMr. Duval apparently loved nature, or maybe just birds, and believed he was insightfully pointing out the evil of man towards nature and/or birds. In reality, he unfairly maligned humans.
- Jacques Duval
Comparing people to God hardly constitutes a fair contrast. By definition, in Christianity anyway, God's knowledge, presence, love, compassion, etc is limitless. Humans fall far short of omnipresence and other infinite qualities. A fairer comparison would be us and ants.
Additionally, Duval ignores the large majority of people who also love nature and birds. During my life, I've known few people who kept birds in cages. I recall one teacher and a family in my neighborhood. Many more people set up bird feeders, birdbaths, create habitats attractive to birds, feed pigeons downtown and participate in other bird friendly activities.
Simply, I'm weary of those who believe finding fault with mankind shows wisdom. Perhaps Bill Ryerson, the President of the Population Media Center, who referred to children as parasites on the Mike McConnell Show epitomizes this mindset.
Humans are legitimate inhabitants of the Earth. Like every other organism on Earth, humans impact the environment. As the only truly self-aware being on Earth, humans realize much of their impact on Earth. Appreciation of the beauty and miracle of Earth probably belongs only to humans. I, for one, am more than a little tired of humans being labeled evil, destructive beings. Indeed, it is a sign of goodness that humans recognize evil.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Man Charged with Murder of 4 Illegal Immigrants
Robbery was considered an unlikely motive. Some implied it may have been a hate crime with comments such as "we must work to ensure that all lives are valued, regardless of race, language or immigration status."
A year later and still no arrest, family members reportedly complained "the deaths are being ignored because the men were undocumented workers." But "Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said, "The magnitude and the gravity of the crimes are of such a nature that we will never stop working on this."
Yesterday, police arrested the man they believe responsible. It turns out robbery probably motivated the murders. "He is thought to have stolen tens of thousands of dollars from them."
Also, the "arrest Sunday also should end speculation in the Mexican media that the men were victims of a hate crime..." You see, the murderer was Santiago Moreno, 34. He was arrested in Mexico by Mexican authorities after joint investigative efforts by the Sharonville Police Department, Hamilton County Prosecutor's office, FBI and Mexican authorities. Authorities kept quiet in order to not tip off Moreno that they were hunting him.
I applaud the efforts of all law enforcement agencies. (Having watched Joe Deters in action for many years, I can attest that he is one class act and criminals should fear him.) I scold those who jumped to the assumption of a hate crime or that no one cared because the victims were illegal aliens. Authorities tracked this villain across half a continent and through two countries. Yes, they cared. And, while we may oppose illegal immigration, we believe all human life is valuable.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
If I Couldn't Laugh...
Yesterday I happened to catch a piece of a report concerning the president's Saturday radio address.
So today, we simply cannot afford to perpetuate a system in Washington where politicians and bureaucrats make decisions behind closed doors, with little accountability for the consequences; where billions are squandered on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist solely because of the power of a lobbyist or interest group; and where outdated technology and information systems undermine efficiency, threaten our security, and fail to serve an engaged citizenry.Some how, he failed to mention that the efforts of lobbyists and special interest groups are effective because our politicians sell themselves out for campaign money and votes. Lobbyists and special interests would disappear if our politicians weren't perpetually for sale. (I do believe these groups have a role but that it should be more limited.) I suppose he simply forgot the $5 billion in earmarks in the stimulus bill.
Earlier in the address, Obama stated...
In the year 2000, we had projected budget surpluses in the trillions, and Washington appeared to be on the road to fiscal stability. Eight years later, when I walked in the door, the projected budget deficit for this year alone was $1.3 trillion. And in order to jumpstart our struggling economy, we were forced to make investments that added to that deficit through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.Yeah, right. More like bailing out rich campaign contributors.
Later yesterday, Obama ordered his Cabinet to find a way to cut $100 million dollars from the federal budget in the next 90 days. 100 million dollars is 0.01 percent of a trillion. This year we expect the deficit to hit $1.7 trillion. If we do this every 90 days, it will only take 2,500 years to make up a trillion dollars. Given the predicted deficits for the next ten years, we'll need well more than 2,500 years to pay it off at this rate.
Which brings me back to Bob and Tom. If Obama was doing comedy, we'd be laughing our asses off. Imagine him delivering his shtick, "Yeah! It'll only take three or four thousand years to pay off our debt!" (Insert raucous laughter) "One hundred million dollars there, a 100 million dollars here, pretty soon even in Washington it adds up to real money,..." Oh, wait, he really said that.
I can almost imagine Jon Stewart delivering the same lines and the audience eating it up.
One more funny.
Senior White House adviser David Axelrod on Sunday suggested the "Tea Party" movement is an "unhealthy" reaction to the tough economic climate facing the country.Axelrod's bewilderment stems from not having a clue. Plus, did I miss something? I don't recall any tax cuts. Is Axelrod trying to claim that the change in withholding is a tax cut? If so, he needs to read this statement from an email from the accounting department where I work, "Even though the federal tax withheld has changed, this may or MAY NOT change the amount of federal taxes owed for 2009, so this could result in some people being under withheld." I wonder how many people will be hurting come tax time next year.
"The thing that bewilders me is that this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people," Axelrod argued.
Plus, his adolescent attempt to discredit the Tea Parties as "unhealthy" additionally demonstrates Axelrod's cluelessness. They couldn’t find a clue in the middle of a clue field during the height of clue hunting season if they smeared their bodies with musk and did the clue-mating dance. Now, I'm off to watch something more serious than what's coming out of the White House, some good reruns of "Gilligan's Island."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Is This Reporting?
Susan Roesgen takes on the role of a counter-protester while pretending to be a reporter for CNN.
First Roesgen interrupts the man she's supposedly interviewing (not that he expressed himself that well).And then, she argues with him and insists it's only about taxes and says it's OK because Illinois getting a bunch of money. (Apparently she the thoughts of limited government and that a person has the right to keep the money they earn and determine themselves how it is spent escapes her.) Finally, she claims the protest is anti-CNN. Pathetic.
UPDATE: Roesgen set straight by another protester.
UPDATE II: Apparently the disappeareance of the link above was due to CNN trying to cover up the news they don't want you to know about. The video above now works, for the time being.
Support Obama's Child Programs or Your Kid Will End Up in Jail
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Cincinnati Tea Party - April 15 Edition
The crowd at Fountain Square in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.
Starting the march to city hall. The length of the crowd was 4-5 blocks on 3-4 lane wide streets.
Marching up Vine St.
A determined protester with a good point.
A Korean war veteran and a Gulf War veteran, or as the Department of Homeland Security says, potential terrorists.
Just before I took this picture, these ladies were giving the policemen hugs. At what other protest would something like that happen. Many Tea Party protesters shook the policemen's hands and thanked them for helping out. I can't remember the last time I saw so many smiling policemen.
In front of Cincinnati City Hall.
More pictures HERE
Overall a great turnout. Probably more than on March 15 although it was a cold, overcast day and had rained this morning. It gives me hope. Now, if we can just get some change.
More pix at The Virtuous Republic and Right Wing Nut Job.
You Might Be a Terrorist...
If you served in the military, you might be a terrorist.
If you disagree with the left wing agenda, you might be a terrorist.
If you're Republican, conservative or libertarian, you might be a terrorist.
If you oppose illegal and/or uncontrolled immigration, you might be a terrorist.
If you believe in civil disobedience, like Henry David Thoreau or the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, you might be a terrorist.
If you oppose abortion, you might be a terrorist.
If you believe in the 10th amendment, you might be a terrorist.
If you oppose a civilian national security force, you might be a terrorist.
If you realize we have an African-American president, you might be a terrorist.
If you are suffering from the economic downturn, you might be a terrorist.
If you've criticized outsourcing of jobs, you might be a terrorist.
If you believe "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed," you might be a terrorist.
If you are antagonistic towards the administration's stance on a range of issues including immigration and citizenship, you might be a terrorist.
If you criticize free trade agreements, especially with Mexico, you might be a terrorist.
If you oppose government infringement on civil liberties, you might be a terrorist.
If the Southern Poverty Law Center says your and extremist (even though you're really just a gang member), you might be a terrorist.
If you're a veteran returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, you might be a terrorist.
If you believe in The Bill of Rights, you might be a terrorist.
My apologies to Jeff Foxworthy.
PS - This report gives us, if nothing else, another example of the incompetency of our Federal government. A sharp high school student would do a better job.
UPDATE: Turns out in January the left wingers got the terrorist treatment from DHS. As I said in the comments, yes, everybody is a terrorist.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Sharing the Sorrow
First hearing about this last Friday when I picked my son up, my immediately wanted to go visit the family and offer consolation. My son was headed out of town with his band. After dropping him off with his ride, I drove with apprehension towards my friend's house. Turning onto his street, I saw several cars parked close in front of his yard and his neighbors'. I rolled slowly by assessing the situation. I turned around and decided to stop and go inside.
Almost immediately after entering my friend came and hugged my, buried his head in my shoulder and sobbed, "I've lost him. He's gone. A piece of my heart is gone." I could feel his agony. Never before has someone clenched my like he did. For a split second I was stunned. Fighting back tears of my own I managed to reply, "I'm so sorry, ___." We talked for another minute and then began to interact with the other family and visitors.
I don't consider my friend the closest of friend and I doubt he does me. We know each other almost strictly through Boy Scouts. He and I both assist with troop leadership. We've seen each other almost every Thursday night for the past 5 years. We've probably camped out together with the Scouts 30 or 40 times plus gone to week long Boy Scout camp together.
On my son's first Scout camp out, my friend's son, Zack, 3 years older, shared an tent with my son. Zack became my son's informal mentor and skillfully guided him through his first year of Scouts including the week long Boy Scout camp. My son still considers Zack his favorite of the older Scouts from his troop.
Although not a "close" friend, I wanted to do what friends do - offer support and love. A couple of days later, as part of a group effort, I cooked a lame potato casserole for him and his family. That evening, at least a couple of hundred from the community, myself included, attended a prayer service for Zack and his family.
These events prompted my to think about other times when someone died and I, and many others, offered solace. I also thought back to a time when my father failed miserably at a time when he most should have offered care and support for my mother.
During the course of their 60 years together, my father divorced my mother and married another woman. When that marriage failed after 2 or 3 years. My mother took him back. Showing forgiveness and love beyond what most could muster. I never witnessed her even mention their break up or hold it against him.
Yet when my mother's father died, my father refused to go to Tulsa for the funeral and family gathering. His claimed, "I don't like funerals" as his only explanation. For a clinical psychologist who had been taken back by his wife after abandoning her, I saw this as incredibly callous and self-centered. My oldest daughter and I drove 800 miles through the night to be with my mother and her family.
As a follow-up, a few years later when my mother's step-mother died (she had been married to my grandfather for 21 years after the death of my grandmother), my father, again, said he wasn't going to the funeral. By this time, I had moved to Kentucky and couldn't attend the funeral due to family and work. When I received word of his refusal to go, I called my father and shamed him into going, reminding him of how good his wife had been to him.
Friends and family has a responsibility to share the good and the bad. If you can't share the bad times and sad times, you don't deserve to share the good times. Unfortunately, some only act according to how circumstances will or do make them feel. Not only do I hold a certain amount of disgust for these people, I believe they lead emptier, shallower lives because of it.
Had I not stopped at my friend's house that night, I never would have received the blessing of a hug I'll never forget, in my heart a blessing that far outweighs any effort I made to comfort my friend. Although that was not my motivation, a person of enlightened self-interest would act accordingly.
Enjoy the fun and good times with your friends and family. Drink beer, fish, tell stories, watch you kids grow up together. When the bad times come, be there for your friends and family. Do anything less and you're not living fully.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Bill Clinton's theme song was "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac. Barack Obama's theme song is by "To Our Children's Children's Children" because that's who will pay for his fiscal irresponsibility.
Why Obama Isn't a Fascist. Sample:
Fascism even poses as a type of spiritual revolution.I must admit comparing Obama to Hitler is unfair. Mussolini is more like it.
Spiritual revolution?! Nah. It’s not like schoolchildren are singing hymns to him or anything.
Fascism came up with two tools that would help maintain “the unity of the nation”—corporatism and totalitarianism. In a corporative state, a country’s political, social, and economic power is held by a group of corporations, made up both of employers and employees. This group of corporations plans the economy and settles differences between social classes. In a totalitarian state, the government has total control over and can intervene in every aspect of an individual’s life. Using these two instruments, the nation would easily be maintained as the highest ideal.
There’s no move in our country for the government to have that much control over a few corporations who are too big to fail. UPDATE: WOW.
According to Fascist ideology, the nation will not become a completed unit as long as the working class is not assimilated into it, and until a way is found to harness each individual in a joint effort to achieve the common good. Fascism is also a reflection of certain values of the time: namely, emotions and spontaneity as opposed to reason—reason being the basis of democratic thought. In Fascism, the idea that emotions and the subconscious are more important in politics than reason is totally acceptable.
Obama and the Dems are establishing their own little group of Black Shirts (Mussolini. Remember?) via GIVE Act which is the first step in his government mandated
Obama has no knowledge of protocol. He gave DVDs to British Prime Minister Gordon and now bows to the king of Saudi Arabia. A huge American no-no.
And, then lies about it trying to claim he was bending over because he's taller than the Saudi king. Bill Clinton is an inch taller than Obama. We never saw him bow to royalty. Americans, not just the president, don't bow to royalty.
Of course, Obama thinks America is bad, which is probably protocol and American tradition mean nothing to him. His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, blamed Mexico's drug cartel and violence problems on American. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,”. Sounds like she's blaming the drug addicts victimized by the drug dealers. Steppenwolf had it right.
Hillary went on to state, “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.” Of course, if we protected our borders well enough to stop drugs, we would be stopping illegal aliens too. The Dems' corporate friends, who love low wage workers, wouldn't like that.
As a follow-up, Obama apologizes for America's arrogance. To paraphrase Michelle Obama, for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really ashamed of my country. Ashamed that we have become so self-hating, self-denigrating that we have elected a president whose message to the world is that we are bad.
Finally, back to the greatest set of signs: the huge budget, calling it ballooning would be an understatement, government take over of banks, other financial institutions, car companies and who knows what else. How anyone thinks this is sound fiscal or business policy is beyond me.
Back to Michelle Obama. for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really ashamed of my country because, unless we change directions, we will be leaving a country worse off to our children for the first time in history. The signs don't look good.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
The Death of a Son
I've gotten to know the family fairly well over the past 5 years. Nothing about this incident makes any sense. The son was very bright and, I believe, had received academic scholarships for college and attended Utah State University. His parents are caring and supportive people who spend a great deal of their lives involved in youth activities.
At this point, apparently no ruling has been made whether or not foul play was involved. Remember what a treasure your children are. Cherish them each day of your life.
Whenever parents have a son or daughter die, I am reminded of this story.
A rich man asked a Zen master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. It would be something that the family could cherish for generations. On a large piece of paper, the master wrote, "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies."May our children out live us all.
The rich man became angry when he saw the master's work. "I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something depressing like this?"
"If your son should die before you," the master answered, "this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity."
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